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  1. You could practice the following: In a comfortable position play a b2 (4th finger on E-string). Lift the finger, but don't move anything else, Now play the open E-string. Next move your left elbow to the right until the fourth finger is over the A-sring. DO NOT MOVE ANYTHING ELSE, ESPECIALLY NOT THE LEFT WRIST. Let the fourth finger fall down and play the note - it should be e2 Lift the finger again, move the elbow so that the finger is over the D-string.... and so on. Moving the finger over the next string shall be only accomplished by moving the left elbow. The goal is that the position and tension of the fingers is the same on all strings. Your problem is also often caused by the left hand not being really in the first position, but in sort of half position and you try to stretch the fourth upwards instead of having the hand slightly higher and stretching the first finger slightly back.
  2. quote: Originally posted by: Clint Block Concerning the perceived pitch difference : Further reading has revealed the following. The phenomenon is known as binaural diplacusis. See the following link referenced from the link on the original post: The above link and other references I looked at revealed the following: It appears the phenomenon might occur slightly (but mostly unnoticeable) with individuals with normal hearing. The worse the hearing loss , the more noticeable the diplacusis can be. It tends to be more pronounced within certain frequency ranges. It can be temporary as when associated with temporary hearing loss caused by loud noise. I had such an accident some years ago (a loud, high pitch bang) and after that I heared all notes between A3 and D4 almost a semitone sharp (but only in that range). I am pretty sure, that the damage is still there, but meanwgile my brain has adapted to it and I hear correct again. An interesting phenomenon was, that I heared the notes sharp when I played them alone, but correct when I played them as doublestops with the lower octave. (Note, that I heared the notes sharp when I listened to a recording as well, and also when I played harmonics, and now I hear the recordings and harmonics in tune again. It was an annoying experience to hear Kremer play "terribly out of tune" )
  3. "The lack of beating is because the frequency difference is too small. " I disagree: The lack of beating is because the sounds perceived by left and right ear are not mixed physically, the mixing occurs in the brain, it is sort of "data processing"
  4. Hmm... I did such tests many years ago with a friend luthier, and we found out, that the experiment setup is really crucial To get meaningful results (if there are such) would require a much more sophisticated experiment setup: 1) The room must be "sound dead" (A heavy curtain in the room caused significant changes in the response curve) 2) The instrument must be setup ready to play (Even tuning the strings down a whole tone had influence on the curves) 3) The open strings must be dampened, otherwise you will get heavy break - ins in the curve at their frequency. 4) The instrument must be fed with a pure sinusodial wave at the same point where the oscillation of the strings enter the bridge during normal playing. (We did not test with other waveformas, at this time we were interested in which part of the instrument projected certain frequencies more then other parts) 5) The intensity of the wave must be reproducable and the feed shall be without touching instrument or bridge. (We used an electromagnet for this) 6) For each instrument under test the test should be repeated several times to verify that the results are reproduceable (repeated _including_ removal of the instrument and putting it back into the test setup. (The curve is noticeably ínfluenced by the way how the neck is supported for example) 7) The recording should be done with a number of mikes (we once used twelve of them, six above the top and six below the back) Well, this was because we were interested in the most active parts if the top and back depending on the frequency. Well, we got reproduceable curves, and the difference between a strad (The "San Lorenzo") and a wallhanger was obvious, but there were large differences as well between the "San Lorenzo" and the "Seefried" as well. We _had_ the curves, but they did not tell us much about what makes a good sounding vs a poor instrument. Both strads sounded great when Prof. Schneiderhahn played them, both sounded very different, but great, and other instruments (cheapies among them) did not sound good, however, their curves were not more different than those of the strads against each other. Maybe an extension of the experiment, which also measures phase relationship and exact direction of the projected sound could show more. I made this Experiment about 30 years ago with the (poor) equipment we had at this time - with todays hi-tech better results can be obtained.
  5. A very cheap device which you can make yourself and which has a great advantage over all sorts of earplugs is the following: Take a piece of light material (corrugated cardboard is what I use) and cut it to a half-circle shape about 15 cm wide, which fits over your head (like a halo). Cover it with velvet and attach some stiff (spring-like) wire around the inner diameter, so that you can pull it over your head just in front of your ears. The low ends should be bent bachwards a little. This shields and protects your ears from the direct sound from the top of your violin and has the additional advantage, that you hear yourself from a certain distance, much like your audience hears you.
  6. Most likely too much finger pressure on left hand combined with a rather stiff wrist, and probably too hard grip on the bow (or both) Start practicing _easy_ etudes without vibrato and reduce finger pressure to a point, where the fingers _just_ cause the string to touch the fingerbord (in the low positions, from 7th position up the strings usually don't even go down ro the fingerbord), _absolutely not more_ , and reduce the force of your bow grip so, that the bow just does not fall off your hand. Watch your shoulders, they must be relaxed and _never_ "pulled up" Do this, until you play automatically this way (this may take a long time, months at least), and then _not earlier_ start trying vibrato again, again permanently watching for any tension in your body. A violin is an equipment which converts your body's motions into sounds, and if your body is tensioned the sound will never be clear, free and steady - the bouncing bow is just one of the disadvantages of tension, others are harsh sound, stiff or unsatisfying sound and phrasing and poor dynamic.
  7. quote: Originally posted by: GMM22 By strict standards (i.e., formal classical training), should the fingers remain on the fingerboard as each successive note is produced in an ascending scale? The requirement is, that your fingers are at the necessary place on time (before or at least exactly when they are needed) and that you avoid all unnecessary movement which would cost time and force. For a simple example, play an ascending C major scale starting at the open A string: as soon as you play the E with your fourth finger you have to solve two problems: the fourth finger must stay on the string until your bow moves to the E string and your first finger must be on the F as soon as the bow touches the E string, so you will have to lift your first finger while you play the E and set it on the F, and while you play the F you have to lift fingers 2, 3, and 4 and have them ready over the E string at the correct places.
  8. They are, it is just a question of contact point, bow pressure and speed
  9. Tristan. even the libretto hurts. And the same composers' "Wedding march" causes nausea
  10. Yes, even with emotion and all of the features human players exhibit nowadays. But I think this will not be the only direction of development. Another interesting path might be a collection of (mostly computerized) instruments which will be played directly by the players mind (brain) and/or body. We are already on the way to replace ears and eyes with electronic replacement, artificial organs are microprocessor-controlled and more and more acting like the original parts of the body. What i suggested about direct playing by mind is just a (pretty extensive) refinement. Time will show. Btw - it is not we, who will listen, it's another generation, the generation of our children and grandchildren - who have already taken the world over
  11. I could now say "xdmitrix420 sucks" - but I won't. I personally dislike some of Menuhin's interpretations, and I like others very much. I dislike (disagree if you prefer), but I don't disrespect, and thus I'd say "I don't like Menuhin's recording of the Kreutzer Sonata with his sister", but I'd never say "it sucks". Not about the interpretation and far much less about the person. As a non native english speaker I probably find the term "sucks" more insulting than it is in reality, anyway, I would never ever use it in conjunction with a person. IMO "Windows sucks" is (well..) ok, "Bill Gates sucks" is not and will never be. Should this now sound as if I am trying to defend Menuhin, then my apologies - Menuhin does not need any defense, especially not mine
  12. Hi, Michael! Just out of curiosity: Have you ever seen or heard about the "Seefried" Strad (It belonged to W. Schneiderhan) I had the opportunity to see, measure acoustically and play it shortly some thirty years ago, and I seem to remember that at least the top was very thick and the sound was extremely "silvery" with the G string (under the ear) almost soundig like an octave higher - very strong overtones and a rather weak base frequency. The frequency curves were also pretty flat in the lowest octave, but very high in the higher registers.
  13. That is exactly what we all should try to achieve: Totally economic technique. Watch him. Again and again. There is no unnessecary motion, neither in his left nor in his right hand - his economic approach is even better than Heifetz's (Look at the Pag capriccio recording at the same site - especially the octaves in Var 3). More highlights: The boy doesn't show the least "virtuoso attitude", he just plays and looks as if he plays just for himself. If he is not "burnt out" by stupid grown ups he will most likely become one of the great _musicians_ of the next generation (and a great vituoso as well). Very good phrasing and organic leading from one theme to the next. Best kid I ever heard and saw. Watching his technique makes all discussions about posture, role of the thumb in shiftig, bow hold etc. obsolete.
  14. You have already got very good advice. I'd just like to add something about posture: When you play (which you probably should not for some time) 1) put your weight on the heels - as far backward as possible. This improves the balance between your body and your left arm with the violin 2) Try not to "hold" the violin with shoulder and chin. Instead let your head "fall" left and use it's weight to fix the violin at your shoulder 3) Pay attention to your right shoulder as well - the shoulders are not independent and tension in the right shoulder - which may go without pain because the right arm moves constantly and therefore bloodflow through th muscles is less restricted than in a constantly tensioned motionless muscle - may add to the cause why your left shoulder is tensioned. An exercise which may help (and indicate where part of the tension comes from): Sit down in front of a table, put both elbows and forearms and hands (inside down) relaxed at the table. Relax. Relax. As soon as you are sure your shoulders are totally relaxed start trill exercises with second and third or third and fourth finger of your left hand. Do not hammer, just tap slightly, but fast. Keep full attention to your shoulders. If you notice. that your shoulders start to tension and go up (indicating that at least part of the tenson comes from a misguided effort to control your fingers), stop, relax again. Try to lengthen the time before your shoulders go up and to remain conscious of the state of your shoulders and neck. Don't forget to breathe normally!! Then, as soon as you have control over that for a longer time, go back to the violin and try to reproduce this relaxed feeling when you play. Just my $0.02
  15. I'd just like to mention (from bad experience), that not only drops of alcohol can do harm to the varnish, even the vapor (steam, fume ??) can hurt. Therefore when I clean my strings with alcohol (very seldom, doing it with a dry cloth often enough usually does the job) I put a sufficently large piece if aluminium kitchen foil under strings and fingerbord, from the bridge down all under the fingerbord, and I am at the safe side
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