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Jason Eke
Two Months

Today is exactly two months since I got my violin. Here is a video of my progress so far.

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11 Responses
Posted: February 25, 2012

J. David
Vibrato, Tartini, Red Red Rose, Beth, and Bell Curves.

Since joining ViolinLab, I've decided that my vibrato has to go back to school.  Currently, I've got a sort of fiddler's vibrato that tends to be fast and narrow which suits some of the tunes I play.  But that slower, wider vibrato that Beth plays on Red, Red Rose would be perfect for my Scottish slow airs.  The problem, as many will appreciate, is that I don't have a teacher with me when I practice to tell me when it's "right".

A while ago I installed an application called Tartini on my computer and noticed that it has a Vibrato Window.  Curious about it, I found this excellent write-up about Tartini from a flute player's perspective:
Who knew that flute players have many of the same issues as string players - intonation, vibrato, etc.?  I think that many of the author's points in the article transpose well to string playing. 

So, to determine if this is something that might useful during practice, I played Beth's performance of Red, Red Rose while Tartini was running and recorded the results:
  • The top left window has 2 gauges: vibrato width and speed - pretty self explanatory
  • The top center window with the circle will contain a red blob when it detects vibrato - when your vibrato is very regular the red blob will change to a big red dot within the circle.
  • The top right window graphs a curve - when the shape is a similar to a bell curve, I think it means that the vibrato is smooth.  
  • The bottom window is useful too, it graphs your vibrato pitch fluctuations over time, great for long slow notes.
Beth, by now you're probably thinking "Hmm, the geek runs strong in this one, time to suspend", but before you do I've gotta say it - You have nice bell curves!

Have a great week-end all,

This discussion includes members-only video content

17 Responses
Posted: February 24, 2012


Hi Everyone,

I just downloaded Intonia. Now I know how riduculous it was that I thought I could play Bach's Air on anything. I had picked up the bad habit of not bringing my elbow far enough under the neck, which set up the chain reaction of being in key ascending A, B, C, D but out of key descending. I feel I have just wasted 6 months of practice. I'm going back and learning what is in tune with A Major scale and hopefully I can play Twinkle when I get to Austin.

Back to practicing.


Foolish Beginner

6 Responses
Posted: February 26, 2012


Hi Everyone,

I've taken the book: "Musical Languages" by Joseph P. Swain out of the library.   I have not started it yet, but it appears to follow what you have mentioned in a few of your videos Beth.  About the using techniques such as tapers to bring an internal dialogue into our playing.  I would be interested if anyone has read this book. 



3 Responses
Posted: February 23, 2012

Dick Stanley
Curious to know what our instructor thinks of this pricey shoulder rest:

"I always wanted to try this shoulder rest where you can remove your head/neck/chin from the equation completely:
But at $190 retail and no way to try before you buy, it's a bit beyond my risk tolerance."

It's actually $190 for an electric violin but $350 for an acoustic one. Beth: Is there some other reason than money why it would not be a good idea?

23 Responses
Posted: February 21, 2012

IN REFERENCE TO "Intonia: Intonation Improving Software" I'm assuming you miked the violin? i see you have a webcam on the laptop, maybe that mike works?does it have to be a separate mechanism?


3 Responses
Posted: February 24, 2012

Ian Renshaw
Hello violin chums,

I just wanted to tell you about a wonderful day I had on Sunday. I attended a fiddle workshop in Camden (North London, UK) with a violinist friend of mine.

We had the privilege to meet -  and join in workshops run by - Chris Haigh. If you don't know his name do a quick Google - he's a top-notch fiddler player and has written quite a body of literature on the subject.

His focus on Sunday was 'rock violin' (interestingly he always calls it a violin, not a fiddle - which is a clue to his classical background..). He said if you get to the point where your audience are playing 'air violin' along with you then you've made it!

Just one day of intensive violin-ness has stiffened my resolve to get those flights to Austin booked. Four days..? Heaven! :o)


5 Responses
Posted: February 22, 2012


Hello fiddle-friends:

Is anyone out there going this summer to either Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA ( or to the Stanford Jazz Residency in Stanford, CA (


5 Responses
Posted: February 22, 2012



Ikaalinen Handicraft and Industrial Arts Institute
Elno Salmelaisen Katu 20
39500 IKAALINEN, Finland
Tel: +358-33-4501-346
Fax: +358-33-4501-330

2 - 4 year courses in string instrument making. 24 student to 2 teachers. School founded in 1984. Entrance by examination. Also short summer courses.

Hi Tomi,

Above you will find a violin making school with summer programs and longer if that is what you want.  Newark in England is good.

Places to buy tools, violins partly made, varnishes, books, dvds, would be: Atlantic Violin Supplies, International Violin Company, and Geo. Heinl & Co.

You may want to buy a violin in the white from China from ebay and then finish and set up the violin yourself. Some good quality violins are coming out of China.  Like everything, you have to be careful.

If you build your violin from scratch tool alone could run you $700 plus and then books and materials; whether you are building an average violin or something  of some quality.

Oh, a good source for varnishes and ground system is Old Wood 1700. I like their system and their colours.   

Hope this of some help.


0 Responses
Posted: February 22, 2012

Where can the score be found?


1 Responses
Posted: February 22, 2012

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