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violin training
Newbie wondering
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jennifer aola
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September 21, 2019 - 4:53 am
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hello .. this is my second post in the forum and i think i can learn a lot and a lot of things from you guys ,, u here offering free,huge helping for all people who desire to become a violinist ... thank you vm

as the previous post , i've questions

1- i just wanna ask about pattern of learning ,, i dont know from which point should i start .. i play for a few months , for instance should i practice '' crossing strings (i don't know what this move called in violin learning) '' or should i start learning chords first? or what else?

2- what is the difference btw chords and double and single stops?

3- when we say we should learn violin technique .. what we exactly meant by techniques?

4-when i should start improving my intonation ? and is it affected to be learn intonation using bad quality violin '' 30 @$ violin ''

5- i have suzuki method books .. will they benefit me? or they only for children?

6 - can u guys recommend me books helps me in note reading?

 

i know large list of questions .. but if i got all the answers im sure that gonna help me a lot.

thanks in advance .

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cid
September 21, 2019 - 8:33 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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Answer to 4. If your violin is in tune, you should be able to use it. Of course a better quality violin would be better, but if your violin can be tuned properly, you should be able to, in time, achieve good intonation. I am still working on it. I have not played for a year yet. But, I believe I am correct. You use what you can. Don’t let that stop you.

I bought a $50 or so Mendini 300 from Amazon for my first violin. I wanted to make sure I could hold and bow it, and that I liked it. I could do it and liked it. I now have a better one, but that violin is just fine. I did put some Pirastro Tonica strings on it and it improved greatly.

Answer to 5. Suzuki is great for songs to play, but there is not much instruction in them. You need an instructor trained in Suzuki to really use them. I love Essential Elements For Violin, with the EE interactive. The EE interactive is online help. You log in and enter the code on your book. You can then play your violin to your their music. It is very helpful. I can’t remember what else there is. The exercises and songs are there for you to play along with. It is very systematic and covers the notes in a logical progression.

As you progress, you can purchase book two and enter that code into the violin lessons account you already creates, etc. I record my username and password on the inside cover and the first page where the credits. This is because the front cover of many books get torn off, from what I have seen. Just a precaution. If you forget the username and password, there is a help email or number you can call. Ask how I know? That was before I recorded the username and password on the books. I have mot logged in in a while, but if I ever have to or want to, he information is there.

OTHER LEARNING OPTIONS

1. There are also many videos on this site. Fiddlerman has a wealth of information, videos, song downloads, etc. I would use a book, again Essential Elements for Violin is a very well designed course. This will give you structure in your learning. Find additional information in Fiddlerman’s information that coincides with what you are doing. This is not an actual “other option”, but could be an addition to what you do.

2. If you have access and can afford an instructor, even once or twice a month, that would be great. Not everyone can. There are other options, too. Skype lessons if you can afford it and have the proper equipment, especially a strong internet connection and the ability to have it set up so the instruction can see you and you can see the instructor. Not everyone can do it that way, even with the proper setup - I can’t.

3. Online classes, paid and free. Alison Sparrow(?) has some that are free, and some paid options. Violin Lab. There are others.

One thing to take advantage of is all of the YouTube videos out there hat have the Suzuki songs. Instructors and students have posted videos of probably all of the Suzuki books. Do some googling: Suzuki Book 1 Violin, Suzuki Book 2 violin, etc. I have them bookmarked in Violin/Suzuki in my internet search save options. In the Suzuki folder, I have a folder Book 1, Book 2, etc.

Don’t let your instrument stop you, just keep it tuned, a good tuner is the D’Addario NS Tuner. Can’t remember the exact name. It is available on the Fiddlershop site or other places if shipping costs are a problem. I don’t know about international shipping. Many people on this forum are from countries other than USA, so I never know. I believe Fiddlershop does ship international. Not sure of costs. You can access their site from this forum. At the top of the page, to the right of the Forum, in the menu bar, is an option to shop. Touch that. Then go from there.

Customer service is excellent, you can do a live chat during their regular hours, may be difficult if in another time zone, or email them. I think that they might have that Essential Elements for Violin, too. Or, you can Google for what you need from the most useful site for your location.

I hope this helps. Others will probably add to what I said, correct where needed, or give other alternatives. You will probably get a lot of, “In person instructions are the best”, which is true, but don’t let not being able to get them stop you. Not everyone can get them.

As you progress, you can get a scales book to help with intonation. If you have not learned proper position and location of notes on each strong yet, I would hold off on the scales book. They help with dexterity and intonation. They also help you learn different keys. But if you have not done the notes on every string, I would hold off getting one for now.

Then, there is always his forum. We are all always here to help each other, encourage each other, or just to release stress with good old fashioned fun.

yaaaa_gif

Edited to correct typos and added paragraph above last paragraph 9/21/19.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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September 21, 2019 - 11:18 am
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jennifer aola said
hello .. this is my second post in the forum and i think i can learn a lot and a lot of things from you guys ,, u here offering free,huge helping for all people who desire to become a violinist ... thank you vm

The best advise is free.  It's a saying... and kind of a joke... LOL!

1- i just wanna ask about pattern of learning ,, i dont know from which point should i start .. i play for a few months , for instance should i practice '' crossing strings (i don't know what this move called in violin learning) '' or should i start learning chords first? or what else?

2- what is the difference btw chords and double and single stops?

3- when we say we should learn violin technique .. what we exactly meant by techniques?

4-when i should start improving my intonation ? and is it affected to be learn intonation using bad quality violin '' 30 @$ violin ''

5- i have suzuki method books .. will they benefit me? or they only for children?

6 - can u guys recommend me books helps me in note reading?

i know large list of questions .. but if i got all the answers im sure that gonna help me a lot.

thanks in advance .

@jennifer aola 

Well let's try these one at a time.

  1. Like @cid mentioned.. you will find that private lessons are going to be the most helpful if you can manage it.  They can be pricey, depending on where you are, but it is important to remember that if you wish to get the most fulfillment and the best from yourself and the violin, you will need to invest - not just money, but time and dedication.  To answer the point on where to start, start at the beginning.  As @Fiddlerman in known to say, you are building a house, complete with foundation, framework, windows, doors, a roof, and a bit of decor as well.  You will need all of these to play well.  Don't jump ahead too quickly.  String crossing will not likely be introduced in the first lesson, nor will double stops.  That is coming, but a little bit down the road for beginning violin.  Be patient, you will need sooooooo much patience.  PRACTICE as much as you can.
  2. In music, a chord is simply the playing of 2 or more notes simultaneously.  With string instruments there are a few limitations, but this can be achieved.  The most common chord played with a string instrument is a double stop.  The term suggests that two notes are stopped, or fingered.  Double stops can be played with one or two open strings as well because, technically, an open string is stopped at the nut (you will learn all about this).  The reason double stops are common on strings is that two strings played together (and incidentally, they are typically two strings that are beside each other) is achieved without too much complication with bowing.  But three or more stops are possible, and more commonly played with a combination of 2 or more instruments playing parts of the chord together.  Double stops are a more advanced technique.  You likely will not begin learning this in the first year or two of playing.  And there are critical techniques to learn before this can be played successfully.
  3. Interesting how the answers to your questions seem to lead into the next.  Technique refers to the methods of play, the specific ways to apply them, and in some cases, the special skills unique to a string instrument.  Technique often builds one on another.  Many techniques are learned early, yet many can take years to learn, master and perfect.  One example is vibrato.  Vibrato is a technique which adds beauty and expression to playing when it is applied correctly.  It is one of the techniques that rely on first playing with good intonation.  In other words, do not begin vibrato until you have a solid foundation in intonation.  The one depends on the other for vibrato to be played well.  You will work on techniques to some degree through all stages of learning.  A teacher will let you know what to work on, and then when to begin the introduction to other more advanced techniques.
  4. You should begin to work on intonation immediately, and then for the rest of your time you ever play violin.  Improving, learning, and finding your intonation never ends.  It is your pursuit.  It is the mark of excellence.  It is the basis of so many playing techniques and skills.  Intonation can define what you can and cannot play.  Intonation can be the difference whether you win or lose auditions, seating advancement, and parts.  Intonation relies on your muscle memory - in other words, it is a skill that requires you to trust your fingers to go where they are supposed to, without consciously or deliberately making them.  You must transition from thinking about what to play to letting go and allowing your fingers to just play what they are supposed to.  But remember, you will constantly work at it.  Even in years of playing, and your intonation is good, it can always be better.
  5. There are 2 ways to teach Suzuki.  One is by what is called "The Suzuki Method".  A teacher who is certified to teach this method can teach it.  The other, and the way I prefer to use it for reasons I will explain, is teaching out of Suzuki books, but not using the Suzuki Method.  The Suzuki Method is a concept and a way of teaching which is based on the idea that you should learn entirely by ear and "hear" a piece.  The idea is, at least at first, to learn to play without reading music.  The reason children often are taught the Suzuki Method is so that they can understand how music should come across and how to develop the ear very early.  And while I do believe developing your ear is important, I also believe reading music is just as important.  So I do not personally support the idea of learning to play music without learning to read it.  Not that great musicians are not produced learning this method, or that it hampers learning.  It is not a bad way to learn, but I just do not subscribe to the idea that you can fully understand music when you leave out such a vital part of playing.  That is just my own opinion.  Many people swear by the Suzuki Method.
  6. Any decent beginner method book will teach the notes to some degree.  There are the basics of knowing the names of the notes on the lines and spaces.  This can be shown on a single page.  There are teaching tools, such as mnemonics, which is a way to teach your brain by association and rhyme.  Personally, I did not respond well to those tools.  I learned to read simply by reading and playing often.  Also, one vital aspect of learning all the things you will learn is you must love what you are doing.  I can say, personally, there is nothing that I do not love about violin.  Everything, from reading music to the theory behind it, to all the techniques - both the easy and the challenging.  I love everything there is about violin.  It is my passion and my love.  Some people feel learning to read music is daunting.  It does take some time.  You must work at it.  And I will admit that at first, before violin, I did not get it right away.  But once I picked up a bow and played my first note on violin, it was simply a matter of playing and reading because my desire to play dwarfed the mental block of reading music.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to ask any questions and as many questions as you wish.

- Pete -

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cid
September 21, 2019 - 11:29 am
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Oh, pay attention to your bow hand. It is not just the left hand fingering, you must bow properly too. We seem to only be paying attention to the left hand, your right hand and arm is equally as important .

Remember to pay attention to intonation and bowing, the process is slow. If you want to become really good, you need to have a good foundation, as every has said. Learning the proper way, no matter how awkward it may feel at first, is easier than undoing bad habits and relearning, so go slow. You will reap the benefits three fold.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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sf_bev
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September 21, 2019 - 11:44 am
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I agree with all that @cid wrote.  I am an even newer student than @cid though I studied violin as a child.  I too selected Essential Elements for Violin Interactive, and following it gives a basic structure to help you learn.  Personally, it makes me crazy that I can't play in tune, so I have been working very hard on correct finger placement and intonation from the beginning.  Unfortunately, I expect it will take at least a year until I can play pretty much in tune.  Essential Elements is good because there are lots of simple songs, many of which should sound familiar, and they provide music on their website to play along with, which helps with hearing if you are in tune, as well as with rhythm.  I also play with a tuner, and find I'm relying on it a little less as time goes on.rnYou ask about "technique", and I am no expert, but there are many bowing techniques as well as fingering techniques.  Double stops are a bit of both.  Playing two notes simultaneously is actually a bowing technique, but if you combine it with fingering notes instead of just playing open strings, it can help with intonation.  Playing double stops will help you to learn where your bow is.  I practice them a little, but I'm still learning how to play the correct single string.  When I know where each of the 4 strings are, and am a bit more comfortable in my bow hold, I will probably start practicing double stops a little more.rnWhen I learn something new, I tend to work on basics a lot.  So, I'm concentrating on the following:rn1. Bow hold and right hand and arm movement.  I want to be able to draw the bow straight and not have it bounce around.  I have looked at videos all over the web and think I have finally found the right combination of exercises for me to develop a decent bow hold, and straight bow stroke.  I consistently do exercises for both of these in addition to Essential Elements.rn2. Intonation/hand frame.  From my perspective, no matter how good I get doing other things, if I can't find the right notes, then it just sounds awful to me.  I have begun to start every session by playing short scales.  Since I'm only playing a few major key signatures, I know that as I play, they should sound like the "Do Re Mi" song.  Singing along as well as checking my tuner helps me get close.  If I play a scale in the key of a song I'm about to play, it helps me to find my hand placement and frame.  Sometimes, though, it's just fun to play songs through, even if they don't sound right.  I have a few songs I've downloaded that are simple, and that I keep going back to.  I can tell that over time they are getting more in tune.rn3. Rhythm.  There are at least 3 parts to this.  Learning to count out the rhythm from reading the sheet music,  being able to play along with a metronome, and learning to play up to speed.  I am struggling with all 3 of these.rnYou asked about "techniques".  If you start exploring online lessons, you'll find there are lots of techniques for both hands.  Bowing includes learning how the sound changes depending on where it's placed between the bridge and fingerboard, not to mention crescendo, descendo, martele, staccato spiccato, etc., etc., etc.  Fingering includes trills, vibrato, positions, glissando (sp?), etc., etc, etc.rnWhat "techniques" you learn may partly be a function of the music you want to play.  Personally, I'm concentrating on reducing my "beginner's sound" (bad intonation, scratchy/screachy bow, bad rhythm) before I try to get too fancy.  rnI find myself returning to YouTube lessons from Red Desert Violin, Violin Lab, Julia Bushkova, Eddie Chen, and Joshua Bell.rnHope this helps a little.rn rn 

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 21, 2019 - 12:01 pm
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Thanks @cid and others - all helpful !

I was still writing this when the other posts came in - but I'll post it anyway

I'll leap in with a response to Q2 from @jennifer aola 

2- what is the difference btw chords and double and single stops?

There may be some confusion - well perhaps better said "differences in opinion" regarding certain terminology about chords out there - but stick with me and I'll try my best to be clear.  Others may disagree with my opinion on some of the terminology used - and that's fine - but you've got to have a clear picture in your own mind of what some potentially confusing terms mean and stick with one interpretation !!!  Here we go...

Due to the curvature of the bridge, and in real life we wouldn't want a "flat bridge" like on a guitar - because on the violin we really want to be able to play single notes (largely) at a time - besides it would be almost impossible to play otherwise!

So, as far as chords go (and this is the bit that seems to be open to differences in opinion - and personally - I make no specific judgement on this) - some folks will insist that a chord must/should consist of 3 or more notes - while others will say "yes, two notes (technically a dyad or diad) can make a chord".  The two-note dyad is also sometimes called a "partial-chord" (which I prefer).  Multiple note chords are easy on a piano or guitar etc, but much more challenging on the violin.

Clearly, to play more than one note at a time on the violin, requires more than one string being bowed at the same time.

The term "stop" can be interpreted differently as well.  Some will say a string is "stopped" only if it is being fingered.  Others suggest, even an open-string is "stopped" ( by the nut ), and that even a two note partial-chord of the open D and its 5th (the open A) represents a double-stop.   In violin and fiddle terminology we have a term for an open string played along with a fingered (stopped) note on an adjacent string - for example - consider F on the D string with open A - that's a major 3rd apart - and we may refer to the open A (especially if it is also being played along with other notes on the D string as a "drone").  So that is an example of one "stopped/fingered string with one open string" - call it a drone, or call it a double stop - it really won't matter, you'll be understood.

I'm not at all certain what "single stop" specifically refers to - it is not a term I like at all - but - I could imagine it might simply refer to this particular case discussed above - i.e. one string stopped, the other being open and being played together", with the term "double-stop" being restricted to meaning TWO fingered/stopped strings being sounded together - e.g. C on the G-string with E on the D-string..  However, I could equally well believe that the term could be used to simply describe the action of playing one single, fingered note- i.e. starting from open D - D, E, F#, G - the D is open, the remaining notes are all "fingered" or "stopped", and only that one note is sounding.    ANYONE CARE TO ENLIGHTEN ME  OR JUST SHARE YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION OF THIS TERM ????  As you can tell, it "disturbs" me ROFL !!!

So - terminology aside - it is reasonably straightforward to generate two-note-partial-chords.   3 or 4 note chords become slightly more challenging because of the sheer difficulty, if not impossibility without damage, of bowing 3 strings truly together.  You MAY with a flatter bridge than normal get away with a 3-note/string chord - e.g G on the D-string, B on the A and finally G on the E ( a reasonable G major, although, again, some would argue that it is not a "chord" but a 3rd plus an octave relative to the bass note.....  but.... to me it's still a chord..... ).   

But, on a normally curved bridge, there is technique involved in this - and - once you can play double stopped (either both fingered or one open) partial chords, three and four note chords become easier than they at first appear - the trick is to bow the lower two notes first, remembering that the note will continue to ring to some extent once the bow moves off it, and onto the upper two notes - for instance a four note C chord - C on G, E on D, C on A and finally open E - so the bow moves rapidly in a kind of rolling-over-the strings action, from low note to high and possibly an initially heavier pressure, and decreasing as we move the bow over to the higher notes....  but that's specific technique you won't really need immediately.

Just a final on the "chord" thing - 3 and 4 note chords are often compromises, simply because of fingering issues - for instance the examples I gave above are all in first position, and, some would argue that they are not "true chords" and they are in fact all "partial-chords" - for instance - the G4/B4/G5 3-note chord doesn't have the 5th (D5) - but - the listener will most surely interpret it as a G Major

Didn't really mean to go into so much detail but there are aspects of terminology that can be confusing relating to "stops" and "chords", and are understood differently by different people.....  

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Pete_Violin
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September 21, 2019 - 1:16 pm
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@BillyG 

Your response to question 2 is more than mine for all 6 LOL!  Not that that's bad.  I'm sure Jennifer enjoys your treatise on chords (huge sarcasm here).

Very nice explanation, and I agree now that I've read your explanations.  A 2 note stop (double stop) is really an interval.  The actual definition of a common chord should have at least 3 parts - the root note, the third, and a fifth, so 3 notes minimum.

This is a lot of theory, and I do not know how much music theory Jennifer has been exposed to, but your dissertation is more than many musicians have ever seen!
roflol

@jennifer aola 

Billy is correct.  I was not sure how much explanation you needed, and this is a lot to absorb.  You can also find many explanations on line for chords, double stops, music theory.. etc.

I will also point out that for violin, the theory behind chords and harmonics is good to know, but as @BillyG explained, the difficulties for strings to play a 3 note chord makes it more theory than practice.  And it is more commonly seen in an orchestra because multiple instruments can make up the chords.  So I would not expend a lot of energy trying to figure out how to play them. Eventually you will be introduced to double stops which come up far more often for strings than chords.

Also, as @cid pointed out, your bow control and how you use the bow hand, is even more critical.  One aspect I did not go into is that the hardest part of playing a double stop is how to bow it.  And before you really can get into that, you need to have the basics of bowing understood and learned.  The bow weight, bow control, and your tone with bowing is critical to being able to play double stops well.

- Pete -

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 21, 2019 - 1:45 pm
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🙂 @Pete_Violin !  Yeah... indeed, there are differing opinions out there and indeed differing "definitions" depending on what/where you read..  Sometimes you really have to think about it !  Thanks for the feedback, appreciated !

And yes @jennifer aola - I most certainly did not intend to overwhelm you with detail, but I got the impression that violin was not your first instrument or first involvement with music (perhaps I'm mistaken ?  let us know) and that you knew about chord formation already.

And the other reason for my lengthy discourse was that these are topics that interest me, i.e. how music terminology is used (and indeed occasionally mis-used) - and I just enjoy having such things discussed !!!

And by the way - WELCOME to the forum !!!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Pete_Violin
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September 21, 2019 - 2:29 pm
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BillyG said
🙂 @Pete_Violin !  Yeah... indeed, there are differing opinions out there and indeed differing "definitions" depending on what/where you read..  Sometimes you really have to think about it !  Thanks for the feedback, appreciated !

You know, you're my hero as far as explaining theory!!

- Pete -

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cid
September 21, 2019 - 4:17 pm
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@Pete_Violin said

You know, you're my hero as far as explaining theory!!

Aw, @BillyG is the wind beneath @Pete_Violin’s “strings”. Just kidding. You two are a great source of knowledge.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
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September 21, 2019 - 5:10 pm
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@cid 

I'm not sure that a Bette Midler ballad is BillyG's style. Clever play on words. 

I just threw up a little in my mouth.  LOL!!

- Pete -

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cid
September 21, 2019 - 8:37 pm
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I don’t think so, either, Pete. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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BillyG
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September 22, 2019 - 2:05 am
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Good grief @pete_violin and @cid ..... you are both so kind, and funny with it !  Awesome, and thank you !

As far as sharing what I know or "understand to be the case" - I'm more than happy to do so (and yeah, I've been wrong many times over the years and always happy to stand corrected or to be enlightened - with that comes clarity of understanding which is surely what we all seek)   

It's even better when there is some feedback such as your own - be that appreciative,  corrective, or simply expanded points-of-view of the topic under discussion!   

So thanks again !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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cid
September 22, 2019 - 8:29 am
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@BillyG You are welcome

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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jennifer aola
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September 22, 2019 - 9:50 am
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@cid .. actually i play violin for short period of time which maybe extend for 5 or 6 months ..i still putting my finger tapes which helps me finding notes and saving time .. i know at the end i have to remove them but im planning to do that after one or two year until i make my bow and left hand good ... actually i don't have much problem with bow .. i saw a lot of videos of violinlab on youtube which show huge amount of information for beginners .. my actual hardness is with left hand which i see also getting better .. and i thought that mention my violin price may give you an idea that i cant get a teacher lol .. which is not an financial problem actually .. i'm from middle east in which music is not popular here (popular is not the exact word ,but it something like that ) in addition to that ,, im a medical student and free time is a really something hard to get .. however im trying my best .. thank you cid for sharing me ur experience with violin , thats helpful . rn@sf_bev thanks for sharing ur experience with us ... to achieve anything we have not to give up .. keep practicing and share with us ur progress so u might become my inspiration .. i hope to u good luck .rn@Pete_Violin (pete ) . @BillyG (billy) .. first of all thank you for every single word u wrote .. ur explanation was wonderful and .. you explain things like u really want to benefit someone  and thats sound nice .. about chords and stops .. im not sure if there really something called single stop in books or any dependable source  .. i just hear it from violin students in youtube comments  of violin lessons videos ,, and the main reason made me ask about double stops is just as @Pete_Violin  said i know that in music theory there is three main parts for a chord , and there just two notes in stops which made me get confused .. however as u said its about terminology ,, billy ,, violin was my first music instrument but i like music since i was little .. i like reading anything about it ..i know few things about music theory before i even bought my own violin so ur expectation might be partial true lol... also i think i have to mention that english is not my main language so u have not to be bothering with spelling mistakes . 

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BillyG
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September 22, 2019 - 10:44 am
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@jennifer aola - thank you for the feedback, and glad to have helped in some way !

And don't worry about your English, spelling or grammar - we understand you perfectly !   Never hesitate to ask questions here - however basic they may seem - really, there is no such thing as a "stupid question" - we all seek enlightenment !

Best wishes for your medical studies (that is a VERY demanding course), and here's hoping you find enough free time to work on your violin journey as well ! thumbs-up

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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cid
September 22, 2019 - 11:03 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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@jennifer aola I second BillyG on everything, including your English. 

By the way, I removed my tapes from my cello and violin a few months ago. I have since put them back on. Since I put them back on, I am getting more used to where to place my fingers, it is beginning to be more automatic and, it is making it easier to pay more attention to my bowing. I will probably have them on for a couple years. 

There is always debate about it. Those who don’t use them absolutely detest them and don’t think anyone should use them. Those who do, really believe in the benefit. It is just a matter of the way individuals learn. I figure, do what helps you most, period. I mention this because it was interesting to read how they help you, as they do me.

I admire your determination in learning the violin. You will be so glad you did when you get older. I wish I had been able to start earlier. Enjoy your journey!

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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sf_bev
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September 22, 2019 - 12:38 pm
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I avoided part of the questions because as a newbie, I wasn't sure of definitions.  Thanks to @BillyG for helping with some definitions.  If a chord is defined as 3 notes, then the violin can seldom play 3 notes together, and workarounds are necessary.  I read an article recently that mentioned that because fiddler's often use flatter bridges, some fiddler's who use relatively loose (or flexible) bows are actually able to bow on 3 strings simultaneously, thereby actually sounding a chord.  But few fiddlers do that.  Among classical violinists, my understanding is that where a chord is to be played by a single violinist, the "note" is usually broken up into 2 pieces with the lower notes played first, and then the higher notes.  As others have said, an orchestra can arrive at a chord by separate violins playing the different parts of the chord.

I found it fascinating that there are fiddlers who manage to bow 3 note chords.  I don't know who, and maybe the article wasn't accurate. 

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 22, 2019 - 1:15 pm
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@sf_bev - absolutely - well said, researched and understood - thumbs-up

You say  -

Among classical violinists, my understanding is that where a chord is to be played by a single violinist, the "note" is usually broken up into 2 pieces with the lower notes played first, and then the higher notes.  As others have said, an orchestra can arrive at a chord by separate violins playing the different parts of the chord.

I found it fascinating that there are fiddlers who manage to bow 3 note chords.  I don't know who, and maybe the article wasn't accurate. 

  Exactly - on both points - That's how most fiddlers WILL do it (and classical players for that matter) - the lower notes are going to continue to ring out (assuming you keep the string stopped of course) as the bow leave the lower note(s) for a 3 or occasionally 4 note chord and the bow is rolled-over the upper notes.   

  I know about "flatter bridges" although I've never gone-there - but I imagine that's only a partial help - even for 3 note chords with relaxed (not just lower tension strings, but intentionally dropped a full tone for instance) strings.  The other "cheat" that fiddlers (well, orchestral as well I suppose, when called upon by the nature of the piece) may use are various forms (of which there are many) of scordatura tuning ( cross tuning in fiddlers terminology ) to make some chord fingering easier, or to have open strings that simply resonate easily in the key being played ( i.e. DDAD tuning, being one of MANY MANY cross tuning forms )  - ref - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.....oss_tuning

Indeed.... who ever said the fiddle has to be tuned G D A E ..... LOLOL ( err.. well yeah - but don't tune the strings much higher than they should be - therein lies disaster... !!!!!!  )

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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September 22, 2019 - 2:51 pm
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In classical music, three-note chords on string instruments are sometimes played all at once, and it's not especially hard to play, but we usually avoid it because the chord will always sound "crunchy" -- unless, of course, we actually want that crunchy sound. Most of the time, we'll break up the chord.

The trick to playing 3 note chords is to bow closer to the fingerboard, where the strings are closer together in height. Extra bow pressure is still needed to maintain contact with all three strings.

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