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Dear All. Forgive me if I am stating the blindingly obvious here but it might help someone - especially those left hand grippers and squeezers out there.

I have recently been practicing G major scale which necessitates using all four strings and stopping them down. I was fine on the lower G & D strings but as I moved up to A & E, I could feel my left hand pulling the violin neck to the left and downwards. I tried rejigging my hold to get a vice like grip with my chin but to no avail.

But then I remembered one of Beth's videos (it's a slow process this end),  where she talked about how little pressure is required to stop a string down. I tried lightening my left hand finger pressure when stopping a note and bing - it worked - perfectly. That really was one of those Homer Simpson doh! moments. Best wishes. Nick.

See 05mins:58secs at Beth's VIDEO

8 Responses
Posted: February 11, 2012
Last Comment: February 17, 2012

Posted: February 17, 2012
I'm going to be there myself Ian.....and I so look forward to meeting you all ! 

There's a big fiddle workshop weekend not far from me every year called "Fiddle Hell".  There are other such gatherings in other countries as well....Europe too I think.   I made it to one and it was a blast !   I wasn't very skilled at that time, but I sure enjoyed being a part of it all and listening in on some fabulous fiddlers !   On one of the nights, everyone was invited to play something...no matter what skill level you're at.  There was a fella who came all the way over from Wales...and that was just for a "weekend" !  So, don't feel odd.  I think it has something to do with the instrument and we're all effected ...haha!   :-)

Ian Renshaw
Posted: February 17, 2012
Ha, Eileen it is funny isn't it? Nick and I having the same teacher - Nick, I have a couple of other friends who go to Josie (one for singing) and we have fun 'comparing notes'. 
Beth, It'd be great if you could meet Josie one day - either online or for real. She's only 25 but is already well established as a professional musician (though violin is not her main instrument these days - she plays kora and writes electronic music for themes).

Oh, and Eileen I have registered for the workshop in July - I'm in the process of booking flights at the moment. Some of my less adventurous chums think I'm nuts travelling from London to Texas for a four day violin experience, but I'd be gutted to miss it. Strangely (or not...) friends of mine who play fiddle completely understand why I'm making the journey! The violin obsession leads you to interesting places and new experiences..!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 16, 2012
That really is cool, Nick, and Ian. I'm sure Jose is a wonderful teacher, and maybe someday will have the opportunity to meet her. What I hope for is a really great platform for on-line interviewing. So far the technology isn't quite there yet. But then again, I haven't looked extensively. Vokle hasn't worked out their bugs and has a very confusing interface, and Skype has such poor sound quality. It's only a matter of time though.

Posted: February 16, 2012
Are you two coming to the workshop in July ?   What a hoot about you two having the same teacher !  That's wonderful !   :-)

Posted: February 16, 2012
Dear Ian (and Beth),

What a small world! We both join a Web based activity 4,000 miles away and end up with the same teacher. Josie says that she may be gigging at your pub soon and I am hoping to come along.

I have been learning off-line with her for two months and cautiously mentioned Violin Lab a few weeks ago. She said how good it was and that one of her students belonged to it. I fell apart laughing when she said it was you!

Josie is very supportive of Beth's work and sees it as a perfect compliment to off-line studies. My progress in two months with her has been rapid and I have gone from open strings to confidently (but not perfectly) working on scales and Grade One ABRSM pieces. I am very grateful for the foundation that I gained in my initial six months with VL. When I got to see Josie all the basics were pretty much in place.

I took off my first position tapes yesterday and now feel like a real violinist. Hope to catch up soon. Best wishes. Nick.

Ian Renshaw
Posted: February 15, 2012
Hello Nick,

(Sorry to everyone for posting this publicly)

I hear you're one of Josie Lloyd's victims er, I mean students...
How are you getting on with your lessons with her? For God's sake don't tell her, but I find her an excellent teacher - she's got me from zero to working on Grade 6 in two years.

She likes to feign jealousy and disapproval over my enthusiasm for this site and Beth's brilliant tutorials though!

Are you doing the grades with her?

Ian (all the way from Dorking)

Posted: February 11, 2012

Thanks for the reminder about this video.  I had a big issue with too much finger pressure a few months ago.  my index finger felt bruised to the bone.  i did the exercises in this video and it helped immensely. 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 11, 2012
Great to hear Nick! You gotta love those moments! I've had a few recently myself.