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Everything posted by technique_doc

  1. It looks interesting. I wouldn't believe any claims, but it look funky and modern...yes.
  2. I got it from a dealer. I tried instruments from Stentor, Jay Haide and The Sound Post. Mine is a Sound Post one, and it beats the others hands down. T_D
  3. "How does Cao's violin compare to some of the fine modern violin makers out there? (I mean the guys who charge around 20k for a new fiddle)" I can't speak for Cao, but some of these models are superior to lower-end hand made...without a doubt. Sad to say, some lesser makers could be in trouble. The very best makers (£4-6000 UK upwards) are still turning out the top stuff....although I haven't played *all* I've played enough and seen enough to know that the cream is still the cream! T_D
  4. "I can recommend his stuff without hesitation." I am not surprised...congratulations on such an exciting purchase. My 'new' Violin has just arrived, it's an un-named Chinese Strad model, and for the money, absolutely unbeatable. It's for 'spare' but could easily take 3rd place (out of 6 or so) if pushed in a comp'. Not bad for $2000 or less. T_D
  5. technique_doc


    Well...I think time management is so important...and knowing (remembering) how you are keen to get the best technique practice fixed up, your theory might be valid. I you consider the Flesch book, he's not included 4 octaves (I think?!) and the first 6 or 7 sections make a good 'diet' for most players. The work on one string is important as the skill can be picked up and placed almost anywhere. My teacher was more into complex finger variations around the "short scales" in Flesch than the double stops etc. There is also a lot of useful 'small compass' (not a big range) work in Schradieck which also helps build intonation. I think it was Auer who said something like 'my students don't have problems with intonation, just semitones' I know the feeling!!
  6. technique_doc


    Oh yes .....Mr. Brahms..!...I can't imagine anyone playing the Concerto or Double Concerto (or indeed sonatas) without good arpeggios. Nice to be back Steve, T_D
  7. technique_doc


    'These things come up all the time in orchestral parts. ' Are you sure?...what kind of orchestra(s)are you in? I can't honestly remember a time I needed 4 octaves scales, the odd arpeggio...maybe. I don't play the modern stuff though in my orchestras. T_D
  8. technique_doc


    On a daily basis, I don't do 4 octaves...I can if needs be but the skill up high is (IMHO) a different technique to low down and I prefer to deal with bits in the repertoire as the come along rather than invest time in dry study. I feel the big arpeggios come more often than the big scales...I do these more frequently. T_D
  9. T_D, when you say go for it, you mean go ahead and teach viola? YES! I did it and enjoyed the process as well as getting into the repertoire and technique. I have played professionaly a good few times now, including with a world-class ensemble! (lucky me) I feel it has helped my violin playing and (dare I say it) improved my bowing technique for the better. I have a cheap but good instrument and enjoy the relaxation of seeing the orchestra from another place other than the familiar concert-master's seat!!
  10. I say go for it! Don't take on any really advanced pupils to start, but build up quickly...don't be shy. I took up Viola in my teens but never really played it properly or did the 'background' work into playing techniques/differences. Most of the differences/changes become obvious when you listen to the student (vibrato and bowing) and analyse the timbre. The repertoire is harder to get good with, but use graded material to start. T_D
  11. If you are getting a lot of rosin dust, you are using too much! I rosin a small bit every two days and play up to 4-5 hrs. I wipe the belly as often as possible and the strings regularly too. My students come and sometimes chat their way through the first minute of the lesson rosin-ing like's almost banned in my studio. I think (IMHO) it does cake up, especially at the heel and have often had a rehair when most of the bow hair is still good. I hate the 'grit' sound of too much and advise against the over use.
  12. Interesting how this has gone so quiet. It would be good to hear from more teachers...speak up please. With regard to students/pupils - I would love to know what sort of things go down well and what helps to motivate/encourage learners. "and try to get them to practice only that way - to go for quality rather than quantity - better a few measures played well and properly than the whole piece slopped over to its end." This is well worth reiterating - *most* of the work I do with pupils is about improving the quality of what they can do rather than necessarily pushing the pace. So often I have to deal with new pupils who have gone way too far without care or really astute intervention by the previous teacher. In 9/10 cases, I take a step back with a pupil, strengthen technical basics and get them to re-think most of their attitude to how they do things, when my influence starts to come through, then we can push forward, musically or technically. T_D
  13. What do you expect of your students? Well, my expectation depends on the student's ambition, the time they have to devote and their aptitude for a) Playing the Violin and Music (since IMHO these are two different skills that meet but are not always comparable) If a student comes and says they enjoy playing and practicing, then I encourage that intrinsic 'enjoyment'. I make sure the lessons are encouraging (and other activities with fellow peers) whilst NEVER forgetting that it is my job to improve the technique and to instruct in music also. My teaching is more skills based than many and I tend to approach things from a technical point of view until the most advanced level. I currently have less than a dozen where we talk solely about music. I expect the student to go away and find the time (and inclination/dedication) to work on the things learned in the lesson, be it a 'fundamental' such as left or right holds or intonation in certain keys/passages or indeed the rhythm or dynamics in a piece that is technically 'progressing'. I can't remember a time when I simply pointed out weaknesses - the whole lesson tends to be a 'concentrated period' of explanation - demonstration - experimentation - refinement, which takes hard work from the two of us. Pupils hear the improvement and 'feel' it too as things make more physical sense. How far they go depends on their personal attitude. If a student has to play a piece, must build their level up to get into an orchestra or school or conservatoire, then I tend to structure the time more and become less relaxed about what they do. So, I don't prescribe too much, unless there are goals to meet. If I feel a student has talent and potential I 'build up ' the expectation over a few terms or perhaps years, so practicing a lot becomes 'normal' for them "it is very frustrating to keep practicing when you know you are doing it wrong, don't know how to fix it, but don't want to keep doing it wrong over and over" This is clearly not healthy and not right...if you want to do this (the whole playing 'thing') and you've arrived at this feeling, then things need to be addressed. You need to decide if it is you or your teacher. If it is the teacher, don't give up hope, discuss your feelings and explain you need more direct 'instruction' in how to get it right away from the lesson or for eg. more pushing/praise/encouragement. I don't pretend to be some genius but I know 95% of my pupils well enough to be the complete doctor for any ailments...they realise this...and tend to go with me. Mostly over a period of time, I have set the pace for them way before they realise they are now moving faster than most and achieving a great deal. just some thoughts.. T_D
  14. There are some good ones around, every now and again I get to play one (belonging to a pupil or another student I get to hear) that it really rather special. In GB, I'm beginning to find out where and how to find them, in the US it's probably the same. There is a co. in America I know of that imports and then re-sells to the Euro market - I hear one last week that was splendid (hard to believe) and there is a shop here that sells these. You will have to find 'pointers' from US M-net'ers. T_D
  15. It's worth a try I guess...good call. T_D
  16. Having been one of the many who are recommending Chinese Violins and Violas to beginner and intermediate students, I have to pass on a story of great woe.... I pupil returned from a trip home to Hong Kong with a new Violin. It looked very interesting, handsomely made and antiqued most successfully. I asked him about the cost ($2,000 US) and thought initially it might have been a good buy. However, on playing, the Violin has simply the *worst* tone quality I have ever heard, beaten hands down by £200 ($300+) bright and shiny instruments that do not 'hide' their 'pedigree'. I now have to decide whether to push the student to exchange this instrument. I feel very let down by the dealer who pushed this more expensive and plainly worthless instrument on the grounds that it looked like an old 'European' style Violin. My pupils don't worry when I get out my shiny modern Italian as opposed to one of my old fiddles....and I've never pushed anything other than tone quality in the lower price bracket. Depressing or what..... It appears the art of selling rubbish by making something superficially desirable is very much alive..... Caveat Emptor
  17. I hope I can use my home 'phones - very good, but will big 'phones drain more power??? I may be stupid with this kind of thing!!
  18. Thanks, it's ordered and I shall report.
  19. Interesting...I was discussing this today. I'm wondering if I should buy a portable CD with CD/mp3 format included. Apparently, I can either use 1 original CD or copy endless tracks onto a CDr and have a mini library on one disk? Sony (a-track?) is supposed to be good...anyone know? T_D
  20. Hard to say....Tchaik/Brahms/Sibelius could be a bit of a stretch perhaps, so I'd go for Saint-Saens 3/Lalo/Katchaturian or something 'around' this level. T_D
  21. I buy a lot of strings (as you can imagine, running 2 string programs!) and I find Dominants discolour (discolor? sp?) in time, this is not good, as it seems unfair to charge someone for an old-looking string. However, no problems as T_D
  22. I teach that the bow stick should sit (against the 1st finger) underneath the second joint (illustration no. 25 in Galamian for those that have) so if the bow slips from the first joint to the second, not a problem. In fact there are some old schools that advocate the index finger could be further over still! The trick is really in how you pick up the bow - if you get into a good routine, it should sit 'securely' and not move unless you deliberately want to do something different. I'd love to help, but words won't go 1% as far as a good demonstration/lesson. Good luck, T_D
  23. Thanks for the info...and it's interesting that 'if' a composer was able to answer questions direct about his/her piece it would make for good discussion/performance. I've started on a new piece now...back to quartet again. I'm learning ever so fast on the programme and about my own compositional techniques too - ideally, I'd like to hone a 'style' without resorting to minimalistic repetition and blatant atonalism - my (ex) harmony teachers wouldn't approve. I don't have any problem with playing golf and then violin, but I've been doing it for many years. I have a suspicion about how Mickelson did it....but it wouldn't be for public airing!? I went to get some new irons today...ouch! too expensive for me...need a different career! (only joking) T_D
  24. "Brahms was not a violinist and did not necessarily understand what would work for a violinist." I often suspected this...there are bits in the concerto (and even more in the double) that are really 'uncomfortable' to say the least. Even in the sonatas (which are more straightforward) there is the odd bit that really requires 'non-violinistic' playing. T_D
  25. Violin...(only) Brahms, Tchaik, Sibelius, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Barber... It rotates a bit and I keep changing my mind which is the hardest. I like the more modern stuff too. T_D