Fragmento de la composición con guitarra, violín y cello
Can‘t believe it’s been a year since I played like this. I was just starting to take my violin seriously. My fingers were weak and my technique was poor. But I loved to play with my daddy. My parents encouraged me not to quit, but continue the hard work. And I practiced 🎻every day, and now I feel confident and strong. I love to play in front of the people! Can’t wait to see what future holds for me ❤️!
Throwing back to some Prokofiev with the wonderful @lakatza
This performance was about 1.5 years ago now, and I actually have only just recently rewatched the recording. This piece definitely goes in the basket of pieces I can't quite believe I played and also the basket of pieces that was perhaps too aspirational at the time 😅 Still, that all said, I'm quite proud that I managed despite those things. It's interesting how much has changed about my playing since then and I'm also proud to say I've gotten more of a handle on my pinky finger 😂
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Tb to a memorable coffee date on the road w/ my favorite crew - traveling mindlessly. No destination 🚘 #ThatMusicDogKid
Mais um evento hj em Poa SP
Boilin' Em Cabbages Down again 😂 Minus the chops.... & there was a storm coming outside, in case you were wondering what I was looking at 🤷🏻♀️⛈
Hill-style, ebony tailpiece with black, Wittner, E tuner fitted with a gold screw is a success… 😪 The dead spot at D5 on my A string is gone, the overall tone is crystal clear, the G (and all the strings for that matter) has more brilliance, and the E is actually richer.
I don't know what possessed me to try a non-standard tailpiece in the harp-style I retired, but at least I can say I learned a valuable lesson. I am really loving how the ebony looks, too, especially with the gold of the tuner screw and gold fittings of my tailpiece! Such a beautiful setup for @larsenstrings
Il Cannone. ☃️ If you haven't tried the new Il Cannone strings, you really need to!
How do you learn to navigate a stringed instrument, in tune, by ear? Lots of practice? The cold part about it is, if you practice playing out of tune by rote, your brain will condition itself to believe out-of-tune playing is in-tune. The colder thing is, listening relatively between pitches means that if one pitch is out of tune, the next pitch will be equally or even more out-of-tune, until you hit an open string.
It sticks out in my mind, memories as a singer back in sight-singing and ear training class, how much instrumentalists in the class despised solfège. I had been studying solfège independently with my piano teacher since junior year of high school for singing, and not only did instrumentalists in aural skills hate to sing, since it wasn't their primary instrument, a lot of them really believed solfège was useless in their studies. I even witnessed brass instrumental instructors with performance careers playing slightly out-of-tune at each pitch on concerts.
I saw a violin repertoire tutor on YouTube wisely say that if you can't sing it, you can't play it. I particularly find this crucial on the G string, where it's both a thicker string and hardest to reach. In my mind, I am screaming Fa on that C, and I ultimately know exactly where I need to go.
While not all music is tonal, stop throwing the baby out with the bath water. By the time you're playing atonal music, you will have plenty of muscle memory and improved relative pitch to enable your efforts!
Congratulations to those of you who play in-tune!
The point of my Instagram page has been to track my progress. The last several posts have been extremely-involved with instrument components along with progress videos. As I've dug deeper into studying the second finger, I have begun to address several other areas needing development, in addition.
I don't want my Instagram page to be a daily practice log. I want there to be clear contrast in my progress, long-term, and I want it to remain something that even three years from now a person can scroll through without spending 15 minutes browsing two months.
Recently, I have been working a significant amount on my right arm posture. Allowing the bow to fall downward with gravity (allowing my pinky to curve more, by default) instead of pointing it upwards with my fingers (a potential source of tension and locking in the wrist) and keeping my forearm straighter and allowing only the wrist break downward instead of the elbow are slowly giving me more control over my bow action. I even notice my tone is much richer, when I keep my elbow back a bit more and from hanging!
I have been spending a lot of time in front of a mirror. Keeping good elbow, upper arm, and forearm angles has been a huge discovery process. There is also the importance of finger arch and rotating the hand around the fingerboard in the left hand.
I have also discovered that bow hair tightness is crucial to tone quality and timbre! For some reason, no one talks about the effects of bow hair tightness on timbre. If it's too tight, the hair scrapes harshly across the strings. If it's too loose, it doesn't grip effectively. Very minor changes in tension make a world of difference on tone.
I do believe videos will start to be posted more-regularly, but I'm hoping these new discoveries will be clear from my other most-recent videos due to my absence!!!! Happy practicing!
Adding fingers on the violin is altogether far-trickier and involving more fine motor skills than most methods and teachers recognize. Not only are you dealing with the precise location of each individual finger, you are training your hand as to the relationships between each finger and in consistent posture.
Tuning is the primary concern. I have been spending no small amount of time at a keyboard making absolute certain I am training my hand and ear to find the exact centers of pitch so I maintain a stable learning process for each finger as added.
I probably spend north of 3 hours a day practicing, which to some may seem quite impossible with such simple-seeming exercises. But mastering other disciplines has embedded in me how crucial it is to get the coordinations right from the very beginning.
The second set of second finger exercises is almost finished. I hope to post another video from this set on Monday, after the medium-height bridge arrives and is installed. After that, it's on to a bit-more-demanding second finger in first position exercises! I will be learning second finger in the third and fifth positions next, and after that I will be adding chromatics to the fingers and positions thus-far.
“New bridge, who dis?” ☠️ But seriously… Aubert of France, extremely high quality . . . and entirely pre-shaped and self-adjusting.
Only one problem: I ordered a low-height bridge. Amazon made no distinction. I originally was ticked at how widely-spaced the string grooves were and that I didn't realize it until I penciled them and set the strings. They were so faintly-nicked originally that I could have re-spaced or even sanded them down without much to show for it.
But then I came to find out this was a low bridge and found online this bridge also comes in high and medium. Low is generally for fiddle players, fraction-sized instruments, and custom-made instruments. I have a medium-height option coming from eBay and will send this one back to Amazon on Monday, when that new one comes. The only real shame is how hard bridge changes are on the strings. But while excruciatingly expensive, my strings are fortunately very resilient and are not a line of strings known to break when properly cared for. Change them, when tone quality deteriorates…
But I can honestly say… I adore the luthiers I follow and am fascinated by the craft. I hope to buy a proper, artist-quality instrument one day. But I am thoroughly impressed by this line of self-adjusting, pre-made, standardized bridges. The three height options give a great range to find a solid fit to the specifics of your instrument, and the carving work is exquisite. I love the option for low-cost, kit instruments!
The shape is great, in my opinion, and I look forward to seeing if the medium provides the best fit. If not, I only have to pay return shipping to send that one back to eBay and get a high bridge. But this low one already gets a far-better sound and response than my old bridge that came with my low-cost violin. The wood and carving are far-superior.
The bridge has a slight gap at the feet in the back in this picture, but as it was just installed, it requires constant tuning, which pulls the bridge forward slightly. I've since tilted it back, and when it's in its ideal place, there really is minimal gap at the feet! I'm pleased with the fit at the price of only $25!
I'm glad I saved sharing this progress for after the new shoulder rest arrived! Reaching the lower strings and playing left-hand pizzicato are both far easier, when the instrument is tilted closer to a 45° angle than my old shoulder rest allowed for. It sat closer to a 20-30° angle.
Enjoy! I plan on now beginning to implement the second finger in first position with new exercises!
A shoulder rest plays a huge role in not only the violin's stability on a player's shoulder, but also the angle at which the violin sits on the shoulder. My old shoulder rest had my violin oriented frustratingly-flat, closer to 20-30° than the around-45° angle my new one sits the instrument at.
I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation to @rusandapanfili
, one of my favorite professional violinists. I deeply admire the care she takes as an artist in her ideal violin and accessories setup. It's because of her playing and detail I fell in love with the @larsenstrings
Il Cannone violin strings, and I also particularly loved how her choice of shoulder rest sits, when she plays. It drove me to find a shoulder rest similar, if not identical, and I couldn't be more pleased with the choice. You should check out her YouTube video of the Musilia P1 violin case, as well, another fantastic, innovative product for violinists!
BEHOLD: Il Cannone, by Larsen Strings
As you can hear, these strings have a great core to them, and there is such a wonderful balance from the lowest string to the highest! I no longer am faced with a dull, muffled G string sound! I am truly in love!
I will be adding the second finger, soon, in my newest exercise set I just finished. I will, however, share a few final first finger (first, third, and fifth position) exercises and my progress before moving on! I look to share some more progress videos Monday or Tuesday before putting these exercises to bed.
Oh how I long and look forward to learning the études of Schradieck, Kreutzer, Ševčík, Gaviniès, Rode, and the Paganini Caprices…apart from repertoire.
But isolating the fundamental positions first is crucial, alongside developing a growing, theoretical understanding of playing and the violin in general. I only very recently realized players keep their hands completely and totally still, when they move their fingers to play a fingering pattern. Only the fingers move, nothing else. I have also been discovering the importance of proper finger arch in accuracy and repeatability of finger placement.
But more than anything else, correctly landing in a position is extremely difficult. Until you can accurately land on the main positions with the thumb and first finger, repeatable each time, how can you even justify adding a second finger, even in first position? Once I do indeed begin and manage to add the second finger through the three main positions, I plan to fill in the second and fourth positions. Chromatics will come later, with the sixth and seventh positions to follow.
It's a truly long process, but learning something intelligently is crucial. I find myself more and more fascinated with detailed work on tuning and accuracy, and I am increasingly grateful to myself for not overcomplicating the process prematurely. The new Larsen strings and rosin are fantastic upgrades to my studies, as well! The strings are astonishingly responsive, and the rosin leaves minimal dust!
Happy Easter weekend . . .
Larsen Il Cannone went on without a hitch! But later in the process of retuning, I was flustered, thought I was turning the A peg, and snapped the E (pictured here installed, before it was broken). I guess it was inevitable. I'd never snapped a string before, and I was in an uncomfortable setting dressed from recording and in bright lighting not in a right mind. This picture was taken before the bridge was corrected (while a bit tilted forward). So we are back to the Pirastro Gold E until Monday or Tuesday, when a replacement will be here.
Much to my delight, I actually believe I would prefer a whole set of soloists which will be cheaper in future. I will be able to order from Amazon for right at around $80 instead of individually elsewhere for around $11 more. It makes some sense. My Chinese violin is sprayed polyurethane which inhibits vibration. It makes sense to me it works better with a higher-tension string.
The G and E Il Cannone soloists both have shocking warmth to them at the heart of the sound. All four strings still sound quite metallic, as Larsens do in beginning, particularly the Il Cannone strings. But that is breaking in fast, and these strings are real monsters. They are so very powerful, can play insane dynamics, including a crystal-clear pianissimo, and the G has just the kind of cut to it and extra kick I was looking for to play more in-balance on my instrument. The Larsen red rosin is much-less dust than the Pirastro Goldflex and plays very, very well, so I am also quite pleased with that!
The other drastic difference is the feel under the fingers! They feel quite metallic. They will definitely be a finger strengthener for me! They will give me fingertips of steel. LOL.
The unpackaging and setup video is linked in my bio!
This is probably my favorite exercise from this set! The G string is an extremely important string for a soloist, and my instrument in general tends to lack in power on the G string. When I buy new strings, I plan to get the Larsen Il Cannone strings. The A and D will be Medium, but the G and E will both be Soloist grade. Soloist is brighter and more powerful!
This exercise has really allowed me to spend a great deal of care improving my ear to tuning on the lowest string and develop the hand coordination necessary to reach around that far. I look forward to more exercises that continue this process!
I promise I haven't forgotten everyone! I know the point of sharing practice videos is to share your development, but there is still a certain personal standard I think we all possess in what shouldn't quite yet see the light of day!
What these exercises begin to allow me as a student to start hacking away at is what I'm finding to be the genesis of playing the violin. The first finger accompanied by the thumb is where every position starts, and first, third, and fifth are the major positions on the violin. Everything else starts to fill in the gaps from here.
Precision in position location is crucial in tuning. Technical areas such as knuckle position, rotating the hand around the fingerboard to the lower strings, sliding silently but accurately up the string, and accurately judging where a position begins when going to that position cold (without a slide) are all keys to the many locks on the door of precise tuning on the violin.
By adding fingers more slowly than in other methods, I am at much more liberty to focus daily on these keys that will make learning the violin a joy and not a frustration. It is indeed often frustrating even in my limited focus to get tuning exactly right, but it is universes easier than if I were dealing with the fine coordinations of using more fingers than I am ready for in my playing.
I may possibly make one more video very (hopefully) soon from this exercise series I've been working diligently on, but I will mostly be working toward adding a second set of exercises covering these three major positions with the first finger very soon. I am hoping for just one more set of exercises on this before adding the second finger!
One of the most difficult things with playing the violin is down-shifting, especially when you're going from a position over or close to being over the body of the violin to a position away from the body.
I've worked a lot so far on other exercises from this series, as well, but the first is by-far the most difficult. Nothing is better for getting those upper positions on lower strings more and more in-tune! Upper strings are much easier. It's the lower strings you have to really focus on the most, because they take a lot more stretching to reach them!
And yes, I'm not doing full bow strokes as written! I've decided I might as well get used to splitting them up, when I'm practicing under-tempo! 🤣🎻
Well, after about 2 weeks studying these exercises, I'm finally ready to move forward to first finger, fifth position. Developing these exercises has seen installing my new Whittner, center-mounted chin rest and later my new Dov-Music, harp-style tailpiece! I am loving both! I used my condenser mic for this, and it got a much better, acoustical sound.
It also saw me get on an OCD spell with my bow hair. I was getting a lot of benign squeaks, and my bow wasn't responding as immediately as it should have been. I had noticed some bow hairs would slacken faster than others, and others would slacked way-more-slowly. About 15 clipped hairs later, I had a clear tone. No one tells you to clip bad hairs that haven't broken yet…
Anyway… My approach in not learning the entire first position first is paying huge dividends. I am excited about the progress of my bowing, progress in my tuning accuracy, progress in changing strings with the first finger on the string being changed from without chirps, progress in thumb posture, and progress in sliding without gripping or leaving the thumb behind.
Onwards to the breach!!!!