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MCM
Hello fellow students, i wanted to share a great book I stumbled upon which have found so inspiring for any adult string players: The Late Starters Orchestra by Ari Goldman. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have. CGM

1 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2019

Elke Meier
Humoresque - a work on progress
Hi all, today I want to share a work in progress since I hope to get some help in it: the Dvorak Humoresque. 

One challenge is in the short notes when after the long note one has to work one's way back from the tip to the middle of the bow. This is challenging and I loose control of the bow more than once, but it is something that I feel with more practice I will actually get it. Or maybe I overlook something and there is some movement that I should really change?

It is more than anything else the G-string section that really gives me a hard time. Well, shifting in general is, if I do not use my back muscles. When I very consciously use the back muscles the intonation improves instantly. That is very interesting to observe. But the G-string section I find so hard that after those few measures the palm of my thumb is really tense and painful. 

Right after that comes the "airy, floaty" section, as Beth describes it. This section has a different challenge: I find some fingerings just about impossible to do, so I introduced some second position and a fourth position shift in there (apart from the normal 3rd position sections). It works very well when I practice this part by itself. But entering into it with this very overworked hand that just had to do the measures on the G-string makes intonation a complete mess. It takes half the section for the hand to loosen up again. I do not know how to change that.

Most often I record the audio and the video separately and cut them together in the end. That way I have a good video quality and I can make the piano and violin audio levels nicely balanced (I can then also mute out the extra metronome clicks the piano accompaniment has in between). But that is a lot of work, so today I decided that for asking these questions I would just record it any old way. The video quality in this is not so good but I think you can still see enough. And unlike other times I decided to just post two of the three recordings I made. In these two there are mistakes (for example the creative variation in the G-string section of the first version... - I have the notes in front of me but play mainly from memory), but they are only minor. In the third version I had really lost my place and took some time to get back in. No need to bother you with that... 

And a side note: In the post on the strings I said something about the extreme resonance of these strings. At the very end of the second recording you can hear an example of this. There I play the A in fourth position with the first finger. The first finger seems less prone to touch other strings. Listen to 5:58. It starts a bit off but by 5:58 I have adjusted to the correct pitch. I do NOT play a double stop there! This is just what it sounds like when the intonation on the string I play on is really clean AND the fingers don't touch the adjacent string.

Any comments and hints are highly appreciated.
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0 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2019

Lily Mo
The Grackles are back
LONG TIME NO SEE  Hi everyone,
The Grackle Trio reconvened for their annual get together and we have been eating, laughing playing and exploring repertoire from Bach to Carole King to the Game of Thrones.  Here's some of the nonsense we have been doing.  Love to you all and hope to see a number of you in the flesh next year.  

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5 Responses
Posted: May 25, 2019

Ray
I will be moving into a small (330 square feet total or 172 square feet of living space for music corner, bedroom, living room, and dining room) studio and I will want to, of course, make sure no one is able to hear my playing.  So I will be buying an electric violin.  But, I just thought of another cool way to practice the violin, even if you are staying in a hotel room.  Your case will likely have room for two bows just have one bow WITHOUT ROSIN.   Without rosin there will be no sound! This way you will still be able to practice your right hand rhythm and finger taps and I am sure there are other techniques that you would be able to practice in your hotel room.

May The Beat Be Always With You,

Ray

5 Responses
Posted: May 24, 2019

Elke Meier
I just want to quickly share a new "discovery": 

Laurie Scott's video on the "walking fingers" has been very, very helpful for me. For a looong time I do them at the beginning of each practice. For me it is important because it helps me discover how the distances on this particular day feel :). I walk them in many combinations.: e.g. open string and 1, 1 and 2, 1 and 3, 1 and 4, then also the other combinations. - Today, all of a sudden I thought: I should start doing this walking fingers exercise also on the different positions! It would be an easy way to reestablish the feel of distances for the other positions.

0 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2019

Benjamin King
New to violin, looking for feedback!
Hello Everyone!

Iím new to violin lab (and the violin in general) and I am looking for some feedback. Specifically, Iím hoping to find out if my posture is off, as well as any other technique/hints you may have for me. Please feel free to be honest, I want to improve!

Thanks in advance for your help!

P.s. I have an intense playing face that Iím really working on but canít quite control yet lol. Please ignore :)
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3 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2019

Dianne
2nd Position
Thank you for these videos! You are covering an area that I really need. Looking forward to the music and the shifting training. So many times my teacher would say 'shift to 2nd position here' and I would panic.

0 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2019

Dianne
Orchestra Humor
In a break from spiccato practice, I stumbled on this cute video about Middle School Orchestra Practice. Recognized quite a few things in here from Community Orchestra as well.
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0 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2019

Elke Meier
String experience
This is just a quick note: I have changed strings. Quite some time ago Warchal announced a new string, Timbre, and had a very special offer for introducing it. I got a set, even though I had put on new strings (Eva Pirazzi) not long before that. But sooner or later they would have to be changed again. In the last couple of months they had become rather shrill and slow in responding, so finally I decided to change them. 

WOW, I am impressed! The sympathetic rings with this set on my violin are different from anything I have experienced before. My violin has a beautiful ring for the ringtones anyway. But with these strings I can actually hear the sound of both strings vibrating, not just like a normal "echo" with the ring tones. I don't quite know how to describe this. Just now I did the G-string section of the Humoresque. It starts in third position with a D. Sometimes the sound would be normal, other times it just blew me away. When I tried to find out what made the difference I noticed that if I touch the D-string with my third finger I got the "normal" sound I was used to. But if I clear the D-string with my third finger, I got this incredible sound that sounded like it was doubled. And when I looked closer I saw that it really IS doubled. You can always see the other string vibrate a bit on the ring tones. But this is quite a different story from what I am used to: the open strings vibrates hardly less than if I bowed it directly. - I don't know whether I can explain properly what I want to say. But I am just very impressed. And apart from this wonderful ringing, the sound is just really warm. The E-string is the same as with Warchal Amber: it has the coil and that makes fingering the E-string much softer than other E-strings. 

I am happy with my new strings!

14 Responses
Posted: May 23, 2019

Dianne
Spiccato
I watched a tutorial today on spiccato, and the instructor explained that one shouldn't try to do spiccato, but just let the bow bounce on its own using the normal bow stroke. I honestly question if the instructor had a great bow that bounced easily, because that doesn't happen with any one of my bows. I find that I have to initiate the spiccato and then dribble it like a ball. I also read Simon Fischer's spiccato explanation for sounding points. Sounding point did not help me either, except I could see the difference in it atleast trying to bounce near the fingerboard. What helps me is keeping it low and just using it. After exercising it, I played my piece twice today using it on every dotted note throughout the piece. It felt uncontrolled, but ateleast I was using it. The hope is that over time, exercise in dribbling, and just trying to use it in my piece will get it done over days, weeks or months. Am I on the right track?

Thoughts?


6 Responses
Posted: May 23, 2019

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