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Jim Gross
I have a question That is bothering me at this time.  It refers to the fact that I am rather tall, and long in the arm.  To make the characteristic box when bowing, in order for my forearm to be parallel with the strings, I end up with only about six inches of bow to the tip.  This makes it an awfully long way to the frog, consequently I am not using all the bow.  Your thoughts?
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9 Responses
Posted: February 20, 2012

FYI - Anyone wanting to buy a Bon Musica shoulder rest, the type Beth uses, can be found the cheapest (I think) on Ebay. I've compared many sites for prices. Brand new and genuine. $41.89 and free shipping. Here is the link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/260833395329?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
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16 Responses
Posted: February 10, 2012

Dear All. Forgive me if I am stating the blindingly obvious here but it might help someone - especially those left hand grippers and squeezers out there.

I have recently been practicing G major scale which necessitates using all four strings and stopping them down. I was fine on the lower G & D strings but as I moved up to A & E, I could feel my left hand pulling the violin neck to the left and downwards. I tried rejigging my hold to get a vice like grip with my chin but to no avail.

But then I remembered one of Beth's videos (it's a slow process this end),  where she talked about how little pressure is required to stop a string down. I tried lightening my left hand finger pressure when stopping a note and bing - it worked - perfectly. That really was one of those Homer Simpson doh! moments. Best wishes. Nick.

See 05mins:58secs at Beth's VIDEO
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8 Responses
Posted: February 11, 2012

Hi everyone :)
Another month another video...
I tried to improve bowing again and I think it got a little bit better, but itīs not easy for me ;)
My tiny camera doesnīt seem to be capable of the loudness, Iīll try out an external mic in the near future (that is the reason why my playing sounds out of tune sometimes hahaha :))
Feel a little bit lost in my practice at the moment, perhaps I should take a look at the beginning videos again and get a better "foundation" in my skills
A few days ago I got my copy of "Superstudies for Viola 1&2" :D

Your comments are highly appreciated and required ;)

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23 Responses
Posted: February 14, 2012

Hello my friends! you were all wondering if I am still playing lately since I've been so miserable having been recently 'diagnosed' with hypothyroidism and being SO TIRED all the time and COLD!

I used to practice my violin EVERY DAY for 3 hours up to a few months ago, then it went all DOWNHILL and these day (since 4 months+ ago) you won't believe it but I only practice 20 minutes ONCE A WEEK!!! :'( whaaaa! that's how miserable my 'illness' has made me :(

But I hope now that I am on medication I will get back to be my 'old' self by next year hopefully (it takes a long time to 'recover').  I am 'committed' to get back to full health and I am about to start a new 'diet regime' as well!

In the meantime with the little time I practice I have learnt this new piece in the last 2 and a half months and this is me practicing it just 2 days ago.

It does sound as nice without the piano accompaniment, it really sounds like 'something's missing' but I could not find ANYWHERE an MP3 piano accompaniment for it, so apologies, it will sound strange 'violin on its own', but here I am... and apologies for the 'sub-skilled' violinist too HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :D
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13 Responses
Posted: February 15, 2012

Neuroscience-based musical tests and population statistics!!

adaptive pitch - determine how well you can discriminate similar pitches
rhythm test - compare similar rhythmical phrases to see how well you can hear subtle differences
tonedeaf test - taken by over 1 million people
musical visual - match up each sound with a visual symbol

I ran across these tests a few years ago and thought that others here might enjoy taking them.  They are challenging. I'd recommend a quiet room with no distractions and a good set of headphones.

Sadly, according to science, I'm not the mid-life prodigy I was hoping to be.  But I did score quite a bit better than in 2009 when I tried them, so practice and persistence is having an effect!

Here's the link:
(look for the "Start Test" button on each of the individual test pages, its about 2/3 of the way down the page).


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7 Responses
Posted: February 14, 2012

Dick Stanley
I have a question about the electronic tuner, which a dandy tool. I've watched the video on electronic tuning but remain confused about how it's supposed to work. 

Need I wait until the needle stands straight up and the green light alone is on and the letter of the correct string displayed? Or is illumination of the green light and the displayed string letter---even if the red lights, or at least one of them, also are on---enough to conclude the string is tuned? Regardless of whether the needle is straight up or not?

I usually have no trouble getting the G, D, and A strings tuned with the needle straight up and only the green light illuminated. But the tuner can't seem to do it for the E string, so I wind up going to the tuning Web site and using the E string tone there.

Just as an aside, I've noticed that the turning on and off of the furnace registers as a D, with the green light alone illuminated. The highest note I can whistle is an F-sharp. Getting old.
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8 Responses
Posted: February 12, 2012

I was going to reply and say thank you to all of the kind and supportive responses to my introduction, but I think I accidentally deleted the post instead! It is nice to meet a welcoming community and find some beginner companionship. Violin Lab is fantastic.
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2 Responses
Posted: February 12, 2012

I just want to say hello! I've just joined violinlab.com after I found a recommendation for the site on Facebook. I'm looking forward to learning and sharing here!
Laurie Rogers Trlak
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7 Responses
Posted: February 10, 2012

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