Thanks @Fiddlestix, @Fiddlerman & @coolpinkone!
This tailgut seems to be working well, the tailpiece is not going anywhere, and the violin seems to have retained the tuning from yesterday... I'm looking forward to working on Minuet 1 again.
@coolpinkone, I look forward to your next video! I think another may be in store for me too... then I can wow everyone by playing in the correct octave (hopefully!!!)
Ok, I've made another (short!) video, just of the first 8 bars of Minuet 1. I'd really appreciate your feedback on the sound of the violin now that I've replaced the tailgut, gotten the tailpiece back on, and tried raising the tuning. I'm sure it's far from perfect (and especially difficult to judge with my playing!), but hopefully it is somewhat more within the realm of how a violin should sound now...
I don't think my playing has improved at all (probably deteriorated!) after having house guests, me being sick, my violin being out of action for a couple of days, and now trying to get used to the new feel and sound of the strings, but I'm trying hard to follow @Fiddlestix and @Georganne'sadvice to keep my pinky hovering overhead rather than flying away, and @Mad_Wed's advice to use more bow.
Thanks everyone for your support
Thank you both @Fiddlestix and @Fiddlerman
Glad to hear it is sounding better!
Sorry it was so short Ken - I figured a snippet would probably be enough to tell if I'd been somewhat successful with putting it all back together and adjusting the pitch, and I bruised my hand a little when the tailpiece sprang off, so playing hasn't been so comfortable.
I didn't have anyone to help me with the video this time, but I'll try to capture a bit more next time I make one. Thanks for the advice about my hand Fiddlerman.
Thank you @coolpinkone
I decided to give it another go... this time, playing the version from "Violin: An easy guide..." which is a bit more advanced than the one in Suzuki. This was probably a mistake, as I think this video is even worse than the first one I posted (I'm still getting used to the proper tuning!), but I've been trying to work on the pointers I've been given regarding the awkward angle of my wrist and my fly away pinky. This version uses the 4th finger more, so I thought it would be good practice for that. I've also been trying to use more of the bow - not sure how much of that is visible in this video - but I'm still running out on the 4-note slurs (which the Suzuki version didn't have either) and which I think is also contributing to a worse tempo as well. I guess the lesson I've learned is I need to pick one thing to work on at a time!!
@RedViolin - I'm catching up on a few weeks missed posts - I liked your story about the tail-gut - glad it's all sorted out now ! And, it's always great to post your efforts - never hesitate or feel self-conscious about it - it all adds to the experience of performing - music should be shared!
I'm not really in a position to comment much, but I do agree with the fingering comments from others - closer to the string, no need for large finger lift-offs (unless intentionally used for effect - like "hammer-on / pull-off" techniques that work on a fretted instrument)
Finally I should say, great work for such a short time - thanks for the post !
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh -
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
Thanks @BillyG I'm doing my best to keep my fingers down nice and close to the strings, but it's a struggle!
I played through the Minuet a few more times this evening, but I think it's a bit beyond my skill level at this point... I don't seem to be getting any better, I think it is just a matter of time... Hopefully!
@RedViolin: I know it's tough, Sarah, to keep that pinky down. That thing is almost like it's detached from our other three fingers and has a mind of it's own.
What I find helpful (for me anyways) is to turn my left hand a bit more counter clockwise so the palm of my hand is a bit more parallel with the fingerboard, not quite so open palmed. This will put your fingers more over top of the strings and allow faster fingering. It may be a bit uncomfortable in the beginning to twist your wrist, but once you've done it for a while it becomes "second" fiddle.
You're doing a fine job for such a short time. Keep it up.
@Fiddlestix thanks for the encouragement Ken, it is much appreciated. You are absolutely right that the pinky seems to have a mind of its own! Until I started back with violin again this year (including trying to use the 4th finger for the first time) I had never noticed what a rebellious little thing it was!!
I'm trying to do some 4th finger exercises each day, both on and off the violin, hopefully they will pay off eventually - at the moment, I feel like I'm concentrating more on keeping my pinky down than almost anything else when I'm playing!
I've taken a little break from concentrating on Minuet 1 - still playing it once a day, but I'm working on Minuet 2 at the moment, which I'm enjoying more for some reason
@RedViolin: For an exercise you may want to play scales in first position, but not using open strings, replace that open string with your pinky on the D,A and E and back down again. Try these for about 10-15 minute segments before moving on to a song.
It's kinda natural that the pinky finger will rise up higher than the other three fingers, but if you look at the position of the hand while playing, you'll notice that the other three fingers gradually raise higher with the index (first) finger being closer to the strings and the pinky being the higher of the four.
Work on keeping the pinky bent like the others as opposed to letting it straighten out.
Not sure if I'm explaining it correctly, but if you try that exercise you'll get the hang of it.
Here is an excellent video by Pierre / Fiddlerman. He's not using his pinky, but notice how his hand and fingers are pretty much parallel to the fingerboard and his pinky is bent and not fly away.
Thanks @Fiddlestix that was an excellent explanation, and that's a really helpful video from @Fiddlerman! It cleared up something I've been doing wrong with my thumb on my left hand too... I guess when there's so much to focus on, it takes a while to put all the elements together and notice things...!
I'll definitely do as you suggest regarding the 10-15 mins of scales making use of the pinky from tomorrow (too late to do more practice now, I'd risk waking my neighbours even with the EV!)