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mischa91
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January 2, 2015 - 6:24 pm
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http://youtu.be/K3_H_JsPmBc

 

It's not perfect, and could possibly be out of tune due to brand new strings.  

 

Could i get some critique and pointers please?  Feel free to be as brutally honest as possible, I'll never learn otherwise.  

 

ive been working on fixing bad habits with how I hold both the violin and the bow.  With the violin I developed a very bad habit when I played in school of letting the neck rest on the palm of my hand, and the muscle memory is proving hard to break.  It's probably why I'm struggling so much with vibrato of any kind.

 

With the bow, I never noticed until I saw a video that I play with the side of the bow instead of the flat, any idea how I can fix this?  I've been trying to hold it and not let it rotate but it somehow always does.  

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augustoad
Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil
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January 2, 2015 - 6:41 pm
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Hey, @mischa91 !

I think you should move your hand back closer to the nut a bit, putting your thumb aproximately where the nut is, as it seems as your fingers are a bit out of place. They're pretty close, though.

I had never listened to this song before, so I can't tell if it's spot on, but it doesn't sound bad so I suppose it's not. XD Are you using any sort of sheet music? If so, could you share it with us?

For the bow and violin hold, I recommend playing while looking at a mirror. It helps getting the bow straight and holding it right, but you've got to pay attention to yourself as you play. Play a bit on the mirror, then stop looking, play a bit more and look at the mirror again to see if you're doing it right. That's how I got a bit better with the bow, anyways, hope it works for you. :)

Playing a bit with the side is ok, if you want a softer sound; However playing with it flat provides a much richer sound. I've seen some violinists who play a lot with the side, but I guess it's better to play with it flat. Try using the mirror technique for this as well.

Other than that, it sounds fine to me. Sorry for babbling for too long. :)

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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mischa91
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January 2, 2015 - 7:03 pm
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augustoad said
Hey, @mischa91 !

I think you should move your hand back closer to the nut a bit, putting your thumb aproximately where the nut is, as it seems as your fingers are a bit out of place. They're pretty close, though.

I had never listened to this song before, so I can't tell if it's spot on, but it doesn't sound bad so I suppose it's not. XD Are you using any sort of sheet music? If so, could you share it with us?

For the bow and violin hold, I recommend playing while looking at a mirror. It helps getting the bow straight and holding it right, but you've got to pay attention to yourself as you play. Play a bit on the mirror, then stop looking, play a bit more and look at the mirror again to see if you're doing it right. That's how I got a bit better with the bow, anyways, hope it works for you. :)

Playing a bit with the side is ok, if you want a softer sound; However playing with it flat provides a much richer sound. I've seen some violinists who play a lot with the side, but I guess it's better to play with it flat. Try using the mirror technique for this as well.

Other than that, it sounds fine to me. Sorry for babbling for too long. :)

Hey, thanks for the reply!  

Oka, I'll try moving my hand further back Towards the nut, and watch myself play in the mirror, that does sound like a good idea.  I can't get a very good angle videoing so the mirror might help.  Funnily enough before it bought my electric & now this one I'd never played on a full size violin.  I have tiny hands so was playing on a 3/4 all through high school.  I'm not surprised my hand is slightly out of place, it's probably in the same place it would be on a 3/4.  

im playing from sheet music I found over the holiday, mines hand written out by my old teacher so I found it online to post here.

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t1/vickiwilson91/imagejpg1_zpsc2860e38.jpgImage Enlarger

Yeah, I've seen people play with the side of the bow and I guess sometimes it's unavoidable but I think I could improve dynamics if I could play more with the flat too.  

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augustoad
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January 2, 2015 - 7:30 pm
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@mischa91 , good luck to you! :D Post a video update after you've improved a bit, I'm eager to see it. 加油! :)

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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risk
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January 3, 2015 - 12:50 am
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Stick straws in the f holes. Its really really annoying and sounds horrible but it's good motivation to keep your bow parallel and helps loosen the wrist while forcing you to do so. Also straighten your wrist, also something i struggle with. 

Definitely work on intonation,  do you have a tuner thingy? I cant tell if your strings are in tune.

 

Good work so far, it always helps to slow wayyyyyyy down when learning a song, something I fight with constantly. 

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cdennyb
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January 3, 2015 - 1:56 am
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If you have trouble with your left hand and letting the neck lay in it, try this technique. It's easy to do and keeps you up on your fingers for fingering the notes. Just lay the neck right on top of your thumb print.PB230185.JPGImage Enlarger

thumbs-upPB230183.JPGImage Enlarger

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"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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mischa91
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January 3, 2015 - 8:51 am
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@Risk.great idea.  I'll definitely do that with the straws, that sounds like it would help keep my bow from wandering all over the place.

Brand new strings, I just put a whole new set on maybe 30 minutes before this. They kept un tuning so it's probably not even in tune.  I have an electric tuner which is great.  Hopefully the strings will break in quicker.  I have a few earlier videos that sound better but you can't see my left hand so I put up this one which shows both hands and makes the neck resting on my palm super obvious.

 

@.  thanks for the tip, I'll try it out this afternoon.  Looks like a great position to practice shifting from too.

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Fiddlerman
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January 3, 2015 - 9:23 am
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Very cool. Great post mischa,

This is the best way to learn. Post your progress and get advice. Plus you help others that do not dare to post their playing. Takes a lot of courage.

Two things technique-wise that you would benefit from correcting before they get engraved in your playing. The first is your left wrist. The hand should not rest on the neck but instead, your wrist should be fairly straight. Takes a little time to get used to but it will free your movements for the future. Less prone to pain later too. Secondly, I would like to see you bow more using elbow movement. Right now you use too much shoulder movement which is why you are not bowing as straight as you could be. I suggest doing some bowing (on open strings if you like) in front of a mirror for about 5 minutes at the beginning of each session just to get used to the motion required to bow straighter. No one bows perfectly straight but if you bare in mind the necessary motion from the beginning of your sessions and let it carry over as much as possible, it will just get better and better without too much effort.

As far as intonation is concerned, don't worry too much, EVERYONE plays out of tune and we understand stretching strings very well. The goal is to learn to hear if a note is too low or high when practicing slowly and to correct it before going on. Then, it's great to memorize that better finger placement as much as possible until your fingers come down automatically in a better place. Doesn't have to be perfect. It is however something that we need to keep in mind always. What some people do is they try to figure out what is wrong with a particular note and then place an arrow on the note. For example, one note that was slightly low frequently was your 3rd finger D on the A string. You could put an arrow pointing up to remind you that you are sometimes flat on that note.

It's obvious that you have talent and will be progressing fast. I enjoyed your performance and look forward to the next one. :)

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

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mischa91
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January 3, 2015 - 11:08 am
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Fiddlerman said
Very cool. Great post mischa,

This is the best way to learn. Post your progress and get advice. Plus you help others that do not dare to post their playing. Takes a lot of courage.

Two things technique-wise that you would benefit from correcting before they get engraved in your playing. The first is your left wrist. The hand should not rest on the neck but instead, your wrist should be fairly straight. Takes a little time to get used to but it will free your movements for the future. Less prone to pain later too. Secondly, I would like to see you bow more using elbow movement. Right now you use too much shoulder movement which is why you are not bowing as straight as you could be. I suggest doing some bowing (on open strings if you like) in front of a mirror for about 5 minutes at the beginning of each session just to get used to the motion required to bow straighter. No one bows perfectly straight but if you bare in mind the necessary motion from the beginning of your sessions and let it carry over as much as possible, it will just get better and better without too much effort.

As far as intonation is concerned, don't worry too much, EVERYONE plays out of tune and we understand stretching strings very well. The goal is to learn to hear if a note is too low or high when practicing slowly and to correct it before going on. Then, it's great to memorize that better finger placement as much as possible until your fingers come down automatically in a better place. Doesn't have to be perfect. It is however something that we need to keep in mind always. What some people do is they try to figure out what is wrong with a particular note and then place an arrow on the note. For example, one note that was slightly low frequeently was your 3rd finger D on the A string. You could put an arrow pointing up to remind you that you are sometimes flat on that note.

It's obvious that you have talent and will be progressing fast. I enjoyed your performance and look forward to the next one. :)

Thanks!

sadly the left hand issues are already in my muscle memory.  I used to play like this when I was in high school and no one pointed it out, then a few years back when I bought my electric I just picked up where I left off and brought the bad habits back with me.  I should have posted as soon as I picked up a violin again and addressed the issues then but like you said I didn't dare post.  It'll take a while to correct but at least I've got some good tips and exercises to start with.  I honestly didn't even notice until I started to work on the vibrato exercises and they proved so difficult, which they would, it's hard to move a wrist thaT isn't straigh to start with.  

As for the bowing,Ihad no idea I was using my shoulder instead of my elbow,I wlll watch in the mirror try very hard to correct this.

yes, I probably shouldn't have posted with 30 minute old strings but I was excited with the new strings and bridge.  I'll play them over them next week or so to let them settle a bit and work on my position then I'll post a follow up video to make sure i'm on the right track.  I'll use that tip about marking the sheet music when I'm off key and see if it helps me to remember to adjust my fingers.

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risk
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i just had an idea, what if you tape a pc of string to the scroll, under the neck to the back so that it forces your hand away from the neck?

this way you couldnt hold it like that and would have to straighten your wrist or crush the string.

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mischa91
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January 16, 2015 - 5:54 pm
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The strings have finally settled down and i've been working on both my hands.  My bow i think needs to come back more towards the bridge.  I have also changed my left hand position so mu thumb is more under the neck and the neck isn't resting on my palm.  

http://youtu.be/TXcAIoKjslM

The video is really short due to technical errors (idiot ipads are idiotic!)  but does my position (both hands) look any better?  Is there anything else i could improve/work on with reguards to my left hand position and my bowing hand/arm?

 

Thanks

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JuanFiddler
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Hi mischa. Nice going. I understand what it feels to make video and all of sudden you are aware you are being watched somehow. It's also good progress sharing your playing with others. Now my suggestion for you would be for the left hnd placement, stand in front of the mirror and check what your hand is doing. It will take sometime until your muscles know exactly what to do. Now for bowing you can use open strings to practice long slow strokes. Here you want to make sure you are extending your arm and bending your elbow. This is no easy task but the slower you do it the better you will be in control of your bow. Another thing is staying relaxed if you build tension in one of your hands it will spread to the rest of your body. Again it takes time to get in control of all this but I'm sure you'll do a good. Believe in yourself above all things :) Good luck and keep fiddling!

There's nothing better than a cold beer and the warm soothing sound of a violin.

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Uzi
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Hi @mischa91, your left wrist looks much better in this video. Keep working at it and constantly re-examine your form.  With the violin (as I am learning through bitter experience) small differences in form can make huge differences in tone and intonation.   Learning proper form from the start will pay huge dividends down the road, while failing to learn proper form will present huge impediments to progress later. 

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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mischa91
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@JuanFiddler , yup I'm spending some of my practice session In front of the mirror trying to train my left hand into anew position.  I suspect I'll be doing that for ages until it finally stays there.  Great idea for the bowing, Im working through sevcik's bowing exercises which at the start are mostly on the open strings, they're a bit dull and repetitive but I think they've helped a little.  I just need to do them more.  I Was tense recording this, having had multiple fights with an iPad will do that to a person.  I find when Im trying to concentrate on my left hand position my bow arm wanders, I need to split my concentration between the two.

 

@uzi, thanks!  I spent 5 or so years learning bad habits and doing it wrong and it's going to be a mammoth task undoing the bad and relearning it correctly.  I almost wish I was just picking up the violin now for the first time.  My form would be better at least.  

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Fiddlerman
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January 20, 2015 - 6:03 pm
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Great job mischa91. IMAO, way better already.
Your pinky, if possible, should be curved on your bow hand.
On your left hand, it would be better for the future if you could keep the pinky closer to the fingerboard.
Keep up the great work!!!

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

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mischa91
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January 29, 2015 - 8:27 am
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Fiddlerman said
Great job mischa91. IMAO, way better already.
Your pinky, if possible, should be curved on your bow hand.
On your left hand, it would be better for the future if you could keep the pinky closer to the fingerboard.
Keep up the great work!!!

Thanks!  

I've tried so hard to curve that bow hand pinky, it is stubborn plus working on so many things at once and it gets forgotten about.  I will work on it though, maybe i'll try and train it using a pencil at work.

I think, if i remember correctly, that when i recorded the video i was (and still am) working on using my fingers independently of each other so maybe i was raising them higher than they needed to go to hit the finger board with each finger separately.  i'll work on keeping my fingers lower.  I swear my pinkies have minds of their own.

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coolpinkone
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Look at you go!  Nice nice way to apply the advice and repost.

Bravo and very very good job!

I love your posts. 1st-placethumbs-up

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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mischa91
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coolpinkone said
Look at you go!  Nice nice way to apply the advice and repost.

Bravo and very very good job!

I love your posts. 1st-placethumbs-up

Thank you very much!  I'm so glad people here could offer advice in how i can improve, it really helps when someone can look at a video and say "do this different... or this..." it's such a help since i can't afford a teacher right now.

I'm actually quite enjoying doing the videos, although i usually have to take 5 before i can get a good one and i inevitably end up with a one of a cat face or bum in the shot and me playing in the background.  

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