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Mandy Notley
Mississipi Hotdog
Hi Beth and the Violin Lab community,

I am new to the community and I am not sure where to start. I have been learning the violin since 1st Dec 2018. 

I joined Violinspiration at the start of this year and I am enjoying this, but felt I needed more as I do not know how to read music. 

I have been working my way through the note reading course. I am very grateful to you Beth for this amazing site as I am a complete novice to music and there is so much stuff in here I am completely blown away by your generosity and knowledge, and the massive amount of information and videos. 

I do not have any local violin teacher face to face. Any tips or feedback is most welcome. 

This post is a bit of an experiment to see if I have done it correctly!

Kindest regards,
Mandy :) 
This discussion includes members-only video content

10 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2019

Playing violin as accompaniment
Hi Beth and community,

I was wondering if you have a video or tutorial about playing violin as accompaniment to  a song without playing the melody. Like playing the violin when someone sings and another plays the guitar and all i have is the guitar chords from the guitarist and not an actual music sheet.


3 Responses
Posted: April 29, 2019

Cayla Grobler
Hello everyone,
I`m currently renting a violin. But unfortunately it soon has to go back!!! So I have been looking at buying one. Can anyone recommend a good Beginner/Intermediate violin that 
does not cost a fortune? Like under $400 (R 5,600)? I live in South Africa so import fees could also cost quite a bit. I have looked at Fiddlermans Concert Violin Outfit, 
but of course.... import fees! 
I will be REALLY glad if anyone can help. 
Thanks so much.

12 Responses
Posted: April 26, 2019

Vanessa Furukawa
Mazas etudes
hi Beth! Hi everyone! 

Iím new to this site and Iím having difficulty in browsing, or maybe itís not there yet, but Iím wondering whether you have series of tackling Mazas Brilliant etudes book 1. I was trying to tackle it a few years ago but my teacher got ill in a sudden and hasnít been able to teach (I dont know if she is recovered yet but it took a long time). Til now i havent been able to find a passionated teacher like her. 

4 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2019

Barbara Habel
Film about what it takes to become a soloist (in German and in Swiss)

In this film two students are being followed through there practice sessions and (the little what is left for) private life.

It is mostly music with very littel spoken and 50 minutes long.

You can set the YouTube setting to Netherland subtitles.

Elke there is the Zigeunerweisen in it and especially at the end from 49 minutes onwards.

With Zakhar Bron as teacher.

This discussion includes members-only video content

4 Responses
Posted: April 27, 2019

A 2 (Two) Epiphany Day!!!
Hi Beth and fellow VLabbers,

I have been score reading various violin parts, like you recommended Beth, and while reading Holbergs Suite, first movement, the violin 1 part I made, at least I hope I've made to leaps in score reading.  

1. To nail down rhythm, Beth, I've been obsessed with counting the beats.  Afraid if I lost track of those precious numbers I would lose track of where I was and go backwards to where I was with rhythm.  However, while waiting for yet another ferry ride to yet another island I busied myself score reading the first movement.  And while keeping track of my numbers I could hear you, somewhere saying:  LET GO OF THOSE NUMBERS THEY ARE HOLDING YOU BACK!  And so I did.  So instead of numbers I said: da or ta for each beat.  And a funny thing happened: I still kept my place and the music from one measure to the next became more connected somehow.  It is as if I went from reading a sentence or part of a sentence to reading a paragraph.

2. The other leap is that  I was suddenly able to read more than just the notes but also relate what I was hearing to the dynamics.  I also was able to know where the present conductor had stayed with or changed the dynamics to suit his/her interpretation of The Holbergs Suite. 

Thought I would share this with the group.  It may take me awhile to get there Beth but eventually I do go there.  :)))

May The Beat Be With You Always,


6 Responses
Posted: April 25, 2019

Be Prepared To Play A Solo
This was a nice travelling story with a happy ending.
This discussion includes members-only video content

4 Responses
Posted: April 25, 2019

So I have a new violin! Have to share this news with like-minded folks -- I'm so thrilled :) Finding it was not unlike dating (after the sudden-but-final divorce two weeks ago from my Jay Haide). Tried so many; even brought two home to test-drive for a week. They all looked and sounded great. What's a girl to do?? Finally chose a Gliga, growly on the G string, sweet on the E, with a darkish gypsy sound. It's love!

7 Responses
Posted: April 25, 2019

So I had my first experience playing with an orchestra the other night. What a revelation!! Even though I could barely follow (since I suck at sight reading), it was very useful. First,  the exercise of trying to follow written music helped me better grasp the whole notion of timing -- how and why it is notated. Second, I quickly understood that you really need to keep your eye traveling ahead, otherwise you get totally lost! At home, I tend to stop and start, which ends up being counterproductive since I don't develop any sense of "flow." And third, meeting other musicians and realizing they were not always ::perfect:: was a blessed relief! (Some of the members had only been playing for a short time! I) realize I've been spending far too much time in my own bubble.

And then of course there was the added bonus of meeting kindred spirits. The whole thing was fantastic. I can see how it motivates you to practice and become better. I've always been too shy/scared/insecure to even consider joining a group. The reality is that everyone is extremely generous and encouraging. Now I am kicking myself that it has taken this long! Just wanted to encourage anyone else out there who may be hesitating for the same reasons as me. :)

8 Responses
Posted: April 25, 2019

Hi Everyone,

Basic note reading question from The Holbergs Suite the first movement.  How time would I allot to play the triplet?  Logic would have me play it for an eighth note value.  Am I right?


5 Responses
Posted: April 25, 2019

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