Fiddle frustration: 5 years of playing fiddle, hit the dreaded brick wall.
First time poster, long time lurker here! I am a 27 year old fiddle player, who picked up the instrument approx 5 years ago. For the first two years I didn’t take practicing too seriously as I did an undergrad degree, then masters with part time work so time to practice was very very scarce. I have been playing faithfully for the last few years, and though I love the instrument dearly I’ve found myself very exasperated the last few months.
I’m not sure whether its a combination of lack of sessions and motivation, but I feel I have hit a proper brick wall with progression and sounding better. I thought I sounded okay, but have recently started an instagram account where I strive to post a recording of my practice a day (be that tunes, scales, sight reading) and reader…I was shocked by what I heard! All I heard was bad tone and saw poor bow movement. My musician friends tell me this is good, as its likely my ear is far more critical than it was a few years ago but I find it extremely discouraging and feel I should be at a much higher level given the amount of time I have had the fiddle.
I know realistically, that I am probably getting better ( I am working towards my grade 4 classical in the next few months), but part of me is wondering whether I am just bad at the instrument and should give up entirely. I wish (like many) I had started as a child, and am wondering if I am a bit of a lost cause. The phrase "you cant teach an old dog new tricks" springs to mind.
Sorry about the paragraph of pessimistic content! I am wondering whether anyone else has experienced my current rut, and if so, what did they do to get out of it?
Thanks very much,