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New Year's Resolution

Here are my resolutions again: Better awareness during practice. Faster vibrato. Primary awareness on bowing, not left hand.

I am uploading two videos, one with "Sad Violin", the other with a piece in the style of Vivaldi by Amy Barlowe (Diane recommended her book a while ago.

Any feedback is highly welcome, particularly on aspects that need improving. Thank you for listening.


21 Responses
Posted: January 26, 2011
Last Comment: February 16, 2011
Replies

Eileen
Posted: February 16, 2011
Nice to hear everyone is working on their resolutions. I've been somewhat hindered in that the tendinitis in my left elbow is effecting my ability to work on vibrato much, but....even with that issue I have been making some progress. The arm is starting to feel a bit better and I DON'T want to do something stupid and end up where I started.

As far as my commitment to being more disciplined and focused in my practice....uh....no, no progress worth reporting there... <:-\


Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 16, 2011
Ok, I feel an obligation to report my pinkie progress, and I'm afraid the exercises I started have slowed a bit. I have a concert coming up to prepare for, so I'll start again. Thanks for being a "Jimminy Cricket"! And I'm glad to hear the music reading is coming along.

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: February 16, 2011

Hi Jack, good for you! Sounds fantastic!

As to my New Year's resolution: My vibrato is at the metronome speed I aimed for, but I still have to get feedback from my teacher. I am applying it to two pieces that were arranged by resp. dedicated to Maud Powell, my violin hero: Dvorak "Songs my Mother Sang" and Beach "Romance".

The other two goals are not quantified, but I am still keeping them in my mind. Good to be reminded, though. As to primary awareness of the bow arm, at least I am getting less admonitions in my lessons. I'll let you know, if my teacher mentions it at most once in each of three lessons in a row.


Duane Lucy
Posted: February 16, 2011

Hi Jack,

It is great that you are able to practice twice a day

I am in between jobs right now so I might have a little time to practice in the morning as well.

I am not sure if I read it somewhere or heard it in here, but somewhat said even the great violinist don't always hit the note perfectly, but they are able to tell they are off and get the correct note very quickly. That comes with having a good ear.


jack
Posted: February 16, 2011
Hello everyone!

I'm sure you are all diligently working on your 2011 New Year's Resolution on a daily basis, right?. Well since nobody has posted any reports of their progress, I thought I'd start. Sorry no videos to share, I'm shy and don't own a camera ;-)

I'm pleased to inform that I am making great progress on my "learning to sight read music" goal. I have been practicing reading different music books and I have made several flash cards to help me memorize musical notes and notations. I have been forcing myself to read the literature as I play, instead of looking at my left hand fingers. I know where my fingers are and I shouldn't have to follow them around 24/7 ;-)

LIttle by little I am making steady progress. I have up the ante and started to practice 2 times a day (morning and evenings). Yes, I have to carry my violin back and forth from work, but it is paying off. Confidence is building and I am getting more and more comfortable with finger placement without having to look at the tape on my finger board. I think it's time I start to wean myself from looking at my fingers each time I want to play a note. So far, it's been slow but I gotta start somewhere. So in a sense learning to sight read is forcing me (or helping me) to use my ears to listen to the correct note instead of me visually relying on the tapes on the finger board. It's a win win situation. ;-)

So how have you folks been doing on your goals? Do share!   ;-)


Duane Lucy
Posted: January 29, 2011
Anne, Thank you.

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: January 28, 2011
Hi Duane, thank you for your kind words. What a story you share in your profile! I admire your dedication to the violin. All the best for your violin journey and everything else.

Duane Lucy
Posted: January 27, 2011
I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions, but my goal, and I would say this is for this year is to get rid of the "death grip". Beth's videos are really helping me with that. I want to play much freer in the 3rd position. Naturally, that includes shifting. I am going to work on one piece of music for this year and have the rest of my practice mastering fundamentals. I really love "Meditation From Thais". I am going to find a permanent job so I can afford a teacher. Hopefully, the teacher will be my old buddy, Jack. (I talk about him in my profile). Of course, I am working on my vibrato. Thanks, Duane

Duane Lucy
Posted: January 27, 2011
Anne, I am not the expert, but I really enjoyed your playing. I thought the intonation, your bow, and vibrato were very nice. Your shifting was perfect. I think the romantic shifting was the way the music was written. Duane

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: January 27, 2011
Beth, did you notice that I posted a new version of "Sad Romance" this morning, trying to follow your suggestions? I am wondering if it was buried beneath all that talk about bow speed versus tempo. If you have the time, I'd love to get your feedback.

jack
Posted: January 27, 2011
Ok, now that I got my resolution re-posted I just want to say how wonderful it is to listen to Anne. It is truly inspiring and I can only hope to some day be able to play that well.

Anne, my only feedback to you is that I love to listen to your violin performances, so keep them coming. ;-)
I love Vivaldi and that was brilliant! Thanks for sharing.


jack
Posted: January 27, 2011
My goal for 2011 is to learn how to sight read music.

Currently, I simply transcribe the notes from original sheet music onto a separate sheet of paper and memorize it. While memorization is not a bad thing, I often miss the detailed information written on the sheet music. Not only that, but while playing I am not able to find my place on the sheet music as I am not reading it, but simply playing it from memory (if that makes sense).

Anyways, that is my goal and I have been making slow progress with some great books kindly gifted to me.

I will keep you all periodically posted on my progress. ;-)


Eileen
Posted: January 27, 2011
Yeah, I was thinking a bit faster tempo but at the same time, it is a slow piece so I wasn't sure what would happen if you increased that. Beth, is it the increase in bow "speed" rather than tempo that will change the "mournful" quality I heard to more of a "sad" sense to it ?

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 27, 2011
Just to be clear, Anne, I wasn't referring to tempo. In fact I'd like to see you keep it slow and incorporate the varying bow speeds/tilt/pressures.

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: January 27, 2011
If I read you, Eileen and Ray, correctly, you would also prefer a faster overall tempo for the piece? I am going to give it a try. Saw your comments only after I made the recent video.

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: January 27, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hi Beth, here is the experiment that you suggested, more tilted, faster, lighter bow on the pickup eighths of Sad Romance. It is indeed not easy to keep the contact point. And the combination of contact point, bow speed and bow weight is just this side of the border where the sound turns glassy. Had to pracice it a bit, and I could still be more consistent. I am posting anyway so we can see if the idea works in general.

So, is this a success? I wouldn't be surprised if your professional ear hears it differently, but here is what I noted: It sounds (and feels) more natural (organic) and fluid. I had been worried that the tone color would change so much that the pickup notes would stand out somewhat, but that didn't happen.

So this is what you (and my teacher) mean by testing the limits, see how far one can go? A valuable lesson. Thank you!


Eileen
Posted: January 26, 2011
Lovely Anne ! Your violin has a nice resonance to it ! The Vivaldi was wonderful and Sad Romance too. The only thing I would do with "Sad..." would be to speed it up a bit, but...maybe that faster bow speed that Beth mentioned would take care of that. Great job on both of them ! Thanks so much for sharing....like Beth said, it is always wonderful to hear you play !!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 26, 2011
It's always a pleasure to hear you play, Anne! Your "Vivaldi" etude is wonderfully clean and exact. I do have ideas brewing, but want to get a copy before I expound on the Baroque detache stroke. I do have a suggestion for the Romance, and this will be an experiment if you're game. Do these three things and then repost. I want to hear the difference:

Lighten your bow pressure, increase your bow speed, and tilt the hair further toward the fingerboard, all by only one "notch". Do this on all upbow slurred eight notes, e.g. the pick up to the opening melody. Do not however, change your sounding point! The tendency will be to lower the sounding point toward the bridge. So by one small degree, modify your upbows by the 3 things I just mentioned. I would really love to hear what happens.

Thanks for posting!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 26, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

Since I accidentally deleted the entire discussion thread on our "New Year's Resolutions", I am restating mine:

To improve accuracy and consistency with 4th finger


Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: January 26, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

"In the style of Vivaldi" by Amy Barlowe

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: January 26, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

"Sad Violin"