Dear violinist - Please help with my violin

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Postby Mins Music » Mon May 03, 2004 4:45 pm

Had my first violin lesson.

I basically learned how to hold the violin and the bow. She gave me a different chin rest (for me to try - I'll have to order one for myself) and a shoulder rest you attach to the violin.

Then we did some bowing. I was being far too timid with my efforts by myself. Now I know to supply a little more pressure for an even tone.

I'm practising ... oooh, what did she say - half bow up, half bow down, and whole bow up and down, on all four strings. She placed a smiley sticker half way on the bow as a reference point.

She said my strings are quite loud and would cost me about $60 (Aust) to get a better quality set. But these will do for now. (She saw me making faces every time I made an 'unpleasant' tone - I guess she's used to hearing such things, it's just that I'm not used to making them! :D )
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby 65-1081382753 » Mon May 03, 2004 5:38 pm

Yes, it is amazing the painful sounds you can get out of a violin. My dog likes to sit right on my feet when I am playing, and she will moan quite loudly when ever I'm not quite in tune. My cats just run :laugh:

What kind of shoulder rest do you use? Did she recommend any particular brand of strings?
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Postby Mins Music » Mon May 03, 2004 6:44 pm

Athaira wrote:What kind of shoulder rest do you use? Did she recommend any particular brand of strings?

:( I don't know! I will ask her the brand of the shoulder rest and the strings when I order them next week.

What type of dog do you have Athaira? I have a malamute and howling is all he CAN do! So I don't know if he's happy or sad!
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby 65-1081382753 » Mon May 03, 2004 7:47 pm

Thats ok, Min, I was just curious. :;):

I have a black lab/german shepherd mix named Pepper :D She doesn't often moan, but my violin definely sets her off. :p
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Postby Mins Music » Sun May 09, 2004 6:50 pm

IPlayTheViolinSoThere wrote:I'm so happy you have a teacher now!!!!

You wouldn't believe it Violinist, my teacher rang the night before my lesson and asked if I could change my time to THREE positions that I couldn't (other committments, including teaching). So now, the lessons are OFF! :( Boy, talk about short lived.

So now it's back to teaching myself - right after I've stopped moping for a while.

:( :( :( :(
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby Mins Music » Thu May 13, 2004 6:44 pm

Since I've started teaching myself (I only moped for about an hour), I've recorded the teacher's part and accompaniments to exercises on my keyboard, and have been practising with that. HEAPS of fun.

I've been trying REALLY hard to keep my bow hand relaxed, but as soon as it IS relaxed, the thumb straightens - and it's supposed to be curved! But I find this position actually strains my hand. And if I try it in this position then my tone becomes REALLY wobbly and awful. If I tighten my hand, the tone becomes even GOOD, but after a while my hand hurts like anything!!

Are there any violinists out there who know what I'm talking about?

How long did it take before you could play a quality tone with a relaxed hand?
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby 65-1081382753 » Fri May 14, 2004 6:31 pm

Yes, I think I understand what you are trying to say, I had some of the same struggle when I first started (still do some weeks) except I was too relaxed and my fingers would slip off.

My right hand also hurt for about a week and a half after I played until my muscles got used to it. It was amazing to me how violin and piano used very different muscles in my hand.

Did your teacher show you some bow games to strenghen your grip? If not, I would be willing to describe them to you if you'd like...
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Postby 73-1078374881 » Sat May 15, 2004 1:55 pm

Yes, playing with a relaxed hand is SUCH a challenge!!! It took me like six years to accomplish it, so don't go haywire if you don't have it down yet! :;): The reason I was so tight in the hand was because I thought that was where the sound came from (the power in your hand) and I didn't want my bow to fall, lol!! BUT, here are some things to remember that may help...

The pressure to keep a good, healthy tone and your bow on the string will actually come from the weight of your arm. If you're afraid of dropping the bow, think of just the strings holding the bow up, as well as your thumb. Think of your arm doing most of the work for bow changes and stuff- your hand is just a connection between the two!

Hope this helps!

:)
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Postby Mins Music » Sat May 15, 2004 4:36 pm

weight in arm, not hand

Thank you Violinist!! I'll concentrate on that. I think I have a faint recollection of the teacher mentioning that.

Athaira, it would be great to describe some bowing games. :cool:
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby Mins Music » Sat Jun 12, 2004 6:30 pm

Since I've concentrated on keeping the weight in my arm things are going much better. And I finally bought a shoulder rest yesterday and it's SO much easier to do the fingering!!!
I'm only working on first position, but I'm still having fun! :)
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby 73-1078374881 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 9:08 pm

Glad to hear it, Mins! What kind of a shoulder rest did you get?
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Postby Mins Music » Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:40 am

Can't remember the name of the brand... a betona or something else beginning with B. The Kun brand was nearly twice as expensive! I had to adjust the shoulder rest all the way down on one side and nearly all the way up on the other side. Is this normal? And should the violin be relatively flat when resting on your shoulder or is it okay if it tilts slightly inward towards the ground?
"I forget what I was taught, I only remember what I've learnt." - Patrick White, Australian novelist.
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Postby 112-1182392787 » Tue Aug 28, 2007 9:15 am

Since Dr. Z has resurrected this thread I have to ask .... what happened after that?
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