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Ted Adachi
Hi Dianne,

Rather than take over Ray's thread I thought I would start this one to talk about the Benda Grave.

I am up to Humoresque in Suzuki book 3 so this piece has been a real challenge. I started working on it the day Beth posted it over two and a half months ago and I am still struggling along. I never practiced scales in 3rd position so I've been learning that (very slowly) with this piece.

Vlab member Lesley gave me a some tips that have really helped out and I can, after all this time, play the notes but I want to do more than that, of course.

I find it much more rewarding and fun to play than the Suzuki pieces and I hope that these new pieces Beth is presenting can be a sort of alternative. The Scherzino is great fun too but I don't think I'll try Czardas just yet!!

1 Responses
Posted: October 9, 2019

Advanced skilled player

I was watching the latest VT of Beth and those finger actions  immensely needed a very skilled player...Tritone, DS FH with vibrato!

At this stage all I can do is watch, just watch and listen and be amazed.

I love listening to her dissect and explain every bit of details in order to play sections by sections.

Gregory, I applaud you for your practice performance on this piece, looking forward on your progress.


2 Responses
Posted: October 9, 2019

William Weathers

This discussion includes members-only video content

4 Responses
Posted: October 7, 2019

This is played almost entirely at the tip of the bow. I can understand how much easier it is to be at the square and just open and close the elbow for the entire piece. But do we get more dynamic range and tone color by being in different parts of the bow in this piece? I would love to see a performance video of this where all the appropriate parts of the bow are used throughout the piece. Or is this upper third playing ok?
This discussion includes members-only video content

6 Responses
Posted: October 3, 2019

Barb Wimmer
Playing slowly, thinking I need to put bowline info on this song, a little challenging as it is very fast. Needing to maybe take it even slower, so tempting to get faster and faster but then I miss notes. Suggestions welcome.  
This discussion includes members-only video content

3 Responses
Posted: October 6, 2019

Timothy Smith
Repeating Good Technique
At times I believed learning good technique was permanent. It seems I play some techniques well 9 out of 10 times or almost to perfection, then slip up on something elementary I thought I knew like the back of my hand.

I especially notice this playing something the very first time in a rehearsal. Oh I get through it to passable, but then it's so much better the second or third time I play it. Sometimes it almost seems like a hit or miss kind of thing. Other times I play it perfectly.
I think I begin to get slightly paranoid and begin to change things about the violin or bow to see if that was the problem.

I especially notice this when I first get to the lesson playing for my teacher the first time that lesson. I usually crash and burn the first time and I'm not typically the type to wince if someone is watching me. This leads to a whole set of thoughts from my teacher that probably aren't entirely correct because I know I can play better than that. She makes me repeat things over and over again that I'm pretty sure I know.

Is there some way I can start better, maybe mentally prepare myself in some way? I'm not sure why this is even happening. I don't seem to be able to maintain a steady level of technique at the worst possible times, but then I can play it better for long periods of time. Doesn't seem to make sense. If repetition were the answer I should have nailed it a long time ago, because believe me, I've played some of this over and over and over again.

16 Responses
Posted: October 1, 2019

Michael Baumgardner
Can someone help me with a 3 Octave C Major scale fingering question?  I am looking at Carl Flesch's scale book.  As others (Galamian, Fisher) suggest, he begins in 2nd position with the C (2) on the G string.  He then suggests a shift to E (1) on the A string, which puts you on B (1) on the E string.  He then suggests a shift to D (1) and a final shift to F (1) (finishing with an extended (4) on the high C).  

Here is what I don't understand:  After you get to B (1) on the E string, what is the purpose or need of the shift to D (1) and then a shift to F (1)?  Why not play B (1), C (2), D (3), E (4), and then shift to the F (1), entirely eliminating the shift to E (1)?  Seems like a useless shift.  However, I notice this same fingering is recommended by Galamian, Fisher, and others.  Am I missing something here or misinterpreting the fingerings?  In the image, the upper fingerings are Flesch' fingerings.  Thanks.

7 Responses
Posted: October 7, 2019

Keyvan Ebrahimi
PDF for Video number 72. O Come, Little Children

Does anyone have the PDF for Video lesson number 72, "O Come, Little Children"? The PDF link in the lesson is broken.

Thank you,

2 Responses
Posted: October 6, 2019

Taking Beth's most excellent advice, I am working on both the right hand and left hand flexibility issues (in the wrist) and squeezing the neck of the the neck of the violin while using the left hand.  

It has been about a week and the wrists initial in finding out that it can in fact become flexible.  There is a lot of room for improvement in the flexibility of the wrists before I will see any improvement while playing any piece of music.  The tendons and muscles are slowly stretching out.  But today I have noticed the back of the hand is now objecting to this new idea of stretching.  The flexibility exercises I am doing is still with the pencil but while I am traveling on the ferries or watching a movie I am faithfully doing my exercises.  Soon I will progress enough to use Beth's bow hand flexibility video exercises.

As for the left hand it's muscles have been trained to hang unto that neck like there is no tomorrow.  I am on Left Hand Set Up: Part 3 Thumb Placement.  I am stuck on the very first concept or I suppose exercise which is to hold up the left arm with the back muscles and not the upper arm muscles.  I suppose the first step to this exercise is to understand this is even possible.  I don't have any understanding how that is possible let alone putting this very first exercise of not squeezing with the left hand in practice.  Every time I try I can feel the upper arm tighten which is what I do not want.  Maybe I have to study how the muscle groups are interconnected.  Then I can control them.  I obviously have to work on both areas.

Just rambling folks to people who would understand.  Thanks for listening.

6 Responses
Posted: October 4, 2019

Vivaldi G minor 1st movement

I have been working on Vivaldi G minor 1st movement for last 4 month now.

I knew it was farfetched for a beginner but really fall in love with the piece. 

Since I knew it would take a really long time  I am still enjoying this long journey.

The most difficult part now for me is page 2.

mm43-47 slurs and next part mm51-63 shifting. then mm65-72 fast fingers with bow crossing.

Could you point me to the right way to practice this part? The way I am practicing this part is just listening and try to play like the recordings. But starting to think there may be a better way to practice.

17 Responses
Posted: September 27, 2019

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