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xdmitrix420's Achievements


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  1. there's a method of playing without a shoulder rest, and NOT having any contact of the back of the instrument with your shoulder. You support the instrument solely with your left thumb being slightly under the neck, and the other half of the instrument rests on your collarbone. I played this way for a few years and was taught this way by a teacher who teaches at Curtis, just to lend this some credibility. The best example of this style of playing is leonid kogan, hands down. I do notice some muting with a KUN on my instrument, but even after years of learning how to play without a shoulder rest from a master player, it just doesn't suit me. Playing with a shoulder rest, when properly fitted (that's the key, if it's not fitted to you right it can be quite painful) is infinitely easier. It's easier to do vibrato and it's easier to keep the instrument stable during spiccato. I notice when I played without a shoulder rest, the instrument bobs slightly when you do a spicatto stroke. The shoulder rest contains this, making the stroke more precise. There's some videos on youtube of menuhin instructing young students how to play without a shoulder rest, they are quite interesting to watch. There are many pros to playing with or without a shoulder rest..... I'll just say that playing without requires great amounts of attention to muscle movement to succeed, and it came to the point for me where it just wasn't worth the extra effort. I play a lot more confidently with one, no matter how much I practiced without, I never felt %100 about it.
  2. The setup is a Vista PC running audacity, connected to a MXL 007 USB mic. To combat the effects of the small room (too much sound reverberating in a small room), I use audacity to run a high pass filter, but's that about it.
  3. Hey guys, I've commited myself to recording all the bach sonatas/partitas on viola. Here's my first offerings from the 2nd sonata, I may redo them since I'm recording in a closet sized room and the acoustics aren't great, but I like the 'raw' quality of it in a way. http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/22268/samples/wav/sonata2-1v2.wav http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/22268/samples/wav/sonata2-3.wav I'm going to be working on the fugue probably for a month, my philosophy with the recording thing is to not edit them at all, so none of these have been spliced, they are all just one shot takes.
  4. sorry i haven't gotten to it yet, and i'm not sure i will. I went to their website and looked at the feet, and they look like thin springy metal instead of the usual screw type feet. I have an unusually wide viola (260mm at the lower bout) and it's one of those things that I'll spend way too much money on, order and it probably won't fit or it will bend those springy metal feet out of proportion. I think i'm going to wait until I see one at a local shop before I try it. I was thinking of starting a blog site that reviews music products as they come out and provide detailed info and pictures on them, as the internet seems to be sorely lacking info of some of these products. Perhaps I could get so popular that companies would just send me demo units to try.
  5. I recommend the whittner chinrests. They are made of a composite plastic, but not to be confused with the cheesy black plastic chinrests that are found on student violins. The mounting brackets are very very nice, and the pad that the chinrest sits on is only 1-2mm wide and sits on the very edge of the wood, making it very hard to ruin the ribs. The brackets have been a huge relief to me after spending hours with traditional chinrests trying to get the hardware to mount evenly onto the system.
  6. lymond: thanks your tip on trying out bows. At the shop, the salesperson laid about 15-20 bows on the table, and I was pretty overwhelmed with how to narrow down the choices.
  7. on the lighter side of things, i think i'm going to order the diamond xxl for viola and see how it turns out. The feet look interesting because they are attached by a springy piece of steel. out of all the wooden shoulder rests, i haven't liked any of them. the mach one was too stiff and didn't have enough padding for me.
  8. i'm starting to wish the dealer hadn't put the prices on little stickers on each bow. then i probably wouldn't have noticed the expensive bows. i've actually been quite impressed with some german workshop bows. I picked up a german violin bow from a yard sale by the name of albert kramling. the viola bow i have is by wilhelm raum, and each seem to play as much more expensive bows.
  9. Thanks for the link, much appreciated. Google wasn't turning up any results. I wish more websites would post exact specs on heights, lengths, widths of various shoulder rests. I used to not play with a shoulder rest, and I even spent 5 years playing and learning without one. On top of that, I had one of the top teachers in the country show me how the exact technique required. It just required too much effort to hold the instrument, and the instrument easily moved too much for my taste. After seeing videos of pinchas zukerman, and isaac stern stuffing padding under their suits, I just said *&@#* it, they're cheating too, so I might as well too.
  10. Earlier today I had the opportunity to try various viola bows ranging in price from $2000 all the way to $16,000. I was playing in a busy violin shop and I didn't have much time with each bow. There was a bow by Ouchard for 16,000 and another by Vigneron for 14,000. Then there was other bows in the 4000 to 6000 range. Funny thing was I didn't notice much of a huge difference between the 4000-6000 bows and the two super expensive bows. The sound I got out of the 14,000 bow was so interesting though. I got a huge amount of volume, and a richness on the C string I've never gotten out of my instrument before. I'm not sure it was a difference worth paying 10,000 extra for though. To make things more confusing, my teacher gave me a bow to try a month ago. It's a german workshop bow worth about $600, but it plays better than my french $3500 that I've played on most of my life. I'm rambling, I guess at this point I'm pretty confused about the price vs. quality scheme for bows. It seems a little more linear with instruments (ie the more you pay the better instrument you get). When you do find a bow with that extra special quality to it, how much extra are you willing to pay for it?
  11. Hi guys - I noticed on quinnviolins.com and johnsonstrings.com a new shoulder rest by viva la musica called the diamond series. Does anyone have one? they look pretty comfy, but they are quite expensive. Also, I was wondering if anyone has the viola version. Quinnviolins lists it, but there are no specs on the maximum viola size it can handle.
  12. Do you have any idea what the name of the company is that makes tuxes for the MET? I'm sure they'd know how to make a tux for a musician, those operas can often be 3-4 hours of constant playing, so you'd have to be pretty comfortable. Now I'm wondering how many companies are out there that make tuxes specifically for musicians. I obtained my current tux from men's wearhouse, but most of their tuxes seemed similar (pretty thick - designed for wedding use).
  13. Hello all - does anyone have recommendations on how to play more comfortably with a tux? Normally when I practice I play in a thin t-shirt, which is what i'm most comfortable in. The tux jacket I use though has thick shoulder pads built in and it pushes my instrument much higher than it should be. Also the collar for the shirt and bow tie tend to push the instrument out by half an inch, which also changes the way my left hand hits the fingerboard. This has always been something that bothered me, but I would always just deal with it and adjust during a concert. I've seen artists like Gidon Kremer or Nigel Kennedy who wear non-tux outfits for performing, but since I'm not as famous as them, I can't really do that. I don't stress out about it when I play in an orchestra, but when I do solo or chamber concerts, it starts to get on my nerves because the last thing you want before playing publicly is to feel out of alignment with your instrument. I'm guessing the best route would be to order a very thin tux jacket with no shoulder pads, but I'm not sure if anyone does it or if it looks too odd.
  14. i think if dr. s had a lesson with one of the great masters like heifetz or primrose, he'd be putting his foot where his mouth is.
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