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violin/viola practice [Apr. 29th, 2016|11:54 am]
Violinists
harmpoem
Originally posted by harmpoem at violin/viola practice
another day another ponder,

it's only natural that the fundamental changes i have made to my left hand technique are not ingrained in my playing yet.  In the practice room, yes, but not under any sort of pressure.  possible solutions: pay more attention to how you play in the practice room, make conscious observations.  James dunham once told me that certain aspects of playing are not meant to make sense, he used the phrase "smoke in mirrors"  it was in reference to vibrato...the fact that every finger hits the board at a slightly different and yet must all sound equal and move similarly.  I agree that mystery is a beautiful thing, but i think this sentiment should be reserved for the aesthetic nature of music, not the physical technique.  I only say this because it may lead to a pounding head up against a wall, hoping for improvment...i speak from personal experience.

There are correct ways of looking at problems, and you know it when you come across one

if you like talking about this stuff come to my community: practice456
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technique, or lack thereof [Apr. 11th, 2014|12:10 am]
Violinists

starrynight
I've been taking violin lessons for 15 months now. I had a lesson with a substitute teacher because my regular teacher was out. The sub was my first violin teacher. She's really sweet and we're the same age so we had stuff in common, but I had to switch to another teacher because the lesson time became inconvienent after a while.

I'm on the second Suzuki book, learning Judas Maccabeus. I'm pretty much done with it and I went over it with the sub. At the end of the lesson, the sub was having a bit of fun with the song and started trilling one of the notes. She asked if I wanted to try and I did, I pretty much nailed it right away which was awesome.

It got me to thinking...I haven't really learned any technique since I've started playing. I'm up to five note slurs with scales and four note slurred arpeggios, learned tenuto and a little staccato, and that's it.

I was wondering if it's very common to not know much for the first couple of years, or if it's the Suzuki book that's the problem. It does talk about third position at the end of the second book but my teacher is going to teach me second position first, then third.

I'm not saying I'm not learning anything, because I am and I think I've come far since my first lesson. It's just that there's so much to learn. Pizzicato, tremolo, vibrato, martele, double stops (I do think the second Suzuki book does introduce some double stop exercises), and so on. I know first position like the back of my hand, even the flats which I haven't formally learned yet. And my intonation is pretty damn good so I just feel like I should be doing exercises that are slightly more difficult than what I'm learning now, especially since I've been working on the same G maj scale and the same arpeggio variations for months now. I even go a step further and can play them with my eyes closed and keep good form, because that's what my teacher wants me to do. I work hard and just...want to do more I guess.
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(no subject) [Aug. 16th, 2013|10:47 pm]
Violinists

dinogrrl
So after all these years, I'm interested in learning baroque violin and it's been suggested to me to start by switching to gut strings and a baroque bow to start getting a feel for things (as I currently can't afford a whole new instrument). I need new strings anyway, so it's good timing :p. But I have zero idea as to what strings to get! Anyone here use gut strings and have a brand they like? And just how different are they from the synthetic strings? Is there anything different I need to do to care for them?

And does anyone know of a shop in North Carolina or the surrounding states that offers baroque bows? I'm not keen on buying online, I did that once with one of my modern bows and I've regretted it ever since.
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Upgrading a violin [Jul. 11th, 2013|12:21 am]
Violinists

starrynight
I've been thinking about upgrading my violin, possibly in a few months. It's not that I hate my current violin, I want to upgrade because I feel like I've made a ton of progress in the five months that I've been playing. I've started the second Bach minuet in my Suzuki book and the consensus is that after the first book, you progress faster. I feel like it may be time to get a better violin. I currently have a Cremona that cost roughly $200. I've been looking at violins in the $900 range.

For the price, my Cremona performs well, but I don't know, I'm really in love with playing the violin and want to have something that has a great sound. I feel like it would motivate me more to play, not that I don't practice, I practice every day, I'm a perfectionist. I also want something that will last me years and years as I progress.

In other news, my home was flooded during hurricane Sandy in October. The ground floor got almost half a foot of water and the room had to be totally redone. Before the hurricane, the room had exposed walls. Now, the room has proper walls and the acoustics in the room is AMAZING. I've designated it as my practice room.

Here's a short demo of the sound/my playing in said room:

http://soundcloud.com/thebunnylady/check-out-the-sound

Thoughts/opinions are welcomed. I think for someone who has been playing for five months, I'm going really well.

ps. when did you decide it was the right time to upgrade your violin?
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Artem Kotov, violinist [Apr. 25th, 2013|09:02 am]
Violinists

kotov_s_l
New Picture (1)
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Bows! [Mar. 15th, 2013|05:36 pm]
Violinists

starrynight
I got my new violin bow today. It's a Codabow Diamond NX. I can't properly test it out yet since my sister is sleeping, but it feels a lot lighter than my wood bow. Not sure if I can tell a difference in sound, I think I'd have to play with it lots first, but right off the bat, my violin sounds slightly more alive, if that makes any sense.

There's a few reasons why I chose a CF bow over wooden ones. My wood one has warped, it's low quality and it came with my violin outfit, so I knew I was going to upgrade the moment I got my violin. I think it'll be great to have a virtually indestructable bow. It also won't be affected by heat and humidity. The other thing is, the pernambuco tree is an endangered species, and conservation efforts are being made in Brazil to save the tree. I think dollar for dollar, it's a good value. I paid $390 for my Codabow, while it's hard to find a really good wooden bow at the same price. I'm not saying that wooden bows are bad, just that a carbon fiber bow meets my current need.

Does anyone else here have a cf bow? If so, do you like it?
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(no subject) [Feb. 16th, 2013|03:41 pm]
Violinists

chikyu_star
[Current Music |Mogwai - Auto Rock | Powered by Last.fm]

Hey, everyone!

A couple of questions that have been in my mind for a while: how often do you practice and what kind of exercises you do while practicing?

The reason why I'm asking this is because I mainly play the violin for a hobby, but I'm curious of how it works for people who actually work in that area... or even study in music conservatories. How long do they practice per day? What kind of tuning/bow/speed/changing position/vibrato exercises do they work on? What is, in your opinion, the best practice? What works for you? Playing the same song over and over again? Or changing the songs frequently so you won't get tired of it? Do you use a specific method (Suzuki, Sassmanhaus, Sevcik etc.)? Do you arbitrarily choose a song to play according to your own tastes regardless of the difficulty or do you do a careful research to see which song is more appropriate for your current ability level?

Thanks in advance!
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Bowing direction [Jan. 26th, 2013|11:42 am]
Violinists

starrynight
My song for the week is Lightly Row from my Suzuki book. My teacher and I spent most of the lesson working on intonation and bowing, mainly seesaws on the open strings, and showing me where I should be bowing up and down in correlation to written music, and talking about prepared fingers and so on.

The way my teacher explained it was this: bow quarter notes on the middle half of my bow, which has stickers as a visual guide. For bowing half notes, use middle half of my bow, going to the upper half of it. In the song, the first line ends on a half note. The second line also ends on a half note. So when I play the first half note, I go past the orange sticker on my bow, play the quarter notes with that top half, then go back down on the second half note and end up in the middle of my bow, correct?

On the plus side, my teacher says that she already can tell I've made good progress after two weeks, and says I have very, very good intonation and sight-reading skills.
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What are lessons like? [Jan. 2nd, 2013|11:11 am]
Violinists

starrynight
I'm signing up for violin lessons next week and I was wondering what the first few lessons are like. I'd like to think that I am better off than the average beginner as I can read music. I've played piano, flute and guitar. I also know music theory as I took music theory courses, and I know most of the fingering in first position. I also bought some books, like Violin Scales and Arpeggios in One, Two and Three Octaves based on Carl Flesch. I figure that learning the one octave scales and arpeggios will help me for now, until I learn more than just first position. I probably have ten different books, aimed for beginners I've also learned some stuff on my own. The Twinkle Twinkle variations from my Suzuki book, some of the violin part in Beethoven's 7th symphony (allegretto movement), Ode to Joy, etc. I'm working on Bach's Bourre BVW 996 currently.

I don't want to learn anything else for the time being. I'm afraid of picking up bad habits and then having to relearn everything. I'm really excited to start lessons though!
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Rosin [Nov. 28th, 2012|04:21 pm]
Violinists

starrynight
There are so many different types of rosin out there. My violin setup came with green rosin but it broke into tiny fragments somehow, and I doubt it was of good quality, though it did the job. I ended up going with Thomastik-Infeld Dominant rosin, since I have Dominant strings. I'm probably taking a stab in the dark here, but I figure anything is better than what my violin came with.

So ladies and gents, how do you personally choose which rosin to use?

Also, I'd like to upgrade my bow in the near future. The hairs on mine fall out a lot because it's cheap (again, it came with the violin), but I have absolutely no idea what to get. I don't have a teacher to guide me, as the music studio by me got flooded from the hurricane, and the place hasn't re-opened yet. I didn't get a chance to sign up for lessons. I'm willing to spend about $50 on a bow.
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Артем Котов [Oct. 31st, 2012|09:25 pm]
Violinists

kotov_s_l
http://www.kassir.ru/ekb/db/text/848460104.html
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Violin bridge question [Oct. 25th, 2012|10:25 pm]
Violinists

starrynight
So I took my violin to a luthier because I wasn't able to fix two loose pegs and while that was being done, I was told I need a new bridge because the bridge was cut too pointy and according to the luthier, the bridge is acting like a knife and cutting the strings. So I need new strings and a new bridge. I was quoted $200, which is a lot for me since I'm on a fixed income.

Instead of getting a new bridge, is it possible to have the top sanded so that it's not as pointy? I wouldn't do it obviously, I'd have the luthier do it. If that's not possible, I am going to shop around and see if I can get a better price on a bridge.

This is my violin and the bridge:

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Artem Kotov, violinist [Sep. 29th, 2012|05:16 pm]
Violinists

kotov_s_l
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Acoustic x Electric [Sep. 28th, 2012|08:24 pm]
Violinists

chikyu_star
Hello everyone!

One question for all experienced violinists (and non-experienced as well): does any of you have an electric violin? If you do, do you think you made a good choice in acquiring one? Or was it a waste of money?

The reason why I'm asking this is because I've been really slacking off my violin practice, mostly because I'm... ashamed of practicing when there are people at my house. I'm still a beginner, so I need to practice the same piece for several times and the noise of the lessons may annoy other members of my family. I want to be able to put earphones and practice to my heart's content.
Still, electric violins are not exactly cheap (at least not around where I live), so I'd like to know if it's worth the price or if I should just stick to my old cheap violin.

Thoughts?
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yay! [Sep. 27th, 2012|09:21 am]
Violinists

starrynight
Sorry to be a pest, I know I've been posting a lot, because I am a n00b.

I have good news, I can play it right handed! It felt very natural holding it right handed than it did left handed. My sister brought over her violin and I asked her if I could hold it and position my fingers to see which way was better.

I'm going with the Cremona SV-175 as my beginning violin. My sister has a Mendini and the pegs tend to fall out, the strings are of poor quality so it squeaks a lot, etc. It also looks really cheap and beat up. Not sure if that's wear and tear or just how it comes. The bow is also of very poor quality.

I appreciate all the help and I'm really looking forward to learning the violin. Also, harrietbrown was very kind to mail me her Suzuki books.

Once I get my violin, I am going to search for a teacher.

Thanks for your help with everything. I appreciate it.
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community maintainer update [Sep. 25th, 2012|07:07 pm]
Violinists

dinogrrl
Heard back from the support team, and here's what they sent me:

"Thank you for your inquiry. I have removed the setting for moderation for this community, and have also appointed you as the owner of the community, as the previous owners were purged."

Soooo there's that. I've got enough on my plate currently that I'm not terribly interested in having another community to moderate (even one like this one that really doesn't need much moderation!), so if anyone else is interested in having modship I'll be glad to pass the torch.
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FYI - AWOL community maintainer(s) [Sep. 24th, 2012|10:27 pm]
Violinists

dinogrrl
Just letting you guys know, I tried posting a comment in here earlier that contained a URL and LJ's wonderful anti-spam measures marked it as spam. So I went to contact the community's maintainer(s) to see if they could change the settings to allow URLs in comments and discovered that both of them (possibly the same person?) are most definitely not on LJ any more. Meaning we have nobody manning the ship. Not that we really need it, we're just that awesome, but that means nobody's around to do things like stop the annoying anti-spam nonsense.

ANYWAY. I sent in a support request to the LJ team to see if we could get maintainership of the community transferred to someone who's at least still around on LJ. I don't know how things normally proceed from here on cases like this, but I'll keep y'all updated.
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Thanks guys! [Sep. 24th, 2012|09:45 pm]
Violinists

starrynight
It turns out that my sister has a violin. She said originally that she was going to give it to me because she can't read music. She played violin in middle school, so I don't know if she forgot how to read it or what. But I am going to be nice and teach her, since I do like helping others and it's a shame to have an instrument and not play it. I told her that there's more to an instrument than reading music. She said she remembers how to bow and use the fingerboard. But we're both inquiring about lessons at a local music store that's a few blocks from my house.

I called her today to ask her to bring her violin over the next time I see her. I figure that if she's ambidextrous and plays with her right hand, I'll be able to test my dexterity and see if I can do it, too.

If I can't play right handed, I don't know what the other options are, but I'm certainly going to try.

I feel like such a n00b, and I have a lot to learn about the violin, so if I say stuff that is incorrect, I don't mind being told otherwise by people who have had a lot of experience or at least have taken some lessons.

Is there anything I need other than a bow, extra strings, a case, a tuner, an extra bridge, etc? My sister has a violin that came with all that stuff. It's a beginner violin I believe, but she says it's pretty decent for the price.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for the help in my last post. I appreciate it.

Also, can I use finger tape to memorize some of the positions? I do plan on taking lessons and I am sure a teacher could give me some tips. I hope to memorize all the positions in time, not use it as a crutch. And I know the position of the tape varies from one person to another, so once I'm signed up for lessons, I'll ask the teacher to help.
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Learning to play the violin [Sep. 21st, 2012|06:10 pm]
Violinists

starrynight
Hello there. I am a music lover (classical music is my drug), with a background in music theory. I used to play the flute and guitar, and can play the piano proficiently. I'm going to try my hand at the violin and wondered how hard was it for you to learn?

I am left handed, so I shall buy a left handed violin. I made the mistake of buying a normal guitar and I had to play it upside down, and while it worked, I know it wasn't the same as a left handed guitar because of the bridge and whatnot.

I am going to try to learn the basics, and if I like it enough, probably take lessons, because I can only learn so much on my own. I know I need to properly learn bowing techniques.

By the way, Paganini's caprice 24 in a minor is my absolute favorite song, followed by La Campanella by Liszt.

I am also a synesthetes. I can see music/voices in color and sometimes taste it. A minor tastes earthy to me. Anyways, it's a blessing and a curse, because I am prone to headaches and certain tones bother me. I also have perfect pitch and if somethng is slightly off key or transposed, it really bothers me.

So yeah, that's my introduction.
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Wolf shoulder rest: leg becoming loose [Oct. 25th, 2011|10:47 pm]
Violinists

andorus
[Current Music |Cleveland Orchestra: Christoph von Dohnanyi - Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, Op. 92 - 2. Allegretto | Po]

I can't find much online with regards to issues with Wolf shoulder rests, but over the last couple of months one of the feet has come loose right at the pivot point where it attaches to the "body" of the shoulder rest, and as a result, the whole thing can sometimes slip off my violin in the middle of playing if my posture shifts just so. It almost feels like I ought to be able to tighten a screw or something but I'm not entirely sure how to go about tightening that up again.

Hopefully people still read this--I've all but abandoned LJ these days but wasn't sure where else to go in order to answer this. I did send them a message through their website as well.

(In case it matters, I have a 4/4 Wolf Forte Primo. In every other way, it freaking rocks--it has done so much for my posture over the last year.)

Thanks so much! :)
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