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Hi, everyone! Here I go by Snickers, and I've been teaching myself the violin since October 2013. I like to think I've been making good progress, but sometimes it's hard to determine how I'm doing when I don't really get any feedback from people other than my friends and family (who don't really know much about the violin). After seeing how friendly everyone was here, I thought I would post some of my playing here and hopefully get some good advice about how I'm doing and how I can improve.
I chose to play part of "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons--I have loved this song ever since I heard Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix cover it, so I decided to learn it. Hopefully the couple of wrong notes won't make your ears bleed too much.
Thanks in advance!
@Snickers : You've made excellent progress. There's not much to critique you for, your bow hold is good, as your violin hold. You're using your full bow (great) your wrist is flexible and you're bending your elbow.
As far as mistakes with notes and intonation, those are easy to fix so don't worry too much about that.
Keep up the good work.
EDIT. I forgot to mention your left hand. You don't have a fly-away pinky and your fingers stay pretty much over the strings.
Nice form. Elbow moving -- check. Bow fingers flexible -- check. Straight bowing -- check. Smooth bowing -- check. Left wrist straight -- check. Fingers over fingerboard -- check. Everything seems to be headed in the right direction.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
Nice playing! As a fellow self-teacher, I'm kind of proud of you, if that makes any sense.
I think your hand position is good, meaning far enough from the nut, so that the fourth finger is able to reach its target, and the stretching is shared by the first and the fourth fingers.
I noticed your wrist flexing sideways when crossing strings. You might want to give some attention to the left elbow. Usually It should swing a little left or right when you cross strings. That way you won't have to flex as much at the wrist.
Good use of the elbow rather than the shoulder in drawing the bow.
Good action in string crossings, meaning that your elbow is moving up and down so that the whole arm can have a uniform relation to the string being played. You are accurate in your string crossings, selecting just the string you want to play.
Your control of the sounding point (distance of the hair from the bridge) looks very good.
I was a little afraid you were going to knock somebody's diploma off the wall, so next time give your bow a little more room, ha ha.
Your bow hold looks mainly like the Russian hold, and you are choking up on the stick. I don't know of anything really wrong with either of those, but I think they are less usual. I don't want to cause an upheaval to your playing, and I've never tried the Russian hold, but you might consider looking into the Franco-Belgian hold. The F-B is a general-purpose hold, and is a lot more common, being taught by Pierre and Galamian and many others. I'm thinking that the F-B hold gives better flexibility and shock-absorbing action. For one thing, I think the bent pinky of the F-B would give you better control when bowing near the frog and make it easier to keep a straight bow. If you don't feel comfortable using the whole bow, I think that might be at least part of your answer.
IMO you've made great progress and you're doing very well.
Wow, I never expected this many replies!
@Fiddlerman and @Barry, thanks for the tip about loosening the bow hair. To be honest, that bow never really had much of an arch in the first place. My spare bow had a much more definite arch, but it broke. I hope to get a newer, better bow in the near future--and I hope it will improve my sound a little.
@RosinedUp, thanks for mentioning the thing about the elbow. I never really paid much attention to it, but I suppose it would help make string crossings a little smoother. Actually, I originally started learning with the Franco-Belgian bow hold, but I was having a dickens of a time flexing my wrist while bowing. When I switched to the Russian, flexing my wrist was suddenly a lot easier.
Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!
I am not a big believer in critique..
But I do believe in applause..
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman