The lessons I've been taking--classical violin lessons--have started to pay off. I think I'm playing much more in tune. Things sound better. People have given me unsolicited compliments. I'm still slower than I would like but I'm sure things will improve.
I've been taking classical violin lessons because I wanted basic skills so that I could play Irish music better. So I could bow better. So I could play more notes in my tunes and play tunes faster. I was stuck after self-learning for a long time. I could no longer improve and I could tell I was doing a lot of things incorrectly but did not know how to do them correctly. Having a traditional teacher is helpful even though a few times I almost cried during my lessons. She has had me playing tunes out of Suzuki book 1. They are simple tunes but they use techniques I don't ever use playing Old-time tunes or even Irish tunes. The point of it, as my teacher reminds me frequently, is to learn to use the whole bow, to learn how to control the bow, learn how to hold the bow so I have more control over the sounds it can make, and learn how to make a better sound.
It is useful. I would recommend swallowing all your pride and taking such lessons. I secretly laugh at the ridiculous way classical violinists play, but every good Irish and Old-time fiddler I've ever admired at least had lessons as a child, so that's what I'm trying to recreate for myself.
It's great to hear that the formal lessons are paying off! Keep at it. Plus, after you learn them you can always simply ignore the classical affectations that drive you a little nuts. For one, because I played the fiddle for so many years without using vibrato, I've found that it's not difficult at all for me to simply turn it off.
'Happy Thanksgiving' 3 hrs
'Playing with WILD ABANDON ' 2 days