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Lee Gordon Seebach
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Hi gang,

I've seen many "progress videos" on YouTube so I thought I'd make one myself and share it here, for better or worse.

There's a treat for you at the end if you can make it through my trials and tribulations as a first-year violinist.  But don't cheat and skip to the brave and "face the music," so to speak, by watching the entire thing. 😉

(There is a mistake in the title at 7:52: it should read "No Shoulder Rest" instead of "No Chin Rest."  My bad.  At that point, I stopped using a shoulder rest, obviously.)

I hope you find it fun to watch...I tried to make it so.  😄

Lee Gordon Seebach
14 Responses
Posted: February 9, 2019
Last Comment: February 11, 2019

Lee Gordon Seebach
Posted: February 11, 2019
Dear Barbara, Arthur, Lorraine, and Sonia,

Your comments and encouragement are very much appreciated! 😀

The center chin rest is the rosewood Flesch and I ordered it from Amazon. 

Good luck with your playing!  🎻

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 11, 2019
Well done Lee,
Lovely to see you’re progress, you should feel very pleased. Here’s to next years progress video.


A. Lorraine Pacheco
Posted: February 11, 2019
Great Progress!
Hi Lee Gordan,

I was impressed by how easy you make the 4th finger look.  The sound you get is really good; sounds strong and on pitch.  

You and I are close in timeline for learning violin. I'm coming up to my one year with Beth at the end of March.  

Great progress!  Keep at it! : )

Arthur Mendez
Posted: February 11, 2019
Keep working it as we all do Lee.  Progressing nicely.  Where did you get your chin rest?

Barbara Habel
Posted: February 11, 2019
Dear Gordon

What a lovely sight at the end. Love the rotating ear.

And your progress comes along great. Loved that you took your time for the last piece and played it from beginning to the end.

All in all a very enjoyable video. Thank you for making it and sharing it here.

Well done.

Posted: February 10, 2019
Thank you Lee. 
I'm still getting over posting my first one - but I will do more :). 
Having fun definitely helps in this journey (and a LOT of patience). 

Lee Gordon Seebach
Posted: February 10, 2019
Thank you, Kate,

I'm glad you benefited from my video and hope maybe you got a chuckle or two out of it.  Why not have fun while we're learning this challenging instrument? 😄

It appears we're on the same wavelength.  Beth has given me very positive feedback on how I'm approaching my own training so I think we're on the right track.  Focusing on fundamentals has helped me acquire other skills: drawing, painting, tennis, and playing other instruments are examples.  I see learning to play the violin as no different.  There always seems to be a big learning curve obstacle to overcome with everything, however: so much to learn at the beginning just to get going.  And it is a lifelong journey so I constantly remind myself to take it in small steps so I don't get overwhelmed and so I can just relax and enjoy the process.

I wish you well on your own violin journey.  Perhaps you'll post a video for us to enjoy?  :)

Posted: February 10, 2019

Great video Lee – very inspiring! Like David I wish I'd started videoing earlier – must be so satisfying to see your progress. I'm a bit behind you time wise (and skill wise!) but I've also decided to take my time. I know exactly what you mean about wanting a beautiful bow stroke :). I'm going back through some of the stage 1 videos now before moving on and there's so much info (which I didn't always grasp first time round). The more I play the more I realise how much there is to learn and that it really is a lifelong journey. I'm slowly understanding the value of really focused practice too and I think your video shows that perfectly. What a journey we're all on!

Lee Gordon Seebach
Posted: February 9, 2019
Thank you, Karen, Dianne, and David,
My main goal over the year was to improve my skill at bowing.  Beth mentioned how important it is in one of her videos and that resonated with me big time.  She said don't be in a rush, that these basic skills take hard work and time.  I train constantly in front of that wall mirror you saw in my studio and the main reason I take videos is to check my stroke!  It has been very frustrating to groove my stroke so it's very heartening to get positive feedback on it.

Every fine violinist has a beautiful bow stroke.  I see it all the time and I want one!  ha ha  At least if I sound awful I'll look good trying.  ;)

David, I can easily see spending the coming year on book 1 if necessary (and Beth's basic videos).  There is so much basic skill information in it.  Of course, I'll do other things, too, but I really feel most people get impatient and move on too quickly, from what I've seen.  I want a good grasp of the basic skills before moving on to book 2.

Thanks again guys for your encouragement!


David Rowland
Posted: February 9, 2019
Great record of good progress Lee. Wish I had kept a video record. It is so easy with the violin to get discouraged because it is such a difficult instrument to play. Some days my bow has a mind of its own especially on the E string. Must be good encouragement to be able to look back and see that over the year you have made such a lot of improvement. Just got to the end of my second year. I still play lots of pieces from Suzuki 1. Trying to get a good sound before ploughing on into books 2 and 3. Your vibrato sounds promising and your technique looks sound. Keep it up. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted: February 9, 2019
It was great to see your bow arm mechanics getting better over the course of the year. Good idea to document your progress... Nice treat, too!

Karen Egee
Posted: February 9, 2019
Great work great progress! And sweet reward!

Lee Gordon Seebach
Posted: February 9, 2019
Hi Beth,
"Cheers" with my coffee cup as well!  Thanks so much. 🥰

And thanks for your wonderful website, private video lessons, encouragement, and obvious loving care for your students...oh, and for your charming smile which wins my heart every time.

I recently re-upped for another year on ViolinLab so I'm looking forward to continuing this journey under your expert guidance.

Lee 😄🎻

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 9, 2019
Wow, Lee! It is amazing to see so much progress in a year!! You are a living testament to the success that comes from careful self-guided practice and a good online instructional curriculum. I love seeing those controlled bow strokes and hearing such excellent intonation. I'm tipping my coffee cup to another year of amazing progress for you!