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Urban Kristan
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hello! 

I notice that videos posted here are mostly of people beyond the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star level, but I thought I would benefit from critique at this early stage as well. Any advice and pointing out of mistakes very much appreciated! 

Sorry for the torn shirt. 
Urban Kristan
12 Responses
Posted: August 18, 2016
Last Comment: August 22, 2016
Replies

Urban Kristan
Posted: August 22, 2016
Thank you very much for the response! 

This YouTube video of yours (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg_PRa0p2xs), where you explain that it's in fact a forward motion, really helped a lot with the straight bowing. 

The diagnosis of the tilted bow was spot on! I suppose I wasn't really giving much thought to the index finger, since it seemed the easiest to keep in position. 

I was wondering why my bow arm was getting somewhat tired relatively quickly. Can definitely see that my arm is very high for the A string. Thinking of the drop as relaxation rather than an effort seems to be helping. 

Hm, that rhythm must have morphed in my memory somehow. :)

I don't mind splitting hairs at all! Will keep an eye on the first finger, and bring out more arsenal for intonation practice :)


Beth Blackerby
Posted: August 21, 2016
This discussion includes members-only video content



Urban Kristan
Posted: August 21, 2016
@Mary Freeman

Wow, I didn't even know I was tilting this much. Hm, might have something to do with my bow hold, which might also be causing the straight pinky, because if I try to bow on with flat hair, my bow goes crooked. 

Thanks for pointing it out! 


Posted: August 21, 2016
http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=266 A link for you:-)


Posted: August 21, 2016
I noticed that you are constantly playing on the edge of the bow hair
The hair should be flat a the tip and gradually rotate toward the edge until you get to the frog. It is the opposite when starting at the frog. Hope that helps

Urban Kristan
Posted: August 20, 2016
Yes, that makes sense that it was the speakers. Mystery solved!

Yes, the malfunctioning sticker is a bit of a blessing in disguise I suppose. I make sure that I check myself frequently with intonia, so that my ears don't end up betraying me. :)

Thanks for taking the time! 

Elke Meier
Posted: August 20, 2016
Sorry, Kristan, I sure didn't mean to confuse you... Let me say this one thing: if you played this without frets, just with your fingers finding the right notes, your intonation is really, really good! I didn't have an explanation for how two different fingerings can produce the same tone (:08 and :53). But I have to say that this morning I had just listened to it with my crammy little laptop speakers. Just now I listened to your recording with headphones to hear a bit better what is going on. From what I can hear it is the :08 place where the third finger is a tad sharp. But I don't think is is such that you should be concerned about it. After all, this is your first recording!

That is funny that you have the sticker, but then you ignore the sticker when you play because it doesn't really sound right - good for you! Rather than a wrongly tuned violin I would suspect that the sticker is taped slightly wrong. But as long as your ears can correct the sticker you are on the safe side :).

Urban Kristan
Posted: August 19, 2016
No, the frets do not protrude at all - I even double checked just now :). 

I don't put my fingers on the frets because it doesn't tend to produce the correct tone - both by ear, and more importantly when practicing with http://intonia.com/index.shtml (intonia). I suppose that could be due to an out of tune violin, but I'm pretty sure it was tuned when I was working with intonia. 

I'm a bit confused about the inconsistent finger placement. If I understood correctly, you think it sounded more in tune then it should have given the inconsistencies? In that case, I can't really explain how that's possible. Or are you saying that it was in fact out of tune in two places among :08, :44 and :52? 

Elke Meier
Posted: August 19, 2016
No Kristan, I don't think the number of frets is any problem. So is this sticker really flat? or does it have little humps where the frets are? I am a bit confused because you did not seem to place your finger ON the frets. Your fingers were somewhere between the fret. But they did not seem to be consistent. So do you just know: my third finger needs to be half a centimeter from the line to make it sound right. Well, the only finger I could watch was the third. But compare where it stops the string at :08 as compared to :44 or :52. The melody sounded still okay, but  judging from your finger placement I would have expected :52 to sound quite a bit lower than :08 and either one of the two pretty out of tune... :) - that is why I figured you had to have a real fret sticker.

Urban Kristan
Posted: August 19, 2016
@Mary Freeman

Thank you, I will keep working on it! :)

@Elke Meier

Thanks for the critique! 

I will definitely keep an eye on the forth finger. Very useful observation! Probably a good idea to review the bow hold and start doing the bow hold exercises more diligently. 

About the frets...

The explanation was interesting nonetheless, but those are not actually physical frets - it's just perhaps an unusual sticker with all the tones marked. Do you also think it would be better to have a sticker with fewer 'frets'? 

Elke Meier
Posted: August 19, 2016
Hello Kristan,

congratulations on posting for the first time :) - and don't worry, while there are a good number of us who are very happy that we can post videos "beyond Twinkle" by now, I guess many of us still remember very well our first posts from very early in the Suzuki 1 book.

I think you have mainly one point to watch out for: your fourth finger on the bow. Make sure that it does not get used to being straight. This will hinder your tone and your ability to manipulate the bow further down the road. The pinky needs to be curved over the bow. So I would make sure to get it used to a more beneficial position very early on.

It seems like you are using a fretted violin. Can I ask you why you chose to go that way? If you put tapes on the violin fingerboard they guide your fingers in learning the proper position. If you put frets on the frets will do that for you. It does not really matter where you place your finger, as long as it stays between two frets, because the fret makes sure that the string is stopped at the proper position. I guess one can play with frets, but I see real problems in three areas:
- I cannot imagine a very expressive vibrato with frets
- I don't quite see how shifting would work. Well, probably it would be okay for classical shifts, where you don't want to hear much of the shifts. But in any romantic style shifting you want to hear a slide.
- It is one of the trade marks of violin playing that the violin is able to produce these fine nuances of tone to make perfect harmonies. This is a bit of rather advanced music theory, but if you are up to it check video #430 to hear about the background for that. The quick and easy answer (without all the physics) is that on the violin - unlike piano or guitar or any other instrument with fixed pitches - a G sharp can sound different from an A flat. And if you ever want to play together with other violinists this would be an important consideration.

So, I guess what I am saying is: you need to know what you want to do with the violin. If you want to only play music that is suitable for fretted violins and with piano accompaniment, then it does indeed make life easier for you at this stage. But if eventually you want to play also classical music or with other violinists, I would encourage you to exchange the frets for finger tapes. Otherwise you train your fingers completely wrong for a long time and when you then notice that you DO need to change it will be quite a job to retrain all your fingers. Basically, you would have to start over and do all the work double - that wouldn't seem a very efficient approach to me...


Posted: August 18, 2016
Very even and polished
You are developing a healthy tone