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Jane G
This discussion includes members-only video content

My teacher has me learning the Bach double concerto, violin 2. I video myself so that I can look back and critique myself..and in this instance I didn't make too many mistakes, so I thought I'd pop it on here. It's only the first page, as the concerto is quite long..

I can see that my bow is not straight, that my bow hold is too arched, and we know the issues I'm having with vibrato right now..:-) You can actually see me counting at one point, I thought I was counting in my head, lol. It's so hard playing the violin. It's very easy to get despondent but I have to constantly remind myself how far I have come instead of looking forward to how much I still have to learn. People say 'Why are you learning the violin, it's so difficult?' And yes it is, but then you get a new piece of music that you can't play... then after a few weeks you can play it, and that's a really good feeling.

P.S. Beth, I didn't answer your question before, yes, people do say I look like Julianne Moore, which is great, thanks! :-D 

Jane G
6 Responses
Posted: April 18, 2016
Last Comment: April 20, 2016
Replies

Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 20, 2016
Yes, the whole below the pitch thing is confusing. In fact, since the availability of technology like the software program Intonia, it is evident that vibrato is both above and below the pitch.  Which makes absolute send given the vibrato motion moves on either side of a neutral hand position.

Jane G
Posted: April 19, 2016

Thanks for the video Beth, that's really great!

My bow arm has always been an issue for me.. I will work on it as you suggested. I know it affects the tone because it's not perpendicular most of the time, so I agree it's very important. And I can feel that I shift position to do vibrato, that's why I can only attempt it on longer notes, and struggle on shorter notes. It doesn't feel natural yet. From doing the exercises recently, I'm starting to understand what you mean about pulsing forward. That always seemed counterintuitive to me because you want to drop below the pitch but when I consciously make an effort to pulse 'forward' and 'fall' back, it works much better and becomes more regular.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do a video just for me.. It's so helpful. :)    


Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 19, 2016
This discussion includes members-only video content



Rustam Gill
Posted: April 18, 2016
Hi Jane,
Very well played! I haven't played this piece but I've heard it plenty of times and your intonation and articulation sounded great.

I noticed you made a thread on vibrato earlier (I can't find it now, for some reason). Your vibrato motion looks smooth and even. It seems to me the first knuckle (closest to the tip) of your fingertips is very tense and this is limiting the amplitude of your vibrato. I dealt with this myself and I remember some tips I gathered from my teacher, the Internet and my own experimentation that helped me.

-First, just focusing on it and consciously trying to relax the muscles at the fingertip knuckle really helps. 

-When your fingers hit the strings, they should contact on the side of the finger closer to the thumb. After playing for a few minutes you look at the "grooves" in your fingers  with the palm facing you the grooves should be slightly left of center, in the side of the thumb. My teacher told me this often before I started vibrato, just so my intonation would be more consistent but I really focused on it when I realized this would allow me to relax the fingertip knuckle without it collapsing in. This way the fingertip can relax and your vibrato motion gets more amplitude.

-Fingertapping exercises like Beth mentioned are great to train strength at the base knuckles of each finger (NOT the fingertip). Essentially the muscles from the base knuckle should be doing most of the work of holding down the string. The stronger the base knuckle is, the more relaxed and passive the fingertip knuckle can be, allowing for a relaxed left hand and wider vibrato.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Jane G
Posted: April 18, 2016

Thanks Elke,

Yes I have watched that video, but she plays it too fast for me. There is another video here where a lady plays a lot slower and she plays along with violin 2 in the gaps which is really useful. I've watched and played along with this many times.

And I recently discovered that if you watch YouTube using Google Chrome, you can actually slow down or speed up videos on YouTube, using the settings, which is also very useful.

 


Elke Meier
Posted: April 18, 2016
Jane, have you seen this Youtube video? It is someone playing the first violin so you can play along with the second violin.

I downloaded this some time ago for "some time long into the future..." when I would be able to play it. But since I knew from the beginning I would need it MUCH slower, I extracted the audio so this mp3 file could be loaded into Speedshifter or some other slow down program. Here are the links in my Dropbox:
Audio file without instruction
Audio file with a beat counted before