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Everything posted by Trent_Hill

  1. I would second the Sevcik recommendations. I'm very fond of op. 8, and find that they work best if you try to approach them as melodies; while that's a stretch for some of them, others really do sound like melodic fragments, and they have the added virtue of strengthening your intonation in higher positions. Hope this helps, Trent
  2. SHAR sells a very useful book on this topic: the title is something like _Mental Practicing and Imagery for Musicians_. It's a very useful book, full of good suggestions for incorporating mental practice into your physical practice, as well as when you're away from the instrument.
  3. quote: Originally posted by Ole Bull: You'll fit right in, by the sound of it.... where are you coming from? Plenty of community, semiprofessional etc orchestras here, as well as some eclectic groups - I think there are one or two that fit your description. If you're coming to study at the UW then you can audition for lessons.. sadly Steven Staryk has left town, but there is a violin program with good teachers.Several makers, shops in town, try them and see what you think - I'll give you my opinions in private if you want! I'm coming from Clemson, South Carolina. My opinions of the place are best left private.... Just out of curiousity: Do you know of any good Greek/Klezmer/Arabic violinists or violin teachers in-city? Many thanks, Trent
  4. Sorry, couldn't resist on the subject line.... It looks like I'm going to be moving to Seattle to start a library degree program in the fall. I'd love to hear any information, tales, or suggestions regarding the life of the string player in Seattle--community orchestras, chamber groups, shops, recommendations for teachers, the state of the ethnic / Klezmer/ Eastern European music scenes, etc. Mucho thanko for any and all help, Trent
  5. Is there a particular passage that you have trouble with, or a particular note (or group of notes)? Is there a particular part of the fingerboard or position that gives you trouble? I suspect that you intonation isn't globally off; it's just off in certain situations, and once you figure out what's going wrong in those situations, then you might try working on some scales and studies aimed at straightening things out. You might want to look at the "Intonation" section in Simon Fischer's _Basics_--he has some really helpful exercises there. You might also try Andrew Victor's technique: Try practicing with your left ear partially plugged (w/ wax earplug, cotton ball, or small piece of wadded-up tissue). Hope this helps, Trent
  6. Maybe I'm a day late (and a dollar or three short), but for me they would be the largos from the two Tartini G minor sonatas, maybe the first movement of Bach's first solo violin sonata (which I think is also in G minor...a pattern, I sense?), and Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht. Oh, and Faure's Berceuse, since that's what my wife and I processed to at our wedding two months ago!
  7. You might also get a copy of Simon Fischer's _Basics_ if you haven't already: a clutch of his exercises seem to be designed to help teach basic mechanics and might be of much use.
  8. HKV & DE, thanks for your replies. Let me clarify my question: I have, as far as I can tell, the optimal chinrest on my violin (it's a Flesch): it fills the space b/t my collarbone and chin well and it allows me to comfortably balance the fiddle on my collarbone. And I've been playing scales and studies--a batch of the Sevcik Op. 8 studies, in particular, along with scales and the tried-but-true Kreutzer #2 and #9. My problem: If I play using he most "natural" points-of-contact for my left hand, the tip joint of the thumb and base joint of my index finger, my thumb gets quite tense after about thirty or so minutes of practicing. I suspect I would be better off with different p.o.c., and was interested in knowing how the rest of you "manage" that issue, particularly when you're playing in first position. Many thanks, Trent Hill
  9. I've been experimenting with playing without a shoulder rest, and so far I've found that it frees up my *right* shoulder a great deal. I'm having a hard time, though, developing a left hand position that allows me to support the instrument w/o generating a lot of tension in my right thumb. How do those of you who play w/o the rest deal with supporting the instrument while leaving your fingers free to play? And what about shifting and vibrato? Many thanks, Trent
  10. I think that one advantage to teaching a beginning student the "low elbow" technique is that it would help counteract the natural tendency (or at least it was "natural" for me) to raise your elbow higher than it needs to be. The higher you keep your right elbow, the more tension you develop in the rhomboid muscle between your shoulder blade and your spine. If you're not careful--i.e. if you don't check yourself regularly--you will, as I did last year, damage that muscle. After my injury, my teacher had me swing the scroll of my violin more to the right and lower my right elbow, both of which helped me greatly. As for the question HKV raised above: If I'm not mistaken, the lowered-elbow technique was standard for players in the 18th and 19th centuries up until the development of the chinrest, and since Paganini didn't use a chinrest, I would suspect that he played with a "low" elbow as well. I could well be wrong on this, and at any rate on all accounts he was a physical mutant. Hope this helps, Trent
  11. This sounds quite absurd. I would think that the "best" approach would depend on the size and construction of your hand. For me, if I didn't let my hand rest against the ede of the violin in third position, I would have to wrench my left elbow really, really far to the right, producing a lot of tension. quote: Originally posted by Daisy: I had a teacher that said on no account was I to touch the instrument with my hand until 5th position. I thought this was a bit absurd since I was trained with my hand touching the body of the violin in 3rd. I don't always have it TOUCHING anymore, -especially when I use an arm vib.!- but I keep it generally very close. Its comfortable and convenient, and easier to reach notes even on big reaches.
  12. I'm a 37 y.o., soon-to-be ex-college professor who started playing violin on a whim about four years ago after playing guitar for about twenty. I wanted to start a band with a violin in it and figured that it would be easier to do it myself than explain precisely what I wanted. Four years and some layoffs due to insane exes and injuries (not related to said insane exes), I'm progressing pretty well, working as the spirit moves me on Klezmer and other "Eastern" musics and thinking about the band I want to start when I move to Seattle w/ my wife to start library school at UW. (Library work gets in the way of fiddling less.) I'm looking forward to performing one day; until then, I'm having too much fun just playing in my study.
  13. There's a pretty good bit of Greek violin playing available on record; much of it isn't sold as such, but the violin figures prominently in all the classic Smyrniac Greek rebetica recordings from about 1910 through the 40s. Look for the CD "Greek-Oriental Rebetica" on Arhoolie/Folklyric; there's a similar collection on Rounder, as well as collections of recordings by Roza Eskenazi (a fabulous, fabulous singer) on Rounder and Heritage. Heritage also has a cd of music by Rita Abazi, another great early rembetist w/ fine fiddlers working behind her. Traditional Crossroads (a NY-based lable operated by the son of one of the greatest living Armenian musicians) has some more contemporary Greek music out, as well as some Turkish and Near Eastern music that you'd like if you like the Greek stuff. In general, there is a lot of stylistic borrowing between Greek music and the Roma, Turkish, and Klezmer traditions, which you can hear very prominently in Alicia Svigals' playing on her Traditional Crossroads recording, _Fidl_. She lives and teaches in the NY area (when she's not touring with the Klezmatics and chumming with Perlman), so you might try to look her up. I have a real passion for these musics, so it's good to see somebody else on the board tuning in to them. Hope this helps. Oh, yeah, look at Henry Sapoznik's and Stacy Phillip's Klexmer collections--they'll send you in some interesting directions as well. Trent Hill
  14. I've spent some time rummaging around the new board, and I'm inclined to agree w/ OOOetc. The lack of hierarchization of replies makes it hard to see how the threads are developing. Worse for me is that when I checked into the old board, I would usually scroll through first to see if there were any topics of particular interest that had popped up that day; then, though, I would see if any of my favorite regulars had written anything on any topic of interest. I've learned a great deal over the last couple of years by reading what Andy Victor, Al Stancil, Michael Darnton, ADean, and even OOOetc. have written on topics that did not at first glance interest me; as it stands, I don't see how I'll be able to do that on the old board. Admin, any recommendations? I realize that buggy and unreliable software is a pain in the non-violin-playing parts of the anatomy, but the sacrifices involved in this new format seem kinda steep. Thanks, Trent Hill
  15. I have a question that's based partly on some interesting turns my life has taken lately. It looks like sometime during the summer of 2000 that I'll be relocating to another part of the world to teach ESL. I'm currently renting a pretty nice instrument from my local violin shop. 60% of the rental fee goes towards purchase, and by the time I make the move I'll have about $600 credit that I can apply toward the purchase of my rental or any other violin. I might be able to spend up to $1100 more for an upgrade. Here's my question: Could I get a better violin, all other things being equal, for $1700 in the States or $1100 in, say, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Japan, or Thailand? Thanks for any help. Trent
  16. George Behary posted a few months ago with a recommendation on how to take care of the slipping thumb cushion problem. I took his advice and have had no problems with the grip since. You might try to find his post by looking up "George Behary" in the archive, or he might send it to you directly if he reads this. : I bought on with an outfit around the beginning of the year. It plays really well for what it costs. I have not had any problems with the hair falling out, excessive hair breakage, or with the hair taking the initial rosin. All of these things were comments that people had reported on previous postings. The only negative I have to report is that the grip is of molded rubber that has the molded ridges still in it, and the grip slides around, as if it came unglued. I will probably have the grip replaced with leather when I go for the first rehair. : Carl E : : I read almost all the board info. on the bow and have not seen much about it in 1999. I was wondering if anyone has bought one recently and had any problems with quality. There seemed to be some manufacturing inconsistencies with hair coming out and weight of the bow in the 1997-98 postings. I plan to buy one soon. Thanks.
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