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Jenn A

Ok I am a little nervous but here is my first video of me playing.  This a bit scary and I know I need help here, but am looking for suggestions on a "first plan of attack" to improve my sound. 

Hope this embeds correctly, I have never done this goes...


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17 Responses
Posted: March 23, 2012

Dick Stanley
Beth, I've watched Dr. Yon's videos over and over on keeping the left hand fingers light on the strings and the thumb relaxed. I'm doing her exercises and will keep doing them, even though my hand, fingers, wrist, arm, elbow, you name it, are rebelling.

But I can't help wondering about the thumb. Doesn't it provide some kind of basis (?), not squeezing, I know, but some sort of base for the fingers to work against? I mean if the thumb was amputated, could the fingers play the notes at all? Is that the sort of situation we're to imagine? That the thumb is missing and of no importance?

8 Responses
Posted: March 24, 2012

Jeena Massett

I've still not gotten around to recording myself. Seems the only time I can play is when kids are sleeping, and have to play with a mute on. Anyway, thought I would share a video of a performance instead (much more pleasant to hear)... just a classic song performed by a classic violinist that I find so moving.
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3 Responses
Posted: March 27, 2012

Jim Gross
In my minds eye, I'm using more bow, but here I'm hardly using about one third of the bow.  With all the excitement about the Workshop it is getting hard to focus.  I think my tempo is picking up in this piece.  I don't have any accompaniment, and somewhere I saw that we shouldn't use a metronome just yet.  Anyway, here's "Song of the Wind":
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5 Responses
Posted: March 24, 2012

What general guidelines do folks use for how "well" we should be playing the tunes in the Suzuki books (1 + 2) before we give ourselves permission move on to a new tune?  

I tend to be a bit on the obsessive side, wanting a tune to sound quite good before allowing myself to move on to the next lesson - and I never seem to move very far along  in the books.  Should I be telling myself I need to be able to play along with the "Official Suzuki CD's" before giving myself permission to move along, or is playing at 75% speed or some other speed acceptable?  Currently, I'm using the ability to play along with CD as my goal (and falling short......).

I'm currently working in Book 2.

Thank you!


16 Responses
Posted: March 22, 2012

Kirsty Cameron

Hi Everyone,

I have been trying to learn the violin for 12months now. Until i tried to learn vibrato recently, i did not realise what a problem my left hand was in. I can not get my hand to comfortably leave a space between the neck and  the first finger. I get such a cramp in my wrist trying to reach further around the neck that i dont think that i will be able to continue. and this has come from only practicing on the e and a strings. dont even think about D and G. My method before trying to learn vibrato had the neck resting on the base nuckle for most of the time.

I believe this is because i have short pudgy fingers and i suppose short arms as well. ARe there any accomplished fiddlers out there with short fingers that can give me hope that my hand will adapt? Is there maybe some tricks to utilise for short fingered players? I have even tried to take up the guitar recently to get my fingers to stretch. I have re-watched all the early one videos about holding the violin correctly and the left hand position so i think i am holding them in the right way.

I am unable to get a  live intructor as i live in a rural area that has no fiddle teachers. Cello yes....but not violin. Go figure.

Any help would be appreciate. I don't want to give up just yet.


6 Responses
Posted: March 26, 2012

J. David
Thought I'd put this up for some comments. I was using the "sing it in your head while you play it" technique that Beth described - it really helps to reduce the mistakes and keep things moving along.

I thought the picture in picture was a good idea for seeing things at different angles. It wasn't too hard to accomplish (I had an old camcorder lying around that I used to shoot the left hand).

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13 Responses
Posted: March 25, 2012

Jason Eke
Hello everyone,

Boy time flies, it's already been another month. So, I've made another video of my progress, this is me after 3 months.

This month my focus has been on working through some of the songs found in the Fiddleworks vol. 1, and reviewing what I've covered so far in Suzuki vol. 1. I have only just begun to move forward with Suzuki (this week), so there isn't anything in this months recording from that curriculum.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Unfortunately I'm not that happy with my progress. I was working on bowing closer to the frog (using more bow) and trying to not move my upper arm so much, but it appears in the video that I haven't made much ground on either. That said, with regards to the amount of bow that I'm using, I wonder if it has to do with the choice of songs. With these fiddle songs, there seems to be a focus on short bows.

Anyhow, as promised here is the latest video.

8 Responses
Posted: March 25, 2012

Mary Reeley
Hi Beth just found the scale rounds. I only know D, A, G, and C major scales now, but I see these will really help when I start learning to shift. Keep them coming. Thanks so much. Mary Reeley


0 Responses
Posted: March 26, 2012

george #

Hi..My tale is a bit of a 71 I touched my first violin,and after <3 months of learning how to set up bridge/nut/chin rest and thanks to Beth (later)..the great BonMusica rest..I looked on line to several fine beginner-instructors...figured out how to make some sounds and found VIOLINLAB.COM  !! Joined the first night, to my delight..and found a local teacher who is just fine...But I spend an hour plus with" Beth" daily , for her insight into the human condition and shortcomings come thru in the videos so pointedly that one feels as if one was sitting with your own private teacher, discussing "why I can't get that right", yet...I'm in awe.

I just replaced my $9 string set with Dominants-mediums....and I can't BELIEVE the glorious sound my $70 Chinese violin is making !  I am serious..good strings make an unbelievable difference..Has anyone else this to be true ?..Georgevenshar


6 Responses
Posted: March 25, 2012

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