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Katie L’s Violin Slog
Starting off with trying to get straight detache bowing.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (211 votes) 
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ABitRusty
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October 19, 2023 - 4:32 pm
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Katie L said
....

How are you getting on with your vibrato ?

  

Not much progress.. but in my defense Im not putting in the work and dedication to it that it takes.  I do practice a little in the evening.. Im just not consistent with it.  Ill get there but Im still a way frim being where you are.

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Mark
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October 20, 2023 - 6:19 am
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Katie L

You have the basics down, just takes time and patience to smooth it all out.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Katie L
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October 20, 2023 - 3:08 pm
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That’s good though abitrusty its ment to be for fun anyway. That’s why I like not having a teacher , I can do what I like !!

Thanks Mark , I’ve had a couple of rubbish practice days!! So it’s nice to read your comment. I’ll have to find one of your videos and have a look at your vibrato ! I remember really liking your O Holy Night !!! 

I will start again tomorrow and focus. Oh that reminds me, been working on my sound because I’m thinking why have a vibrato if I can’t bow ha ha !! I need to rename this blog ‘the violin slog ‘ or something  “Katie L’s Violin Slog’

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ELCBK
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October 20, 2023 - 3:12 pm
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Katie L said
https://www.violinist.com/blog.....212/28642/

  

@Katie L -

For some reason I had trouble viewing this link the other day, but I FINALLY got to read it today! 

Thank you! 

I like the info there & I want to try the exercises, too! 

I'm hoping as long as I keep working on it, I won't be complete stuck in one bad habit - it just hasn't been as big of a priority as other things. 😒

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Katie L
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October 21, 2023 - 4:36 am
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You’re welcome Emily. 

I get a bit bogged down with exercises I’m supposed to be doing but I like keeping things in mind and I liked the comment about thinking of the bow as powering the vibrato. 

Anyway I think I saw in a thread you mentioned Nights in White Satiin … thought you might like this.

 

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October 21, 2023 - 7:50 pm
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@Katie L -

Thank you!

Very inspirational - I still love hearing that song! 

...songs like this sound so good played on bowed strings. 🤗

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Katie L
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October 23, 2023 - 2:50 pm
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So instead of practicing It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas like I’m supposed to be doing , I’ve been messing around with my shoulder rest !! And playing Gymnopedie. But I took a vid so thought I’d post to see if anyone has any advice. It’s not Gymnopedie in the vid, it’s just a scale 😀 it feels better having the violin more in front but feels like it slopes downwards towards the scroll. However , I saw that David Garrett’s does the same so maybe I’m a pro and just don’t know it ! 

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stringy
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October 23, 2023 - 4:55 pm
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A lot of fiddlers hold the violin as you are doing, a classical teacher would probably say hold it farther back, but for me it all depends on what's comfortable.

I had a lot of problems with shoulder rests and tried quite a few, the one I have now is a forte secundo, not sure who makes them as that bit of the label has worn off, it's either kun or Wolfe, I think. 

I have one of those bon musica ones as well, which is very comfortable and very secure but a bit pricey, and a bit restrictive.

The trick is not to press with your  head,  as you now know, but Is easier said than done, even though it directly affects your vibrato because it  creates tension,  In  my opinion anyway. 

I suffered with severe neck pain, due to me pressing to hard, and still do at times  you have to be careful, seriously. 

My years of bare knuckle fighting didn't help ether:)

You have an extremely smooth bow stroke and a very straight bow, your tone is even.

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October 23, 2023 - 6:08 pm
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@Katie L Everyone is built different, and so how you hold it is up to you.  If the scroll is more toward the front, that’s okay—but if is drooping down where you’re having to press your head down to “clamp it”, that’s going to cause strain, so that’s not good.

My teacher, playing since she was 3, still makes changes to her setup—changes shoulder rest, changes chin rest, changes how she holds it, etc.,.

#1 – you need to be comfortable—if you’re straining, you likely to hurt something, and muscle strains/pulls are no fun, and they take a lot of time to heal. 

I tend to move the violin when I play—I’ll move the scroll more toward the front and tilt the violin to get the G string, leaning into it, and then I move back. 

Not saying you should do this—just mentioning that sometimes moving makes sense.

I think as you work on certain skills/techniques, you try to find the best/comfortable position for that particular thing.  I’ve changed my chinrest about 2 months ago from the Wave that I’ve been using for about 5 years, to Fiddlerman’s Freedom chinrest (kept the bon musica shoulder rest). I was switching back & forth on playing some Bach stuff and playing some 2nd violin parts (focusing a lot on the G & D strings) for some performance duets.  I felt like I couldn’t get to the G string solidly like I wanted—until I changed the chinrest. 

Anyway, I’m just saying you can expect to make changes (and change back) as you go.  Think it is a life long thing. As Stringy noted, your bowing is solid & smooth.

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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Katie L
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October 24, 2023 - 6:30 am
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Thanks Sharon and Stringy for the insight. It really strikes me how comfortable and natural you both look when you play.

The thing I’ve always found hardest is being comfortable and I like that it’s not set in stone , and that we can move stuff around and try different things . I had never really thought about it like that so thank you .

I like my Kun shoulder rest and my chin rest so I’m sticking with them for now but I’m going to keep experimenting . 

It’s my b day today so I have the day off which means I can go and have a practice ! 

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Katie L
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October 24, 2023 - 8:08 am
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I reckon I know what I’m doing in the first third ! Worked out the sharps etc and I get the finger slide from the e flat to the e and the f to the f sharp. The rhythm and the swing is a mystery to me but I’ll get to that. 

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Katie L
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October 24, 2023 - 1:47 pm
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New vibrato strategy . Stop faffing in third position and play an actual d major scale in first. 

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Katie L
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October 28, 2023 - 2:06 pm
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I have been practicing a lot today! Mostly the Xmas project and vibrato on and off and I’m pretty happy with progress. I’m just concentration on the rhythm and the slide from the f sharp and the e flat to the e.finding that quite fun 😀 also been practicing the triplets which I like. I think I’ll have a week of that and then use Sharon’s videos and then move onto the click track ! 

Also vibrato in first position. Well I start in third to make sure the motion is ok and then go to first. Kind of ok feels good to be doing it in first position!! 

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Katie L
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October 28, 2023 - 2:08 pm
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Just realise I should have been practicing the d major scale for vibrato oh well I’ll be on it tomorrow. But it’s definitely full stream ahead with the project !! 

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Katie L
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October 29, 2023 - 2:59 pm
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Did ok today , two long practice sessions and I noticed I can easily reach the tip. When I first started the violin I was very aware I couldn’t get to the tip ! 

I managed to play the whole of It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas .. from start to finish. Also played along to Sharon’s vid on the fastest tempo ( not the whole thing ) and Fiddlerman’s click track . Been practicing one week so I’m feeling ok about it.

I’m away for a few days going to the south coast so no violin but I’ll be on it when I’m back 👍

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October 29, 2023 - 11:46 pm
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@Katie L -

Sounds like you are doing well - have a great time! 🎃

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Katie L
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November 2, 2023 - 2:47 pm
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Thanks Emily ! Had a lovely time away thanks. We went down to the south coast and stayed in a b&b with a sea view ! 

But now I’m back and struggling along with the project . It’s the pace, so hard to get my fingers in the right places is really quick time. Going to keep going over the music so it’s more familiar . I think that’s my problem. Still got a month so I’m still optimistic !

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ELCBK
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November 2, 2023 - 7:11 pm
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@Katie L -

Sound's beautiful! 

I wish I could get back to Mackinac Island in the Fall (where Lower Michigan & the Upper Peninsula almost meet) - when there is still some color on the trees, just before everyone closes up for the Winter.  Some folks live there year-round, but many shops & the Hotels all close up for the Winter once the carriage horses (no cars are allowed) are taken off the Island to winter over on a farm downstate. 

 

I grew up hearing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" sung with lyrics - it's stuck in my head. 

If you didn't grow up hearing it... learn to sing the lyrics (or whistle) along.  This might give you more meaning, help you anticipate the notes better than thinking they're just a sequence of notes - repetition IS still most important!  

Isolate the small sections (1 or 2 measures) that trouble you most & play the heck out of them - faster than you think you can - over & over.  Soon, you'll be able to do it with your eyes closed! 🤗

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Mouse
November 2, 2023 - 7:55 pm
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but I’ll be on it when I’m back

@Katie L 

I hope you didn't "get on it" too hard. You might break it and have to give Fiddershop a call!

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

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Katie L
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November 3, 2023 - 6:04 am
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Back on it today Mouse .. it’s still on one piece . And Emily that sounds amazing .. no cars! The only thing I don’t like about th is time of year is having to plant my spring bulbs .. it’s usually freezing ! But saying that, today is lovely and sunny and I have the week off so I’ll prob do it today !

Sooooooo .. oh wow Emily what s good idea im going to look at the lyrics why didn’t I think of that . I think I am making progress. Feeling a bit more positive ! I need to work on the fourth finger parts (story of my life) umm the string crossings, intonation, triplets .. basically the whole thing. I watched the tutorial again I really like the way Michael explains how to play it. Like the bells at the start diiioing doooooong !! Anyway back to it later !

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