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Suzuki Bk 2- Gavotte from Mignon P.1
Hi, Here is my progress on the 1st page of Gavotte from Mignon. I'm just getting familiar with the bow strokes and rhythms, and this is my 3rd day w/it. Challenging piece!! It's been a while since I posted a video, and many have joined since then also, so hello to all, and comments are welcome.
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14 Responses
Posted: March 18, 2017

Lisa, Houston-TX
Practice Videos Minuet #1
Good morning Labbers!  I've been practicing longer bow strokes the past few days.  Not quite there yet, but improving.  I'm attaching two videos of Minuet #1 since I flubbed on different parts in each one.  I'm finding that when I play close to the bridge i get a "flighty" sound.  I think I'm not realizing my proximity to the bridge and not applying enough pressure to the bow.  Will work on this definitely!

Thanks, in advance, for listening.  Hope everyone has a great week.  In the words of the great Lawrence Welk; Adios, Au Revoir, Avitersain (sp?)!
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13 Responses
Posted: March 20, 2017

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Quick question... local teacher is introducing shifting. He first wants me to shift between 1st and 2nd position. We are starting with shifting in a way where the "dragging" sound doesn't show. As he explains .... "if I close my eyes and I'm listening... I don't want to be able to hear the shifting sound"... watching Beth videos - his approach is a little different .

He is  starting between 1st and 2nd position ( we are using  Belwin course for strings - actually - second and fourth position - but first exercises are between first and second positions in that book). this initial approach he wants to adopt for now is what its called " classical shifting"? - just curious. Thank you in advance! :0)

13 Responses
Posted: March 20, 2017


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14 Responses
Posted: March 15, 2017

How A Bow Is Made
Nice new video from Johnson String. Geared towards children, very informative.

6 Responses
Posted: March 18, 2017

Difficult 4th Fingers
When i started to play the violin, i've always maintained my left thumb very close to the nut of the instrument, and when i began using the fourth finger it was always impossible to get E notes clearly, it was very frustrating at times, but then something changed and at first i didn't know what it was, i noticed while i was playing a piece (where i had to use the 4th finger on an A string) that it became so natural and easy to get that E correctly and cleanly, 
After i while i watched some of my old and new videos and compared them to figure out how it happened,  and i saw that my thumb moved up between the first and second finger, and it was very relaxed.

So what do you guys think, Does the position of the thumb help to play 4th Fingers Cleanly ? or are there other ways to achieve that? 

4 Responses
Posted: March 20, 2017

Getting Back Into Shape
Hello dear family, 
as you probably know i had an injury (Tendinitis) last month which i'm still recovering from, it's been hard but fortunately i'm getting better slowly, 
Here's a small clip where i play Schradiack page #2, (2 Notes Slured)
also i'm still trying to get my elbow at the correct height and getting rid of my old habit where i used to play with a high elbow.

Any comments are welcome :) 
Love you all
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14 Responses
Posted: March 16, 2017

Cynthia Alpers
Why I didn't practice today (totally off topic)... know the drill...set the timer for 20 minute sessions and don't quit until you have measures 25-33 down pat...then, set the metronome to 75 BPMs and keep increasing it by 5 BPMs until you reach a tempo faster than the composer intended!

And then....

Along comes a beautiful, frightfully skinny, mamma dog with her three, adorable pups, who just, "happened," upon our porch, out in the middle of nowhere. to beg for some food and water.  Now, you and I know that she didn't just lose her way and find herself in this predicament out at our place.  We live out in the middle of freakin' NOWHERE...the top of a mountain ridge!  Our nearest neighbor is over 3 miles away! ( And NO...our very nice neighbors did not dump these dogs at our place, or lose them.)   Some, despicable, "less than human beings," dropped their no longer wanted pet, along with her three, unadoptable pups, off near our ranch.  Who knows why!  There is absolutely NOWWHERE for them to find a home, much less food and water.  Why?  I dunno.  All I can say is that people come in all sizes and mentalities. 

So now, on a more positive note....

We suddenly have a new family...1 momma dog and 3, seriously, way-too-cute pups that are about three months old, showed up on my porch this morning.  Now granted, we already have a sweet, lovable, rescue dog, "Lucy," that is about 6 years old and is sooo spoiled...a total couch isn't even funny.  We also have an older cat, "James Bondo," who is now11 years old, loves to spy on people and pounce  on them when they least expect it AND absolutely hates uninvited guests, BUT likes classical music...thank Gawd.

So now, what do I do?  Do I adopt these new lot of beasts and entice these pups into loving classical music, played very badly by none other than myself?  If I don't convince  them to stay, then they will be heading off unto the wilds and surely die in the deep, dark, wilds of the forest?   I've already fed them about 100 lbs. of food and 100 gallons of water.  Do I start playing a classical piece of music that I somehow can't butcher, so that they hear my music when they get the inklings to start running off?  Do I find other musicians to adopt these gorgeous dogs?  (For sure, we are keeping at least 2 of them, so finding the others homes is not a biggy.)  What is the best music to keep their attention?  Suggestions please.

I'll post pix soon...they're still on my phone and I need to download them.


15 Responses
Posted: March 14, 2017

Stephen, Los Osos, CA
2017 Virtual Ensemble

Hi Everyone,


I will be hosting another virtual ensemble for spring 2017.

I have just started a website for that purpose at

It is open to all Violin Lab members from beginning to advanced players.

Members may also present ideas for a musical score to be used.

Check out the website for details and view some of the past ensembles.

Looking forward to seeing new and past participating members in this fun

project.  The website is open for sign up and the solicitation of a score.

More detailed information is to follow.  I hope you will join us in this fun


36 Responses
Posted: October 18, 2016

Sound test for new violin N

I wanted an inexpensive violin with fine tuners I can bring anywhere...So what do you think?

I got this average looking violin but I like it very much, the wood grain is lovely to my eyes and touch.

 Here's the first piece I tried to play by ear after bowing practice and changing the strings.

I added some improvisation at the very end for more sound test...

Cut the video to half and uploaded the remainder, pardon my awkward playing.

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12 Responses
Posted: March 2, 2017

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