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Adam Cherlin

I recently picked up violin again after a 20 year hiatus. I am having what seems like a common problem, but I wanted some additional feedback.

When I down bow, especially towards the middle of the bow, my bow begins to vibrate, causing the pitch to oscillate. This never happens on an up bow, and the vibration is intensified if I start placing fingers down.

I believe that my bow hold is correct and relaxed, and am trying eliminate tension in my arm, but it has little or no effect. I am a pianist and composer, and the pitch oscillation is really grating on me when I play.

My question has two parts: 

1) If I am completely fixated on this issue, should I continue to focus on it until it is corrected, or try to ignore it and work on other aspects of the instrument?

2) Are there any tips for correcting the issue, if it is tension related?

Thanks for your help,


6 Responses
Posted: November 6, 2011


Now that we've got my doublestopped fifths problem sorted out...sort of...I've got another technical question:

I have 3 octave G major scale on my list at the moment, and there is one spot that is not quite clear. This version of G maj goes so that 1st shift is on A string to D in 3rd position and 2nd shift on E string to D in 6th position.

Now, I hit D with 1st finger, E with 2nd and F# with 3rd. Pinky is supposed to get final G, but even though I don't have big fingers, no matter how I squeeze it there next to 3rd, G will be sharp.

So the question is: What is the correct way to maneuver with fingers up there if they don't fit like in lower positions? Should I slide lower finger(s) down or lift it/them out of the way?

13 Responses
Posted: November 7, 2011

In this video, the third finger looks closer to fourth finger?. Should it be in between 3rd and 4th finger or closer to 4th?


1 Responses
Posted: November 8, 2011


Hi Beth,

you asked for opinions whether to use the graphics for the notes or the verbal note names. 

I watched the sad romance video again to think about it.  I think if we have the music in pdf form, i might prefer the verbal notes.  it's hard to look at the notes at the same time as the fingering.  but you can listen and look at the same time.  otherwise, the staff and fingerings would be better if we couldn't have sheetmusic available. 

I'm of course open to whichever way is best for you and others.  Can't wait to see it.  thanks

2 Responses
Posted: November 7, 2011

Sean Li Child

This discussion includes members-only video content

0 Responses
Posted: November 7, 2011

Hi Beth, This video is coming up "VIDEO FORBIDDEN - this video is private. In case this query is showing it, it's Scale Rounds: Explanation and Instructions, Part 2. I've accessed it before, by the way. Any advice? Thanks much.


1 Responses
Posted: November 6, 2011

In Seitz no. 5, 3rd mov.....

How do you play those notes that are tied with a dash over each note...such as meas. #66 and 74 ?    I've run across these notations before and sort of tried to do something with them, but now I really want to know how it's "supposed" to be played.  What I do now is play them in the same bow and try to give a little "umph" to the second note when I get to it....but my "umph" isn't very effective and I want to know how to make it so..

I'm also wondering about dotted ties and sometimes when they put a dot over the note your supposed to play them staccato....but not always...sometimes you just emphasize them and there isn't supposed to be a "hiccup"? between the notes like when you play them as do you know how you're supposed to play these notes in a piece ?

I've been working on my staccato technique and actually getting somewhere with it...if I play sloowly.  It's a bit tricky when you try to speed it up though.  :-)

10 Responses
Posted: November 4, 2011

Hi Beth!

Yesterday I got Kreutzer #13 ( ) from my teacher to practice some string changes. But I hit the wall right at the beginning: I'm not able to press down two strings simultaneously with one finger! I've noticed the same problem earlier but in those places I have managed by just rocking the finger from one string to the other.

But now I would have to rock like mad so it is not acceptable. In 1st position 1st finger is really the only spot where I can do it and it's not easy there either.

So, question is: is there some special technique I'm just not figuring out or should I be looking at my violin setup? Strings too wide apart or too high from fingerboard? ( or my fingertips not flat enough? ;-) )

We didn't go through the etude much yesterday so I didn't see the problem in time to ask her.

10 Responses
Posted: November 4, 2011

It's that 'time' again, where I share another video with you friends :)

this is a piece I will no longer work on now, I'm 'done with it', I have other things to work with.  It's been 'fun'.

I am NOT stopping working on it because it's perfect, on the contrary it's 'not' (nothing ever is perfect, especially if I PLAY IT LOL), but I have got what 'I' wanted from it 'for now' and I need to do other things/pieces so it will go to sleep until another time in future :) LOL

Just wanted to share it, thank you for your kindness and for being my 'guines pigs' ;) hehehe

This discussion includes members-only video content

9 Responses
Posted: November 4, 2011


Hi Beth, is Mercy again.

  • I am getting frustrated with staccato motion. I have been practicing "Allegro"from the Susuki Book 1, and I think that with your tutorial was enough to get it. But I am having problems with "Perpetual Motion". I think that my staccato is too weak, I already saw the explanation you gave for that piece as well as the videos lessons: staccato up bow stroke, staccato vs spiccato etc, but I still don't get it. I was wondering if there are aditional exercises for staccato on your page. like those ones you have for "bow articulation, playing in the tip or in the frog exercises".. those videos helped me a lot when I was learning to hold the bow, to articulate the bow adding presure and more. i think that i will send you a video so you can see what my mistakes are.


2 Responses
Posted: November 5, 2011

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