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feedback for a beginner?
"not perfect by any means" -- understatement!
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drabbit
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September 11, 2013 - 7:34 pm
Member Since: August 20, 2013
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Hi guys!

First video post! I've been learning for about 2.5 weeks now and figured that I should check in for a technique critique before anything too bad gets cemented into habit. Looking at my video, I can already see that my bowing needs some serious work to get it more parallel to the bridge and string crossing still cause problems. Also, more practice for the songs is clearly needed, so please don't judge the song performance too harshly. ^_^

Thanks in advance for your advice!

 

 

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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September 11, 2013 - 7:56 pm
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Erik,

Are you left handed or is the video in reverse?

Great job by the way. you seem to be doing very well and you know where you need work. Just keep at it.

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drabbit
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September 11, 2013 - 8:27 pm
Member Since: August 20, 2013
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Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the feedback! The video is in reverse - it just makes it easier to figure out the recording stuff if I set it up to display like a mirror. I'll see if I can flip it again after recording in the future so it's less confusing.

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nir
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September 12, 2013 - 12:22 am
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Hey, i'm only a 4 months beginner myself, so i hope i won't say anything that isn't correct and if i do the folks here will correct me :)

 

I noticed your pinky is straight and even bent a little bit[ but to the wrong side]

you should try to keep the pinky bent down.

 

And you were right, bow is going sideways but its really good you noticed it yourself :)

 

At the 1st piece from what i could hear, intonation was pretty good[ which is impressive if you never played any other instrument before], was a bit less accurate in the 2nd but ye... its a more advanced piece as well..

 

I'm not sure i'm seeing right, because your thumb is a bit hidden but it looks like its bent to the wrong side [ like a banana], the thumb should be bent towards the hand palm as well to reduce tension.

 

Your left hand seems fine on the violin.

 

But overall very good.

 

Last piece of advice :P , i suggest if possible play mostly without the mute, at least at first, its hard enough to produce good sound without it so it only impairs your ability to do so. [ i know i hated to play with it until i played for a month or two hehe] , but ye.... if you put it on you probably have to hehe 

 

good luck!

 

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laserbrainz
SLC, UT
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September 12, 2013 - 12:57 am
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I shall be shamelessly piggybacking here and stealing any advice you get for my own use, especially about your bow arm cause I have the same problem.

 

Im also a beginner and you are way braver in your song choice than I am; I've been playing twinkle twinkle for like five weeks straight. 

The things I noticed, and keep in mind I may not actually know what I'm talking about, were your pinky (like was mentioned), and your bow-arm wrist: I've been working like a dog on my bowing the last few days, practicing in front of a mirror, and what I've found is that I tend to keep my shoulder , elbow, and wrist locked so that they move as one...if that makes sense. But when I can relax, keep my shoulder down and back, bend at the elbow freely and especially bend at the wrist, my bowing is much straighter. With the wrist, try and keep it loose and bend it more as you play closer to the frog.

 

that at least is what's been working for me. Anyone with more knowledge and experience, by all means jump in and set me straight.

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laserbrainz
SLC, UT
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September 12, 2013 - 12:58 am
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I forgot to mention, if you haven't already, check out Violin Lab Channel on YouTube. They have some good videos, especially about bowing and bow hold.

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Lajer
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September 12, 2013 - 2:50 pm
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Very good - looks like you're aware of what to work on :) I've played for less than a few years, so have little experience, but I think it looks good.

Only noticed that pinky if yours, it should be relaxed on top of the bow - otherwise very nice - keep it up and keep us posted :)

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drabbit
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September 12, 2013 - 5:03 pm
Member Since: August 20, 2013
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@nir - thanks for the advice! Argh! I didn't notice the pinkie at all! Haha, good spot and I will work on it. The thumb I was aware of - it kind of flips back and forth between open and closed positions as I practice and I think it will be one of those things that I will have to keep working on. The mute is kind of necessary because I practice in an apartment building. I just moved in and don't want to start things off with the neighbors by being "that guy" with the terrible violin. Hopefully one day I will be that guy with the wonderful violin?

 

@laserbrainz - yay! definitely steal any advice you see and post videos yourself too so that I can steal advice from your threads. Also, I've found that advice from people who are new to things, while without the benefit of experience, is also often most helpful to people who are struggling with the same things (I've taught/tutored both academically and snowboarding in the past), so I'll be taking your advice on bowing and running with it :)

 

@Lajer - Haha, yeah, I'll need to work on the pinkie! Always a struggle to put so much effort into feeling relaxed and effortless. Thanks for the encouragement!

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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September 12, 2013 - 5:05 pm
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Good job there, Drabbit! Your posture looks nice, i like your left hand and fingers.

Good advices above about the right hand.

Your bowing is a lot strighter when You look at yourself in the camera =) So i'd suggest You to play long bow strokes, looking at yourself, memorize the feeling You have when bowing straight, close your eyes and try to repeat it, then look again ad correct, if needed. Don't get used to look at it though, concentrate on the straight-bow feeling only!

You're doing very nice! Keep it up!

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drabbit
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September 13, 2013 - 12:03 am
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Thanks Mad_Wed for the advice and encouragement as well. I like the idea about the close eyes/check/correct cycle and will try it. Actually, though, when I'm looking at the camera, I was looking at the sheet music, since it was as a pdf. I had that window in front of my camera window so I couldn't see myself. Interesting that that would cause my bowing to be straighter. I wonder if it might not be a total body posture thing based on where I am looking. That or when I look at the bow what looks straight from that vantage isn't straight really. Hmm... I will have to check into that! Thanks again!

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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September 13, 2013 - 7:19 am
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In my opinion the only benefit of bowing parallel to the bridge is so you can focus on developing good bowing technique in your bow hold, wrist, fingers etc....NOT so that you can manage to always remain parallel to the bridge...Nobody does this and it should not be your bowing goal. There is a term called single point of contact or resonance but even that is near impossible. The goal as I see it is to not have the bow slide sideways while you are moving it and to make the best tone possible.

It is good to practice it, but the goal is to use it to develop the other skills; is another way to put it I guess. Watch videos of the greats, modern and old, none of them perform bowing this way at least not very long. I watched a vid of Pearlman the other day and his dang bow slides all over the place! Just a thought for ya.

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

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laserbrainz
SLC, UT
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September 14, 2013 - 12:00 am
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Picklefish, that is equal parts encouraging and reassuring to know!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 14, 2013 - 10:47 am
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A lot of great advice above.
I think you are doing great for 2.5 weeks. Bravo, keep up the great work. I look forward to seeing more of these types of posts.
Thanks

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

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Teapot
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September 22, 2013 - 6:52 am
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As a two-week-old beginner i personally couldnt put the first finger down on the fingerboard without producing horrible scratching sounds....your progress is impressive!as others have said above, i think you have good posture and everything seems alright with the left hand. Bowing is always tricky and takes time to develop and ''mature'' on a violinist,i think...try to keep all of your bowing fingers nice and curved,don't let that pinky fall flat cause it makes everything stiffen up...just try to keep your body and joints relaxed,let your wrist curve up and down as you bow up and down. eventually it ll be easier to bow straight without having to look at a mirror.

Well done! really well done.

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