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victor

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Everything posted by victor

  1. That doesn't sound bad. I understand that there are at least several players in professional orchestras out there who play on Berg bows, which are carbon fiber bows that look, sound, and respond like very good, very expensive pernambuco bows. Seems like an excellent choice to me, and I'm planning to check them out eventually. In the meantime, my Codabow is meeting my needs quite well. Victor : : You've got a point. Carbon-fiber is really expensive right now, : but if it becomes common enough, its price could approach : plastic. : My buddy, in (I shouldn't say without asking him) professional : orchestra plays on a composite bow. He said that the bowmaker told : him that he (the bowmaker) would appreciate it if my buddy didn't : tell people it was a plastic bow
  2. What I (and some others that I know) do with synthetics is to keep the last set of strings around as spares. If one of the current strings breaks, I replace it with a "spare" and immediately order a new set of strings. The benefit of this is that the "spare" will mix well with the other strings. With steel strings, I order several sets at the same time and keep them around--new steel sets last a long time in their packages. With gut, good luck--neither keeping spares nor stocking up works well with gut strings. They just don't last long either way. Victor : I just ordered a set of Pirastro Eudoxas and I don't plan on using them anytime soon. Do you all think it's better to by a set so you can have a new string available when one breaks, or to buy them when they break? (I have two music stores near me. One sells only dominants and the other sells Eudoxas at more than double the price of Shar.)
  3. : Hmmm, if she likes them maybe I should try them? Someone told me they were the cheapest. To me, that can be one or both of two things. Not very good, or inexpensive. If inexpensive is the case, then they must still be good, since Midori uses them...
  4. : I am 42 years old, been taking lessons for 6 months and most of the time when I play a "d" on the "g" string it screaches. Any help?
  5. I can say that I have developed a slight sense of absolute pitch, although it certainly isn't complete. I can sing E-flats and As pretty much on pitch without a reference note, and I can usually recognize and A when I hear one. I'm still working on David Burge's perfect pitch course, but I've had lots of problems finding a partner who will stick with it and I'm far from being done. I do expect to develop full perfect pitch eventually (I'll post when I do!). Victor : I have searched all the old postings concerning Perfect Pitch and Ear Training - but I would very much like to hear from someone who actually achieved Perfect Pitch themselves - or through some course. Is there such a person?
  6. I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but if you mean that the hair on your bow seems to lengthen within a single practice session, then it seems to me that it could well be from the increased heat generated by bowing, as you have suggested. Another possibility is an increase in humidity in the room where you're practicing--I have essentially watched the hair on my bow grow when I once took my violin from a dry climate to a humid one, opened the case, and started to play. Regardless, it's the nature of the hair--the only thing you can really do is to either start with more tension on the bow or add tension at various points while you're playing. I always find myself doing one of those two during my playing sessions. Victor : I recently realized that bow hair tends to get loose : after some play. I guess this is due to stretching : of hair, perhaps because of the heat generated by the : friction between hair and strings. As a result the : distance between the wood of the bow and the strings : becomes short and therefore buzzing sound (due to the : vibration of wood) is generated. I would appreciate : any comments or suggestions for this problem.
  7. If I remember correctly from the times he's posted about the subject, Andy wears a loose-fitting wax earplug on the left ear--just enough to balance out both ears. I have found that my violin is so loud (and that my ears are so sensitive to high frequencies) that I need to wear TWO earplugs when I practice; my ears get numb after I play for a significant length of time without earplugs. I take the standard, cheap earplugs that are sold at drug stores and I cut them in half, then I shape them a bit with scissors. I put the bigger of the two in my left ear. I cut them because full earplugs don't give a balanced sound (some frequencies are filtered out more than others). My understanding is that a fair number of violinists use earplugs when they practice. And it's understandable--they have something like over 100 dB inches away from their eardrums for hours at a time each day. Victor
  8. Your post was great. I kept hearing everyone saying to keep the violin high, but I never knew why... now I know, and it has added stability to the violin. Please keep posting with more insights if you can! Victor
  9. : Please someone tell me a good string name : that has a bright brilliant sound. For violin. : Remember, I'm looking for brightness and brilliance. They don't make them much brighter than ropecore strings. Try Thomastik Spirocores or Pirastro Flexocor Permanents. However, these are steel core strings, which you may not like if you're the classical type (as opposed to the fiddler type). For bright synthetics, try Pirastro Synoxas. They are brilliant AND rich-sounding. Victor
  10. : There is no order in which to change strings. I do : it one side at a time. I take the A and E off, then : put the E on first because the A string covers the E peg. I will strongly warn against taking more than a single string off at the same time, especially on the same side--the bridge can easily fall during such a procedure, and the remaining strings will be under heavy tension because they will have to pick up the slack from the missing strings. If you take the G and D strings off, the E string could easily snap from the added tension (especially if it's old), possibly causing the bridge to collapse and the tailpiece to hit the instrument. Not to mention possibly hurting the person changing the strings. Also, the A string may cover the E peg, but it shouldn't interfere with stringing--the D string also covers the G peg, but I have always done D and then G and I have never experienced any interference from the D string when installing the G string. And I will support Andy in hesitating to recommend gut strings to someone just starting on the violin--gut strings are just too high-maintenance, and beginners have too many things to worry about already (bow hold, posture, tension, coordination, and so on). Victor
  11. I also have a bright-sounding instrument. Pirastro Aricores work rather well at making its sound a bit more mellow, so I'd recommend those strings (with perhaps a Pirastro Eudoxa wound E string). I have never tried John Pearse Artiste. The break-in period for an instrument is in the range of weeks, usually--it should make your instrument a bit more vibrant and responsive, and possibly a bit warmer. Rosin doesn't have much of an effect on tone. As for replacing strings, I have always done the E string first and haven't had any problems--I don't think it really matters. Do be sure to coat the string grooves at the nut and bridge with graphite. Hope this helps! Victor
  12. : Many people color a bridge (not seal it) so that it doesn't look so darned white! Currently I'm doing it by soaking the bridge with water, then washing on a solution of nussbaum (walnut extract, walnut crystals--a water soluble color from the hulls of walnuts). If you don't water the bridge first the resulting stain looks too dirty. : : Hello, I have been cutting violin bridges for many years now and have always just left them "in the white", that is, I never apply shellac, oils, or any other substance to seal them after they have been cut and fit properly. : : My question is: Why is this sometimes done and what advantages/disadvantages are there to doing so? ... also what is the best thing to use? : : Regards, : : Joe
  13. I would like recommendations on good books out there on current string pedagogy methods. I have older such books (Auer, Menuhin, Flesch, Galamian), but I would like to hear of newer ones that are recommended. Is Kato Havas' "A new approach to violin playing" good? Any other such books? Thanks in advance, Victor
  14. Can the mere fact that the top of the instrument was taken off and put back on cause the instrument's tone to change? Now, I understand that it's hard to get the soundpost back to exactly where it was before (and that this will probably make the biggest difference in tone), but assuming that this is done as well as is reasonably possible, can the tone still be different enough to notice? Would the tone improve a bit with time as the instrument settles into its new "assembled state", somewhat like a brand-new instrument does? Victor
  15. Had someone ripped out the neck? Ouch... I feel for violins that have to undergo such major surgery. Nice work, though. Victor : In case anyone is interested, this is a block replacment, button graft, rib graft, and neck angle adjustment, all at the same time.
  16. ... try leaning your fingers back, toward the scroll. This will give your fingers a flatter profile for vibrato, yet will keep your fingers from touching adjacent strings. The fingers should not be leaning toward adjacent strings, only toward the scroll. There will be some interference, but it can be minimized. Victor : I also have tried to play so that my fingers are coming straight down and not touching other strings, and recently I was told that I needed to flatten my fingers more for a more full vibrato. How do you get on with this? Have you noticed any problem or is it just me? : Lenny
  17. : Who HASN'T heard of Romper Room????? I haven't heard of Romper Room. I watched cartoons as a kid, and a bit of Sesame Street. I didn't like Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. I'm 25--how old are you? Victor p.s. So, what kind of a kids' show was Romper Room anyway?
  18. Make sure that your fingers are coming straight down on the fingerboard from above, and don't press your fingers too hard or they'll expand like a squished ball and will touch adjacent strings. But it's important that your fingers are perpendicular to the fingerboard. When you finger the notes, look for what fingers are touching adjacent strings and then try to reposition your fingers to correct the problem. As an exercise, try playing double stops (two notes ringing simultaneously) with the fingered notes on the D string and the open A string, and keep working on it until you can hear all notes ring clearly. In particular, start with the E on the D string and position your first finger so that the E note and the open A sound clearly. Then, while keeping the first finger down, put down your second finger and play the F# and the A. Do likewise for the G. Be careful--sometimes it's hard to tell which finger is touching the adjacent string. I have made it a habit since I began playing the violin to always make sure that my left-hand fingers aren't touching adjacent strings when I play. It's hard because I don't have thin fingers, but it has been invaluable in intonation and tone (allowing for sympathetic vibrations on open strings). It demands a great deal of precision from the left hand, but then again, so does intonation. Good luck! Victor : Hello, Im a beginner who is just beginning to pizz on the "A" string while keeping my fingers ready to play "e" "f# and "g" on the "D" string. Im finding this impossible to do... My fingers on "d" interfere with the "A" string... Im an adult, but my fingers are not fat...What am I doing wrong, and what if any practice/exercise techniques can solve this??????
  19. i am merely able to sing E flats on demand, and the song seemed to be a half step higher than that. -v : It is in the is e major.
  20. : A bit low, but my absolute pitch enjoys it. : ( besides I got a feeling we here in Europe do have lower tuning than in America, am i right?) The A above middle C, is it set to 440Hz? It is here in the U.S. Victor
  21. : Try this: : http://hamsterdance.com/ : If the music doesn't play, check at the bottom.
  22. That being that "cheap" is a relative (and thus subjective) term, and that trying to prove it is futile. Instead of saying that hundreds of top musicians use Dominants, tell us of some of its formidable qualities. As I understand, they are very similar to Tonicas, except that Dominants have a metallic edge at the beginning of their life (which fades after a couple of weeks), don't last as long as Tonicas, and don't have that rich, complex sound that Tonicas have. So I'm still not convinced. While I'm sure Dominants are decent strings (otherwise they wouldn't be so popular), I'm just not impressed, and thus unwilling to try them out. After all, if my Tonicas are good enough, why should I experiment? Similarly, if Dominants are good enough for top musicians, why should they experiment, especially when they NEED their instruments to perform on a daily basis? I think it's the risk of experimentation that's giving Dominants the momentum that keeps them so popular. They were probably top-quality strings a couple of decades ago, but they don't seem so formidable anymore in the crowd of high-quality strings we're seeing today. Your thoughts? Victor
  23. After all, if you don't conform to the opinion of the experts, you must be a fool. We can't have people thinking for themselves and coming up with their own conclusions... that's dangerous. Taking OOooo boy's logic to the limit, Victor p.s. plus, for "serious" car drivers, spending $300 a year on a new timing belt is a necessity, not a luxury.
  24. : I once had BMW timing belt snap on me just like a Dominant A string. Hey Steve, maybe that ghost of yours overtightened the belt. Victor
  25. The reason I chose BMWs to compare to Hondas was NOT because of price, but because of quality. Even YOU said that if you were to offer a free car to 100 people, most would choose the BMW over the Honda, and price wasn't a factor there. Now, you said yourself that Dominants seem to last no more than six weeks. Tonicas seem to outlast them, and apparently so do some Olives, according to you. Since longevity seems to be Michael's primary concern, it makes sense for him to consider Dominants to be cheap in comparison to some other strings out there, even if cheap is exactly defined as "inferior quality or worth". Again, it's relative, and the definition of quality is subjective. Victor
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