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Discussion

Sylvia Gregg
This discussion includes members-only video content

7 months
I keep trying to improve but I know I have a long ways to go. I posted two videos playing Deeply Grow The Roots. One without vibrato and one with vibrato. Since I'm a beginner at vibrato, I try to incorporate it into songs. It still needs a lot of work, so I would appreciate any feedback. I'm hoping soon I will wean off the tapes. Have a good night!
Sylvia Gregg
15 Responses
Posted: April 5, 2016
Last Comment: April 11, 2016
Replies

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: April 11, 2016
Sylvia! Very well done! That piece is far advanced for me ~ but you certainly are doing great! Like the intonation, the excellent rhythm! Keep it up! :0)

Nick
Posted: April 11, 2016
Hi Sylvia,

If you think my comments helped you, you should see what personalised tuition through Beth will do for you!
I think you'll love the lessons Beth provides at MusicGurus. I've just had my first lesson with Beth and it was so good it made me want to practise as soon as I saw it - at 12 midnight London time!

Sylvia Gregg
Posted: April 10, 2016
Thank you so much Arthur Mendez and Barb Wimmer. 

Sylvia Gregg
Posted: April 10, 2016
Thanks a lot , Nick. You gave some valuable comments. Some of the things you mentioned I didn't realize I was doing until I went back and looked at my videos. I will go back and look at some of the videos you suggested and hopefully my next posted video you, Beth, and others will see some improvement. I'm also really thinking about getting the personalized tuition. I know it would be great to get one on one instruction, especially since I don't have anyone around here who could teach me. Thanks again for your advice. I really appreciate it.

Arthur Mendez
Posted: April 9, 2016
I like it, it is  very thoughtful piece, your getting there keep at it..

Barb Wimmer
Posted: April 9, 2016
Only 7 months, wow - you sound great, vibrato is hard, I am still working on vibrato

Nick
Posted: April 8, 2016
Thanks Dianne. Those are the vids - thanks for locating them.

Dianne
Posted: April 8, 2016
Hi Nick- Great points all. 
<<now we have even more access to Beth through MusicGurus so it would be worthwhile to get personalised tuition on this.>>  very important for vibrato! I can get off track so easily w/o my teacher to point me back to the right direction.

<<It's important to play with as relaxed a hand as possible>> after fixing my upright 2nd finger vibrato, I still was too upright until I completely relaxed my arm- voila- fixed! I just need to remember to do it each time I approach the instrument!

<<Don't neglect the right hand finger exercises, these will improve your sensitivity with the bow and your overall tone>> so true- I am in the midst of them myself i.e. finger motion @ the frog; building bow sensitivity is so true!

<<Your ear will guide your right hand fingers/arm to apply the pressure, Beth has some great videos on this.>>  these are the ones on using the index finger & arm weight:

Nick
Posted: April 8, 2016

Thank you Mary!


Hi Sylvia,

You've made excellent progress - bravo! It's that obvious you've put in a lot of practise since your last video. Well done. Excellent response vid by Beth too (which was enlightening for me too!).

Your vibrato is coming on very well. In addition to playing the vibrato within your piece, it would be good to do the isolation exercises for consistent vibrato.  Beth's video series 1.2.3 are invaluable for this training:

http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=511

My "mechanical" vibrato (as my teacher called it) improved since doing these exercises.Don't be disheartened if you don't see immediate results. Keep practising and your vibrato will get better and better. Remember, a little each day…don’t overdo it!

I started vibrato training as soon as I began learning violin (I didn’t tell my teacher this as I think he would have put a stop to it!). The important thing I learned (and still learning) about vibrato is that it’s not only an exercise in mental focus and physical exertion, where you think if you summon enough mental energy and sheer physical exercise that you will accomplish it, you need to allow the time for your muscles, tendons and joints to adapt to the demands being made on them. This happens in micro-stages and can take a lot of time. So for vibrato, I have found that you need: mental focus, physical energy, minimum tension in your hand/wrist and TIME. So you cannot rush it and force your body to adapt too fast

To my untrained eye, there is one thing which is apparent in your video which I think should be addressed, and this is your left wrist. As Dianne mentioned there is a tendency for your hand to collapse while vibrating - I also noticed a slight "kink" in the wrist in your non-vibrato video. Try to maintain a straight line from forearm to wrist. If you find it hard to maintain this, devote some practise sessions focussing solely on maintaining a straight line from wrist to forearm, don't worry about intonation or bowing or vibrato for these sessions just concentrate on getting the correct form of your arm/wrist. Do these focussed isolation practise sessions until the straight arm is firmly established in your playing i.e. it becomes "second nature". This "straight arm" is a pre-requisite for vibrato (although I've seen many fine players with a bent wrist while vibrating!).

You probably do these exercises already but at this stage of vibrato training, I think it's important to find the balance point for your hand - Beth's vibrato exercise series will help you do this - now we have even more access to Beth through MusicGurus so it would be worthwhile to get personalised tuition on this. 

Finding the "balance-point" of your hand will allow your body to do the "impulse-rebound" motion required for vibrato. Follow the sequence of vibrato training (with no short cuts!) and you will eventually be able to broaden the range of vibrato and eventually speed it up. It's important to play with as relaxed a hand as possible but this does not come over night and it takes months if not years to achieve this (I've been at it for almost 2.5 years and i'm no way near as "consistent" or "broad" or “fast” with my vibrato as I’d like - and I practise quite a lot!). 

http://violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=559

Your right wrist looks relaxed and you've made a lot of progress on this since the last video - especially your straight bowing (your straight bowing was good to begin with) - this bodes well for the future because this aspect of your playing will get better as you practise - i.e. your obvious progress on this shows that you are aware of what the wrist needs to be doing while bowing (i.e. flexion). Keep working on it and will get even better!

Don't neglect the right hand finger exercises, these will improve your sensitivity with the bow and your overall tone. You can do these exercises holding the bow vertically and just moving your fingers up and down to move the bow, with no wrist movement at all. All the while, maintaining correct form of the fingers i.e. maintain a good bow hold throughout. (I read somewhere, and I don't know if this is true, but violin students at Juilliard are required to do a thousand of these repetitions before their class!. This seems excessive to me - I think the tutors are just trying to stress how important these finger exercises are!).

One last bit of advice from me: play into the strings! I know how tentative we adults tend to be with creating a full sound, but try and make those strings sound out. Add some pressure to the bow (originating from the weight of the arm and the index finger) to really ring out those notes! I felt you were skimming a little on the surface of the strings a little but - try to play “heavier” into the strings and practise on open strings ALOT until you can hear a nice and even consistent tone using whole bows. Your ear will guide your right hand fingers/arm to apply the pressure, Beth has some great videos on this. This is the one thing I would have done more of in my first year! Open string whole bowing without mute!

You are doing great, keep it up! Think about getting tailored tuition with Beth through MusicGurus because everyone of us is different and only a teacher like Beth can spot where our individual weaknesses lie and how to improve them or to correct poor form or to advise on exercises specific to our individual needs. I think this is a great opportunity for all of us and i can't wait to start learning with Beth through personalised tuition. And keep posting your progress vids!




Posted: April 8, 2016
Hear you go Nick

Sylvia Gregg
Posted: April 6, 2016
Thank you so much Beth for your video feedback. Watching how beautifully you played the song inspired me even more to keep working on it. I want to be able to at least play somewhat close to how you play. Thanks for helping me see what I need to work on. - Sylvia

Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 6, 2016
This discussion includes members-only video content



Sylvia Gregg
Posted: April 6, 2016
Thanks Mary and Dianne for your comments. I appreciate them and will continue to work hard.

Dianne
Posted: April 6, 2016
Hi Sylvia,

I listened to both your videos and 1st want to say what a great job you did. It sounded melodious and even-tempoed. My only ideas would be to try to use more bow- you didn't quite make it all the way to the frog. Also, the mordents and double grace notes are played a little faster- but this is hard to do! In your wrist vibrato video, your vibrato movement is much better. But I do see your wrist moving towards the fingerboard, and the vibrato seems a little narrow. The hand should move back and forth vs. the wrist, and the narrow vibrato could be caused by having too much pressure on the string- but it's hard to tell from the video.

Keep up the good work!



Posted: April 5, 2016
I bet you are good enough to play without the tapes and do that by ear. Nice intonation and even rhythm. I like your bow rhythm too;-)