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Violin Hold Lesson

2 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2010

Hi everyone! I'm new here and thought I'd submit a video of my playing. I'd love to know your thoughts. This was filmed in June, and was my first ever violin recital. I had been studying violin for less than 5 months at the time... I study with Krista Broadway Swider, one of Beth's former students! Thanks for watching, and enjoy! (Also special thanks to Rosa, the wonderful cellist who accompanied me!)
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10 Responses
Posted: August 24, 2010


The other day, I discovered page markers (similar to post-it notes) at the stationary's that I find very helpful in practicing. They are slim (3 mm, barely covering the staff), a good inch long, colored, transparent and, of course, sticky, but removable. Probably you have seen them before, but these are particularly useful because of their shape.

Beth has this neat practice tip on her blog of making a photocopy of the music and marking troublesome spots that need extra attention (or even cutting them out and pasting them on a separate sheet of paper). It is quite a lot of work, though, and not very flexible if you have solved some problems and need to focus on others. So I am using those markers now directly on my sheet music. It's like marking the music with ink markers, but reversible!

Here are some practice tips that I have found useful:

  1. Limit the number of markers to three to five per page; that is, mark only the most troublesome spots.
  2. Take notice of the exact nature of the problem. One might use different colours for different types of problems, but that is presumably taking it too far. We don't want to become obsessive...
  3. When you start to practice the piece, start with the troublesome spots. Apply problem solving techniques.
  4. Based on a final run-through of a complete section, one can decide if the marker should stay on for a few more practice sessions, if it should move somewhere else or if it can be removed completely.

These markers are like a complex bookmark that records where you have left off in practice. Colourful as they are, they are hard to ignore and, hence, help to focus a practice session on the things that need to be practiced.

If I feel courageous, I'll even leave the markers in for lesson. It'll be interesting to see if my teacher and I agree on what constitutes a troublesome spot, or where he sets priorities differently.

These markers are also very helpful for analysis. I've colour-coded the different thematic snippets in a movement of Bach's "Musical Offering" in the complete score. So now we can see at a glance, which voice is leading where, or where two voices form a duett. I'd felt quite overwhelmed by the complexity of this piece, but now I have a "handle" on it.

Thought I'd share this exciting discovery. Have a good practice!

3 Responses
Posted: August 28, 2010

Hi, Beth. Do you have any tips for playing slurred notes on the G and D strings in third position? Mine sound terrible. I think in one of your videos you mentioned playing nearer to the bridge. My teacher said bow speed is important but playing eight 16th notes in one bow is tricky for me. Thanks. Kate

1 Responses
Posted: August 29, 2010

Lesson 24: Intonation-part 1

2 Responses
Posted: January 19, 2010

Lesson 22: Note Names for Spacing Pattern 1

1 Responses
Posted: January 19, 2010

Denise Junghans
I have a question about playing on the g string. My tone is improving steadily on the other strings but whenever I play on the g string it sounds sloppy. There is no crispness or sureness to the sound. Does anyone one have any suggestions? Does anyone have the same problem?

1 Responses
Posted: August 27, 2010

Lesson 3: Exercises to Develop a Flexible Bow Hold

7 Responses
Posted: January 19, 2010

Vibrato: 12 Increasing Speed

1 Responses
Posted: August 18, 2010

Vibrato: part 11 Amplitude

1 Responses
Posted: August 18, 2010

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