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Everything posted by technique_doc

  1. Each method is different but I tend to keep my pupils off the 'finished product' for a long time. The motions for vibrato are difficult to get good and if you try to build your techinque "on the note" you might get in a mess. Ask for drills and exercises that assist with the motion but not playing a note. Swinging, polishing, waving, ghosting, shooting, rolling....these are all "off the note" exercises (you'll no doubt have you own names for them) and can be done walking around the house or in between some playing. I am sure your teacher will have done a good job in explaining, and you now feel frustrated at not getting it! It takes months, if not years to get a basic, useable vib and then many more years to develop an artisitc control over use (or non-use) speed, attack, decay and width. When we learn to do many physical things every tiny correct motion (the first step in the right direction) should be celebrated and try not to get downhearted. T_D
  2. The best teachers are most probably not the really famous ones. There are those that polish gold until it is perfectly gleaming, and those that possess the skill to turn ordinary metal into gold in the first place. ???? I think some of you will understand. Don't get me wrong, but I wasted many a masterclass fee to learn next to nothing and the greatest lessons have come from the strangest places. T_D (In cryptic mood tonight).
  3. This is great news. I picked up a Rabin Disk during my famous trip to NY 2 years back. (Some M-net'rs might remember) and since then have played it to everyone, friends, students etc. If there's new stuff, I'd better see if I can import it...thanks. T_D
  4. Like I said...small but curious. I have gone for up on both. In the 1st mvt. I find the 'phrasing off' in m.4 and 6 more comfortable on down bow, also I now religiously play the exact markings by Rostal. In the last I can see some joy in down, but it depends on the style of the staccato notes in m.9 and 11. Two ups seems overkill to me (although I could join them 'gently' if I wanted). I have a Szeryng recording...he's gentle with most of the staccato dots in the last's beautiful playing but he wouldn't get through a lesson with T_D playing some really inconsistent stuff T_D
  5. Thanks to all......I'm experimenting with it now! What matters to me, of course, is the music (phrasing, crescendi, diminuendi etc.) and I NEVER concern myself with the bowing unnecessarily. My pupils think I have a bee in my bonnet about bowing...I try to remind them that all I want is for them to be comfortable, for the bow to be traveling to the correct place for the next thing and that the music works. I saw the DVD of A-S M doing this piece, but don't enjoy the rendition a great deal. I guess I'm am trying to iron out any niggles as there is a plan to record this work with 2 other sonatas for a CD. Incidentally, I have decided to bow out all the triplet stuff in the last was driving me crazy putting little ups in after I just go for's sounding cool, I think!? T_D
  6. Small but curious point... I have been playing this for years and I hope there will be plenty familiar with this great piece. In my Henle edition the first mvt. starts up and the last down. I am starting the last mvt. up and doing down-up in measure 9 last two quarters. I have seen and heard a few players starting the first mvt. on a down...anyone do this? and if so do you do down in measure 5? is there a permissable split in bar 3 or something? T_D
  7. Quote: Regarding conservatory entrance, a student who's played ONLY the pieces in the Suzuki books (no standard scale work, no études, no theory/ear training, no sight reading)would most likely be inadequately prepared for the rigors of conservatory training (I remember a thread here from a few years ago when a member of the NEC faculty teacher opined on this very issue -- a young woman who believed she was an advanced player because she could play pieces out of the Suzuki books; he had to give her some hard but valuable news about the prep she would need -- which, btw, she didn't take too well, if I recall). However, it's sort of a trick question since, as many have noted, any good suzuki teacher employs the same scale methods/etudes that so-called traditional teachers use. Most accurate, I'd say and in keeping with my experience... For what it is regards to reading notes; the best and the worst of my students have come from Suzuki backgrounds. I also note that the *best* come from the same 'stable''s not a huge leap to realize that the method is only as good as the teacher. This particular Lady uses many other sources of repertoire and never neglects scales. The combination of her grounding and my continuation with higher repertoire and études has produced some of the absolute top 'junior' (13-20 y.o.) players in this country...I could do much less 'finishing' work if they couldn't read or didn't have 'fantastic' aural skills.
  8. I empathize's all too trial and error. I generally only recommend Kun and Wolf secondo (certainly not primo!). The Wolf suits those with long necks, the Kun less so...obviusly due to not so much height on the chest side (as opposed to shoulder) it can produce too much angle. I looked up a few chinrests and discovered this and this I must admit to preferring this kind of design...I would describe it as a shallow bowl type, without any extreme height to 'get over' (unlike those that have a huge ridge...yuk!) 99% will find comfort with a combination of these things...and they look *sensible* and not too wierd...nothing worse than seeing a player with all kinds of wild gadgets. Remember to set the shoulder side of any rest low and adjust the chest side first....better to have a flatter Violin than a tilted one T_D
  9. I use one and nearly always choose a new type for my pupils, since they tend to come with rather unsatisfactory things. It seems that (IMHO) playing without is somewhat more damaging to vibrations on the Violin 'belly' since a good chinrest only contacts the outer edges??? Hello to everyone who remembers me! It's been a while....but....a new house, endless concerts and teaching...these things take up spare time!!! aarghh. Say hello on a PM if we used to chat.
  10. "a very fast bottom two--top two notes roll so that it sounds nearly like a single chord." 2+2...that's the version I use. I never really understood the play all three string idea. Some pieces I do 2+2 fast (like one chord) some slow and others 2+2 then 'singing' on only the top note! Just depends, most are 'acceptable'. There are some nasty (triple-stop ones in the Mozart no. 5 Cadenza....we've given up trying to mush them together and have adopted a more rational appraoch. In big romantic works on loud triple stops...sure, 3 are quite manageble. I tend to do UP, DOWN by the way. Down, Down can be good but the first chord tends to get snatched...not particularly Mozartian.. T_D
  11. This IS getting fascinating. I found a link...hope 1) it works and 2) the material is OK to show.. My hold is similar to this GOOD one, not the disaster ones! The only difference is that my first is not so deep. If you look at the angle of the wrist, I'd say this was not too pronated. Mine is flatter still. If you pronate (turned in towards the violin...that is right!?") then the wrsit can get in on the act, exactly as mentioned by some friends here. It doesn't work....just search google images for violin bow hold.
  12. I only have one edition...Schott, I think. It never leaves the shelf though... IMHO it is a work of average merit The Sonatas are good, but if you can do Tchaik and Brahms there must be other choices to 'head for' before this. T_D
  13. We're a bit Grumiaux'd out round here.....and I had a Perlmann CD for 10 years as a teenager. I haven't heard FPZ version..maybe that might be worth a buy. T_D Incidentaly, an old friend of mine played on Grumiaux's Violin for a while...lucky guy. He now has a modern fiddle which some of you know the maker of.. P.P.S. Anyone know if I can do a Dumay-style cadenzetta at the end of the Adagio..or will I look silly? Correction And (O.T.H.?) 3 bars before the final trill of the 1st mvt - my Urtext says all 4 groups slurred, some editions have 2 slurred, 2 sep on last 3 beats...any thoughts...I find all slurred a bit ...zzzzzz... dull. T_D
  14. Nice Q?....... It all comes down to the 'type' of sound you want to achieve. I tend to eradicate wrist motion in my pupils; if the stroke is slow enough to use forearm, use it! if it's a fast 'a la sautille' type thing, I prefer to see the fingers work. Having just tried a few of these passages out I can conclude that small 'micro-bows' seem to come from the fingers without the wrist. In the set up I use and teach the wrist seems fairly passive as it cannot move around the axis that assists bowing. It can go up and down but not really sideways (which is what it would need to do). In another set up where the wrist is arranged/placed differently (maybe adopted by folk/fiddle players) I could see how it could be used. Since I recommend a flat wrist (mostly) it tends to get out of the equation of 'what moves when'. It's worth remembering that 'bigger' muscles and limb sections are more consistent in motion and more powerful (hence the poularity for using the arms, not the hands to control a golf swing). If you want a big sound, and time allows, use as much of the forearm and upper arm as possible. I drill all my students to use upper arm in 'lower-in-the-bow ' might explain the big tone and consistent draw. OOOhhh that was hard to put into words. T_D
  15. "spending part of each practising session on "innovation", i e doing things differently, trying weird ideas, coming up with unexpected solutions." I couldn't agree more....this is very important in developing skills in Violin and many other things. Before I gave up Golf to concentrate on my Violin playing, I learned that experimentation was just about the only way to prepare oneself for the unexpected on the Golf course. If you try wacky fingerings and bowings, odd rhythms, crazy shifts, strange vibrato etc. you are expanding your skill base for sure.....many a 'better' solution had been discovered trying the weird and wonderful and discovering it suits you better.
  16. Hey...this looks really interesting....thanks for the link. T_D
  17. Yes, it does sound impressively industrious! My routine has changed over the years...I think the thing which is different when a player is not 'learning' is that the routine becomes a matter of necessity. If I have nothing specific to do, then scales, studies and repertoire learning/revision is the order of the day. If I have a concert near then practice becomes honed dramatically. It's interesting that a student might sit outside my studio and not know the piece for 10 minutes or so, because I work on such small things....the *building* work, rather than the *performing* practice. If I 'remove' sections from a piece and utilise all the skills/routines/drills I have picked up over the years, it may be a long time before recognisable notes appear. I lot of what I do is 'dry' marking, fingering and bowings....90% of this probably doesn't need me to even play more than once...especially if it's orchestral music!! T_D
  18. A recommendation is always appreciated! To think that you study with someone actually up to recording Mozart!...fabulous... I can't see myself getting that far....It has taken me to 34 y.o. just play it reasonably well....legacy of learning with a teacher who was more keen I should do the big romantic and modern concerti. Happy lessons...not that I'm envious of course
  19. Intonation Études (violin part edited by Igor Oistrach) -- Edition Peters 1969 Hmmmm...sounds useful...even for me! I wouldn't know how to fond these but I know a lady who can....let me see if I can contact her some time. T_D
  20. Yes..the Romance no.3 will become a mainstream grade 3 choice I'm sure. It's a good key for 'improving' and a nice piece. I remember seeing a few of her pieces over the years...well fixed for Violinists, so it wouldn't surprise me if she was a teacher. I always guessed they were all from the 'Eight Easy Pieces' but this isn't listed by any/many? music shops....fairly typical, really useful/educational repertoire lost due to lack of fashion. T_D
  21. Well, this is a perennial issue. I make more of this than almost anything else, shared with fingers holding the bow. In the very early days, I get them to hold their hand in the ideal manner for all the open string tunes. I ask them to show me 'squeezing' 10/10 and then hardly touching 1/10. In double checking the fingers and thumb I explain the importance of nice wrist shape, height of thumb and 1st finger. Before they do anything, I expect to see this being checked, so I might hear myself saying "are you checking, and how loose are you?" up to 20? times in a lesson. I ask the parents to go on about it and I've even sent a student out for not being able to answer the questions "where/how should your hand be contacting the neck? and how hard are you gripping?" As with a lot in Violin (and life!) it comes down to the importance I attach to it and the consciousness with which they carry thoughts and drills during practice. If they won't take care of themselves (by bad attitude or laziness) you have to do it for them with the help of anyone who is involved in the learning. It took me 2 1/2 years to keep my little finger on the bow, because I didn't care (and neither did my teacher enough), but only 2 months to get my left hand fixed/correct because everyone made it no.1 priority. In my years of teaching sometimes I put one or two things above all else, when a student has a bad 'issue'. I have a student with terrible vibrato, I explained that without doing it right now, any practice/improvement elsewhere would probably be a waste of time; with a young player you can't use such strong terms, but respect for you alone as the teacher means the occasional thing must be attended to above all the rest. Not helpful perhaps...I don't have many tricks or games, just will power to see my pupils doing the right thing. T_D
  22. Shall I celebrate my 1,000 post with a link um...let's have a go T_D 1,000 today...think of all that practice time !!!
  23. Ummm.....there's something to go on. Thanks. I have always listened to Grumiaux et al. but this had a certain zest with some unconventional semiquaver bowings and a truly zippy/light tempo. I used to play this piece for Orchestra auditions, but gave it up as I was rubbish at it...I feel kind of inspired though at the moment, having re-worked it to suit me and my pupils, paying somewhat less attention to what my teacher did (as he was a bit of a God!). The new *workings* are more comfortable and mostly logical with the Urtext. T_D
  24. By some strange series of events I am playing Mozart 5, and so are at least 2 of my pupils...all gearing up for performances. I just heard a recording...out the the car - anyone know this recording/player...all rather good?? Violin Concerto No.5 in A major Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart soloist Augustin Dumay/Camerata Academica Salzburg Deutsche Grammophon catalogue number 4576452 T_D
  25. "How significant to an orchestral conductor's success is their personality?" OK, I'm joining in late here but..... Conductors can make it a long way up the ladder with varying personalities. The important thing for me is how they approach the players and soloists. I have worked for good and bad, and certainly a conductor who gets the players 'on-side' can get a better performance than those that upset/annoy the players. Technique is important but I'd rather work for someone who is less good but makes their intentions clear in rehearsals, be it using the 'language of the baton' or just explaining *how* they want something to be played. Conversely, In a pro concert where time is short, a good beat and non-ambiguous 'language' is SO important. I know some conductors who have gone a long way with minimal skill but are have good 'people' skills. I also know some who have stalled in their career because orchestras hate them. If a conductor is rubbish or offends players.....he/she will be making their lives much harder. T_D