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first video. Any advice?
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Canada, Ontario
November 7, 2015 - 2:50 am
Member Since: October 29, 2015
Forum Posts: 43
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I am self taught for about 8 months now. Figured I would toss up a video, so people can tell me what I am doing right/wrong, advice etc...

The song is Air one the G sting. However using the G and D string lol.


Hope the link works!

Thanks in advance

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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom

November 7, 2015 - 5:25 am
Member Since: April 19, 2015
Forum Posts: 747
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Sounded very nice to me. Intonation was pretty good and nice vibrato - particularly for the time you've been playing. From my relative beginner's perspective, the main thing you need to work on is your bowing - too much from the shoulder instead of the elbow and therefore your bow is not moving in a straight line.

Great job though! cool

Am I right in thinking the video is reversed? Of course you might be left handed, but your Tee shirt slogan is also backwards. wink

my own little world

November 7, 2015 - 12:40 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 2047
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Great job! I'm impressed :)  

I'm still very new to the violin, so I can't weigh in too much, but do agree with Jim about the bowing motions, that you should concentrate more on moving the bow with your elbow, wrist and fingers. I know for myself, that I can normally bow straight until I have a camera pointed at me, then about half of what I know how to do goes out the window, lol. I also have a harder time bowing straight when sitting down, not sure why, I just do.

But, again, overall I think this is great, and keep up the great work!

World's Okayest Fiddler
☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨* •☆•*¨*¨*•¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆

Canada, Ontario
November 7, 2015 - 2:06 pm
Member Since: October 29, 2015
Forum Posts: 43
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Thanks for the advice, it is well received. I aways find it the best way to learn!

I will do some serious practice with just bowing and keeping the bow as straight as possible.

Jim, yes the video is reversed. Used the camera on my mac and thats how it came out, maybe there is a setting to flip it around.

damfino. I agree with you on both counts. The camera really cuts into your ability, specially when you are making a video for others to review.... nerves.......lol!!! You are the first to see me play other then my parents and a few people that walk in when i practice. 

Also sitting down, I must draw my hand to the outside of my leg so they don't hit, and that is moving the bow. Standing practice from now on!

Thanks again! :)


November 7, 2015 - 10:52 pm
Member Since: June 21, 2015
Forum Posts: 240
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As a beginner myself, I can pretty much just echo the comments above about using less shoulder motion and bowing straighter. These are playing attributes that I know all too well, as the excess shoulder motion is something I really struggle with too.

The piece sounds great! - you play very expressively and with good intonation.

Canada, Ontario
November 8, 2015 - 1:00 am
Member Since: October 29, 2015
Forum Posts: 43
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Its so helpful getting insight from others! Now I have something to work on and correct now, before I decide to take on any other bad habits lol.

I know I look like a bit of a tool when I play lol, but just love playing music and get right into it :)

Thanks for your critique Fidelestre!

Fort Lauderdale
November 8, 2015 - 6:21 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16063

Very impressive for the amount of time you've been playing.
I agree about the bowing. You can achieve a lot by bowing straighter using more elbow and less upper arm.
You are so ambitious that you're taking on some advanced pieces. You must work very hard. I guess you are familiar with the correct rhythm of this piece since you are playing it by ear. Perhaps you can play along with a recording to get a better grip. I realize that you are playing a lot from your soul and I can feel it. The only thing is that you want it to flow at least in some kind of steady beat even if you choose to play it your own way.
Once again, super impressive for 8 months. You should be proud.

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

Brora, North-east Scotland
November 8, 2015 - 11:44 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3741
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I should add to this - @makinnoise - pretty well done for the time you've been learning, personally, I would say "Well Done" !thumbs-upthumbs-up

I'm still in beginner stage at 18 months or so ( well, it is a lifetime of learning, I am sure ) and I just KNOW there are things (a) that I simply cannot physically do, and have to adapt from the "norm" (like my bow hold) and (b) my critique would be only based on my limited experience - so I will give none - but - I really think you're doing great for such a short time.

I've been playing for close to 18 months, and, well, I guess it took me the first 12 months to "really feel at home" with the instrument  and "own it" - I admit - I do a lot of "fiddle" type stuff which always involves a lot of improvising which makes it "unique" in a way - for classical pieces you cannot move too far away from the score - "but you can always make it your own" by your specific presentation, dynamics, articulation and - of course - your soul....   

Well done - you are on the journey - keep at it !

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

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


November 8, 2015 - 3:04 pm
Member Since: June 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 249
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Wow that's pretty impressive! I envy your vibrato!! I've been playing for around the same amount of time as you and can't even manage to begin any vibrato stuff.

As far as the bow arm goes, I've had the same issue (and still deal with it if I don't practice for a day or more)  What helped me straighten it out some is too warm up with open strings and long bow strokes and really look and try to feel at the same time to make sure the bow is straight. Slow scales helped too.

I also had to isolate my lower arm from my upper arm (I'm very uncoordinated), so what I did, is, even without a violin I went in front of the mirror and just moved my lower arm up and down as though as I was moving the bow, that helped a great deal.

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

Canada, Ontario
November 8, 2015 - 4:49 pm
Member Since: October 29, 2015
Forum Posts: 43
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I must say, I have now put way more attention to my bow stroke, and It really has made a big difference! The bow sliding sound is all but gone.

Just doing this elbow motion has changed so much more, I now have more wrist and finger action, with a smoother bow change to make up for the loss of jerky shoulder movement I assume. Faster shuffle bowing as well. Maybe its all in my head, but thats how it feels to me.

It feels a little strange at the moment, but there is a lot less effort involved.

Thank you all for putting me on the right track! I will post another video in a week or so and hopefully you guys can critique my progress?! Very helpful :)

Thinking, si bheag si mhor. is what i am  working on now but We'll see.

Maybe Sad Romance.

California, the place of my heart
November 9, 2015 - 12:58 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
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@Fiddlerman  when you get back. A badge is needed.   :)



Wow.. 8 months... My mouth dropped open.

I don't have anything to add.

It was lovley. Good Job...

I like your song choices.  I have wanted to play Air by Bach for so very very long now. I am jealous. ( in a good way)... congrats to you.

Sad Romance is a nice and flowy tune.  I don't suspect you will have any issues with it. 

BRAVO on the great post...

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Canada, Ontario
November 11, 2015 - 2:59 am
Member Since: October 29, 2015
Forum Posts: 43
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I don't know how you link a profile, but thank you!

I really want to get to the point where people want to hear you play lol.

I try to play a little of everything to become well rounded.

It might just be me, but I feel there is more emotion and dynamic in slower songs to make up for a slower tempo and perfect intonation is key.

Thats what draws me to want to learn a song anyway.

just my 2c.

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