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Jim Gross
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Diane noticed some tension in my neck and suggested I obtain a high chin rest.  Through her Luther husband Bob, I have obtained a higher chin rest and here we are.  I think that this is a good idea, but it is going to get some used to.  Everything is different, hopefully in a week or so things will smooth out.  It's kind of like going back to square one.
Staccato throughout is not my cup of tea.  The only way I could get it down was to slow it way down.  Somehow I just want to play legato or detache.  Here's Perpetual Motion:
Jim Gross
13 Responses
Posted: May 9, 2012
Last Comment: May 16, 2012
Replies

Jason Eke
Posted: May 16, 2012
Nice Job Jim!

jz
Posted: May 12, 2012
@Jim, I did go back to look at one of your  previous videos and I did see that rotation that you mention. You look much more comfortable in this most recent video. Thanks for the info on the chinrests.
@Linda, thank you for reminding me of that site from the Netherlands.  I will definitely take a look at it. 
-- Jane

Linda
Posted: May 11, 2012
I put a post a little way back about higher chinrests available from the Netherlands. I am not sure what sort Jim has but I thought as Jane is from Europe this store may be handy to buy from if need be. Here it is again. Worth having a look. 


Oh, and as Jim mentioned you can play around a bit with the height of your shoulder rest to balance the two. I too have a higher chinrest, a modified Berber, which my partner, under the guidance of his uncle, added adjustable feet to. It was not easy to do as drilling into the dense ebony is rather difficult and required some precision work and tools. Don't know how they did it as it was taken away to the shed and came back with feet! It works well - they did a good job. The things you have to do when there are no luthiers near by! 

Jim Gross
Posted: May 11, 2012
@ Jane, it's a question of balance. the site that really convinced me was: http://www.violinistinbalance.nl/index.html
If you were to look at a previous video of me from this one, you'll notice a visible difference in my head rotation.  In previous videos, it is very noticeable that I have to drop my chin (or head) to the violin.  In this video my head is up and level.  Big difference!
It's the same style chin rest, just longer feet.
As the above site suggests, the violin is now on my collar bone and my head is level.
There are various heights to choose from, they seem to range from about 22 mm to about 35 mm.
Some folks even have to have a lower chin rest, we're all different in sizes and shapes.
I would suggest working with some on to get the proper balance for you.
I have had to make adjustments to my shoulder rest as well so that there is a balance between the two.
I hope this is clear and helps, I'm very glad I found this out at an early stage in my violin studies. the results are obvious.
Jim

jz
Posted: May 11, 2012
Hey Jim, that staccato is difficult -- I'm working on a couple of tunes in my method book that feature it, one of which has me playing both staccato notes on successive up bows (if they are both staccato, but written with that connection underneath, do you call them "slurs"?  it seems contradictory to me in some way).  The pattern reminds me of what Beth was demonstrating in her recent Classical Bowing Articulation 2 slur, 2 separate video.  Played this way, the staccato notes are actually turning out to be kind of fun. :-)

I'm curious as to how you decided on which raised chin rest to get?  Were there various heights to choose from?  How did you know which one would work for you?  I don't particularly like playing with my violin so high above my shoulder and so close to my face, but that's the way I've been playing in order to raise the violin high enough for my neck to remain comfortable.  I've been toying with the idea of a higher chin rest but have no idea how to figure that one out. Thanks.  Jane




Vicky
Posted: May 11, 2012
Thank you for the new video, Beth! 

I really appreciate your explanations, I like understanding the logic behind what I am doing.

Vicky

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 10, 2012
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hope this helps. So basically with Perpetual Motion, Jim, just use much smaller strokes. I mention this at the end of the video, but perhaps should have emphasized it more.

Eileen
Posted: May 10, 2012
Yeah Jim, your head does look at a better angel with that chin rest.  Good move !

I watched a video on the "masterclass" site...don't remember what the exact name is, but the fella was giving a lesson on staccato and after he did all that he says...."and....after 2 or 3 years of diligent practice you should have a nice staccato !"   <:-o



Jim Gross
Posted: May 10, 2012
@ Jenn yes It seems more comfortable, the only problem is, it was not uncomfortable before.  I know that the reason is that I only play for about 5 minutes at the most without stopping.  Lord knows what it would have been like if I played for twenty minutes or so.
@vicky and Beth, I am willing to do what ever it takes to play violin making nice sounds and if it means tackling  one minute of straight staccato then I'll do it.  And, yes I was very glad to hear that staccato throughout is not the norm or even close.  I certainly recognize it's place, it adds character in spots.
I'm going through adjustments with this new neck brace, I mean chin rest, and hope playing one string at a time again soon.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 10, 2012
Thank goodness for you, Vicky! You all get my brain to working in a way that it wouldn't have otherwise. The reason is that I know if I problem solve long and hard for one of my young students, they will not give a flip to hear the information. Kids hate explanations. The fact that you violinists here at VL want to learn makes me a much better teacher!

Jim and Vicky, I'd like to address the staccato issue further. Today (Thursdays) are usually good days to shoot video. I'll see what happens.

Vicky
Posted: May 10, 2012
Jim,

You are not alone with the struggles with staccato - it was a real bear for me, too.  It presents such a conundrum: relax and make tiny, jerky movements at the same time - you got to be kidding???  

 But keep at it, it does get better eventually.   Beth's comments that you never really use staccato in a performance setting (unless you are doing a recital) was very helpful.

I think my second attempt at a violin teacher strongly influenced my reaction  - she was awful (chronic scolding, she was clearly frustrated, and I quickly figured out she didn't play violin -- she told me her guitar playing qualified her to teach suzuki violin).  Anyway, I  was going to "lessons" with her and she focused on staccato.  I only took 5-6 lessons with her, but her chronic scolding was painful and is now forever connected to my early efforts to play staccato.

Thank goodness for Beth Blackerby!!!!

Vicky

Diane Gravllin
Posted: May 9, 2012
WOW...Jim you look so much more relaxed in your neck.  Nice playing.  Diane

Jenn A
Posted: May 9, 2012

Jim it is hard to do staccato after using long bow strokes.  I feel that way after working on vibrato and using longer bowings for that and then trying to switch to a fast paced tune, whoa!  I think your plan of attack to slow down works!

Great job!   I can see your are making more use of your fourth finger, too.  Keep at it! 

Looks like the new chin rest is more comfortable, is it?