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Michael Jeske
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hello All,

Please listen and I appreciate your feedback!


Michael Jeske
15 Responses
Posted: March 21, 2018
Last Comment: March 24, 2018
Replies

Ayoub
Posted: March 24, 2018
Great Intonation Michael :) Keep up the good work 

Michael Jeske
Posted: March 23, 2018
Thanks everyone!  I plan to work on bow technique using your recommendations and will post Minuet 1 again in a few weeks.

Michael

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 23, 2018
I watched an Instagram post by Hillary Hahn and she was warming up back stage before a concert, watching her bow alignment in the mirror!!! Wow, that was so interesting to know that even the most perfect violinist in the world checked how straight her bow was moving.

Ted Adachi
Posted: March 22, 2018
Hi Michael,
Sorry to harp on about this but I was just playing the Minuet and it struck me as a perfect subject for some elements of Beth's new practice program. I don't know if you have been following this.

One of the elements of the program is practicing bowing patterns on open strings. Bar 5 and 6 are just great for this. Practice just these two bars in front of the mirror just using the right hand on open strings. You may feel that the movement when you flex your elbow is much more free than when you lock it.

Then add the left hand but try to remember the feeling of the movement when you were playing the open strings.

Beth,
My mirror is actually the mirror that was on my dressing table to I'm going to have to comb my hair at my practice table!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 22, 2018
Ted, I love the idea of the small table mirror. I don't know why I never thought of that. I thought if there wasn't a wall mirror then you'd have to find a whole different solution to viewing oneself.

Ted Adachi
Posted: March 22, 2018
Hi Michael,
Beth did not mention this in her video so maybe it is not so important but I feel, like Mohammed, that you are locking your elbow when you play the faster and more difficult passages. I am constantly battling against this and wish that I had found a solution earlier in my playing.

If you watch violinists on Youtube, you will see they all have this really nice motion of the lower right arm (from the elbow to the hand) when they play, a very precise, slicing motion. The elbow is very flexible and all the movement comes from the lower arm with the upper arm (from the shoulder to elbow) moving very little.

When I lock my elbow to play faster sixteenth note passages, my bow tends to 'skid' while if I keep the elbow flexible, the bow stays straight.

Now I notice you played sitting down. I play sitting down a lot and when I'm sitting, I am even more inclined to lock my elbow as it just feels more natural to move from the shoulder rather than swing the lower arm in that more restricted space. I don't think you need to play standing up but you need to be concious of your elbow and lower arm a bit more when seated.

Just today, I FINALLY came up with a good solution. I set a smallish 12x15 inch mirror on the table in front of me. I set it so that I can see most of my right arm and especially the elbow. So when I play, I watch to make sure that my elbow is flexing and is not locked. I keep the mirror there all the time when I practice.

The feeling when your elbow is locked and when your elbow is felxing is different but subtle and I think a goal is to be able to identify the difference (so you can play without the mirror). It took me a long time to be able to identify the difference and still today, I often forget or get confused about which feeling is which. It's a work in progress.

Of course, a big problem is that you have so, so many other things filling up your head right now that it will be hard to make the space to observe your elbow and think about the feeling but I think you should try to work on this now, rather than later. I am pretty sure, unfortunately, that your intonation will suffer because of this diverted attention but it should only be temporary.

So set up a mirror and roll up your shirtsleeves! Good luck and have fun.

Michael Jeske
Posted: March 22, 2018
Thanks, Beth!  I am taller at 6'6".  I will make the change and continue to practice the piece.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 22, 2018
This discussion includes members-only video content



Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 21, 2018
Great job,  Michael! And congrats on your first video post. I make you a feedback video tomorrow.

Elke Meier
Posted: March 21, 2018
Nice to see you on the community page, Michael! And thank you for posting! 

I think "skidding" refers to two things in your video and they are probably related. Yes, the bow travels toward the fingerboard. But part of the reason for that could be that you are just not grabbing the string enough. That also means that the tone is not what it could be. You need to get the "k-sound" at the beginning of the tone. Have a look at 1:15, it was really clear there: the new note starts but it starts kind of unfocussed. At some point the bow *somehow* got in contact with the string (well, that is now GROSSLY exaggerated...). 

Some time ago Beth did a video answer to a post by Claudio. In it she addresses exactly the tone issue you experience also. The open string exercises she mentions there are from video #55 and following. Also check out the video on bow pressure and search in the library for tone. That could give you some helpful hints also. Simon Fischer has an exercise where he asks the student to watch the string and then really try to get it to vibrate as widely as you can manage. 

Happy practicing! 

Michael Jeske
Posted: March 21, 2018
Thanks Mohammed,

By"skid" do you mean slide away from the bridge?

Michael

Mohammed Hajjar
Posted: March 21, 2018
Hi Michael,
Great start. It seems that you are having the same challenge I had: your bow skids on the strings and this due to the fact you are using your upper arms. My suggestions is that you practice bowing straight in front of a mirror and perhaps you need to add a little more weight on the bow. 

Michael Jeske
Posted: March 21, 2018
Done

Michael Jeske
Posted: March 21, 2018
Will do.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 21, 2018
Hi Michael, change your Youtube setting to unlisted. That way we can see it but it can't be found via Youtube.