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Timothy Smith
Playing Reels and Jigs as Technique Practice
It would seem that some reels and jigs have some good technique lessons in them. Take these two for instance, they seem excellent for working on low string bow control and string crossings. 
I appreciate any advice on how to better play the low strings fast more cleanly. I'm tripping up here and there. It seems that generally more of my upper body needs to go into the lower strings. I need more pressure to get the sound in those ranges. Am I going about it correctly?

The song titles are
The titles are clickable links to the music. Take a shot at it and see what you think!
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11 Responses
Posted: July 8, 2019

Lee Gordon Seebach
Intonation and "Floppy" Vibrato
Hello VL Gang,

Lately, my main focus has been playing in tune.  I've reached the point where I have become very picky when it comes to hitting pitches, as accurately as I can anyway.  If it doesn't sound right to me, I search for the pitch until it does, mostly listening for ringtones if this applies to the note.  I play almost everything slowly enough so I can listen critically to how I sound and hopefully I'm training my ear at the same time.

In my last lesson with Beth, she mentioned that I need to have a "floppier" vibrato - wider and more noticeable - so I've been working on that, again while trying for the right pitches.  My vibrato in this video is still very crude but at least I feel alright that it's coming along.

I think I'm finally getting my violin to "sing" a little.  Coaxing a tolerable sound out of this instrument has been a lot of hard work and I think the effort I've put in is starting to pay off.  What do you think?
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7 Responses
Posted: July 10, 2019

James Walley
For those working through the "Beginner 2" syllabus...
How far did you take the Etude on page 37 of Suzuki 1?  Specifically, did you keep up with it until you could play it along with the piano accompaniment on the CD?  As far as I can tell, the tempo on that track is approximately 117 bpm.  Using a metronome, I've been upping the speed to the point where I can get through it, albeit quite unsteadily, at 90 bpm.  I just don't see how "beginners" can be expected to get through a piece of all eighth notes at what would be considered Allegro Moderato (equivalent to Prestissimo if the piece was in quarter notes instead)...and that's not to mention to switching to the double-bows per note in Variation B!

Yes, I know I'm just whining.  It's the frustration of pounding away at the piece for about two hours while seeing little if any improvement.  And, yes, I'm sure that, with enough effort (not to mention blood, sweat, and tears...along with any other '70's era jazz-rock band you'd care to mention), I'll finally be able to get it at the proper speed.  I just get the sense that I'm going to be stuck on the "blue" level of Beginner 2 for the next six months at this rate!

3 Responses
Posted: July 12, 2019

Dianne
Simply Amazing Demonstration
Hi Barbara, I know you posted this video a long time ago, but I just found it in the archive and thought it was a fabulous reminder to sing my passages. So many time my passages are just technical work, and that makes sense since I'm trying to learn tricky bowings at a medium speed etc, but there are places in my pieces where I can do this.

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0 Responses
Posted: July 12, 2019

Barbara Holl




Hello ,

I habe a question about Meditation phrase 2  measure  fifteen in the sheet music provided it says 


What I found difficult

But in the tutorial Beth I think plays this ??

Which seems easier ..

But  then I canít get how it goes on with bowing and fingering . Does anyone know?

2 Responses
Posted: July 12, 2019

Arthur Mendez
Nina and Melody from Kentucky....
I was working on those two pieces and the accompaniments disappeared...where did they go.

Anybody know where I can find them on here?

2 Responses
Posted: July 11, 2019

Kobe Tsang
Lightly Row
Hi everyone, 
I'm having so much fun with this, before I know it 4 hours had flew by! 
My bow hold is relaxed when I focus on it but as soon as my attention drifts to left hand, the pinky straightens. I've also been forcing myself to do longer bow strokes. 

Here is my best attempt at Lightly Row, would love any feedback for me to improve.

Thanks,
Kobe
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5 Responses
Posted: July 8, 2019

Barbara Habel
Raw Version - Ave Maria

This is an all can tell version of the Ave Maria by Bach / Gounod.

It is me alone - and this makes it really obvious - that playing with a piano also means that some unpleasant scratches and sounds just get drowned out.

There is one note that is completely out off the ball park. Please forgive.

And Elke - as you will see - there is enough to polish in this piece so that I can not get on to the building suspense suggestion made by you.

But that suggestion has planted a seed and makes me want to practice loud and soft playing on etudes once the recital has past.

Comments and suggestions welcome!!! Thank you
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1 Responses
Posted: July 11, 2019

Barbara Habel
Ave Maria by Bach / Gounod

This is at the end of my lesson.

Please be as nasty and critical as possible.

Thank you!!!
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15 Responses
Posted: July 5, 2019

Arthur Mendez
Rachel Barton Pine
Well,  I got my copy of Franz Wohlfahrt FOUNDATION STUDIES FOR THE  VIOLIN: BOOK 1.   Wow 60 first position studies (from Opp. 45,54,74)

tap, tap, tap....where to begin.... i guess page 1

Beth, where is the best place to start? 
Any suggestions?

2 Responses
Posted: July 8, 2019

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