How to Play a Violin

How do you play the violin?

It’s easy.
Just put it under your chin,
and drag the bow back and forth across the strings
to make the desired notes.

It’s an old joke, albeit one I can’t find online.  On the other hand, I did find out how to draw a violin in just 15 steps.  

Now, what reminded me of that?  This sign in the international arrivals section of Dublin Airport.

Airport sign advising international visitors to drive on the leftMy first thought was that Dublin Airport might not be the best time to learn this traffic fact.  But, of course, how hard can it be to drive on the left?

It’s easy.  Just do a real-time right-to-left conversion on every driving action you undertake, and override a lifetime of reflexes.

It’s so easy, you could probably play the violin simultaneously.  Maybe a simple little Paganini concerto.

 

12 Comments

  1. Marion

    I took that very photo also – it’s at the baggage carousel, no? By then I’d been driving in Scotland and England for more than two weeks so I was already converted but it’s a good idea to remind new arrivals.

  2. HaHa Not. I was so well conditioned after a summer of driving in England, on the Continent, back in England that three months later, in the wee hours, I was driving up Toronto’s Avenue Road in one of the left lanes for several blocks before I clued in to where I was and what I was doing. In those days, there was no traffic at that hour. I gave myself a scare, anyway.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – We’ve chosen not to drive here, taking a group tour and the local bus for our transport. I was just wondering yesterday whether we might have reset our reflexes if we had undertaken to drive, and your story suggests “Yes.” We have, after all, almost learned to look the correct way when crossing the street! Talk about brain plasticity . . .

  3. Tom Watson

    Hmm…I’m under the distinct impression that trying to play the violin while driving is pretty much going to guarantee you a place very close to Paganini. But that’s coming from a percussionist, so what do I know?
    Tom

  4. Jim Taylor

    I quit piano lessons at school, because I couldn’t seem to think of two (or more) notes at the same time. I switched to violin, on the mistaken assumption that it only played one note at a time. I got reasonably good at it, I suppose. Maybe too good, because my violin teacher developed ideas of my becoming a concert violinist, and that notion didn’t appeal to me. I wish now he had just taught to play, to enjoy what I was doing — old-time fiddling, Celtic music, barroom songs, jazz, whatever. It stopped being fun…
    Tragic, isn’t it, how we manage to take the fun out of things…
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – Wow. You must have been good, to provoke that interest from your teacher. Have you considered taking it up again now, and learning those musical forms that you now regret not having?

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