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Everything posted by technique_doc

  1. I could describe what might happen if one was to send the first finger further over a la Russian, but it wouldn't be accurate, as I don't do this. My teachers were Czech, English and lastly Russian, but I think my hold is typical of many modern approaches. here is another attempt to show something interesting. Failed link - see further down I think one can clearly see (despite the deliberately strange angle) what one might expect of the thumb. Sorry for the poor focus. T_D Failed link - see further down
  2. Here it is, if it works. Idealy, I could do with getting one with the hand turned over. I'll try for you.
  3. The thumb will probably touch the hair as you set up the bow hold or examine it turned upwards. If it stays constant, I'd say that was unecessary and should not be encouraged as such. At the Heel, my hand is compact and crab-like possibly touching the hair, at the tip, the thumb becomes straighter but never inside out. T_D
  4. Hi Yuen, If A=415 sounds like a G# then I would call it G#! You could pull me off the top of a mountain and ask for any note, and you would get it. Weirdly, if a student needs an acclimatizer, I would describe their pitch as relative/borderline perfect Last year, one of my top students and I had a challenge to identify various notes played on various instruments, getting faster. The final test was 40 notes in 60 seconds. What I would say by way of modesty I guess, is that it is a blessing in disguise. As well as hearing notes, the brain can often search for harmonies and chords during a live performance. It has been known for me to go literally mad examining/processing live performances. On the other hand, it helps identify pieces if you know that certain things are in certain keys. if I hear the end of a Mozart Symphony I can nonchalantly say, oh yes Symphony in D! even though I have no idea?! T_D
  5. I find it hard to play far off an A 440. I have perfect pitch and it is for the most part a useful skill. However, I don't play in period instrument concerts where the pitch is low; it would take too long to acclimatise. Also, on a very few occasions, I have had great trouble playing with flat organs or pianos. In reality it is possible, but it's not fun. Once, I turned up for a concert and the conductor asked us to play a piece in Eb that was written in E. I refused, not because of the transposition but because I had practiced the music and felt I had been booked partly because of my ability to play in tune. I sat the piece out. I can listen all day to baroque, no problems at all, I just have to turn the part of my brain off that spends 40 hours a week examining mine and my students intonation! Incidentaly, if I sing to a chromatic tuner, I sing between dead on and 5% sharp (whatever that equates to). T_D
  6. Well, that was an interesting proposition. Not way-out dissimilar to Bisiach, but unlikely to be the real thing. At 1,700 GBP it wasn't necessarily a bad buy, but probably I fear. What I find odd about ebay (I am signed up) is that IF something is 100% genuine and you suspect you may have a real antique, you'd take it to an expert. Anyone pretending to sell the real thing is in danger of getting in trouble. This vendor said no more than it was a Violin and the label said Bisiach not "comes with authenticity" paperwork. In reality the vendor has not done anything wrong. Caveat Emptor..... One day someone will get in trouble, the line between deliberate fraud and innocent selling "as seen" is quite grey these days. In the case of a Violin, ask or look here....there are no bargains with internet experts, it takes 5 seconds to search for anything and to know if you have a valuable antique.
  7. Here's a test, not great but, hey!
  8. Wow, I signed up to the cool could this be. Just imagine, I post on 3 forums (two music, one other) and could never add photos! You guys have had it now, I think there may be some serious image links going on now when I need to show what I'm talking about! So exciting, should I post some bow holds!!!? T_D
  9. OK, I understand now...very clever idea (is this a site where you can dump photos? could be v useful!) The line that joins the top and lower Eb is a suggestion/instruction to play a slide, yes! Two thoughts spring to mind. 1) to play it as written, slide your 2nd finger down and swap to your 1st after sliding a bit. To my mind, I would probably slide the 2nd back to "around" C natural and then land clean-ish on the Eb. 2) If you want a really big slide (probably overkill) play the Bb at the start of the bar (measure) with a 1st finger, play the top note on a 4th (or 3rd!)and then you only slide down the D string, this depends on if you are comfy in 4th position. Without thinking/practicing I would imagine I would simply do a small small slide exactly as written, enough to make it unclean but not too much of a feature!!! I'm pleased to see a "helping note" writtten at the end of measure 4, and good "for free" shifts Bars 7-8 and 11-12 (i.e. one after an open string). Incidentaly, you could try the Open at the end of 11 with a 3rd finger instead ("borrowed finger"), immediately swappping for a 2nd on the next A (half note) T_D
  10. Yes, well some teachers are stuck with one method (usually passed down from their teacher). I use both books and have to say I prefer the Galamian book. For my students, the layout and readability of the Galamian works well. In reality, the differences in fingering are not as great as one might expect, and I often borrow from one to the other (i.e. writing in the Flesch fingering in the Galamian copy). What I particularly like is the Galamian "turn around" of adding extra notes to make 24 up instead of 21, it enables the acceleration and groups of bowings to work out much better. Also, and this may not apply to most pupils, I find the whole single octave thing (on the first page of Flesch) a bit dry and my players tend to focus more on the big scales. One can mix up the Galamian/Neumann rhythms and bowings, but this is for the real afficionados. I'd rather hear perfect even note 3 octaves with impeccable intonation and a high degree of control than hear the whole thing "confused" with bowings. My feeling is that for the most part rhythm within a slur is not often problematical, out of a slur it's done by the bow, so by all means mix up some crazy concoctions but my pupils tend to stick to conservative but polished. If they really struggle in a piece, we might get into all this, but not that often. T_D Oh, and before someone asks, yes we do many variations on 1 octave scales 1-1-1-1 12,12,12 123,123 etc. this IS useful, but this work gets covered much earlier on with my system.
  11. Let me do my best with this, The skills we acquire to play the Violin get pieced together like a jigsaw, as one bit falls into place, others follow (nothing new there!). With regard to left hand fingers and training of the hand to work in certain ways, there are things that are desirable and things that, on occasion, may need to be adapted to suit a certain physical disposition. If I try to play a simple scale such as E minor (harmonic) starting 1st finger on D string, it is nearly impossible to play the 2 - 3 on the A string without lifting the 2nd as I go for the 3rd. This is an example of choosing the best option to allow comfort and relaxation for the hand. In the lessons, I expect to see certain things, when playing scales or Schradieck, Sevcik type exercises, I expect to see the fingers remain in place when ascending. Sometimes, I identify the need to lift and prepare for the next string for unusual patterns or ones where the tones and semitones are completely different for the next string. In pieces, I keep an eye on how my student is using the fingers. I don't get involved too often (it's very boring for the student) but if there is a need to keep fingers down or prepare something in advance or to lift, I advise building this into small sections of practice. Also, if you ascend to a note requiring full-bodied vibrato, then I expect to see the lower fingers rise; otherwise all the fingers would vibrate, which is a waste of energy and a sure way to create unnecessary tension. My guide is my ears and visually I often see small problems. I a student is finding it hard to get the right action of the fingers, we might experiment with leaving down/not leaving down, aggressive lifting or very gentle touching dependent on the needs of the MUSIC. It is my belief that the true artist will know when to sacrifice textbook ideals for a good return. A tennis player who has repeated a stock backhand 50,000 times, will adjust in the match to play a surprise shot and hit a winner. The golfer needing to bend the ball to reach the green may stand more off straight than hitting a normal fade and prepare an unorthodox swing to hit the shot. If the music requires something special to make the right intonation or tonal effect, I will allow almost anything. It is surprising how little control most young players have over the small elements that are crucial to advanced technique....but in Masterclasses I often ask students to try something way out of their comfort zone knowing that they will consider me crazy and feel the challenge is to great...but sometime down the line they realise that the idea works.
  12. Yes, is the simple answer. However (and this is quite a big area for discussion) I allow my students to lift in the event of certain patterns being too awkward. For example, in harmonic minors, the stretches to play tone + 1/2 can be tough and if it helps to lift, then do so. The best advice I can give is that in the event of fingers not staying down, keep them close to the fingerboard and not flying up in the air! I get my students to examine their left hand hold before playing scales, make sure that you are a) happy with the height of your 1st finger on the side of the fingerboard and that you turn your hand in towards the fingerboard so that 4th is not way out to the side. Scales....such a boring thing to do but so good for your technique. T_D
  13. "Assuming these performers spend about the same hours per day on practicing what reasons are responsible for the huge difference in productivity? " Could it be that some players are better!? (simplistic, I know, but with my pupils the speed of learning comes down to mostly how good they are.....although at their "best" they might produce a performance of equal quality, hence equal standard repertoire). In reality, skills vary...I am a slow learner, and have to work things out scientificaly, I know players (some are young too...) who can read and play and never have to work on the technique again, only the music. I know players that never make a mistake, even sight-reading in pro orchestras, but the finished performance of a solo piece can be strangely "poor"...a lot comes down to expectation and attitude....since I am a teacher and I know the repertoire in every detail I have very high standards...other players are happy to go out and only play 80% (not including bad intonation though!) T_D
  14. Interesting as ever how much discussion there is on "basic" technique(s). I enjoyed crossplum's longer description earlier in the thread, and follow those principles myself. I teach the thumb and 2nd opposite (thumb in between frog and leather) with all my pupils, if they want to change when they leave...OK! Re; the comment about "hardly any lesson time on fundamental technique, rather more on interpretation. " it is worth noting that many of the most famous teachers are very much like this, but one is faced with the chicken and egg dilema when assessing the validity of the teaching style/method employed, do they generally focus on the interpretation and polish because in fact the pupils don't need technique-tuning? I was lucky in that my teacher from the RCM was prepared to carry out any surgery on students in the interests of "textbook" technique. He did it (I guess) to make sure that small-minded and less artisitc folk (judges, audition panels etc. etc) wouldn't pick holes in students and his technique teaching would stand up to scrutiny anywhere. Iwas lucky, some students never get fixed up properly and the inherent weaknesses in their playing (poor discipline in left hand or say, lack of truly excellent tone, for example) are actually the product of unsatisfactory training. Sometimes (and this should provoke response) gifted players are able to do things beautifully "despite" having wierd technique, not "because" of it. I WOULD ADVISE ANY STUDENT TO FOLLOW THE TESTED PATHS AND MOST COMMONLY HELD IDEAS, unless someone with the right experience (teacher, masterclass) offers a better view that works for you. oh...and listen to crossplum! T_D
  15. I find myself listening to unknown recordings on the radio in my car and then being intrigued by the player. I can spot certain players within a few notes. His technique is outstanding, for sure, but I always enjoy the shaping of the music and quality of tone with Gil. I mentioned to him that an 'earlier' recording of Wieniawski 2 (with DG....Hmmm) had become a classic in my studio...I like all kinds of playing but he has something special above some of the other (perhaps less consistent) players. t_d
  16. They could be handmade 'fine' instruments but if my experience is anything to go by, they could just as well be handmade but chinese handmade...of which I have a number at present, they are OK, some are expertly finished to create an authentic look..... Some sound good, some not, some are made by one craftsmen, others by teams......if you find one that sounds good and can be had for $500-1500, then they might be worth a you can't try them, I'd recommend to leave well alone. Remember......good violins (genuine) will ALWAYS find homes through a dealer or auction house for more than they might get on an internet auction. I don't doubt the vendor....he could be selling off a bargain....but if you can't play.....?!?!?! t_d
  17. Just to pass on the news that I got to hear Gil Shaham play live yesterday, plus a pupil and I got to meet him afterwards. Having played in the orchestra for Gil many years ago, I was really excited to be seeing him from the "other side" of the stage. He was absolutely amazing....turning in a near-perfect performance with his customary unruffled technique and fabulous understanding of the overall structure of this piece. My party all took to him greatly, there's something about the way he does things that simply oozes class, but not in an arrogant or overly-mannered way. It has to be another highlight to a very memorable year in the world of t_d. We LOVED him and full marks to orchestra (CBSO..hello guys!) and conductor. If you get the chance...go and see! I bought tickets ages ago...but many students came along on the day and got to enjoy a rare appearance. FABULOUS! Any other fans out there? the Orchestra's Violins that I spoke to think he's something else!
  18. I played 3 instruments for many reality I had to stick with one main one when the time needed to maintain good improvement on both caused difficulties. In general, there are only positive benefits, the theory/musicality skills get worked on in a different context but go into the 'pool' of experience. There is a to be said for two different instruments.....Horn and Violin, doesn't get much harder than these.
  19. Well I'm pleased you found something...there's always the right instrument out takes time though. Interesting what you feel about French Violins....they can be 'thin' it's true, but this is more typical of the less good ones, I personaly prefer the French to German sound T_D
  20. I've got this one It probably isn't the best choice, but I got it in the old's got some fun stuff
  21. I'm intrigued by your post... and have to agree with some of the other comments made here. Old Violins are expensive, in GB you can't get a good sounding French Violin under £5000 ($7500). You will be hard pushed to get any good "old" Violin that outperforms the best "new" Violins for less than...say $2000 more than the new. One thing you get with an old Violin is sale-ability, you are not taking a risk because the market is sure to keep on a steady path. New Violins can be a pig to sell on.... Italian Violins are need to spend £10,000 ($15,000) to even get on the ladder. I don't believe the market is 'inflated' or dealers have got it wrong, the problem lies with players seeking sound and dealers seeking pedigree. I sold a truly terrible Italian Violin for $20k not so long back.....I feel sorry for the person who strung it up and discovered how bad it was. I always go on the sound now, my Bejing 2005 (4th spare!) beats ANY european new 'factory' violin for the same money. My pupils nearly all play new at around ($6-10k) rather than old. My two main instruments are "attributed to" and sound as good as the guaranteed "originals" that saved me having to live in the park!! I also buy Honda not Merc....tells you something about badges and labels. T_D
  22. Umm.... Etudes..... Wieniawski L'ecole Modern op 10.....could be? variations (don't have but are probably crazy) If you want exercises...try Dounis if you are a masochist or Reitz...both of these require complete insanity...IMHO. Paganini..not really etudes as such, nor Wien' op18 both a bit tricky tho' T_D
  23. I have a Yamaha sv 120.....not exactly a traditional electric fiddle, but I love playing it and have a zoom effects unit to jazz up the sounds. It's cool stuff, but being a serious classical player, I don't get much time to indulge. t_d
  24. Some where in the back of my mind the name Salvatore Accardo comes up in relation to good haydn style.... I found this "> He would be OK.