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Hi Beth,

Just had a listen to the newest addition of repertoire,  First thoughts, even before listening to the tutorial, was "Now that sounds like fun!"  And your roller coaster description is bang on.  This will be fun to play.


0 Responses
Posted: August 9, 2019

Is My Playing Really That Bad?
Fabiano, your post resonates with me because I struggle with a piece in Book 4, the 1st Vivaldi piece #4/7 (not the famous 5th piece). No one has mentioned how hard this piece can be. It starts out very easily, but has many sections that leave me feeling that I have no proper violin technique! Am I really that bad? Or is this piece truly a tough one? I refer to the fast slurred and detache string crossings, the descending shifts slurred across A & E strings before shifting down to a C natural, scalar passages that just go up and down and up and down as if once wasn't enough. It leaves my left hand feeling just plain uncomfortable,, not physically but just as if the piece is not my forte. This piece is just exploiting all my flaws. The bow line helps me to get it much closer, but it's just not really happening for me. I did not see this coming, the challenge of this one, to play it at 75% tempo. It is much, much harder than the three Seitz. Nearing 4 months, should I just move on and come back to this? AM I really that bad of a violin player that I cannot play this one yet? Has anyone an opinion on moving on, or even have you tried this piece and found it hard? Just looking for advice and feeling like I have regressed to a poor player!

23 Responses
Posted: August 3, 2019

Who knew scales could be fun? Thanks Beth! These are my new favourite things to play.

5 Responses
Posted: August 3, 2019

Barb Wimmer
Improvising attempt-I would post the latter ones but it seemed to be getting worse. I did not put my face there cause am cringing. Suggestions welcome - trying not to just embellish and copy but seems time to go back to basics.
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1 Responses
Posted: August 6, 2019

Urban Kristan
Another way to practice
At some point I bought this program, and have been trying to meaningfully use it ever since:

I think I've stumbled into something that might be good, and I'm sure there's a good way of doing it without the program as well.

Using its melodic dictation exercise, I have it play a melody to me, and I try to reproduce it on the violin in various positions and octaves. You can configure it to play only certain scales as well as set the largest possible interval, last tone, length, etc. 

I find this a very relaxing warm-up exercise, though I'm unsure how efficient or beneficial it is. What I like about it is that I can hear a melody right before playing it, which makes it much easier to play in tune in various positions on the fingerboard. 

Sadly I'm not at a level where I look at a piece of sheet music and hear what it's supposed to sound like - frankly I'm not even sure I'm moving in that direction as I don't know how. That's a bit of tangent though. 

4 Responses
Posted: August 6, 2019

Christopher Mejia
Shifts in Jan Benda - Grave
Thanks to Beth for introducing us to this wonderful gem of violin repertoire!

Although I'm not quite at the level to do this piece justice, I have a question about how to perform the shifts.  I've learned from ViolinLab that Classical (and earlier?) shifts start the slide on the starting note, as opposed to Romantic shifts that change fingers first and then do a slide.  I've also been told that in Classical and Baroque music the goal is to "hide" the shifts.  However, in this Baroque (really?) piece, I'd love to hear some slurpy shifts.

What does everyone think of playing such a piece against common practice, to appease our 2019 ears that long for these overwrought shifts?

P.S. On a related note, I pondered the same question after watching the FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which had a performance of Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor featuring luscious shifts.  I thought this was a Baroque piece, but I just learned that it was composed much later (see the Internet).  Do you all prefer that piece played with Baroque shifts, or with Classical shifts?

2 Responses
Posted: August 6, 2019

Guys, a couple of threads here have got me thinking about ways to practice in an apartment or home where you just cannot make a lot of noise. Would this work? A lot of money, yes, but if I had to move and wanted to play out, would this sound ok to the player on the violin? It would e interesting to try it out to see what it sounded like for the player. It seems it would certainly  be 'silent' for the neighbors.

11 Responses
Posted: August 5, 2019

Sonia Lancaster
Grave by Benda
Iím loving working on the new piece, Grave by Benda. It has its tricky points with bowing, rhythm and dynamics.

8 Responses
Posted: July 28, 2019

Cayla Grobler
This is such a GORGEOUS version of Hallelujah, I can't wait till I'm able to play it!!!
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10 Responses
Posted: July 29, 2019

Mandy Notley
Hi every one,

I am having trouble with right shoulder pain around the collar bone area closer to the base of the neck. I have not been playing as a result of this pain getting worse.

A while back when i submitted a video it was pointed out to me that i was bowing from the shoulder. 

I think i may be doing this again. I came across a conversation in community that suggested videos 114-119 for this issue, but i cannot find videos about this.

Can anyone suggest where i might find the videos that would help with this?


7 Responses
Posted: August 1, 2019

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