Jump to content
Maestronet Forums


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Trent_Hill

  1. quote: Originally posted by Carl-Victor: I've been listening to Perlman's CD "Live in the Fiddler's House" and greatly enjoying his duet work with this violinist (with the Klezmatics). Anyone have a biography about her? And has she done any solo work? She has a wonderful solo CD on Traditional Crossroads, _Fidl_, that you'd probably love. [This message has been edited by Trent_Hill (edited 06-24-2001).]
  2. I read about a soundpost pickup in one of Julie Lyonn Lieberman's violin books--I suspect it was _Improvising Violin_. You might try emailing your question to her at juliehmus@aol.com--in my experience she's really a friendly, helpful, and prompt correspondent. I thought it sounded like a really interesting idea when I read about it, but if I'm not mistaken they're pretty expensive.
  3. Here's a paraphrase something I picked up from Dale Rusk (a wonderful Seattle-based Irish fiddler) when he was explaining cuts to a friend of mine: Basically, the motion your fingers (particularly the ones playing the original and upper notes) make in fingering a cut isn't up-and-down so much as a small arc. Don't hammer on the strings to stop them: just flick them, rather like doing a really light left-hand pizzicato. Practicing cuts like that did wonders for my left-hand technique in general--and I don't even play Irish fiddle. Hope this helps, Trent
  4. If your heart had to be in every piece of music you play, every time you played it, most of the time you would either be musically listless or physically exhausted. I think you spend a lot of time developing your technique, your musicality, and your sound so that you DON'T have to be at an emotional bursting point to bring out the emotional power in a piece. My .02. Trent
  5. Aman, thanks for the great and informative post and the link, which I'm listening to now and would recommend highly to anybody with ears. Trent
  6. quote: Originally posted by paganiniboy: T_H, But anyways... Hmmm... Oh yeah, so you're saying, kinda, that it is a basic part of memorization to know how to sight-read well? I don't know if thats what you really said, but, if not, please exaplain it, again, in simpler terms for me... I'm really sorry... P No problem, PB, most of that abstract was cut and pasted in from the PsychINFO abstract for the article. I think what it says is that sightreading can be a valuable aid to memorization, particularly if sightreading ability is accompanied with a good knowledge of musical structure and well-trained muscle memory. I think that's the point some of the other posters have been trying to get across in reference to their own experience. Hope this helps, Trent
  7. The last time something similar happened to my fiddle, my luthier and I spent about twenty minutes together looking at the thing, trying to figure out what was wrong, and were at the point of giving up when he thought to look at the tailgut. Bingo! The sudden change in tension balance had caused it to pull over to one side of the saddle. After we straigtened it out, the fiddle was fine. Hope this helps, Trent
  8. There's an old (American?) saw that goes, "those who can, do; those who can't, teach." If you have any experience at all with teaching, you know that statement is a lie, not because it assumes that teachers are incompetent at what they teach, but because it assumes that teaching is not itself a form of "doing." Understanding a skill in such a way that allows you to explain it to somebody else is very different from understanding it well enough to do it yourself, and understanding *how* to explain it is something else entirely. Having said that, Journey, if there's a 15-year-old on this board who I think would make a good teacher, it's you. Before you do it, though, you might want to look at what--and how--other teachers teach, just to get a sense of how different teachers sequence their material and get it across to students. There are a lot of books on elementary string pedagogy. My favorite one is out of print, but you can get it via interlibrary loan at your local public library: it's by Paul Rolland, and it's called _The Teaching of Action in String Playing_. I read it a few months ago and found it incredibly helpful. Then you might want to get a copy of Fischer's _Basics_, which has really good exercises and drills in it for players of all levels. And depending on how your student feels about reading music, you could start him or her out on something like the Doflein method and / or one of the many Irish and Scottish primers. Or if your student really doesn't want to learn how to read music, you can try teaching him by ear. Just be flexible, and most of all be observant. Good luck with whatever you choose. Trent
  9. Ann, PB, and Tononi: After reading some of your reservations about some of the posts here, I suspect that your original question might have had less to do with music than with cognitive science. Here's an essay I dug up the reference for that might lead you in some interesting directions: Michiko Nuki, "Memorization of piano music," in Psychologia:-An-International-Journal-of-Psychology-in-the-Orient. 1984 Sep; Vol 27(3): 157-163. Here's the abstract: 30 university students studying either piano or composition were presented with a musical piano piece for 3 min, after which it had to be performed by sight-reading. Ss were then allowed to memorize the piece using any method (visual, acoustic, kinesthetic, or any mixture of these). When memorization was complete, Ss performed the piece without music. Even if complete memory hadn't been achieved, an S was asked to perform the piece after 1 hr to determine how much had been memorized. A 15-item questionnaire was administered to assess Ss' attitudes, methods, and salient abilities used during memorization as well as the degree of difficulty of the piece's musical structure and the number of years the Ss had had in practicing piano and solfege (sight reading). Results show that sight-reading abilities were basic to memorization of the piano piece. The ability to thoroughly grasp musical structure through extensive training in harmony and compositional elements were also factors in memorization. The gist of the article seems to be that the important factor in memorization isn't so much the ability or lack thereof to sightread, but the ability to identify musical structure. If anybody wants to look at more articles on this topic, you could ask a reference librarian at your local college to run a search in PsychINFO on the terms "music" and "memorization." Hope this helps, or is at least useful, Trent
  10. Andy, a quick question about the Zyex strings: When they first came out, most of the people who reviewed them on the board felt that the string sets were much higher-tensioned than comparable string sets, so much so that the mediums felt like heavies and the heavies were practically unplayable. My teacher had much the same experience with them, so I never gave them a try. Does it seem that D'Addario has sorted that out yet? (I.e. do your mediums feel like mediums?) Thanks, Trent [This message has been edited by Trent_Hill (edited 03-27-2001).]
  11. quote: Originally posted by Stringtoad: I'm fairly new at this violin thing, and I will be ordering a set of new strings shortly...and I've noticed that several kinds come with a choice of a silver or aluminum wound D string. What is the difference in how it sounds? Which would be the best choice? It all depends on your instrument. Silver-wrapped strings tend to have a smaller diameter than aluminum strings and therefore feel slightly different under your fingers; they also tend to be a little clearer and more focused than aluminum strings. This does not mean that they're better. On my instrument, aluminum Ds sound wonderful, while the silvers sound kinda shrill. quote: AND, on the other hand: what is the difference in the steel or aluminum E strings soundwise? And the gold E's? Try doing a search on "E string" in the archives--there's been a lot of discussion of that issue. In sum: Gold Es tend to sound warm and full but are prone to whistle; steel Es sound a little less warm (and balance well with a lot of strings as a result), but can be prone to whistle as well; aluminum-wound Es don't whistle, but sometimes don't project as powerfully as the others. Hope this helps, Trent [This message has been edited by Trent_Hill (edited 03-26-2001).]
  12. quote: Originally posted by lwl: Has anyone tried Pirastro's new Violino? Same material as the Obligatos and the EPs, but supposedly designed for students and much less expensive. Lydia, I'm always game for trying out new strings. Where did you see them listed? Trent
  13. Here's a variation of a technique I read about in _The Inner Game of Music_: It sounds like you're afraid to make a mistake in the passage, which makes your playing tense, so when you do in fact make a mistake you tense up even more and make more mistakes, and then look at your bow, and then at the window.... So perhaps, rather than playing the song at concert tempo, you should try playing it *faster* than concert tempo. Use a metronome, determine the proper tempo, increase that by 20% or so, and then try playing the piece. You will make a lot of mistakes, trust me, but don't dwell on them--just rip through the piece as fast as you can. Then try playing it at the proper tempo. If you're like me, you'll notice just how much time you seem to have between the metronome clicks. Try it! Hope it helps. Trent
  14. There are a ton of them out there--it all depends on what your level is and whay you are trying to accomplish with them. The standard beginning / intermediate ones, if I'm not mistaken, are the Hrimaly and Schradieck studies, while the intermediate / advanced ones are by Flesch and Galamian. There are others out there that might match up with your needs better.
  15. quote: Originally posted by flamenco: Do your pegs work right? I have no trouble tuning Helicores without fine tuners. If the pegs are very good, I can tune solid-core steel OK without fine tuners, but that becomes trouble all the time. The Helicores are so stable that I usually only have to make very minor tension adjustments. I always have excellent pegs fit well. Oversize pegs will make this more difficult and poorly fitted pegs will make it impossible. My pegs are pretty well-fit, and I have been able to tune the Helis with them without too much difficulty. But I do have to tweak the tuning every couple of days, and it's my understanding that the Helis really don't stand up well to the standard tuning technique of lowering the pitch of the string and then bringing it up to pitch, particularly if you overshoot it and tune it too sharp. What's your experience with them been? Thanks!
  16. quote: Originally posted by fiddlers: Trent: Have you tried putting tuners on your present tailpiece? This would be more economical. Talk to your local luthier and get his/her input on it. Actually, using individual tuners is usually a bad idea because they add weight and dampening to the violin, they mess up the proper ratio of string length to stoplength (potentially further dampening the sound), and they pose a hazard to the violin if, for whatever reason, the bridge ever collapses suddenly. My luthier's a friend, but if I suggested this to him, he'd likely punch me! [This message has been edited by Trent_Hill (edited 03-13-2001).]
  17. Hi, guys. I just recently broke down and tried a set of Helicores on my violin and love 'em. They don't sound quite as good as the Obligatos that were on there, but since they're cheaper and will last a lot longer (the Obs were crapping out after three months), I can accept the slight difference. At any rate, I think I want to get a tailpiece with integrated fine tuners and was wondering what folks experience with them were. I know that Wittner and Thomastik make aluminum models, but aren't there also some carbon fiber and / or wooden ones out there too? Are there any advantages, other than aesthetic, for one model over another. Thanks for any help! Trent
  18. Ren, I would second Huang's advice on getting a good luthier to adjust your setup. A very small amount of soundpost tweaking can make your fiddle bright again, especially since you're already using a string that many folks consider to be bright. Hope this helps, Trent
  19. quote: Originally posted by RANDALL MONTGOMERY: Has anyone tried different types of rosin with the helicores? I wouldn't use Hill Dark on a bet, though the Hill Light is pretty good. I use Millant-Deroux and have very little problem with rosin buildup. But you really do have to be careful with how much you use, regardless of the string type or brand. I draw my bow lightly across the block once or twice, no more than once a week, and I practice about an hour a day. I wipe the bowing area of the strings after every practice, and clean them with a little alcohol applied to a cloth about once a week. If you wipe off your strings after practicing, you shouldn't get enough of a rosin buildup to affect your sound noticeably unless you're using a LOT of rosin.
  20. I second what toc says regarding Super-Insensitives. Try the Helicores--they'll be much better, regardless of whether you stick with them or not.
  21. If you have that much space between jaw and chinrest, get thee to your luthier and ask him / her to put a shim (preferably made from the same wood as your chinrest) on it. When my luthier buddy did it for me, he cut the bottom edge off the rest, grafted a piece of ebony onto it, drilled a new set of holes for the clamps, turned little ebony pins to fill the old holes with and glued them in, contoured the whole kit 'n' kaboodle so that it looked more like modern sculpture and less like a train wreck, and then took the time to get the height precisely right after it was installed. I can *highly* recommend it if you need it. If you're going to try to raise your chinrest by as much as it sounds like you need to, cork will not work--it's too unstable a material and will compress badly, and might even slip off at an inopportune moment.
  22. Greta, here's the fast 'n' dirty explanation that I received when I posted a similar question on Maestronet a few years ago: In melodic passages, string players usually play the leading tones in the scale (the thirds and the sevenths, or E and B in the key of C) a little bit sharper than they would be on the piano to emphasize their "leading" quality. If you're playing in E, for instance, that means your D# is going to be a little sharper than usual. Unless, however, you're playing in a key that has leading tones on open strings, in which case you play the notes you're leading to somewhat flat. For instance, if you're playing in Eb you would want to make the Eb low enough so that the open D would lead to it properly. There's a good explanation of this in many of the standard works on violin pedagogy--check out the intonation discussions in Fischer's _Basics_ or Flesch's _Art of Violin Playing, Bk. 1_. It is a basic--and confusing--issue. Trent [This message has been edited by Trent_Hill (edited 02-22-2001).]
  23. quote: Originally posted by violagirl8: Here are some 'newbie' questions: How much of a difference does different rosin make? How expensive can rosin get? Just curious...I've been using the same rosin for...5 years I think...it came with my first viola! Does rosin 'expire'?!? 1. It can make a pretty big difference, within limits. The cheap stuff can make your fiddle sound raspy and cover it with lots of dust while a better quality rosin will shed less dust and sound better. But there's going to be less difference between any two good rosins than between a good rosin and a cheap one. 2. I've seen some really, really fine Japanese rosin go for $23. 3. Not that I know of. Hope this helps, Trent [This message has been edited by Trent_Hill (edited 02-20-2001).]
  24. quote: Originally posted by HuangKaiVun: I think I'm going to try my hand at FIDDLING. So guys, I need your advice. Any recommendations for sheet music? For Irish music, the standard big collection is O'Neill's, which was originally published at the turn of the last century. Ryan's is good for American old-time tunes, again from the same period. I don't know of a single good source for Scots tunes, but the Calendonian Companion is a good method and collection of tunes. Which reminds me: What you really need more than anything else is not tunes, but style-specific technique. You can get that in part from some of the tutors out there (Pete Cooper's and Matt Cranitch's are the best for Irish playing; Craig Duncan wrote a good one for American old-time; and then there's the aforementioned Calendonian Companion). All of these books, and many, many more, are available from Elderly Instruments (http://www.elderly.com/books/books.htm). There's nothing quite as good, though, as sitting down with somebody who actually plays the style and having them show you the tunes. You really need that to get the ornaments and the rhythmic "feel" right. (I always thought that was just some flavor of moonshine until I started taking lessons in Romanian fiddling and discovered that it was The Truth.) Hope this helps, Trent [This message has been edited by Trent_Hill (edited 02-17-2001).]
  • Create New...