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Taking up the violin again--for dummies


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#106 jim palmer

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 19:36

For me,

Keeping my bow in the right position

Is always a difficult proposition.

Right angle to strings is easy I find,

Just make  bow-hair follow

The fingerboard curve.

But then I have to look at the notes

And the bow-hair, unsupervised,

Moves up to the bridge,

Down the strings,

Or makes a swerve.

sad.png


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#107 SingingPython

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 08:11

Bow control one of my bug-bears too :)  (both me and my children - my students on the other hand are getting the benefit of me regretting not badgering my children more, sooner ...)

 

Why don't you memorise a couple of pieces-that-are-easy-for-you and use them to practise playing with your bow exactly where you want it.


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#108 mel2

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 12:22

For me,
Keeping my bow in the right position
Is always a difficult proposition.
Right angle to strings is easy I find,
Just make  bow-hair follow
The fingerboard curve.
But then I have to look at the notes
And the bow-hair, unsupervised,
Moves up to the bridge,
Down the strings,
Or makes a swerve.
:(


Nice spot of poetry! :)
Please post a solution in rhyme when you find it...
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#109 jim palmer

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 19:39

Bow control one of my bug-bears too smile.png  (both me and my children - my students on the other hand are getting the benefit of me regretting not badgering my children more, sooner ...)

 

Why don't you memorise a couple of pieces-that-are-easy-for-you and use them to practise playing with your bow exactly where you want it.

Yes that sounds a good idea. Say memorise phrases from a piece with lots of string crossings, then play them while monitoring the bow.

I already memorise scales (with help of solfa) but there the bow just goes up/down a string, not so demanding.

 

 

 

Nice spot of poetry! smile.png
Please post a solution in rhyme when you find it...

 

Glad you liked it!. I'm trying the above exercise.


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#110 OlderAussie

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 04:26

Well I hate to leave you contemplating the difficulties we might face. Aren’t the trials and tribulations worth it when we get to play some of the GORGEOUS violin music out there? (Walton's Canzonetta wub.png )

I’ve come to realise that probably few (if any) of us have the perfect physical attributes required to easily play all the violin repertoire. Maybe short fingers are an advantage for playing quickly. Thin finger tips might fit between strings not meant to be touched on either side in first position but struggle to stop two strings when needed in high positions. Large hands and fatter fingers might make precise intonation of closely placed notes a challenge. Then the parameters of the instrument also come into it. One violin might suit you in some ways (for some pieces or techniques) and one with different dimensions might suit you for others...argh!

You know I swapped from a 7/8 size to a 3/4, which is much better for me in many ways. I can now play “Air on the G String” on the G string! ohmy.png Also it is much less of a burden to hold so I tend to practice for longer. However, unfortunately the width of my finger tips makes playing some double stopping and broken chords cleanly in first position a major challenge, the strings being so much closer to each other than on my 7/8 size. I’m planning to try a lower bridge which might help.

Some double stopping (though not all) is easier on my old 7/8 sized “Madame”. I've been feeling bad about the poor thing, her strings are over 25 years old! Her maintenance has been neglected and her set-up apparently far from ideal (though I will keep her bridge low). So today I took her for a bit of work to a local repairer/restorer. No, NOT the same one who a while back, faced with a simple request and without any consultation, took it upon themselves to get creative! duh.gif

But what I’m really dreaming of is...not a white Christmas...but a 3/4 size instrument with a great tone, a bit wider neck than Wolfy’s but with a similarly shallow neck (vertical dimension). Oh, and no bad wolf. But is this a legitimate dream worth pursuing or just a case of a poor workwoman blaming her tools???
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#111 OlderAussie

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 04:39

So, a new year (I know our fireworks were awfully flash but weren't the London ones so artistic, that big Eye is a great platform).  Hope 2018 is a good one for you.

 

Now the 12 days of Christmas are over it might be time to get back in the saddle. Well maybe, though half we Aussies are still on our long hols at the beach, inside watching movies or otherwise avoiding the fiery furnace outside  -- while I see many of you northern hemisphere folk are snowed in big time.  Poor things. I guess your fingers may not be working so well either...  Maybe not the best time to talk about scales. 

 

Scales of the 3 octave kind.  Now, what follows might not be at all relevant to you, especially if you have been preparing for an exam. Probably best to keep to what you've been practising.  This is just my own enthralling personal journey. soapbox.gif 

 

Practising scales from my Aust. Music Exam. Board Violin Technical Work book I realised I should change my approach. First, I was surprisingly thrown out by what I thought a bizarre new fangled idea -  from 4th grade on they have added 3 notes to the beginning and end.  So they go tonic, third, second, tonic at each end.  Weird. But now I see.   goldstar.gif Aha, there are 48 notes before you get to the final tonic which you play with a separate bow.  Consider the slurred bowing patterns required:  3 notes per bow in 4th grade, then 4 to a bow, 6 to a bow and 12 notes per bow as you progress up the grades.  

So those 48 scale notes are divisible in all those ways.  Clever eh.  Kind of like a dozen eggs.

 

But why would the extra notes be a problem for me? You may well ask.  The answer is that I was playing my scales by ear, in that I knew those little tunes (major, melodic minor, harmonic minor) so well that I automatically played the semi-tones in the right places. Strangely the extra notes and perhaps the bowing groupings made the rhythm and "tune" seem different and this took a bit of readjustment. Especially with the trickier scales, I now practise with the music, having marked the semi-tones so as not to get confused.  

 

Hey it helps to know what those notes are too! Perhaps I wasn't even aware I was playing a Fb in the relevant spots in the Ab minors?  Well...hopefully I was... sadvio.gif You know Fb is the same as an E don't you (OK so some of you smarties may wish to dispute this but hey, one woman's floor is another woman's ceiling).

 

Another factor was the fingering I was used to.  A very well-regarded teacher once got me (for scales A and above) to always put my 1st finger on the tonic on the E string, go 1st, 2nd, 3rd finger then shift up.  This worked very well for the old scale format, however with the extra notes and different slurred bowings now required in A.M.E.B. exams I see it makes more sense to shift up to a 1st finger with the start of a new bow.  The same might be a factor when choosing fingering in pieces...

 

Oh well, as they say, "live and learn" 

 

Next time I'll tell you of my exciting adventures and thoughts after auditioning the local amateur orchestras.  No, not auditioning FOR.


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