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Hey everyone! 

Here is my very first video. I should say that recording this was pretty hard! My can-be-called vibrato felt like just shaking because I was so nervous. How do you guys do this so easily? Anyways, I'm currently working on Beginning Lessons Level 3 (but I usually take my time with my repertoire) so here is Minuet 1 by Bach. My vibrato and bow technique has lots of works to do, but I hope they will get better with time. Your comments are always welcome.

Hope you enjoy this! 

20 Responses
Posted: September 7, 2016
Last Comment: September 11, 2016
Replies


Posted: September 11, 2016
Elke I sometimes can decide I'm out of tune while playing the notes with open strings, but when I'm close to the actual note, I can't decide whether it is completely in tune or a little flat, sharp... That 'dadadadada' sound decreases but I can still hear it when I know I'm in tune. I don't know. Maybe I should work with Intonia, it's much easier... Thank you for your suggestions.

Elke Meier
Posted: September 10, 2016
Mertcan, that is why I still very often play with Intonia (or in the beginning I played with a clip on tuner). My ears had to learn the ringing of the violin. I don't really know whether I would call that "hearing" or rather "feeling" - it is both. And I am very happy that by now I often know when I am off. Somehow it does not feel right any more. It is really a great experience when that happens. I could always hear some intervals right (that probably came from tuning guitars for many years) but with some of them I still have problems. However, the experience of the last year or so has encouraged me: it will get better with time and the ears start to memorize pitches. I just have to make sure that they memorize the right pitches... So I make sure the violin is very well in tune and then I play for example a second finger, get that in tune and then add the open string and just listen and feel - how does this feel when it is right? Then I get it out of tune and listen and feel again, then in tune again. My frustration then is often in faster passages: I hear that I am out of tune - and yet the fingers don't want to remember the right spot...

My first real experience with using open strings for fine tuning intonation was when I needed double stops for a piece and so I started to look into how you do them. I am in no way any expert on them, but the Josephine Trott book has really been a very good starting point. In the video library I would search for the videos on intonation and watch all of them. You will get very valuable hints.


Posted: September 10, 2016
I'm having hard time with playing the notes with open strings, cause i can't actually understand the difference... But I'm definetly gonna work on that now on...

Dianne
Posted: September 10, 2016
I just wanted to say that playing with an open string to hear the intonation of those tricky notes is a very useful tool in the video response. I have tried that, but at 1st was not sure whether it would be better to use the upper string or the lower string as the drone- did it matter? Did the key we were playing decide that? I hear Beth doing both upper and lower string drones in this video response for this piece- in the key of G I believe- and it sounded great! But after listening to Practicing With A Drone For Improving Intonation, I see that it goes much, much further than that: listening for major, minor, perfect intervals, octaves, fifths, fourths... Drones have become my favorite tool to use for intonation training because of this great library video- thanks, Beth! (as long as I lift and replace the finger multiple times & never slide the finger around, of course!). :)


Posted: September 9, 2016
Thank you for your lovely comment Laura. :)

Thank you Mexi (I hope that is your name)! I suggest you to share a recording of yours, because comments really help your playing! I never realized I was starting my stroke from the air, or my intonation on B and C natural was that bad. I hope we can see a video from you soon. :)


Posted: September 9, 2016

Huuuuuu... Mertcan, congratulations.  you are brave, I can not see myself doing a recording.  I enjoy it very much. Admire your work.



Posted: September 9, 2016
That was so gracefully played Mertcan.  I really liked the flexibility in your bow arm. You are at a good start for playing so well at such an early start. 
Keep practicing and you will one day excel . 




Posted: September 9, 2016
Thank you very much for your lovely comments and video, Beth. Really. 

I never realized that I was doing some weird motion with my bow -starting it in the air. I'm definetly gonna stop doing that. Yeah, I have some big problems with B and C natural. When I first started, my index finger was sometimes hitting the E string peg and I think this caused me to create an insecure first finger placement. I don't have much problems with my third finger as you said and it is because I adjust all my fingers according to my third, my first finger cannot do that. I think this caused some bad habits... I'm gonna work on my intonation deeply now on. (Btw I checked my violin size (oh boy was it scaring) and it was full size)

Thank you for your time on creating this lovely video! :)

Beth Blackerby
Posted: September 8, 2016
This discussion includes members-only video content



Beth Blackerby
Posted: September 8, 2016
Mertcan, wonderful playing! I am going to try and shoot a quick video response for you as this is your first post, and I always try and make a video for first time video submissions.


Posted: September 8, 2016
Hey Claudio,

I got my first violin 10 months ago, a very, very cheap violin and started playing with it. Like, literally. I tuned it in various hertzs, sometimes broke all my strings (had to buy a new pair!) and tried to imitate what professional violinists were doing. But with time I got more curious and discovered that there were people teaching violin via Youtube. So I got a new violin, a better one, and got deeper and finally found Violin Lab 4 months ago. (I was also in university back then, so things were going slow). 

After that I directly started with B. L. Level 1, studied all the lessons. I actually sometimes think that maybe I should revisit some of the lessons, because they are the foundation of what we're trying to accomplish. I suggest you to never skip a lecture (well, actually as you might realise, there are some lectures in B. L. Level 2 that were in B. L. Level 1, I usually skipped them if I was okay with them) and work things slowly. I think this is the best part about learning violin by yourself, you can take your time as much as you want.

Oh, I totally understand you. That was an another reason why I didn't take private lessons. They are way too expensive for a student like me. I literally screamed when I discovered how perfect Violin Lab is.

I hope this helps. :)



Claudio - São Paulo, Brazil
Posted: September 8, 2016
Hi Mertcan,

When did you start practicing ? You said you are in level three of beginners syllabus, so did you do throughout level one and two before that ? I am starting level two right now.

I am asking because, like yourself, I also rely on ViolinLab and on my strong-will to learn how to play the violin. Private lessons in Brazil are way to expensive for me at the moment.

Thanks for sharing your video, watching your progress helps me to keep going. 


Posted: September 8, 2016
Thank you Mary, my vibrato is in verly early stages right now... So slowing it down will probably be better for me. Thanks!

Thank you very much Shaheen. You are absolutely right. I got frustrated too many times before. But at one time, I thought "What's up with this rush?" and just slowed down. It is hard to play pieces while learning many different techniques but even harder to stay in focus.

I don't take lessons because I couldn't find an English teacher here and I always wanted to learn violin via using English sources. Because you know, there are many sources in English compared to others, and it is easier to do so; many of my favourite violinists talk in English. So my only sources are VL and performances of my favourite violinists.

Thank you for your lovely comments!

Shaheen Saliahmohamed
Posted: September 8, 2016

I really enjoyed watching you play.
It's very inspiring that you take your time on each piece and take in all the information before moving on to the next level.
Often times have this illusion as we get frustrated at a piece and believe it could only get better as we move forward.

Thanks for posting this video Mertcan, hope to see more of how you are doing with your process.

Just a question though, are you teaching yourself with violin lab or do you also take lessons?


Posted: September 8, 2016
Sometimes the best way to get enough practice in is to video yourself. lol
your playing is very graceful  and if you are working on bowing you are off to a good start.
The only thing I see is the fact that you may want to slow down your vibrato a bit.
Well done;-)


Posted: September 8, 2016
Thank you very much for your nice comments! I do daily bow hand exercises, all this bending from base knuckles and relaxed pinky... but when it comes to playing, I just forget about my right hand all the time. As you said earlier in one of your videos Claudio, there are lots of things to think about! But maybe I can re-visit the other Suzuki songs and only focus on my bow tecnique? 

Elke this might actually be my 16th record! But at one point I said, "Dammit I had it enough! I'm just posting it." I hope it gets better with more videos... :)

Thank you very much for your suggestions, Dianne and Diane. I'm definetly gonna go deeper into this bow technique.


Posted: September 7, 2016
Hi Mertcan….congrats on a job well done.  Your recording is great.  I really like your left hand…it looks relaxed with a straight left wrist and has nice finger spacing for those notes.  I would straighten your right wrist…bring in up in line with your bases knuckles of the right hand and allow the two middle fingers to hang down and lightly touch the frog, you want a nice bow hand that is flexible with a secure bow hold, but without tension. .  Allowing the hand to droop down..hang down.. is keeping you from more freedom with the right fingers. You want a straighter right wrist with the hand…but keep it flexible without tension when going up and down with your strokes.Bending the wrist up on the up bow is ok but I would caution on over doing the right wrist bend.   Check out Beth's videos on bow changes at the frog.  Sorry not sure which video that is but great playing and thanks for sharing.
Stay tuned. Diane in SoCal 

Elke Meier
Posted: September 7, 2016
Haha, Mertcan, you really made me laugh! "How do you guys do this so easily?" - Did you notice in the community posts how just about everybody complains how difficult making a recording is? One shouldn't think that it would be difficult. People do selfies all over the place, and a camera is not even an audience! But still, I think all of us who submit videos know how hard it is. So you are in very good company :). I normally start the camera and just let it run for a while. Normally the first few tries I mess up completely. At some point I kind of forget that it is running - oh, well, that is not quite true. One never completely forgets. But it becomes more normal then. So take 4 or 5 - or even 15 or 16 - is normally much more acceptable than the first couple of takes after starting the camera. I remember that Chris, another member, at one point included the "B-roll" at the end of his video. It was hilarious. And I sure could submit a whole slur of these B-rolls myself :).

I noticed the same thing as Dianne: with more curved fingers of your bow hand I think you would have an even better control of the bow and your pinky and index finger could do their job of balancing/lightening the bow weight more easily.

Claudio - São Paulo, Brazil
Posted: September 7, 2016
Hey Mertcan, I really enjoyed it, congratulations!

I hope I will be that good when I get to Beginning Lessons 3 :-)

I am trying to get used to video recording as well. It is hard for me too.

Dianne
Posted: September 7, 2016
Hello Mertcan, Your playing was marvelous- you have a nice tone and a singing, melodic sound to your playing. You have nice flexibility in the bow hand on bow changes mid bow. The only thing I see is that perhaps (but this is advanced) integrate the bow into your hand more with more curvature to the fingers. Also, only at the very tip on the lower strings did I see your arm need to perhaps go out a little more in front of you to keep the sounding point. Well done! Thanks for posting!