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I feel very nervous posting this but would love some feedback
I have been trying to teach myself violin basically from scratch since January (with a 1 month break while I was overseas, so I'm about 3 months in) after not having played in decades. I never got very far when I took lessons as a child - I got up to Suzuki book 1, song 12, and Minuet 1 by Bach is song 13, so this is the first piece I have 'learned' on my own. I've been concentrating on it for about a week at this stage, and thought some of the wonderful people on this forum might give me some tips. (Thank you to @coolpinkone for the inspiration to make a video - I never thought I would do this!)
As I'm sure happens with quite a few people's recordings, at the start, when my posture and grip was better, I couldn't play the whole piece through without making far too many mistakes (as you can see, I'm still struggling with the fourth finger, among many other things!), and by the end of my session, when it had improved a little, my posture and grip had deteriorated (I'm still not used to playing for extended periods of time). Actually seeing this in the video for myself has been helpful though.
I also had my camera start to slide (I wasn't actually holding the violin on such a droopy angle - I can tell because the music stand is on a slant too! ...unless it had gotten tired also!), the auto-focus play up, and eventually, the camera cut out in my last attempt, which was a bit disappointing as I think that was my best. So I've uploaded 2 versions, one with the whole audio/video, and one where the video is sketchy at best, and then non existent! I've tried to compensate for this a bit by adding some effects...!
Hopefully 2 mins 20 seconds of hearing me play doesn't cause too much damage to your ears!!
Excellent job for such a short time. WOW
There's only one thing I can see and that is to try and keep your fingers (especially) your pinky closer to the strings. You have a "fly away" pinky. You'll know what I mean when you start using it more.
Otherwise , great job. Your violin sounds so dark and rich.
Yay. Yes really good job for only a few months. You will want to practice loosening up your left wrist and not locking your pinky finger in that straight position.
Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.
Thank you everyone! I appreciate the time taken to listen & comment
@coolpinkone I learned a lot from your example and the discussion on your thread - you posting your video was what made me think to post one myself - it was nice to be working on the same piece!! 🙂
Thanks for the advice @Georganne and @Mad_Wed. I've added some 4th finger exercises to my daily practice after @Fiddlestix's earlier observation, concentrating on getting the pinky closer to the strings, and will take on board your suggestion about the bowing length as well.
Thanks for taking the time to have a look at my video @Fiddlerman.
Regarding the tuning, I guess the most honest answer would be a combination of ignorance and personal preference...
I have been using http://www.aptuner.com/aptuner.....index.html (Windows version, set to violin) plugging my violin directly in to the computer, and liked the sound, but I have certainly noticed that other videos sound much 'brighter' though (e.g @coolpinkone)
Any advice you (or anyone else) could give on this matter would be truly appreciated. Although I did learn with a teacher for a while as a child, the teacher would always tune the violin for me, so this is my first experience of the DIY approach...
@RedViolin : This is the online tuner I use.
Thanks Ken. 🙂
I tried tuning my violin this evening, but it was pretty disastrous!
I gave the get-tuned.com tuner @Fiddlestix recommended a go, but it just sounded the 'same', but 'lower' to me. So then I found another Windows app which I *think* helped me diagnose the problem... it seems I had my violin tuned to G2 D3 A3 E4 (which I believe is a kind of weird tenor violin/'violotta' tuning?) and not G3 D4 A4 E5 (which I believe is standard?)
Seemed like a pretty easy thing to fix... raise everything by an octave... Not so, for me at least...!
I have spent the last nearly 4.5 hours working on my violin this evening. Unfortunately, every time I try to tune it to the higher setting, the tailpiece comes off. (To be honest, at least 30 mins of the 4.5 hours was spent trying to find one of the brass end pieces that secures the tailpiece, as they kept coming off). I found a video on YouTube which showed how to flatten the ends of the plastic so that the brass pieces stay on, but this was also to no avail.
In total, I think the tailpiece came off 5 times this evening, right when I *almost* had the violin completely in tune. All of a sudden, the brass piece would fly off somewhere in the room, the bridge would fall, the strings loosen, the tail piece come off, and the whole thing would be unplayable.
At the moment, because it is well and truly nearing my bed time, I have just set it back to the 'tenor' tuning, because no matter what I do, I can't seem to get it to the higher tuning. I've watched videos on tuning, and am being as gentle as I can, but cannot figure out what I'm doing wrongly. As I tighten the strings to achieve the right pitch, I start to hear a sound like 'crack' - nothing on the violin is cracking though (fortunately!) it's the sound of the thread on the part that holds the tailpiece on, essentially slipping or being stripped.
Can anyone help? Or should I just give up and learn violotta!?
It's been a terribly frustrating evening!
Thanks in advance.
I think I may have a solution for your tail piece coming off. I think by "brass" pieces, you're referring to the little brass pieces that screw on to the tail gut.
I just went through this this past weekend when I was at my luthiers shop. He was putting a new tail piece on a violin and when he screwed the brass pieces on to the tail gut, he cut the ends at about 3/16" before the brass pieces, took out his lighter and melted the ends of the nylon tail gut, then flattened the ends. This will keep the brass pieces from slipping off.
He showed me this because I bought a new tail piece from him and he gave / showed me the trick to keep the brass pieces from slipping of the tail gut. This is what I did with mine when I installed it.
Try it, Sarah, it should work.
Oops, sorry, I meant thanks @Fiddlerman above.
And thank you @Fiddlestix! Yes, those are exactly the brass things I meant! I did try that technique last night (sorry, I should have been clearer about what I meant by 'flattening' the ends) but the site I was looking at didn't really indicate what length you should leave, and I think I didn't leave enough, so there wasn't much left to melt & flatten out. Thanks for confirming I might be on the right track, Ken. Your advice is much appreciated.
I am pretty sure a replacement is in order as in addition to it probably now being cut too short, I think the thread is pretty well stripped off.
I've just been to a music shop during my lunch to pick up the last tailgut they had in stock. Yay! It looks better quality than the one my violin came with, so fingers crossed I have some luck with it this evening
@RedViolin: When adjusting the tail gut length, you'll want the tail piece as close to being flush with the end of the violin as possible, not beyond the saddle. They can be tricky because of the stiffness of the new tail gut, and having three hands would be ideal, LOL
I hope it works out for you this time.