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Hi Beth!

My violin teacher started her holidays and gave me "a little something to do meanwhile".

A bunch of etudes on string crossings and slurs (by some russian guy, can't remember who) and finger agility (Schradieck)...and a song: Allegro by Fiocco.
She asked me: do you think this is too difficult? I take a brief look...sure, seems more difficult than anything I have played before, but sure I can give it a try.

Well, I go home and find some reference performances on youtube...OMG! So I took a closer look at the sheet..

It's FAST, well...allegro, thats what it suggests...
There's shifting, not too much but still, I haven't used shifting in a real song yet.
Mordent is also a new symbol for me. It doesn't seem too difficult to execute, though.
And in the end there's also triple and quadruple stops.

I also found out that this piece is in suzuki material as well....in BOOK 6!! (I'm half way in book 2)

I don't know why she gave me a piece this advanced (or does it only appear that way?). As a test what I can do with it? Or just by mistake.

Anyway, Beth, if this piece is familiar enough to you, any good tips will be highly appreciated. I am going to give my best shot at it, mistakenly given task or not. Very nice piece and I'd be happy to be able to play it.

After studying the sheet, it's quite clear why she gave me those etudes as well :)

Here's one quite nice performance of Allegro by Fiocco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkk6DtawbWQ
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20 Responses
Posted: April 26, 2011

Hello Beth, I noticed the “Drones for practice” information on the home page. I checked it out and I’m not sure how to use them. Do you have instructions on how to use the Drones in the video lessons library? I couldn’t find one. If one does exist could you point me in the right direction? If not could you someday put together a video demonstrating how to use them? I‘m interested in anything that would help me with intonation and making practicing scales more exciting. I’ll bet I’m not the only one that could use some excitement when doing scales! LOL
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10 Responses
Posted: June 26, 2011

Hi Beth, along with "Sad Romance" as an easy introduction to shifting for us beginners, what do you think of "Amazing Grace" as another example? There is one shift into third position and no slurs. Ray
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4 Responses
Posted: June 27, 2011

Hi Beth, I like to 'plan' for a project with plenty of time ahead, so today I asked my teacher if I could enter for an 'Advanced Music Certificate Exam' with the Trinity College in London for next year in the Summer, then realised I will be in TEXAS! so we decided I might go for it in the Autumn/Winter 2012 instead (next year) ;) so I know this is a long way away but as I said I like to work slowly with no panic and PLENTY of time ahead, plus the pieces I will have to prepare are quite challenging and I am not quite at that level 'yet' though my teacher is confident I am very nearly there and he is said he is 100% convinced I will have no problem to sit this exam for next year. So anyway, I have to choose enough pieces from their list to play for 25 to 30 minutes, in that time I have to consider any 'pauses' I might take in between pieces (though these are unlikely to be more than 30 seconds to a minute in between pieces). Also I am allowed to play up to 10 minutes of pieces of my own free choice, although they have to 'match' the level of the pieces on their list. I have included here a link to the list of pieces I can choose to play from. I am supposed to choose a range of different pieces to bring a 'varied and balanced' recital but I am unsure what to pick. I have to say half of the pieces I am not passionate about. I tell you what I thought I might like to play, I would love your opinion on what I chose and my free choices, and also if you had any suggestions on any alternate choices I'd love to hear it :) The pieces so far that I think I might like are: Biber: solo sonata XVI Brahms: Sonata in Dminor op 108 4th movement Mozart concerto n.3 in G 1st mov then either: Sarasate Playera (free choice) or: Wieniawski Mazurka-Obertass AND Dinicu-Heifetz Hora Staccato - free choice (these 2 pieces are 2:30 each) here is the link by the way: https://www.trinitycollege.co.uk/site/?id=1753 thank you
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9 Responses
Posted: June 25, 2011

You are an inspiration Jojo. Some day I may want to look into those examinations. :} Which should be interesting since I hear 3/4 of the sounds most people are able to hear. Beth, I have a question about the Sad Romance, on measures 1-6 I believe you are using third position but when I read the music score I read first position for 1-6 measures. Am I missing something?
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2 Responses
Posted: June 26, 2011

Hi Beth!

I have recently noticed that I sometimes tend to curl my 4th finger away from the strings. Usually when 3rd finger is doing something.

Till now this has not been a problem so I haven't even really paid attention to it, but now that I'm learning that Fiocco's, 4th really needs to be ready to play and not be curled away.
I've already googled around and this seems to be quite common problem. I also found an exercise for the problem from somewhere and I'd like to ask your opinion is this a good one, or do you have better ideas to fix the problem. The exercise goes like this:

Hold 4th finger using harmonic pressure OR just hover it above the string. Then on string below play 1st finger - open string, 2nd finger - open string, 3rd finger - open string and repeat n times. And while doing this 4th should maintain harmonic pressure or the hover. Not press harder or lift up.
What do you think?
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2 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2011

Hi Beth (or anyone). I was hoping that you could help me solve my problems related to mu discomfort while holding the violin. A while back I attempted to try and learn the vibrato technique, but from what I understand, total comfort and mobility of my right arm is necessary to be able to vibrate. Here is a video of me explaining and playing briefly. Any help?
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15 Responses
Posted: May 29, 2011

I've shared this vid on my facebook page a while back and I keep finding myself going back to it just to listen. It's just a simple "Happy" tune (Lover's Waltz). I love this fella's version, and he plays it so well...I just wanted to share it here, maybe spur someone on to greater efforts as I always am when I find a particular melody I like, played well by a competent musician. Enjoy !
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5 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2011

Music Theory / Music Reading resource. (Hi all!) For those who need a base in music theory or reading I highly recommend this website: https://www.teoria.com/ You can use the content online for free and for a small fee you can actually install the whole site locally in your computer. I hope this help... Cheers, Pedro
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3 Responses
Posted: June 19, 2011

Do you have a video for learning how to shift from 1st position to third position? I've done some searching, but can't find it if you do. Also I think it would help to have some videos on different beats (like 6/8 time, dotted quarter notes and eighth notes). Thanks.
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2 Responses
Posted: June 18, 2011

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