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Rustam Gill
O Sole Mio
Hi, Beth and ViolinLab,
I am working on O Sole Mio with my teacher, focusing on lyrical, expressive playing. Here is the first half of the arrangement from George Perlman'sYoung Violinst Contest Album.

The first half seems easy until I start to focus on vibrato in every note, tasteful shifts that have glissando only when I want them to, and expressive bowing. Then suddenly it becomes quite a bit more difficult :)

Some questions I have:
-I'm trying to figure out how to time shifts when combining with vibrato. I can feel my shifts often interrupt a phrase and I tend to stop vibrating a tad bit early before shifting. Any resources or advice on that?
-Also,  what about block fingering on vibrato? I find I can vibrate on slower passages with more than one finger down on a string. This helps me with intonation. However, I'm trying to vibrate on smaller notes in this song and it's easier with just one finger down on the string. This makes correct intonation more difficult, though. Should I practice without block fingerings and improve at intonation that way or try to vibrate with more than one finger down?

Anyway, enjoy! There is a second section that has a lot of double stops and fast scale passages that I'm still working on. Hopefully I can share it with you all soon!
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3 Responses
Posted: February 20, 2017

Kristin Garcia
Newbie hello and vibrato?
Hello everyone!
I'm new here to ViolinLab, having just joined a few weeks ago and lurking in the background:) I've been working with a teacher, and after running across VL really enjoyed Beth's in-depth discussion of various techniques with such detail! It has been helping me to approach things from different directions.

In attempts to work on my beginning vibrato, I've been practicing along with "Vibrato Practice Part 1", and "Dr. Laurie Scott, part 9: Training Vibrato" 

Two questions... 1) When learning wrist vibrato, how much flexibility is necessary in the first knuckle joint (the one closest to your fingernail)? It's difficult to tell in the videos, but I'm not getting much amplitude in sound, and wonder if this might be why? I can see plenty of motion in that joint with arm vibrato, but the wrist seems to be more of a waving motion from the wrist itself.

2) Does anyone have favorites on the site when it comes to practicing vibrato, in particular wrist vibrato?

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts!

0 Responses
Posted: February 20, 2017

Jane Heinze
Handel sonata in D, 4th movement

I've been quietly working on this piece for a while now, and finally thought I had it to a point where I was willing to share how it's going. Then, as soon as I started recording, I came up with ways to make mistakes that had apparently never occurred to me when practicing. This is my 5th recording tonight, and the first one that sounds about how it usually sounds when I'm not planning on sharing it in public! (General music performance question: I get a piece sounding perfect at home and then mess it up all over the place when I'm playing in public. I would very much like NOT to do that - any hints? If you have a treatise on "how not to be a perfectionist", I might like that too...) There are several mistakes in shifting (getting to the exact right note after a shift - I've particularly struggled with the shift at the end of the piece) and the octave harmonics don't always sound how I'd like them to, but overall I can tell I've made a lot of progress on this piece. I think I'm bowing straighter than in my last video in early January, at least I hope so since I worked at it pretty hard! Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Oh, by the way, I got the sheet music for this piece at imslp: - it's the 4th movement, the last page of the document.

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7 Responses
Posted: February 19, 2017

Barb Wimmer
Is it important to memorize scales? Which ones? I assume there is an A B C D E F G scale major and minor and I have c major scale memorized. Several teachers have told me to know my scales. Purpose I guess for octaves and to know if a certain scale is in a song you can know how the song goes?

18 Responses
Posted: February 19, 2017


Stark discovery...

During my inquisitive mode and out of curiosity I looked inside at my student and master viola's F hole to read the label.

The  14 inch student viola label distinctively inscribed on the label "viola" and other info...
But on my 14 master viola's label it's just the master luthier's name, signature and date it was made. Compared it to my other violin label of the same maker and it was almost the same and measurement [side by side]. I believe this 14 inch master viola must be a violin after all strung with viola strings.

Now, Angelina is officially a violin, it sound great and really like how it was made FB was really well sculptured and easy on my hand and fingers. The string are still unstable  but it will settle soon.

I will post the sound test in a bit...

3 Responses
Posted: February 20, 2017

David Rowland

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4 Responses
Posted: February 16, 2017

Ann Meeker
Long Long Ago [Suzuki Bk2]
Iím enthralled with starting to learn/experience flexible bow hand.  It feels so. . . sweepy-:>  Seems like this is a key secret for helping overcome the scratchy bow sound on my frog down bow.  

You wonderful people are my Teachers, thx for any/all critique to help in my pursuit of Beautiful Tone!

I installed a center chin rest (thx DianeSOCAL!) last week and my neck is feeling better, though it seems my violin level should be more horizontal (raise up scroll)? Am going to try a higher chin rest, have a SAS 35mm on order. . . .

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5 Responses
Posted: February 19, 2017

Fatih Kulaz
Musette Practice Fast and Slow
Hi ViolinLab Family,
It has been a long time since I posted my last video. I am a little busy but I still make time for practice. Here is my Musette practices, first 2 are slow and third one is fast.. I welcome all your comments. And I have a question: What should I work on next?
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9 Responses
Posted: February 16, 2017

Your Signature Sound
I thought this blog post was interesting. The author writes,

"The tone you produce as a violinist is like your signature. If you hone your craft enough, it can be recognizable anywhere on any piece."


"There comes a point in a young violinistís life where I believe it is imperative that they take the time to explore their voice on the violin."

Have you found, or are you working on, finding your signature sound?

8 Responses
Posted: February 15, 2017

Unintended Diminuendos at Frog and Tip
Just a quick question- does anyone have a suggestion for an exercise to break the habit of lessening the bow pressure at either end of the bow in the middle of a phrase using the full bow- causing unintentional crescendos and diminuendos. I am interested in an exercise that will help with graduation of tone in a piece that really accentuates the error in the loss of phrasing if those unintentional diminuendos happen in the wrong places.

6 Responses
Posted: February 18, 2017

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