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Practice this week.
left hand technique
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California, the place of my heart

August 18, 2012 - 1:39 am
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3717
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Hello all!

I had a good practice/ lesson with my teacher.      I have a bad habit that developed with my left hand.    I should just have the thumb on the neck.  Kind of  a c shape with my fingers curved.   I somehow got off track on that I will work hard on that to undo.  Then I got a little bad about lifting fingers I have some fingers down "boot camp" to work on.  I have some new material to work on.  

She gave me so many good things to think about and tools.    

I had some resistance to some of the "lesser" I wasn't even  playing them well.  She said to play each note like it matters and to play it beautifully....  that she felt I was just trying to get through the songs.   Which is (was) very true.   Each song in the book has been picked for a reason and there are reasons (believe it or not) to practice London Bridges.  So with that in mind I will practice even playing my scales as though they are a masterpiece.  :)   Full bowing and beautiful notes.

That is my input for the night.


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Merritt Island, Fla
Pro advisor

August 18, 2012 - 1:44 am
Member Since: June 25, 2012
Forum Posts: 1281
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its never too late to start some good habits! I tried using my left bicept more to support the neck, and that freed my left hand up to be more relaxed. Keep on keepin on!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

California, the place of my heart

August 18, 2012 - 1:53 am
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3717
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Hi PickleFish.. .that isn't a bad idea. I haven't even put any bicep into it.    My violin fits well into my chin and collarbone so I haven't thought that I would be gripping.  I believe as I have started to try to sound better and be more serious, somehow I got into a habit of gripping it.   I have to say I did have some confusion to  how I was taught.  Poor Teacher had me come in as a four month self taught adult.    I am sure she was choosing carefully the things I was doing wrong with a view to taking some time  to get me back on track for Classical music.



Happy Evening to you.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato


August 18, 2012 - 7:58 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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I think some of it, Coolpink, is that when we are intent on getting the intonation and timing correct, there is a tendency to bring the fingers down much harder than they need to be for getting the note to play.  Then you end up needing more pressure from the thumb and those two things sort of increase together until one is holding the neck so tight that shifting position and etc is impaired. 

So far as the "lesser" songs, well, some of the simplest melodies are very memorable and pretty in their own way. 

A thing I have found a bit helpful I to start practice with maybe 3 minutes of just playing long slow notes on the open strings while walking around a bit.  Since the left hand fingers don't have to actually do anything, it lets my bow hand "wake up" a bit and remember the angles for getting good notes on the string and keeping the bow moving straight.  While I am doing that, I try to focus on the sound of the notes and the feel of playing and just sort of get lost in it for those few minutes. 

Then I do a few minutes on each string, playing a melody that can be done on just one string, to warm up the left hand and actually "be playing something".  That can be a bit more fun and refreshes my fingers' memory on the basic intonation. 

Then I will do whatever scales I'm working on that day, and whip through an easy song or two for fun and then take a short break and then finally get to some "real practice".

By then I have already had to remind myself a few times to relax, to keep the bow moving straight, and etc, so I tend to do less of those mistakes after taking the time for warming up a bit.  I think it also gives the brain a chance to shift to "artist/musician" mode from usual state.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Fort Lauderdale
August 18, 2012 - 10:16 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11611

She is right Toni.
EVERY note does matter, unless it's a note that no one will hear.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

King for a Day, Peasant for many

August 20, 2012 - 1:47 am
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1773
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OH, I so know what you mean!cheerleader

After memorizing the tune I find myself spending an insane amount of time going back to the run, the scale or the individual string change in the tune and getting the bowing perfect...


And here all this time I thought just knowing where to put your left fingers was the battle...

I'm convinced it was only half or less of the battle.fainting-1344

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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