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Andreas
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hi everyone :)

First I had a rented viola in summer, but nearly no time for practice... but I knew that I wanted to learn to play (at least a bit ;) ), so I bought a viola in september, deciding for this special instrument "by ear". Now Im practicing for 2 and a half month, about 5 times a week for half an hour approxemately (no lessons so far besides VL)...

So here is my first video (wahh excited ;)  )... it is a little bit strange to see yourself playing, but you can see so many things you cant see while playing...

I thought that I use my elbow pretty much... but I dont,  a lot of movement comes from the upper arm

I slip off the sounding point so often and the sound suffers immediately :/

Practice straight bowing will be a good idea

aaand the intonation ;)  Im trying to get from "in-tune-by-accident" to "only-sometimes-out-of-tune" ;)

A very good effect of VL is, that I can practice my school-english, too ;)

Greetings, Andreas :)

Andreas
19 Responses
Posted: December 5, 2011
Last Comment: December 6, 2011
Replies

Andreas
Posted: December 6, 2011

Ahh thank you Karen :)

KarenJ
Posted: December 6, 2011

If you go back to the community page where this topic is listed, there is a checkbox that bookmarks the thread.


Andreas
Posted: December 6, 2011

Ah and one thing I wanted to ask: do you have your video-replies put together somewhere so we can watch them again later without searching all the discussions? Or can I download it somehow? :)

Andreas


Andreas
Posted: December 6, 2011

Thank you so much for making this video Beth  :D

After watching the video I tried to bring out the instrument more to the left, and it works perfect for me :) With the viola more in front of me I had the feeling of bowing up to my chin when I tried to bow up to the frog ;) Ill practice on bowing in the same amount of speed.

Have to say that I have no musical background, no piano, guitar or anything else. The only thing I did is to put house and electro tracks together with fruity loops ;)

Thank you again and to the other members of VL... Ill try to work on your suggestions and put a video online in one or two weeks, so you can see improvements or not  ;)

Andreas


Beth Blackerby
Posted: December 6, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content



Linda
Posted: December 6, 2011
Hi Andreas and Andrea

The Australian Chamber Orchestra has a really cool viola player. He is the one with the 'different' looking haircut as seen on the attached clip. I went to see this orchestra a little while ago and they were just fantastic. At the moment they have a vacancy for a viola player. I would expect that only very highly qualified players would be even considered for an audition. I hope you like this clip and it gives you some inspiration. Oh also, the ACO stands while they play which is a little unusual for an orchestra but it makes the performance so much more dynamic.

Hopefully I can attach the file as I have not done this before. If it does not work you may need to copy and paste the file below into your internet server.


Andreas
Posted: December 6, 2011

Ah no I never wanted a left handed instrument... just imagine I play a big concert with the london symphony orchestra and my viola is broken, where do I get a new one 2 minutes before the concert begins?? ;)) Besides that really realistic scenario I think that it is a good training for the brain when you use your not-prefered hand... just try to brush your teeth with the other hand ;) Its kind of challenging... perhaps I should do so to improve my control in the bow arm :)

Andreas


Robert B
Posted: December 6, 2011
They do make left handed instruments and a luther can probably convert one.

Q: Why are viola jokes so short?
A: So violinists can understand them.


Andreas
Posted: December 6, 2011

Haha Bob thats a good one :D


Q: Why can't you hear a viola on a digital recording?
A: Recording technology has reached such an advanced level of development that all extraneous noise is eliminated.  ;)

 

Thanks for your kind replies again.

I looked up the rosin you mentioned Bob, it costs around 8 in germany, thats about 10.70$. And you are right, my rosin is a very dark one, nearly black.

My issues with bowing may be because Im left-handed (and not enough practice of course), so I have much more control in my left hand. Well I startet to practice long bows this morning, and wow, my viola is so loud haha. I think my little camera wont be able to manage the sound ;))

Andreas


Robert B
Posted: December 6, 2011
I researched Hill & Sons rosin and learned it's a very dark rosin. Somewhere I've learned that dark rosins are really sticky and best used with cellos and basses that need to grab the larger strings better. It's expensive and high quality but may not be the right choice for a violin or viola. Beth (in her rosin video here) suggested the light shaded rosin for our use.

Here is one more reason why I suspected the rosin. When you play the larger G string, you never scratch the notes! Not once in the entire video.

How do you keep a violin from being stolen?

You put it in a viola case. LOL

I had to do that,

bob

Andrea Walpole
Posted: December 6, 2011
Hi Andreas

I think you are doing really well, and it is nice to have another violist for company ;o)
I think you intonation is pretty good, and string crosses are good. The only thing I would suggest would be to use a bit more bow, and just check when you do use more bow, that you are bowing straight, looks a little like you are angling towards your left shoulder a bit.
Keep it up, you are doing really well!!!! Inspiring for me as I've only been playing a month!

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: December 6, 2011
Hi Andreas, thank you for posting! Nice to have another violist here! Impressive progress in such a short time.

Like others I thought the bowing is the weaker point in your playing. You could try and play scales with a full bow, maintaining good contact with the string and opening up more at the ellbow. Then, when you have experienced what a full bow stroke feels like, you could apply it to your pieces. My teacher has a mantra: The bow leads!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: December 5, 2011
Yay, Andreas!  Thank you, Michael for inspiring another video post.

Andreas, your technique looks wonderful. I can't believe you and Michael have been playing for such a short amount of time. I agree that your intonation is actually quite good, considering the amount of time you've been playing.  I'll give you a few suggestions via video response. I want to respond quickly to first time video poster, so I will try and get a video response finished soon.

Robert B
Posted: December 5, 2011
Beth suggested and I ordered "Gustav Bernardel Rosin". (About $8.00 USD)

I love it over the darn brick stuff that came with my instrument, and I had no problem applying it on the bow over the old stuff which rubs off pretty fast anyway.

bob 

Andreas
Posted: December 5, 2011

Thanks for your replies so far :D

Does the rosin really make such difference? Any suggestions which kind of rosin is better perhaps? Mine is from "Hill&Sons". And when I get something better, can I just use it over the old rosin which is on the bowhair already? 

I really have to work on bowing... strange thing is, when I play, it feels as if I use much more bow (have to try the 10%-more thing :) )

Eileen I think you are right with the pressure. When I do long bowstrokes with a good amount of pressure the viola sounds rich and much louder, its not easy to keep that while I concentrate on the left hand ;) I think I remember something about pressure from the violin-viola comparison videos...

Thx again :)

Andreas


Michael Logiudice
Posted: December 5, 2011
Thanks for posting Andreas,I really like the sound of your Viola.I think you sound pretty good too.Just keep playing and practicing,We have a great Teacher (Beth).

Eileen
Posted: December 5, 2011
Hello Andreas !

Great post !   You're left hand looks pretty good.  You look nice and relaxed there.  I don't think your intonation is as bad as you think....it's off a bit but I think most of the "off" you're hearing is from the bow end of things. 

What I think I'm seeing is that you aren't giving enough pressure with the bow and you need to use more of your bow...try starting those pieces right up at the frog and bringing that bow all the way down and all the way up, just to get used to the idea that it's possible.  Be bold with that stick !   ;-)   When you bow....think of pushing the bow "away" from you and do that in front of a mirror so you can see where the bow is going in the sounding point when you do that.   When you get it right and you see that bow is moving straight through the sounding point....remember how that "feels" and repeat the movement as many times as you need to.  Keep checking up on that as you play and practice.  Beth has a great series of videos on "bowing" if you haven't checked them out already.

I'm not a teacher so others will have more helpful advice I'm sure, but fine job Andreas !  Thank you so much for posting !  


Robert B
Posted: December 5, 2011
I swear that the biggest bow mistakes I'm hearing is probably the rosin you're using. When I had cheap rosin (that came with my violin set) I made many of the same scratchy noises you were doing, and with professional rosin they are gone, AND I don't have to rosin the bow near as much anymore. The grade of rosin you have makes a HUGE difference.

Thank you for posting your video man.

bob

Andreas
Posted: December 5, 2011
Well nearly forgot... thank you Michael for encourageing me to post this video :D