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Gregory Gillis
Sad Romance
Sad Romance, sans piano

I keep finding these beautiful songs! I found a piano accompaniment but Iíll need to work with it bit before I video record & post. I know, from experience, that playing with piano is much more difficult than a good pianist playing with you😎 

3 Responses
Posted: September 15, 2019

J.S.Bach Minuet No.1 Right-hand Rhythm
Hi Everyone,

I was given the green light to continue playing the violin.  :)))  

So for the last month or so I have been working on the right-hand rhythm pattern.  I have taken it as far as I am able and would like to know, if you agree, what would be the next major bowing challenge opportunity I should now focus on?  However, if you all feel that I should stay with rhythm for now that is cool.   

Thanks for any thoughts.


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7 Responses
Posted: September 14, 2019

Grant Wolfe
So...if you could go back in time to hear any great fiddle player, who would it be and why?

Mine would be Eugene Ysaye, while he was still music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (because I just live right down the road). To me, he was a true violinist's, violinist! I love hearing Joseph Gingold (who was a student of his) tell of his unique sound...and while most teachers would accompany their pupils on the piano, Ysaye always would accompany them on his fiddle...

8 Responses
Posted: September 14, 2019

Barb Wimmer
When I start a new challenge- song I have been trying to listen to it first and then if I can follow along with my eyes the music each note as they play that is a hurdle accomplished and then playing along with after that. I am looking at this song way more challenging then I can do and it has 32nd notes in it. Just wonder how  you approach music or new challenge? I try to play some by ear. My biggest challenge is rhythm. When I play by ear I donít think as much about the notes on the page but I think when I do my rhythm gets better. So I guess my question is if you have a song that goes from half note to eighth note to 16th to 32nd (I think that is the fastest) how do you approach it and keep rhythm not just by ear?  

6 Responses
Posted: September 15, 2019

Timothy Smith
Making a circle when lifting the bow.

I'm working on Suzuki material that my in person teacher says I should lift the bow and make this kind of dainty circle with my bow before I restart in between sections of the song. The sections I'm working on are staccato notes into a half note at the end. After the half note I lift the bow, make a "circle" recontact the strings, begin the next section.

She showed me how to do it several times, but now that I'm back home I can't seem to replicate it. I did have better luck with bow contact using a lighter carbon fiber bow. My wood bow was too heavy and tended to bounce on staccato, even with gentle contact.

Can you tell me the purpose of the circle? Does Beth have a video highlighting only this one thing? It seems easier for me to leave the bow in place, but maybe she is leading me into a deeper technique. Thanks!

9 Responses
Posted: September 14, 2019

Talking Metronome
What kind of metronome do you use? I just listened to a video where someone was using a talking metronome that spoke out each subdivision, and it seemed like it might be an alternative to be able to concentrate on the technique. Does anyone use that kind of metronome or app and can suggest one? Or do you prefer just the beats?

4 Responses
Posted: September 14, 2019

Gregory Gillis
Schindlerís List
John Williamís 
Schindlerís List

I debated whether to post this early effort at playing this beautiful piece. My intonation was unbearable in so many places & my bowing was very rough at spots (I lost contact with string, bow was too close to bridge) but this a starting place. I now can fix the areas what needs work. I just found Bethís video on this piece on her YouTube page. 

21 Responses
Posted: September 2, 2019

James Walley
A quick question about "sounding points"
Just got to the videos about the five different sounding points and tried them out on my own admittedly-entry-level violin, with somewhat less than pleasant results.  I recall someone writing elsewhere that one of the differences between cheap and higher-quality violins is that the latter have a larger usable "sounding range" from the fingerboard to the bridge, and I wonder if I'm running up against this myself.

To give a quick summary:  on the E string, I can get good tone from SP5 all the way to SP2, and can even get decent, if edgy, results from SP1 right at the bridge.  On the A string, I can get good results no closer to the bridge than maybe "SP 2 1/2," thereafter it sounds quite ugly.  On the D and G strings, things get worse.  I can get only hideous tone below SP3 (or, on the G, SP4).  In particular, I when trying to play at SP1 on either, I get a strange effect that sounds like simultaneously using too much rosin or practically none at all -- long parts of the bow stroke where I'm getting practically no sound at all unless I lean in with a lot more bow pressure than I think you're ever supposed to use, interspersed with patches of nothing but scratch, not unlike in the very early videos of the course where you're encouraged to just make a noise, no matter how ugly.  Well, that's the sound of playing at any sounding point closer to the bridge than mid-way on my lower two strings.

Is this a case where I just can't get the results I need on my current instrument?  And, if so, is there any modification to my approach I should make (except for "buy a new violin")?  I understand that, according to the course, I'm supposed to spend at least a couple of days playing at SP2 just to get used to playing there by default, but I'm afraid I'm going to be submitting my family (and neighbors) to auditory torture if I practice diligently in that manner.

(If it would help, I could try recording a video showing the problem, but probably won't get to it until Friday at the earliest.)

14 Responses
Posted: September 12, 2019

Practice by ear and improvisation

But in the end can't keep up with the fast rhythm, so pardon the off tune horrible sound!

Not sure why I felt there's not enough tension on the strings and with the bow, it's hard to get a full sound.
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2 Responses
Posted: September 12, 2019

Sonia Lancaster
Another year!
Well, itís that time again, I canít believe itís been a year since my last Violinlab membership renewal.

Once again, I would like say Iím so glad to be a member here. I look forward to getting to know everyone, read your posts and offer advice if I can. I like posting what I playing on and love to read the feedback. Itís always a thrill to get an email from Beth telling us of her new initiatives and pieces.

Hereís to another productive year with Violinlab 


1 Responses
Posted: September 14, 2019

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