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Barbara Habel
Russian Technique

I had a violin lesson last friday and my Russian teacher taught me something she did teach me before but that kind of slipped under the carpet.

It is the Russian technique for playing at the tip of the bow.

Unlike as in Franko-Belgian technique where you bend your wrist upwards - the Russian technique you aim for a straight wrist or bend up wrist as it is when playing at the frog.

The idea is that the wrist stays similar no matter whether you play at the frog or the tip.

And there is a little Mona Lise smile change between up and down bows and vice versa. That is the equivallent to the Colle bow change motion.

I am having fun experimenting with this on the "Jesus joy of manīs desiring". But on this clip it is only straight bowing.
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Posted: November 18, 2019

Mario Bishara

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Posted: November 29, 2019

finger exercise

hi everyone, i just found this simple finger exercise that is probably very useful! a bit like the "taps" in Beth's exercises, but without the violin (can be done anywhere -- on the bus, at the dentist's, waiting in line, watching TV, yatta yatta). the 3rd finger is challenging but it's very gratifying once you do start getting movement (which is surprisingly quick). the actual exercise starts at 0:49.

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Posted: December 2, 2019


Finally had a day off and back to practice on finger crossover, more bow control after a retake to have a smooth and quieter bow landing on the strings, memorization, vibrato, shifting, lighter bowing on open string to even out the sound. Intonation and oh hoping not to accidentally touch the adjacent strings and many more...

Practiced on 2 different violin, Nena a student level and Angelina maestro model both by the same maker

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Posted: December 1, 2019

Timothy Smith
Irish Traditional
I hope some of my Suzuki training is rubbing off. 
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Posted: November 23, 2019

Elke Meier
A fun way to practice etudes
I noticed that I had neglected etudes lately. So I decided to get out this wonderful book I have from Dowani: Easy Studies Vol. 1. It has easy etudes with three different playback speeds: piano playback in slow and medium speed, and the orchestral playback in the original speed. 

While practicing this I noticed a number of things, most importantly that when I play a 2-3-4-4-3-2 sequence as happens often in this etude, on the way down the third finger is always sharp. Somehow the fourth finger pulls it up slightly. So that is one thing I have been combating in this :). But I was glad for the insight. Apart from that I focused on having a relaxed right shoulder (after Beth pointed out to me just how tense my bow arm is) and on the "upward push" of the left thumb. The right shoulder still does not look as relaxed on the video as I thought it was, and the bow does not travel as straight as it felt. Well, what can you do? That's the rather unbiased and unrelenting camera...

Another thing I noticed in the recording is that my eighth notes are not really even. It does not show as badly together with the orchestra, but when I looked at my recording alone I was rather surprised at how unequal the notes were. 

But, as I said, it is still a very fun way to practice with these background tracks. 

Before I got to working with the background tracks I practiced with the drone. It really IS a helpful thing. Most drones I cannot handle very long. They drive me crazy when there is too much sound in them (like on the dronetools site). And when they are computer generated, the sound is often so sharp I cannot handle it at all. The TE Tuner drone works, but you cannot have it in the background and use Intonia on the same device. So it is not an option. But this Youtube site has actually drones that are pleasant to my ears and I can just have it on in the background while practicing. It really seems to be very helpful. 

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Posted: November 27, 2019

James Walley
An Old Fogey Learning Violin...
As I have mentioned here before, I started studying violin in early-mid-2016, and started with the ViolinLab course not long thereafter.  However, even though I thought I was making decent progress, various circumstances caused me to give up the effort altogether at the end of 2016, and I didn't even open my instrument case again until this spring, at which time I made another try.

Back in 2016, I started a YouTube channel, Old Fogey Music, with which I planned to document my progress weekly.  Obviously, that went dormant as well, and I'm now starting to post new progress videos, although I only plan to upload every month or so this time around.  If you want to go back and look at all my early efforts, feel free to do so; I'll include a link to my latest video in the first comment, and continue updating this thread each time I post another one.
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Posted: September 3, 2019

Shifting and playing above first position
Practicing shifting while playing Moon Over Ruined Castle, and trying to make each repeat sound different.  Do you hear a difference?
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Posted: November 20, 2019

James Walley
Has anyone else noticed that the piano track for the Soundslice "Drink to me..." is WAY out-of-tune?  I was beating my head against the wall  trying to figure out how my intonation couldn't ever seem to match the piano, and so finally decided to check out the piano track with Intonia.  Turns out, it's almost consistently sharp (and I mean some notes showing up full red, not just pinkish), but to different extents on different notes.  In particular, since most phrases in the song begin on B natural, that particular note is sharp, to different degrees, in every octave in the piece.

Just thought this may be of interest for those, like myself, who were having an impossible time keeping in tune with the accompaniment.
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Posted: November 25, 2019

Michael Baumgardner
Beth (or anyone who knows), is there still a way to pay/renew annually?  When I try to renew, I only see monthly as an option...  Not a big deal, but I thought I used to pay annually.
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Posted: November 29, 2019

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