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3 month of playing
Need some suggestions on bow control and tone issues
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Mark
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October 4, 2014 - 11:10 pm
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Good day all,

I found this sight by accident a few weeks ago looking for information on playing the Violin, and have watched it since then, and have grown to have the up most respect for what I see folks doing here, my hat is off to you all. I took 6 months of lessons 31 years ago since then the Violin has set under the bed almost undisturbed since then. Any and all comments on how to improve will be appreciated. You will notice my bow hold is not normal and any suggestion on better control the bow with the limited dexterity I have with my left hand are very welcomed. My observations of the video are the 4th finger is flat, vibrato is stopping to soon before note change, not enough bow used and hitting extra strings to name a few.

 

Thanks

Mark

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coolpinkone
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October 5, 2014 - 12:14 am
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Big big Applause.

I will save the critique for the qualified.  I felt a good vibe.   I am good with the bow hold.  I think once  you just relax a bit more and open up to longer juicy bow strokes  you are going to settle into something extra pretty.  I love love love Amazing Grace it is a song that is so much a part of my heart and soul. 

So very very very happy to see  you here.

Yay Yay for  you.

Toni from California... 2.75 year player.. (LAAAATE bloomer and ok with it).

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Mark
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October 5, 2014 - 12:45 am
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Thank you coolpinkone,

I have enjoyed you kind responses you have written.

Mark 

Indiana native

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rockinglr33
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October 5, 2014 - 6:49 am
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Hey mark! Glad to "meet" you and see some of your playing. You are doing great!!! 

your bowing looked mostly nice and straight. as for dexterity i'm not sure and i'll leave that for some of the more experienced peeps here i know i still tense as i play so i'm still working on it. You had good intonation as the song progressed and it looked like you started to relax as you played! 

Congrats on hitting vibrato already! me and vibrato are not friends yet and you are definitely on your way to learning and protecting it. 

Welcome to the forum!!! hope to see a lot more from you 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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RosinedUp
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October 5, 2014 - 3:52 pm
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Ah, playing a right-handed violin left handed.  I'm sort of afraid to suggest you get a left-handed violin.  Presumably you've looked into the pros and cons of that issue.

Your intonation is very good.  You obviously have an ear, and you are paying attention to your pitch.  So that's great.

The main thing I notice is that your rhythm could use some attention.  It sounds uneven in places, and the long notes are cut short.  I would find a good recording of the tune and tap along and count along with it.  I was a little shocked the first time I tried to play with a metronome.  You may find that you get a very large gain rhythmwise right away if you record with a metronome clicking in your ear.  Playing along with a well-timed recording (in the same key, of course!) would probably help a lot too.

It's great that you're fingering with the pinky.  A lot of beginners neglect that.  Ah, but you've had lessons, ha ha.  If you're having trouble reaching notes with the fourth finger, know that the stretching has to be distributed between the first and fourth fingers.  The first finger should be pulled tight and square, reaching away from you, while the fourth finger reaches toward you.  Try keeping your hand just a little farther from the nut.  It looks like your fingering form is basically good, but a little adjustment might help.

Your bowing looks pretty straight, so you are doing well getting your wrist and elbow into the action.  Usually the shoulder and fingers get involved more when bowing near the frog.  There is a succinct video that explains the various functions of the fingers in the usual bow hold.  You can find it on youtube by searching for: violinmasterclass bow grip.  Knowing the functions, you can look for ways to carry out those functions.

Nice to have you here.  Best wishes for your violin playing.

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Fiddlestix
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October 5, 2014 - 5:38 pm
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Playing a right handed violin left handed is not the usual, but what you get used to.

I don't really see any problem with your bow hold considering the circumstances. Your intonation is good, your vibrato is pretty good, I can't do it well myself. I'd work on the timing and play the song as if you were singing it.

Good job, Mark 1.

Here's a video of a champion left handed violin player that you may like.

Keep up the good work and a big welcome to the Fiddlerman club.

 

Ken.

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Mark
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October 5, 2014 - 11:05 pm
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Rockinglr33, Rosinup & Fiddlestix,

Thank you for the comments suggestions and videos, working on changing my hand position as suggested and watched the bow mechanics videos very interesting! & broke out the metronome it has been years since i used one but it helps.

With the advent of the internet I have gone into information overload reading, watching how the Violin works, how is set up and how to try to play it.

The help is much appreciated.

Mark

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cdennyb
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October 5, 2014 - 11:35 pm
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Mark I commend you on your proficiency so far. You've done well "picking it back up".

Keep in mind there's plenty of time to do the vibrato thing, no need to rush it. I use the vibrato thing as a reward for practicing well in all other areas.

I personally love to play that tune on my acoustics and on my electric its wonderful as well. Nice for a beginner tune as I helps to develop a lot of necessary eye hand coordination.

You'll do fine my friend, rock on!

Welcome to the family.

 

thumbs-uphats_off

"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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Fiddlerman
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October 7, 2014 - 7:28 am
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Great job Mark. The main thing that I worry about is tension. I'm hoping that you are not pressing down too much with your chin. I would try to get more jaw contact rather than chin and relax as much as possible. If you can get your elbow under the instrument just a bit more without any stress or pain, it would help your left hand fingers reach.

It might just look this way but I fear that you will get pains from playing like this. Hopefully I'm wrong and you are very comfortable.

I'm also assuming that you can't change the right hand grip very much. Maybe you can relax that grip a bit as well. Keep up the great work and thanks for the post.

Look forward to more great update videos.

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

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Mark
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October 7, 2014 - 9:06 pm
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Thank you Denny for the encouragement much appericated. Tension what tension as I try to crush the neck of the Violin and death grip on thr bow! Spot on observation while neck and head pain I don't have, I've noticed lately my fingering hand wants to go num some times and I find my self extremely tense trying to will the sound out of the violin instead of relaxing and letting it flow. I know better how ever knowing and doing are some times hard to accomplish I'll work on form and ease back on my intensity level  Thank you Mark

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SarahsViolinBags
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October 7, 2014 - 11:29 pm
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Hello Mark!

It's nice to hear you, and it's so nice to see that you enjoy what you're doing!

Just a small comment, since so many great things have been mentioned... you said "my fingering hand wants to go numb" - along with neck relaxation mentioned by Fiddlerman, you might stop periodically and just notice if you feel tension in your armpit.  It sounds really silly typed out, but I have noticed that when I have any squeezing or pinching in the tenon that runs through the crook of my armpit, my fingering hand goes numb too...  If you can swing your elbow side to side to relieve that tension, it could help with your overall comfort, and speed of your fingers.  I hope this helps!

~Sarah

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Mark
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October 8, 2014 - 6:26 am
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Sarah, 

Thanks for the insight, I'll watch and check for tension in the arm pit very anoying when the hand goes to sleep after playing just  a short time. After looking at the video I'm in need of several adjustments.

 

Thanks,

Mark

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Mark
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October 29, 2014 - 8:32 pm
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OK all, after reading all your suggestions I have been reading and trying different set ups to try and eliminate tension, easier said than done! I tried going back to no shoulder rest but no mater what I tried I could not get a stable feeling especially trying to down shift from 3rd or 5th position running scales. A new chin rest and readjusting of the shoulder rest did make the Fiddle much more comfortable and adjusting the arm position a bit took the tension out of the arm pit and no more numb fingers and hand. See if things look better now. I developed a bouncing bow adj. things and Just figured out how to stop it what a pain that was,

 

Intonation still a bit off and bow stroke and tone still need much improvement.

 

Mark 

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Uzi
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October 29, 2014 - 8:53 pm
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@Mark, much better.  Keep working at it.  One of the most important things is to eliminate any tension in fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders or neck.  I know that it's easy to say, but that's the most important thing to playing well -- just like golf. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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November 13, 2014 - 5:16 pm
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Mark you are sounding fantastic and I envy your vibrator. I see a noticable difference between this video and the last one. Your actually bowing good and straight and I see some flexibility in your wrist.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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Mark
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November 13, 2014 - 10:13 pm
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Eric,

Thanks still fighting tension at times and working on having a lighter touch making notes and a lighter grip on the bow. Made a small adj. to bow grip and it seem to be beneficial to achieving a better tone.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

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happyjet
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November 16, 2014 - 11:14 am
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Great playing! :)

Could you tell me what you are playing is called?violin-1267

Playing a piece is easy... Playing it right is not...

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EricBluegrassFiddle
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November 17, 2014 - 9:01 pm
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Mark_1 said
Eric,

Thanks still fighting tension at times and working on having a lighter touch making notes and a lighter grip on the bow. Made a small adj. to bow grip and it seem to be beneficial to achieving a better tone.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

Sounds great, I have the same issue at times as well...I think I have a heavy bow hand and I think I need a lighter touch as well. Have you thought about trying out different bows as well? Different bow materials, weight can mae a big difference too I am reading.

" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"

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cdennyb
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November 18, 2014 - 3:29 am
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Very nice. That tune, "Amazing Grace", is played so many ways, in so many keys, and with so many different notes it always sounds fantastic! Nice job.hats_off

Relax, enjoy the tune and try playing it with your eyes closed... yes, you can do it. You know the tune and your fingers know where to go... smooth is good and that tune is a nice slow one, which I find myself hurrying up on all the time! I have the hardest time slowing myself down on it.

"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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coolpinkone
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November 18, 2014 - 2:23 pm
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Sweet Job Mark.

It is cool to get a follow up video... Thanks for posting.

I am a fan.

Cheers Tonihearttreble-1226

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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