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Everything posted by Pete

  1. Thanks Lydia, I don't know how I could make it any better though. Three teachers have said it looks good, and I match every diagram I have seen of the proper hold. Another thing that tells me I'm correct is this ... if I were to put tapes back on the fingerboard, I would be able to put all four fingers, simultaneously, on the G string, and then as I rotate my hand, all four fingers would move across the four strings, while staying in line with the tapes. I have no problem at all, telling if I'm sharp or flat and I couldn't be happier with my intonation. I did think about something after reading all of your replies. Soon after I started playing the violin, I hurt my index finger. I remember the particular day it happened. It was before I knew about 1/2 shifts, and I was trying to reach the low ones by twisting and stretching my index finger around. For the last 3 or so months, my finger has been numb when I awake every morning. Over the day, it loosens up, however, the joint in the middle of the finger is always sore to the touch. I can't see anything wrong with it, but it feels like I hit it with something. It feels bruised. I am now thinking that maybe, I have been favoring this sore finger and I'm not sure if the pain is from the stretch as much as it is from the injury? HuangKaiVun, you're a doc, what do you think about that finger? Should I amputate it? Thanks all, Pete
  2. Mairead, what Alison was referring too, didn't take place here, but at another site. After a few days to reflect on what happened, I will admit that I may have overreacted somewhat to it anyway. While it was not a pretty thing that happened, I don't believe it was ever meant to cause me personally, any harm, but rather, as something that just got a little out of hand. I was concerned that someone else from the other site, might come here to the fingerboard and judge me later, for some things said there. I agree with you HuangKaiVun, that Alison has a lot to offer this board and I would like for her to feel welcome to help others here in the future. Pete [This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-15-2000).]
  3. Thanks guys. You ask a valid question Laurel. The exact position now used is not the same for the whole year. I didn't specify this because I have used other, incorrect positions for months at a time, that stretched the fingers further than they do now, but I see how that would not necessarily be the same. Arinnen, I'm only playing simple, one finger notes so far. Nothing too complex. In fact, I'm almost convinced that I will be able to handle things as they stand now, with the 1/2 positions that Laurel talked about. I'm only concerned that that puts one at a disadvantage to the way others play with no such 1/2 positions. (Laural) Can I trust that these 1/2 positions will become as smooth as someone playing without them, over time? HuangKaiVun, the right hand feels pretty comfortable with thumb and 2nd fingers together and the 4th finger curved a little. The left hand fingers are spread, fanned from front to back like Alison was talking about recently. (I was already doing this, though she gave me the confidence that it was correct) The hand is slightly slanted more open to accommodate the spread of the fingers. With no 1/2 position used, I can hit a low one with a lot of stretch. When using a 1/2 position, there's really no problem with reaching anything. I'm only concerned that using 1/2 positions, slows down the speed and accuracy of the finger action. That 1/2 position consist of the thumb being used as an axis between the span of the 4 fingers. The index finger moves back for the low, causing the palm to open a little more, and the index fingernail faces the bridge more than in the "home" position. Hope this gives you guys a clue. Always needing and appreciating your help, Pete PS, in one of my beginner's books, there's a note to teachers, advising them to chose the size violin for the student that is "smaller, rather than too big." Would not the necessity of using 1/2 positions, indicate that the distance between notes are too far? [This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-14-2000).] [This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-14-2000).]
  4. Hi Scott. I agree. It is a good idea. I have over a years worth of myself on camera, on one tape. It's way funny too. There are probably around thirty inserts to it. It's also a great way to watch your weight fluctuate over time! I wonder if my family will ever watch the long, painful hours of practice, after I'm gone someday? Only if they miss me REALLY bad. Pete
  5. For the first six months, after taking only three or four lessons, I would rush through things so fast, that I never took the time to study what was really going on. Then one day I realized, that I would have to slow down and take a hard look at where the whole arm wanted to go while reaching for a note. To my surprise, I was moving in the opposite direction I should have been, in certain instances. I needed to visualize a mental image of tapes across the fingerboard. I began to study how the fingers, placed all four on one string together, should each move sideways, across the board in unison, along those imaginary tapes. I realized the hand would have to be in a very, certain position before this could be done. A slight roll of the hand was required to cross the four strings, keeping all four fingers down, along the tapes. I saw that there was a lot of other hand and arm movements involved, that I hadn't been aware of. Then I realized, this was a lot of information that my brain would have to process, and I would just have to slow things down and train my body for the next step along the way. There's a term for this, something like "body memory" I soon found that I could learn a particular piece faster, if I started learning it slower. I believe, for me, it's all about slowing down and listening to your whole body. I'm sure this is a more elementary reply to your post than what you were looking for Beriot, but I thought it would be appropriate for the early beginners like me, wanting to "get better" with the physical aspect of playing. Pete
  6. Hello everyone, I'd really value your opinion on something. Let's assume that someone with small hands, is sure that their hand position (total body/arm position) is correct, and they can reach each note. Furthermore, they utilize all of the correct hand/arm/body movements necessary for good intonation. The problem is that they feel stretched to the maximum extent of their reach. This makes their small hand ache after a short time. My question would be this ... is that a normal thing to expect after one year? Do you think it would imply that the person needs more exercise of the fingers? Maybe a year is not sufficient time to naturally stretch the fingers of a small hand? Perhaps it's simply a burden that the small handed must bear forever? OR: Could it be a sign of an overly extended finger span and show a need for the next lower size violin? I would appreciate hearing from anyone about their experience, especially of those with short fingers themselves. Thanks a lot, Pete
  7. Thanks Mei, it's all water under the bridge now anyway. Pete [This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-14-2000).]
  8. AnneS, You're talking about phonically spelling. I've have been hard of hearing all my life, and although I have no speech impediments, I am always finding pronunciations of words I thought I understood since childhood, that turn out to be off the mark. Add that to my Tennessee hills drawl, and you wouldn't understand a thing I wrote that way! or would that be phonetic spelling? Pete [This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-13-2000).]
  9. I couldn't agree with you two more when it comes to situations of importance and when helping someone who's not familiar with the language. My pet peeve with correcting someone however, is not with this. It is when correcting for the sake of ... whatever, to show off or make yourself feel smarter? I'm sure you see this every day if you use a discussion group often. Correcting the spelling of totally nonessential words. Things that bear no relevance to the subject matter. I'm sure you'd agree guys. Pete
  10. ha ha, I doubt if she could even bring her arm up and over far enough to use the G string. Did I just mention the G string in a comment about Pamela Anderson? [This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-12-2000).]
  11. Hi folks, I was wondering how you all feel about the correcting of someone's grammar, in a discussion group? I personally, have terrible grammar skills. I ramble on and on. I misspell the simplest words, and I'm a punctuation nightmare! But I have always been able to get my point across. I believe grammar should be taught in the class room, not in a public forum like this. I think it's the same thing as correcting someone in person. How rude would that be ... if you interrupted a conversation with someone in person, to correct them on their vocabulary? I certainly would not do that. Many people had no control of their education and how embarrassing it must be. There's no harm in a little written boo boo. Let's please share our opinions on this subject for the benefit of us all. By the way, I'm really making some strong improvements on the violin, thanks to all the help I got here last week! Pete
  12. I couldn't agree more AB. Bell's music in RED VIOLIN alone would be enough for me to be a fan of his music. His looks only contribute to the infatuation I have with him. Pete
  13. gypsyfiddler, her name is Lisa but they broke up recently, according to Josh himself, during his online chat a few weeks ago. Speaking of that chat room, there was a guy there with the screen name Paganini as well. Was that you Paganini? And no wife yet. Looks like he still has a chance! Pete
  14. HuangKaiVun, what makes you think Bell is effeminate? Is it his posture and mannerisms, or is it more in his personality, soft voice, and way of speaking? Just curious ... Pete
  15. Oh, I thought I saw several others speaking French also. I didn't know what was going on. A translating program that several of you share? That's too cool. I wonder if you can get a program for Klingon? Pete
  16. lagomorphs, she wore a dress that put Cher's dresses to shame. It had all of 2 yards of material on it. You saw her MarvyMei, can you just imagine her playing the violin in that dress? Oh... I'm imagining it right now!
  17. lagomorphs, I disagree. I'd like to see more girls wearing a beautiful dress like Jennifer Lopez wore at the awards!
  18. The "body movement" I'm most worried about ... is a bowel movement from fear!
  19. I've only been playing for one year and have never performed for anyone other than family and friends. About 6 or 8 months ago, I was asked by a friend if I would be ready to play for about 15 minutes, at her sisters wedding. I said, why sure I will, of course! The wedding is coming up in 2 months and I can't back out now. I am being fitted for a tux soon and I'm a nervous wreck. I play sooo bad! I'm sure that when the hellish 15 minutes are up, I will have no recollection of what I just sounded like. Not to mention how inappropriate twinkle, twinkle little star, played 30 times over will be :-) Quickly panicking, Pete [This message has been edited by Pete (edited 05-10-2000).]
  20. Hey group, I'm pretty new here so forgive me for asking, but what's up with so many bi lingual people in this group? I'm not very computer savvy either, so I'm not sure if it's some kind of code that's being translated or what? Pete
  21. Thanks Diana. I was talking about along each string, from 1st finger to 4th. I have really short fingers that don't reach that span without a huge slide or pivot. I think you answered my question though. Now I have to find a way to span these notes. Pete
  22. Hi, this is as basic a question as one can ask, but ... is it best to bend the wrist when pivoting back and forth between the low and high notes, or best to keep the wrist straight and just slide like a type writter? Just starting to play, Pete
  23. Hi Brad. I'm from Nashville. I've been here for about ten years now. Nice to meet you. Pete
  24. Hi again folks, and thanks for all your suggestions in my last post. To answer someone's question, ... no, I don't have a teacher (can't afford one anymore) and I'm already playing a 3/4. I have these short, fat fingers, and to show you what I mean, ... I can't spread and hold down my fingers simultaneously, over the first notes of each string, without a great distortion of the hand. If I hold my hand nice and proper, with the wrist held straight, I can slide the whole hand, like a type writer slides, between each note along the string. I have spent the past year, trying to spread the fingers out to cover all the notes within the first position, but I find this is not feasible for me. Then last night, I was thinking about my piano playing and had this thought: "If my hand was much smaller, and I couldn't reach an octave on the key board, ... I wouldn't want to stretch my fingers in an awkward position to cover them. That would put me at a disadvantage in my comfort and accuracy. Instead of that, I would want to simply move the whole hand across the span of notes." So here I am ... I know I have a good sense of intonation. I check myself on an electronic tuner often and I can tell when I'm the slightest bit off. I just don't know the best way to slide or pivot from note to note. As I see it this morning, there are at least four general principles that could apply here: 1. Allow the whole hand to slide (with the thumb) just like a type writer does, keeping the wrist very straight. (I find this uses the biceps of the arm a lot.) 2. Allow the whole hand to slide as before, with the wrist kept straight, but this time, keep the thumb in place as a reference spot and axis. (This feels more controlled than option 1 does.) 3. This time, place the thumb as an axis, but keep the hand reativly steady, and allow the wrist to pivot back and forth. (This is probably the closest to the correct way, but I don't like the feel of the wrist bending) 4. This time, place the thumb as an axis, but keep the wrist straight. Allow all of the pivoting action to come from the whole arm/elbow. (Gosh, this would be a work out!) If I've made any sense here, and you can see what I'm talking about, I would appreciate any help I could get. This group is going to be a life saver for me. Thanks a million, Pete
  25. Thanks for the welcome Kath and Jane. I'm so excited about this group! Pete
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