Lorrie Gunn - children's lessons & play-along videos expert

How to Tell Scary Stories with your violin

Learn easy-to-play scary effects on your violin

In this video aimed at children, Lorrie teaches how to tell scary stories on the violin. Perfect for Halloween!

Released on October 6, 2021

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hello, fellow violin lovers. I hope that you will join me today in telling some scary stories using our violins. So one of the first things we want to do is start to get some scary sound effects out of our violin.

All right, the first one we want to do is the sound of a creaking door. And the way I get that sound is I push my bow onto the strings. I like to push onto the two middle strings and I move the bow very slowly, so slow and heavy, creaking door.

The next sound we want to get going is the wind, the sound of the wind on a Halloween night. So to do this, we're going to put the tip of our bow on the E string and shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it very, very, very fast and light. That will be the sound of the wind.

The next we want to get is the sound of squeaky bats. And we can get that by putting our bow behind the bridge and kind of playing little bow strokes here. That's our squeaky bat sound.

The next is skeleton bones. And to get this sound, we turn the bow over. I like to hold it a little bit like this, and we drop the wood onto the strings. That is our skeleton bone sound. It is also known as col legno, which means to play with the wood.

Our next sound is heavy footsteps, and I like to do this by just knocking underneath the violin. I don't want to do it too hard, but I can get kind of a knocking, stepping forward sound. I like that.

I like to include in my stories, sometimes the ocean. And I like to make the sound of the ocean waves by rolling my bow over the strings. And you can go different speeds, slow or faster if you're getting more excited. Okay, then we want to have maybe the rain falling, and we can do that just with some pit staccato and just sort of pluck the plucking sounds out. And we can also have the sound of some tip toeing, and we can do that by dropping the bow and letting it bounce. So I'm dropping it, letting it bounce. And that's actually called ricochet in violin technique. So, but I'm just going to keep pulling it down bow.

And last but not least, we need the sound of a ghost. Now to do this, you want to practice a little bit taking your first finger and running it up as far as you can go. If you can go this far or just here, just sliding the first finger up and down the E string. The next step is to get the finger going with the bow. Yeah. Or I could up, and then I can come back. I can make it sound like a really scary ghost if I sort of shake my arm a little, maybe add a little vibrato while I'm moving down, or go up like this. It's really fun, so you'll want to work on that so you can get the sound effects going.

Well, let's try telling a story. I will tell the story and maybe you could get your violin and join me in doing these different sound effects to go along with the story. Okay, here we go.

One night, I was walking on the beach and I was really enjoying the ocean waves. But suddenly, the wind picked up and the rain started to fall. I could hear, even through the rain and the wind, heavy footsteps coming behind me. Oh, so I began to run. And I saw, up in the distance, a house. So I went up to the door and I pushed on the door and it came open. And some bets flew out past my hair and everything. I heard a strange tiptoeing behind me, and it was getting louder coming from this closet. So I opened the door and I saw skeleton bones dancing in the closet. And I got very scared, so I ran upstairs. And at the top of the stairs, I saw a ghost and he was howling. But he was a friendly ghost, and I wasn't afraid of him in the end.

So there you have an example of a scary story you can tell for Halloween. And my hope is that you will find even more cool sound effects on your violin and come up with some really good stories to tell your family this Halloween,

If you want, there is a free sheet music download for the music in this video, from virtualsheetmusic.com.
Automatic video-to-text transcription by DaDaScribe.com
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Jamile Nogueira * VSM MEMBER * on October 28, 2022 @10:14 pm PST
Very creative and fun! Thank you for the great video!
Lorrie Gunn - host, on October 31, 2022 @7:04 am PST
Thank you Jamile! My students always enjoy making stories like this around the end of October.
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