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As someone who is learning to play with my left hand, I came up with a practice technique for muscle control an flexibility. While typing at the computer I imagine that the keys (including the main row) are strings. So for the - strings I am up on my finger tips and keeping the fingers bent (as if they are acturally on strings) lift each finger from the large knuckle joint. Try it and let everyone how you do.

3 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2011

Jonathan Chan
Hi Beth and all, I will be attending a program - Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, performed by the Oratorio Society of New York, tomorrow night. It's my first time visiting the Carnegie Hall. I'm a little bit excited :D

I would probably just sit down, relax and enjoy the program. But besides that, is there any interesting or special place in the music piece that I should pay attention to (in terms of violin performance and technique)? Let me know what you think.

2 Responses
Posted: April 26, 2011

Frank M
Hello Beth (or any other member who has the answer):

I'm trying to work through Bach's "Air on the G String", even though it's a stretch for me right now.(The book that I'm working from is entitled "15 Most Popular Classical Melodies", arranged by Michael Whalen, in case you have this in your shop, Beth).

After the intro 4 measures, measures 5, 6, & 7 indicate F# played as two slurred whole notes and one slurred quarter note to the beginning of the 7th measure. The slurs are "between" the notes, not one long slur over all the notes.

How is this to be played?

A) One long down bow for 9 beats?

B) One long 9 beat down bow played as portato for all the notes?

C) Or can I play it as legato long bows, 1 down for 4 beats, and one up for 5 beats? The next note (B) is indicated as an up bow.

As the score indicates "mezzo forte", I cannot do a mezzo forte for 9 beats. Maybe pianissimo for 9 beats, but not mezzo forte.

Thanks for your help! Frank

0 Responses
Posted: April 27, 2011

Hi Beth, Basic question, I'm going over the sheet music for Bach's minuet No.3. For the A notes is it up to my creative licence to choose between 4th finger on the D string instead of using the open A string? It seems to me using the D string brings more colour into the piece. Thanks, Ray

5 Responses
Posted: April 22, 2011

Beth, what is your opinion of online ear training programs ?

I came across this site, or someone directed me to it...and I've been having a little fun with it. It tests you on your ability to discern intervals, major from minor chords, practicing hearing perfect pitch...etc...all at varying levels. I haven't gotten to the "jazz" chords aught to be interesting !

anyway, here's the site if anyone is interested in checking it out......

2 Responses
Posted: April 25, 2011

Laura Leach
I just watched the video lesson on rosining your bow. With the more expensive rosin, do you still need to scratch the surface to get it to powder before applying it to the bow? Thanks!

2 Responses
Posted: April 26, 2011

Erin Reed
I love you, Beth, will you marry me?? This website is awesome!!

8 Responses
Posted: April 16, 2011

Hello Beth, I was wondering what the slurs work for ? It is completely necessary to do all of them that you can see in a song score. For example when a I play the Minuet 3 Bach, I donīt do all the slurs, itīs better if a add those ones to improve my performance or Itīs ok to play without them. Thank you in advance.

2 Responses
Posted: April 26, 2011

Hi Beth, I was just having some trouble with "Hunters' Chorus". In bar 21 and 22, I keep on feeling like the short notes are more important than the long ones, but shouldn't it be the long D string notes more important than the short ones? I'm especially assured that the long ones are more important because there's accents on them. Now, because of this problem, I'm almost always wanting to play a long note last.Any advice? Thanks in advance, Julia

4 Responses
Posted: April 25, 2011

Frank M
Hello Beth:

Lately I had been having problems with unwanted "bounce" in my bowing from the halfway point to the frog. I have two pretty good bows, a carbon fiber CodaBow Diamond NX, and a two star pernambuco bow. I had the problem with both, but the pernambuco bow (which is the stiffer of the two) seemed slightly worse.

I know that other members have reported a similar problem with bow bouncing, so I figured that I would share that this video, Lesson #23 on "Crossing Strings", seems to have held some of the answer for me!

At at about the 2:30 mark, you mention that the crossing movement should happen "from the joint". Well, for me the bouncing problem was not just when crossing. But while watching your right arm movement in this video, and then looking at my own right upper arm motion in a mirror, it suddenly occurred to me that I was not just "pivoting my arm at the joint", but was also slightly "lifting" my shoulder when playing.

So I changed my shoulder position such that all upper arm elevation occurred by "pivoting the joint" only, trying to eliminate any "lifting of the shoulder" when elevating the upper arm....and the bouncing problem greatly diminished!!

Thank God! And to think that I almost didn't watch this video because I thought that I already "knew" about string crossing!

I know that I'll have to keep working on this problem. But at least I now am aware of the major source of the problem for me.

This bouncing problem became worse several months back, and I think that it may be related to my attempts to "pick up" on the bow, to reduce bow weight when bowing slowly at the frog. Now I'll have to retrain my arm and shoulder to take weight off the bow by means other than by the “lifting" of my shoulder.

Thank you very much for providing detailed descriptions of proper movements!


4 Responses
Posted: April 21, 2011

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