How do you feel, when something is out of tune?
One of the most difficult things about playing the violin is achieving accuracy with pitch. With no buttons to push, no frets to guide, it's really up to the violinist to create accurate pitch, using their ears as a guide.
The problem is that ears tend to be attached to humans, and humans are, well, just human. People play out of tune - it happens. Some play way, way out of tune. Some play just a little out of tune. Some people hit the occasional sour note but mostly play in tune. Others play nearly every note slightly flat, or slightly sharp, all of the time.
A few days ago I was listening to a student playing every single note ever-so-slightly flat (except the open strings, which marked the contrast). I was not in a position to stop this person and correct things, and even if I had, it was not likely to change the default-to-flat. After about five minutes, my throat started to hurt pretty badly, and I realized that I was internally trying to "fix" this person's pitch by pushing on my own vocal chords, as if to push up a note that I myself was singing! I tried to stop doing it, and I found that my weird reaction was reflexive and difficult to stop. As a result, this out-of-tune-playing was actually producing physical pain for me!
Suzuki used to say that bad rhythm hurts in the stomach and bad pitch hurts in the head. I didn't really know what that meant, but I think I'm beginning to understand.
Are you bothered by bad pitch? Do you notice it? Does it produce actual physical sensations for you, such as a headache or something else? Please participate in the vote, picking whatever seems closest to your experience, and then share your feelings and experiences regarding out-of-tune playing.
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