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Christina
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All righty, it's vibrato time!

Here's my latest.  I will say I've been sick (blegh), and then a thing called the holidays happened....SO, sorry I've been MIA for a bit, but I am back and with a vengeance!

Here's my question for everyone:

I need some advanced songs to put up on my LA Casting profile so that when my agent submits me for things, she can add video of me playing.  I want this to happen by March at the latest (gives me time to practice and get the vibrato more down pat).  Question:  what songs should I choose?  I wanted a fast one and a slow one, one that shows off my quickness and another that will show off my lovely new vibrato technique (when I get it down).  And they both need to be under a minute (casting directors seem to have short attention spans).  Any suggestions of clips I could use????

And thanks in advance!  If you have any suggestions for what I can do (besides relax my wrist, lol) to make a better vibrato, that would be awesome!  I'm slowly filtering through the videos, so I'm excited to take on the next step! :)
Christina
15 Responses
Posted: January 7, 2013
Last Comment: January 9, 2013
Replies

Dean
Posted: January 9, 2013
The color of the clothes that you wear might make things easier to do, however it usually only helps if things are not going well, than you might change colors. 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 9, 2013
most definitely, Christina. I had been exercising regularly, but haven't in a while, and I can feel it when I play. My shoulders and back tire more quickly. 

Dean
Posted: January 9, 2013
You appear to have quick fingers for vibrato, already.

KarenJ
Posted: January 9, 2013
Have you discussed what music you are currently playing (for suggestions for your audition/casting)? The Solos for Young Violinists that Beth recommended for me was a really great help. it has pieces of varying difficulty within the same book. They also mix up the styles and tempos as well. I think Amazon has some of the snippits where you can hear the variety.

KarenJ
Posted: January 9, 2013
Make sure you can try it before you buy it. There are so many options....

Christina
Posted: January 9, 2013
Beth,
Ha, you caught me again without the shoulder pad!  I will definitely make it a point to go to a violin store soon and buy one.  I promise I will figure it out before I post again! ;) (And I'm sure, like you've been telling me, that all the tension will fade away.) Quick question -- I've been working out recently; will that help the strength and endurance in my arm?

MusicSchool DropIn
Posted: January 8, 2013
Hacking.  That's great.  Christina, thanks for updating on your progress.  I'm not ready for vibrato, but one day I'll be back to this discussion to tread in your footsteps.  Yay

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 8, 2013
At the same gig I looked over and saw another colleague with something crazy going on under her violin. As you can see by the chin rest she has a long neck. For her shoulder pad she had a rolled up hand towel wrapped in one of those rubbery dish drying mats.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 8, 2013
This discussion includes members-only video content

I was playing a gig a few weeks ago and looked over at my colleague violist Steve Buckles, and wondered what in the world was going on under his viola. His wife creatively made him a lapel shoulder pad. Although it's not ideal for ladies, it my spark some of your own creativity….those of you who are not happy with shoulder pads. 

Rowell
Posted: January 8, 2013
Oh and to answer one of your questions about pieces.. I don't know what your music skill level is, but for something fast short and easy, I'd say try Suzuki's Perpetual Motion Variation with the 16th notes.

Rowell
Posted: January 8, 2013

Hi Christina,

I would also recommend trying a shoulder pad/shoulder rest. But I also want to say that, I find those who don't use shoulder rests, use a chinrest that's more centered like the Flesch or Berber chinrest. I prefer the Berber because it lets you lean to the side a little bit and not forcing you solely to stay at the center cup like the Flesch chinrest. Even without a centered chinrest, you'll notice violinists without shoulder rests will place their chin more to the center of the violin than the side, this gives better support.

A couple of violinists that comes to mind who uses either Flesch or Berber are:

Anne Sophie-Mutter: http://youtu.be/nV-RLFFX5y4

Albert Chang (sleightlymusical): http://youtu.be/0g7EwE6ztlg

 

Some you'll notice using thin pad/sponge/folded cloth for extra support underneath the violin on the shoulder. And if not, like in performance, men's tux have padded shoulders or they'll stuff some pad inside their tux shoulder area. Heifetz and Perlman has shown to have done this.

Though you'll see Anne Sophie-Mutter doesn't have any padding, she looks uncomfortable to me. But she's gotten used to working in that way.

I also notice violinists who are more advanced, that don't use a shoulder rest but used to, made that choice due to some research or findings that helped make their decision - like the violin being more resonant or they like feeling the vibrations go through their body, etc. To me, the body is absorbing the vibrations making the violin sound damp/muted, it's not going to make it resonate as much. For advanced players who have learned how to manage, know how to manage playing without a shoulder rest. But for beginners still learning, this is something I suggest waiting to experiment later. Of course everyone is different, if an individual has a super short neck, and they're doing wonderfully without a shoulder rest then great. But I usually see this in younger people, but as they grow, necks get longer.. need more support! This was my experience as well.


Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 8, 2013
This discussion includes members-only video content

THat's funny, Jen!! 

Anyway here's the video. I still want to tweak the info before it goes into the library.

Jen McColley
Posted: January 8, 2013

Beth, you're too nice!  We all come here for your professional advice and wisdom.  If someone has a problem with you recommending that someone try a shoulder pad, they really need to keep that to themselves, or go elsewhere.  It's a shoulder pad, for cripes sake.  It's not like we're discussing religion and politics!  :)


Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 8, 2013
Christina, I feel a little trepidation broaching this issue, as I know it is a "hot" topic in violin discussion groups. I'm going to post a video I had made earlier, but ultimately didn't include in the library because I wasn't happy with it, but I think it applies in your case. So I hate to bring up the words …shoulder pads….  :^/

It's just that I see so much tension in all areas:  your chin, neck, shoulder, arm, left hand, right hand.  I don't want to discourage you. I say this because I think you have such wonderful potential. You obviously have strength and stamina and coordination, so a better set up will help you meet your goals. I'm going to post the video on this thread (got to find it first) and hopefully you'll get some ideas from it. I am also going to try and retrieve a video I shot with my phone a few weeks ago of a colleague who had a wacky, yet brilliant set up that might be of interest to you.  


to be continued...

Deirdre
Posted: January 7, 2013
Hi, Christina

And don't worry! You're absolutely right -- your vibrato does look and sound a lot better.

To me your wrist looks great. Just judging by what I see, I'd say that if you have tension at this point, it's more in the fingers. Your left hand index finger is still starting to stick backwards when you do vibrato. I think if you can get your whole hand just a little more relaxed, the sound will be even more lovely.

As for pieces to play, I think your basic idea is great, but did you have a preliminary list you were thinking about? I don't want to just suggest random things you may not like ;-D

One thing I've learned (& what my teacher said before my recital last month) -- pick some music you really love, and that way you will be really concentrating on the music, instead of focussing on who might be watching or judging you.

Sorry you've been sick, Happy New Year, and good playing.