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More screeching cats
4.5 weeks in.
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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phil
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March 16, 2019 - 5:06 pm
Member Since: June 30, 2016
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Hi all

Ready for the firing sqad.Im a slow learner so not vibrating like some after a month.When I first started I didn't even think I would be able to play a note so I am happy with my progress.  How people can do vibrato blows my mind it is so unnatural. I am concentrating on less tension in the left hand I am gripping very hard.People suggest playing without thumb for a while but I feel I need the clamp to push towards. Do you just rest it on your index knuckle?

Also my bowing arm is very rigid and wrist.

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Bob
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March 16, 2019 - 5:41 pm
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@phil my cat, didn't run away when he heard you. That's a good thing 🙂 Really, your tone is pretty good.

Couldn't really see your left hand too well. Next time turn the violin more parallel to the camera so we can see how straight your bowing is and your left hand action.

Relaxation comes with time, but you've got a good start. To help relax, try using the whole bow and play VERY slowly, paying attention to where the bow rides on the strings and pay attention to your tone quality. You're sounding good, but your bow is not moving enough.

Keep up the good work and let us hear more.

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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MoonShadows
Stroudsburg, PA
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March 16, 2019 - 5:46 pm
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Hi @phil Sounds good from here. It is hard to make any comments about you left hand and thumb/index finger positions from the angle of your camera. Perhaps you could position the camera so we can see you left hand. 

In first position, the thumb should be about an inch from the nut, slightly bent, and touching the neck at the middle joint. There should be an open space between the lower half of the thumb and the base of the index finger – you should be able to fit a pencil through that space, and move it back and forth freely (if your thumb is clenched against the base of the index finger, this leads to tension in the left hand, which is always bad, and prohibits smooth shifting between positions).  

Looking forward to more. Keep on fiddling!

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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March 16, 2019 - 6:07 pm
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Do you have a suitable shoulder rest/chinrest combination? Some people grip the neck when they don't have the proper support from the collarbone/jaw. Another thing to consider is how hard you're pressing down the strings. The higher pressure down on the fingerboard, the higher counterpressure is needed from the thumb. Too much pressure result in a death grip. However too little pressure result in an unclear tone and buzzing strings. I recommend experimenting with various degrees in pressure to find a ideal amount so you don't end up with a lot of tension in the left hand. 

The bowing doesn't look too bad, looks fairly straight. I think you're doing good for 4,5 weeks. 

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

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phil
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March 16, 2019 - 7:01 pm
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Bob said
@phil my cat, didn't run away when he heard you. That's a good thing 🙂 Really, your tone is pretty good.

Couldn't really see your left hand too well. Next time turn the violin more parallel to the camera so we can see how straight your bowing is and your left hand action.

Relaxation comes with time, but you've got a good start. To help relax, try using the whole bow and play VERY slowly, paying attention to where the bow rides on the strings and pay attention to your tone quality. You're sounding good, but your bow is not moving enough.

Keep up the good work and let us hear more.  

Bob said
@phil my cat, didn't run away when he heard you. That's a good thing 🙂 Really, your tone is pretty good.

Couldn't really see your left hand too well. Next time turn the violin more parallel to the camera so we can see how straight your bowing is and your left hand action.

Relaxation comes with time, but you've got a good start. To help relax, try using the whole bow and play VERY slowly, paying attention to where the bow rides on the strings and pay attention to your tone quality. You're sounding good, but your bow is not moving enough.

Keep up the good work and let us hear more.  

Thanks for your comments Bob. That is the first thing I noticed when I watched it back is not enough bow movement but when I am playing I think  I move it more. I will post some more especially my left hand. 

Phil.

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phil
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March 16, 2019 - 7:09 pm
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MoonShadows said
Hi @phil Sounds good from here. It is hard to make any comments about you left hand and thumb/index finger positions from the angle of your camera. Perhaps you could position the camera so we can see you left hand. 

In first position, the thumb should be about an inch from the nut, slightly bent, and touching the neck at the middle joint. There should be an open space between the lower half of the thumb and the base of the index finger – you should be able to fit a pencil through that space, and move it back and forth freely (if your thumb is clenched against the base of the index finger, this leads to tension in the left hand, which is always bad, and prohibits smooth shifting between positions).  

Looking forward to more. Keep on fiddling!  

MoonShadows said
Hi @phil Sounds good from here. It is hard to make any comments about you left hand and thumb/index finger positions from the angle of your camera. Perhaps you could position the camera so we can see you left hand. 

In first position, the thumb should be about an inch from the nut, slightly bent, and touching the neck at the middle joint. There should be an open space between the lower half of the thumb and the base of the index finger – you should be able to fit a pencil through that space, and move it back and forth freely (if your thumb is clenched against the base of the index finger, this leads to tension in the left hand, which is always bad, and prohibits smooth shifting between positions).  

Looking forward to more. Keep on fiddling!  

Thanks for your comments.  So the left thumb are you saying that the middle joint should be in the middle of the neck. My natural hold is having my thumb up high. In this video it explains to hold it naturally in this position my thumbs first joint is level with the fingerboard.

Phil.

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MoonShadows
Stroudsburg, PA
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March 16, 2019 - 10:29 pm
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phil said

Thanks for your comments.  So the left thumb are you saying that the middle joint should be in the middle of the neck. My natural hold is having my thumb up high. In this video it explains to hold it naturally in this position my thumbs first joint is level with the fingerboard.

Phil.  

Yes! Good video; very helpful. I added it to my blog post Fiddle Fingering Follies. Thanks!

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
March 18, 2019 - 3:21 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14601

Thanks for the post Phil.

You get a critique badge for that. 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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Scrap
Arizona
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March 18, 2019 - 5:23 pm
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Great job.

 

I have noticed for me, when I play with confidence I use the entire bow. When I am not confident, my bowing is tighter and shorter. Let it rip! You sounded good.

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Mark
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March 18, 2019 - 8:19 pm
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Phil,

for 4.5 weeks your doing well just keep plugging along.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Bella86
Sweden
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March 22, 2019 - 7:45 am
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You're doing fine for 4,5 weeks. Your intonation sound good!
As others mentioned, hard to tell what's going on with your left hand. One thing you can try that helps me when im gripping is to leave your finger down on the string but take your thumb off the neck and wave it around a bit.
Also use more bow when playing. I suggest doing 10-20 full bows on each string at the beginning of every practice, trying to make them sound as even as possible. I used to do 20 on each every day infront of the mirror to get my bow moving more straight, but it's great for tone quality.

And another note, I think you're pointing the violin too much towards the sky. I know I've seen many of the oldies mention in old masterclass videos that the violin should be up, but I think this look excessive. If I do that my arm and shoulder take some damage.

Don't worry about vibrato, I think people get into that way too early. I've been playing for more than a year and a half and I've barely touched that. More important to get a good tone first. Vibrato is an advanced technique. 

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