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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?
7 Responses
Posted: July 10, 2019
Last Comment: July 13, 2019

Posted: July 13, 2019
Thanks for the feedback, Tim and Barbara,

I keep working at it a bit almost every day, enjoying the process.

Barbara Habel
Posted: July 11, 2019
Dear Lee

This is impressive for a year and a half.

You have nice straight bowing with a little finger movement at the bow changes.

Your vibrato is great and on some fingers better than on others. So one finger can lead the other finger and show it how to do it.

Congratulations to the results of your serious studies. Practice always helps

Timothy Smith
Posted: July 11, 2019
Great progress there Lee. Thanks for sharing! If this is floppy I like floppy!! At least when it comes to vibrato. I think you have inspired me to try and be more floppy.

Posted: July 10, 2019
Thanks so much, Beth  

I'll take the hint and look into working with drones myself now.  I found the drones on the resources page and am studying your video about practicing with drones.  I just tried playing some etudes with the A, C, and G drones and I think this will really help me. 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: July 10, 2019
I can hear an improvement in your floppy vibrato. There is definitely more pitch modulation now. Also, good that you're making intonation a priority. I myself have had to go back to warming up with drones since I haven't been playing much recently. It's fascinating that intonation perception is a skill that will get rusty if you aren't focusing on it regularly. Congratulations on tremendous learning in only a year and a half!

Posted: July 10, 2019
Thanks, Ted

I always appreciate your down-to-earth feedback.

Ted Adachi
Posted: July 10, 2019
Hi Lee,
Congratulations on so much improvement.

Around the 18 month mark I too stopped trying to learn new pieces and really started to work on getting the ones I was playing to sound like music. Listening, or rather, finding enough empty space in my mind to listen, was, for me, a key. Keep at it.

I like the look of your vibrato movement. It takes time but you're on the right track.

Your bow looks great, straight and consistent (much better than me). Don't be afraid to bear down on it.

Great job.