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Critique for 2 tunes
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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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January 2, 2019 - 12:02 pm
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A six-seven week back into playing violin update. First one is in A major while the second one is in D major, both in 4/4 time signature. I'm a little slow on the first one (and with slow, I mean I'm almost going half speed of the original tempo.). Please let me know what I need to work on. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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Berra
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January 2, 2019 - 2:01 pm
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Nice playing! I think you move your bow very nice. Your right hand might be a little stiff though. This is normal and you often get more relaxed by just playing a lot. I noticed that you use a lot of pressure between your pointing finger and thumb. You could try to locate that pressure more between the long finger and thumb. Its also a good thing to try bending your thumb and thereby get it more flexible.

Another tip is to sometimes play on two strings just to here that your intonation is right. In my case this has helped a lot, an even better way is to try to play with other violinists.

 

Keep up the nice playing

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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January 2, 2019 - 2:33 pm
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Berra said 
Another tip is to sometimes play on two strings just to here that your intonation is right. In my case this has helped a lot, an even better way is to try to play with other violinists. 

Do you mean like using the open string as a referanse? Unfortunately I don't have anyone to play with, other than my teacher, but I usually try to play with recordings and stuff like that. 

Thank you for your tips, I appreciate it. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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cid
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January 2, 2019 - 9:35 pm
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That was pretty good! Mind you, I am just learning myself, but I think you might find bow control easier if you could find a way to not have the little finger stretched and hanging down along the outer edge of the bow. I am one for doing what works for you, since getting tips from he kind people on this site over the past few days, but I think you will get better results with the little finger loosely placed on top of the bow, behind the end of the frong, but on top of the bow, and not stretched straight.

I was having issues myself with using the “correct” bow hold and have been adjusting it to suit myself, thanks to encouragement from the folks in this forum. I then played around and found that the little finger loosely on top of the bow about to the end of the frog (trying to remember because it is now habit with me), but on top of the bow, does serve a purpose. It is more curved, as opposed to straightened and stiff, instead of loosely. Loosely may not be a good way to describe it.

I also watched a video recently that confirmed my playing around after getting tips here. That little finger on top will help control the bow sound, loudness. When you bow towards the tip, you use more pressure with the index finger, when you go back towards the frog, you lessen the pressure of the index finger and increase the pressure of the little finger on that top of that end of the bow. Do this very slowly and you will see why. I have started doing this slowly for about 5 minutes on open strings before I start playing, whether playing to practice or playing to have fun playing songs I know. It is finally becoming habit when I am actually playing. The trick is to do it slow and pay attention to what is happening because then it will make sense. At least that is the way my brain works. I have to know why and, cause and affect before things make sense.

You are doing very nice with it. Again, I am just a beginning student myself, but I got a lot of encouragement here around Dec 26, or there abouts, when I first came here and posted a question about bowing. It was a great help.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 3, 2019 - 7:29 am
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Well done @HP it takes nerves to get in front of the camera !

I pretty much agree with the feedback given above, and, just an observation here - I assume you had sheet there (just I saw you glancing down every so often) - I think both these tunes would come on a long way if you are able to memorize them, play without the sheet (if I'm correct in my thoughts), and "attack with confidence" both the piece and the violin (you won't hurt it! 🙂  

Thanks for sharing your progress hats_off

And @admin - Critique Badge for HP if you catch this post..... Cool !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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January 3, 2019 - 10:48 am
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@cid Thank you for the tips. I try to make my bow hand relaxed and not stretched, but I find it hard to hold the bow that way. My fingers tend to slip when bent, especially the ring finger and pinky. Maybe I'll try to make something that will make the stick less slippery. Or maybe I'm just having such a bad bow hold that it causes it, I don't know. 

 

@BillyG The first tune was memorized, while the second one was mostly memorized. Had sheet music available for the second one. I can play both by memory, but I guess my memory bailed on me while playing in front of a camera. Could remember all the individual parts, but I couldn't remember in what order or where the repeats were. So yeah, definitely need more work on that part. Thank you. 🙂

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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wtw
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January 3, 2019 - 12:01 pm
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Agreed with the others, it's good ! Don't worry about speed, it'll come naturally with practice. Half speed already sounds nice 🙂 better practice intonation, bow strokes, … slowly and speed up later.

For the bow hold, maybe try tilting the bow a little less ? I think it would help with keeping all your fingers on it. On the video it looks like you're really playing on the side of the bow hair. As an example, if you're playing with flat hair, in order to keep the fingers on the frog, they just have to be vertical (so, mostly gravity suffices). On the other hand, if you're playing with a very tilted bow, they'd have to be curved so that the tips of the fingers are really "below" the bow, angled almost parallel to the floor (which takes effort). Dunno if I'm being clear here...

Also, the idea (at least in a "classical" bow hold) is to have a little ring formed by your thumb + middle finger (they're lightly touching).

Now that's all theory and as we said, plenty of bow holds possible, so you've got to find what works best for you. It's worth experimenting a bit though (try just long slow bow strokes). I had similar problems at some point (of fingers who wouldn't stay put, or dropping the bow, ...) --> it'll just take some time but you'll find your way.

It's a good idea to put something on it to make it less slippery 🙂 .

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cid
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January 3, 2019 - 1:38 pm
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Just don’t stress over the hold. I can’t hold the traditional “classical” way. For me, I would try to make sure the little finger is available on the top behind the frog to control pressure near the frog end, and that the index finger is where it can help in the upper half of the bow

Unfortunately for me, I can do it slowly on open strings but when I do a song, even slow, it is all out the window. I have a little finger that likes to pop up like you see people do with little cups of tea.

Here is a link to a video on bow hold and exercises to ehlp loosen the wrist:

If this does not post as a working link, copy and paste. It is kind of weird at the beginning and some think the guy is spooky, but he explains and demonstrates so nicely. The exercises with the pencil are in the second half, if I remember correctly, but watch it all, if you can. It is maybe 8 minutes. The exercises are not that spider walk that I have been shown over and over with cello and violin, that really does me no good. This is different.

I do have to modify my hold from traditional. Since hands and fingers are different, as well as joints and joint conditions, it seems logical that one hold does not fit all, but some points should try to be followed, like the little finger and index finger placement. I could be wrong, but I think that is the case. I am not really experienced, so anyone with more knowledge, please correct me where necessary.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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January 3, 2019 - 4:02 pm
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@wtw Just finished up my practice for the day and experimented a lot on the tilting of the bow. For me it didn't make a difference whether I was playing flat haired or tilted, I still wasn't able to keep my fingers bent. However the third joints on all fingers collapse when playing flat haired and makes my wrist more tense. 

 

@cid Thanks for the video, it was informative. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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cid
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January 3, 2019 - 4:20 pm
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HP, I am hoping my bow hold and bowing issues clear up like my cello did. After I played my cello a while and became more and more comfortbale with it, I was able to concentrate on the bowing, without tensing up about it. It was done on my own practice and playing time, without the instructor in my case. It just sort of made sense and the cello bow felt more comfortable.

The violin bow is a little more difficult for me because it is so long, narrow and lightweight. I am used to big fat pens, I like my fat handled water color brushes, etc. I hate skinny silverware and have issues holding them! So, I, for one have to be patient.

Please do not stress, just pay attention. Unfortunately violinists in videos bow so fast that you really cannot see what is going on, tried it. Watching cellists helped me, but I was able to find slow bowing examples, and cellists playing “ballads” and had closeup camera shots. I have not found any violin performance videos like that, not instructional. 

Really though, don’t stress too much, when you are really comfortable, and understand the mechanics, I suspect that you will be able to stand/sit with your violin and figure out what you have to do for you and work on it.

Hope I said all of this clearly.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 3, 2019 - 4:28 pm
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Tilting the bow is a good way to keep it from bouncing when playing super soft and slowly. Also, better used at the frog.

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

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wtw
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January 3, 2019 - 4:30 pm
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@HP ok, no use insisting then if it feels uncomfortable (or worse painful). Anyway it may well get better 'by itself' (that's the magic of violin !). Keep up that nice playing and keep sharing (please 🙂 )

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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January 3, 2019 - 5:23 pm
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@cid Yeah, I guess only a whole lot of practice will make the difference. Like most things with the fiddle. It's like spinning plates. Figuring out one part of the fiddle game, other parts need to be worked on, but you still can't fully focusing on the next part without keeping close attention to the others. For me it's like I can't keep more than one thing going at the time. Either my intonation is good or my bowing is good. But I can't have both working on the same time. I can't have a good sense of rhythm and at the same time be on time. For me it's kind of hard to know what I should be practicing, because I've so much that needs to be worked on at the same time. I guess that's normal before one get the sense of things.

 

@wtw I will continue to try. Thank you 🙂 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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mookje
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January 4, 2019 - 11:02 am
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Well done! I agree with the feedback from the others! I also find it difficult to play fast but I also think the intonation is more important than speed ? Thanks for sharing!!

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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January 4, 2019 - 3:11 pm
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@mookje I agree. Thank you 🙂 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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