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Everything posted by altistitar*

  1. Quote: Are you in an area that it is possible to find a(nother) luthier who is more enjoyable to visit?? I have visited other luthiers, but I have yet to find one I truly enjoy visiting. Or maybe I'm just too picky...
  2. Quote: You may hate going to the luthier but it's necessary, we take our car to the mechanics, we go to the dentist, musicians take their instruments to luthiers and so on. Yeah, I know it's necessary, I just have had some unpleasant experiences in the past. The luthier I bought my viola from is very arrogant and has no customer service skills - not a pleasure to deal with him! Thanks for the help, I'll go try the cleaning now. And if it doesn't work, I'll just have to bite my tongue and visit a luthier.
  3. Should I take the strings off when doing that? I absolutely hate going to the luthier, I don't know why, but I try to avoid it as much as I can.
  4. When I was at a music festival a couple of weeks ago, I took my viola to a luthier for cleaning. It's now nice and shiny, but the neck, fingerboard and strings are a bit sticky and that makes shifting difficult. How could I clean these myself? Obviously I can't complain to the luthier, because the festival is over and he has travelled back to Russia or wherever he lives.
  5. Is anyone from here going? It's a quartet course in West Dean, UK, on July 9th-15th. My quartet is going there, and I'm just curious. Or if anyone has attended it before, what was it like? http://www.westdean.org.uk/site/arts/music/music/CSQ.htm
  6. Quote: --You might allot a limited time for the practice of each item (each scale, etude, or piece) and gradually increase the allotment with each practice session. Use a timer to enforce the time limit. Wow, so many great replies! Of all the things everyone said, this one interests me the most. If I told myself that I'm only allowed to spend x minutes on a passage, I might actually get something done. I think I'll print this thread out and take it with me when I leave for a music camp tomorrow. There I'll have lots of time to think about my practice habits and concentration issues. Again, thanks for all the suggestions!
  7. Thanks for the replies! About memorizing, I usually memorize most of my stuff sort of automatically. Often I find myself walking away from the music stand, while still playing the piece and thinking about something completely different. I might try memorizing something I never play from memory, like etudes, though. I tried saggio3of4's suggestion today. It didn't work out as well as I had hoped, because I was too lazy and didn't stop playing completely - I just took the viola off my shoulder and tried to focus on the music again. When I was playing scales, my concentration was so bad I should have been stopping every three notes . Maybe next time I'll just force myself to really stop and take a break. All of your suggestions are good, but I was really thinking about some off-instrument concentration exercises, maybe some meditation-like stuff. Preferably something that can be done without the guidance of a guru
  8. I'm having a problem with concentration while practicing. I can truly concentrate only for very short moments. Is there a way to learn to keep my mind focused on the playing for a longer time? I don't think this is a motivation problem, because it also happens when I'm reading - after a while, I notice I'm thinking about other things. Any suggestions?
  9. Mainly concentrating on Britten's Lachrymae, I'll perform it for the first time on December 2nd - I'm not too confindent about it yet, but gotta start performing it sometime. Also Vieuxtemps' Capriccio in c minor (solo viola), and I should start with some Bach also... I have university auditions on May, where I'm playing Britten, and maybe Vieuxtemps or Bach. With my quartet we are playing Borodin's 2nd quartet and Beethoven op18/4. Both are very much fun Orchestra (Helsinki Strings - if you've heard of us I'll start to feel famous ): Sibelius The Lover suite, Nielsen Little Suite, Nordgren Concerto for strings, Mozart Violin concerto n.4 in D. That's pretty much all, of course not counting quartet gig music and such. I've played for seven years now.
  10. Quote: His Sonata for Viola is so disonant and harsh sounding.. the more I get it in tune.. the worse it sounds! WTF is this! He wrote quite many sonatas for viola. Which one are you talking about? Hindemith is Hindemith, it will never (and isn't supposed to) sound like Mozart!
  11. Quote: so...if the violin is the devil's instrument...what's the viola? The angel's instrument of course! At least to me, but I am a violist... And I totally agree about the violin being the devil's instrument. Viola could never go that low!
  12. I have one, but it was too shrill for my viola which in my opinion has a bit too bright A. I kept it for emergency situations. Now I'm using a Larsen dolce with the rest Dominants, and it's OK. But the best A I've tried is the new Evah Pirazzi - anyone of you tried that? I can't really describe it because it unfortunately broke and they are kind of hard to find here so I'm back to Larsen. But I do remember it sounded extraordinary.
  13. Yeah, kinda like that mouse one, except that there were lots of different kinds, like a frog, a beaver, a conductor... Anyone know anything about these?
  14. I remember seeing a page selling all kinds of animal-shape string instrument mutes on the net a few years ago. I didn't order them then because I thought they were expensive, but now I'd love to get some for christmas gifts to my viola teacher and friens. But of course I can't remember the URL, and I've had no luck with search engines... anyone know the webpage or an email address to the seller?
  15. I took my viola to a repairsman, hoping he would get my A string less bright and harsh. That didn't happen, even though he changed the tailgut (a synthetic one really). He said that now with the new tailgut the lower strings might be too "loose", and if I wish, I can change the old one back myself. I read all the posts about changing tailpieces or tailguts and I'm now afraid that the soundpost will fall if I take all the strings off. However my teacher once did some adjustment on my viola, and he loosened all the strings. The post didn't fall even if he wasn't holding the viola exactly still. So should I try? Any tips? I think the instrument was better with the old tailgut, but I really wouldn't mind to bother my teacher (or the repairsman) again with my instrument problems
  16. http://koti.mbnet.fi/caroline/krysse.mp3 (4,77MB file) That's my quartet playing Puccinis Crysantemi in a concert yesterday. The recording is horrible, done with a crappy mic and minidisc recorder from backstage (!) but something can still be heard... Any comments?
  17. You don't need a tuner (or perfect pitch!) to tune your violin. Tune your A like toasty explained, use your metronomes tuning pitch or play A on a piano (might be difficult to hear) or use a tuning fork. Then you tune the other strings in perfect 5ths. It would be best if your teacher or some other player demonstrated this, it's not hard but hard to explain if you haven't been doing it before. You really shouldn't use a piano to play G, D or E, because pianos are tuned differently than stringed instruments and their fifths aren't exactly in tune. You might get your other strings in tune using a tuner but it would be best to learn to tune the fifths. Ever seen a violinist using a tuner in an orchestra?
  18. I didn't quite understand the purpose of posting that picture. Isn't he using a shoulder rest? What are you trying to say with it? By the way, I'm stuck to my rest... the shifting thing is too much of a problem. But if I'll ever find someone who'll teach me to shift without a rest I'll be sure to give it a try! This has been a really interesting thread, I've enjoyed it a lot.
  19. Älä anna "soodaveden" nousta päähän... ei millään pahalla I'm sorry, I don't really know how to say that in english.
  20. Hey, on the fan site you mentioned it says he'll play "Saint-Saëns violin concerto", doesn't tell which one though.
  21. Don't know about his symphonies, but he wrote some pretty nice viola music... The Romance, those pieces for viola, clarinet and piano and the concerto for viola and clarinet. But why didn't he write a viola concerto?
  22. Will he be playing with RSO, HKO or which orchestra? Is he giving a master class? Interesting... I only wish Tabea Zimmermann or Kim Kashkashian would come here someday
  23. I also would have chosen the easier and longer one. However the lenght might add some challenge to the "easy" piece: to keep the audience interested troughout the whole piece! That shouldn't be too easy, at least for me it isn't. But it's good to have some kind of challenge even in technically easy pieces to prevent you from getting bored!
  24. In reply to: playing without a shoulder rest doesn't really change your viola's tone. it just sounds louder to YOUR ear. Well actually it does, because when I play without a rest my shoulders and bow arm are more relaxed -> I can get a better tone. My question wasn't "how to hold the instrument without a rest?", I asked how is one supposed to shift (vaihtaa asemaa) when playing without one. Can't anyone describe it?
  25. When playing without a rest I'm much more relaxed, because I don't have to hold my viola with my chin and shoulder. I also feel I get a better sound without a rest. But there is one big reason why I still play with a rest: I can't shift when supporting the weight of my viola with my left hand! I've been searching the answer to this for some time. When I was listening to Simon Rowland-Jones' masterclass he explained the principles of playing without a rest to one student but when I tried it at home it didn't work very well for me. If I learned to shift well without a rest I'd toss it right away! My teacher is no help, because he plays with a rest. HOW DO YOU DO IT???
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