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About Muswell

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  • Location
    London/ Welsh Marches
  • Interests
    Guitar, Spanish

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  1. I'm not clear why you refer fourth position. In fact fourth and fifth are easy to find simply by physical contact between the hand and the body of the violin. But as well as that in 4, 5, 6,7, 8 the first finger visually is close enough to the edge to judge its position. So, if I go from a from a low position and have time to look then it is helpful. In shifts between high positions there is no need because it is all "muscle" memory in the hand. It is obviously a different problem with the cello because of the bigger differences but I used to play classical guitar and although the frets are a guide, I that often don't think you shift to a fret but rather you shift to a point in a pattern of don't have time to identify a particular fret. Classical guitarists are usually looking at the fretboard. Now a technical master like John Williams could surely find any fret blindfold and in his sleep but my conclusion, while watching him in a recital, was that guitarists use the visual as well as the muscle memory. I certainly did when memorising pieces, I would change positions and alter hand shapes remembering a sequence of patterns. Your last point about not understanding the question seems absolutely correct and I think applies to any field. Many years ago I wanted to be shown a bad weld and after a few failed attempts the supervisor told me that the welder had been doing perfect welds all his life and couldn't do a bad weld. I go along with the Merkel "if it helps use if not don't" .
  2. Not only fourth. If you are practised in judging dimensions it works wherever you are. It's a trivial comparison but can you fold a sheet of paper exactly in three in one go?
  3. Well in my case it's mainly based on the visual relationship between the first finger and the edge of the belly.
  4. One of my teachers was quite keen on this and I have found it useful at times, especially when it is an awkward shift and also in orchestral playing when I can hardly hear what I'm playing because the brass and woodwind are going for it.
  5. This last week I went to 2 concerts at the Haydn Festival here in the UK. None of the violins nor violas had shoulder rest or chin rest and I saw no signs of discomfort.
  6. So how do you rough-out your scrolls???
  7. I like the Kaufmann, which I get from Dictum. Not only is it quite flat but it is small, a lot of chinrests seem to much bigger than they need to be.....or maybe I need to get bigger jowls then I could play like David Oistrakh.
  8. Isn't Cordovan the more polite term? I have a watch strap made of it and it is very nice stuff.
  9. Muswell

    Tartini Tones

    Acoustics and Psychoacoustics by Howard and Angus defines psychoacoustics as the study of how humans perceive sound. It is a fascinating, albeit not easy, read and there is an explanation of difference tones in there.
  10. I use the Swiss model from Dictum, but they seem to be more like a blend of the 2 in the photo. I like the shape and I find it comfortable to use.
  11. I play in three and they all work on the self-auditioning principle, but that is out in the sticks where there aren't so many players. It's different in Lunnon.
  12. Me too, except I use a nitrile glove.
  13. I made a holding device which consists of a MDF base plate, a fixed batten and a sliding batten with the two connected by a couple of threaded rods. A batten under the base plate allows me to secure it in a vice. A couple of loose wooden strips support the gap under the plate. It stops a lot of bad language.
  14. I have been there and I think you just need a survival strategy to keep in the right place with enough of the notes. Then you ask yourself why you are in that situation. After all it's not like you are a professional who is expected to do this. I am in an orchestra where the ambitious young conductor wanted to boost his cv with a very difficult couple of pieces in one particular concert and at the end the strings, who always have the hardest job, basically rebelled and if he had carried on that way he would have had a very depleted orchestra.
  15. 4" maple top, 4"x 4" maple legs with deep rails, 2 no. 10.5" Record vices to add some extra weight . When I moved house I asked the removal men if I should remove the vices before they moved the top; they gave me a pitying look, me being built on the slim side. Their pride wouldn't let them go back but I did notice their eyeballs bulging as they carried it downstairs. When I plane joints I clamp one corner of the plate in the vice and support the other on a piece of wood clamped to the bench and in that way there is no distortion.