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Sean
This discussion includes members-only video content

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?
Sean
15 Responses
Posted: May 29, 2011
Last Comment: June 22, 2011
Replies

Beth Blackerby
Posted: June 22, 2011
I had a new member post a question on Facbeook about chin rest placement. I thought Jo's videos were so informative so am popping it to the top.


Posted: May 30, 2011
Sean, it's ok if that 'curve' of the shoulder pad goes 'near' that spot on your shoulder so long that it actually does not got 'on top' of it

Sean
Posted: May 29, 2011
Thank you very much Jo and everyone else. I never knew the Wolfe was bendable. But I think I realized that my shoulder rest does me no good because like you said, it should point towards your neck, and away from that place close to your shoulder (acronym was it?). Because you see, I'm actually left-handed (my video was backwards so I look right-handed) therefore my violin sits on my right shoulder, so in having that curve in the shoulder pad, it actually points right towards that spot; not away like it should. So I'll probably try getting the Bon Musica shoulder pad, and do a whole bunch of other videos on how to bow-hold and vibrato exercices until then. I'll post another video once progress has been made lol. Thanks.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 29, 2011
I think they are already on the Resources page. Check to make sure though.


Posted: May 29, 2011
Beth, if you want you can save the links I sent into a folder and name it 'violin set up links' and then either make them available to the members in the community or 'pull them out' each time someone will ask you for advice on set up? they are good links on posture and set up they all talk about healthy posture/chin rests/shoulder rests-pads, one about customising the wolf shoulder pad-rest


Posted: May 29, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

LOL Beth, that 'step' on the very end of the shoulder, the 'acronym' is all explained in the website I shared with you all 'violinist in balance' it's in their they tell you if your shoulder rest presses on the 'acronym' it will affect your left hand technique, your vibrato as well and long term your health too. On that website too it tells you about people with long arms and 'squaring off' the violin, so having it more to the left of your body if you have long arms and more in front of you if you have short arms, also if you have short arms it may help to have a centre mounted chin rest like the flesch and a left mounted chin rest if you have longer arms (for 'squaring off the violin it's best to read on the website how to do it 'properly'). Again on that website it underlines the importance of filling the gap between your jaw/chin and the collarbone with a well fitted chin rest and keeping the violin on your collarbone rather than 'yanking up the shoulder rest'. How to measure your 'space' between jaw and collarbone I got from Gary Frisch from www.chinrests.com, I bought a custom made chin rest from him in the past (which incidentally I no longer use now), but if you go on his website and click on 'resources' on the left and then on the new main page you get you will find 'downloadable resources',you can now click on 'Directions for the Frisch & Denig Chinrest Fitting Kit', but I have copied and pasted the link here for you. In that document it explains how to use his 'chinrest fitting kit' (very nice kit but VERY EXPENSIVE, much better to go and see him if one does not live too far from where he's based!).

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 29, 2011
JO, thank you for sharing so much with Sean and the rest of us!! You really have studied this issues and I learned something watching your videos. I had forgotten that the Wolfe was bendable. So, Sean, take Jo's advice and work with that shoulder pad first. And I agree, that building up the chin rest and adjusting the shoulder pad is a wise move.

Jo, I love the string trick, and I never knew the "step" down on our shoulders had a name. Great video. Leave it on Youtube, and anytime someone has a shoulder pad question we'll post your videos. Thank you so much. Love your accent!!



Posted: May 29, 2011
Sorry, it looks like I am 'spamming' this thread but am only trying to give as much help as I can. Whilst I appreciate that many people on this forum love the Bonmusica shoulder rest I have to emphasise that not one piece of equipment works for all. I have used the Bonmusica myself for many many months and whilst I agree it can be a nice shoulder rest for many it gave me 'trouble', the bit that 'overlaps' over your shoulder kept giving me pain no matter how I customised it in different ways, like I said I used it for months and customised it in hundreds of ways, I still have it in my bag with the other 20 shoulder rests I own to this day. So I would suggest that Sean/Shaun first really gives this shoulder rest a GOOD go first before he tries the other 99 shoulder rests on the market LOL (just guessing the number on the market LOL). Also the common belief that one should 'fill' the space between violin and chin with the shoulder is mistaken, one should first have a correct fitting chin rest, that is the priority, then the shoulder comes second, the shoulder rest should fill the gap between the actual shoulder and the violin, not the collarbone and the jaw, this is from actual research undertaken by alexander technique teachers and other professionals who looked into musicians performance/technique and health, some of this is shared in the link I have provided below. The violin/viola should sit on the collarbone and not raised from it by the rest.


Posted: May 29, 2011
SHAUN/SEAN (whichever way you spell your name sorry hehehe) FORGOT TO SAY SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT IN MY VIDEO N2! when you bend your wolf shoulder rest to fit your body 'curve' you will have to re-adjust the legs as well! as a result of bending the shoulder rest the legs tilt (the inward tilt) will be different, so you will have to bend them too, I have posted a link to a video, it's the one posted in between my two videos, the one called 'magicposture2' I could not 'embed it', watch it, it shows VERY WELL how to customise the WOLF shoulder rest to a 'T'!! it's GREAT!


Posted: May 29, 2011
oh and anyone who needs a 'custom chin rest' this is very good: www.chinrests.com USA based


Posted: May 29, 2011
lots of help for 'violin' healthy playing on this website: http://www.violinistinbalance.nl/


Posted: May 29, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

my second video for Shaun (is that how you spell your name? in the UK we spell it like that and Sean is for girls LOL so sorry if I got it wrong LOL)


Posted: May 29, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

how to adjust a wolf shoulder rest


Posted: May 29, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hi Shaun, I 'feel' for you, so much so I am uploading some videos on youtube in response to yours here they are, they will come up 'one by one' as I 'talk too much' LOL ;)

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 29, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

This is Sean, everyone. Sean, you can go on to your "update profile" and add your name and avatar. I embedded your video so we can all view from here.

So my first thought is that you're right, your shoulder rest isn't helping you at all. Primarily, it's much too low. You need more height to adequately fill in the space between your chin and shoulder. That's why you're experiencing so much neck tension too. I also see you lift your shoulder, which is something to avoid. If you can afford the Bon Musica, go for it. They do wear down over time, but not as bad as the Kun's. And it will be worth every penny!

Next step is to work a little on your bow hand. If we can get that functioning well, then the relaxation you experience there will transfer to your right hand (he's paying backwards, folks.)

I see that the middle fingers of your bow hand are resting on top of the bow stick. Those two fingers (second and third) need to hang OVER the stick. Other than that, your bow hold looks quite nice from what I can tell.

Now to the vibrato. You were demonstrating vibrato on your first finger. That is the hardest finger to vibrate on. Everyone, when learning vibrato, has trouble with that one! So let's save that finger for the time being and work on the other second and third fingers first.

I can tell you are passionate about the violin, and I can also tell that you would like things to happen right away. It's not your fault, you're just young...lol! It really is going to take some patience. So you have to start with the exercises first. The wrist motion exercises I demo in the vibrato series is the place to start. If your arm insists on being the part to vibrate, then that will be ok and it will happen naturally. But still start with the wrist exercises. Loosening the wrist will improve any vibrato no matter what it is.

So a) get a different shoulder pad (for now raise the legs of your Wolf high enough that you don't have to lift your right shoulder at all) b)work on your bow hand, and c) start the exercises with 2nd and 3rd fingers, off and on 20 minutes a day.

Sean, I can tell you are very coordinated and you're going to be an excellent violinist. Your right hand looks fine, and you're not over squeezing I think when you correct the shoulder pad, that will work itself out. The little bobble you showed is nothing to be concerned about. Good luck and work hard..and post your progress.