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  1. Have a violin that is maggini styled, longer body, with a good sound. The other day, while switching things around, I put the tailpiece length much longer (than the recommended length of 5th) and sound post more south. The violin sounded much better all of a sudden, took on a different character, not just bigger volume, deeper. Does a longer body violin need a different set up? Help me to rationalize it. Thanks.
  2. Well, I tend to think and agree that a college is also a business so whatever it chooses to offer or sell to the public is a business decision that college needs to make for better or worse. IF a college offers a violin department with a widely accepted rather low standard and reputation, taught by low quality professors who no good connection to the music world for student job placement, but receive lots of applicants ready to pay for being students there, well, I don't see why the college should turn them away and worry for them about what they will do with their paid experience in that school. Is that decision resting on the students or the school, assuming there is not false advertising by the school? Should the school really get into the practice of warning prospective students off based on general future prospects? Perhaps there is a lesson on ethics or morality there, mixed in with personal preference, reality and business operation. Not unlike a violin shop stocking and selling stuff that to some seem questionable. Or a plastic surgery outfit that operates on body parts that we think should be left untouched If a person has something to sell and another wants to buy it, should we control what the buyer does with it afterwards?
  3. Pretty straight forward presentation there.
  4. Hey Don, sounds like you want to continue to tool around without supervision I understand. I myself do some of the stupidest things on a daily basis, knowing better, because, because I can I assume since you are into heavies, you don't type in front of computer all day long, but consider elevate your elbow with a book or a block of violin wood in front of the keyboard so that your wrist is leveled when you type to promote a flatter wrist. I think a lot manly men can take tingling and numbness alright, but if CTS progresses, you may start experiencing muscle weakness. Dropping violins out of your hands won't be fun.
  5. Hello Don Noon, some helpful advice above, here is my take. Some background info: anatomically, there is a band of fibrous tissue near the wrist, more like in the palm, that wraps around tendons going from forearm into the hand. Unfortunately, the Median Nerve also goes under this band. With repetitive motion of the hand and wrists, or due to many other unknown factors, inflammation sets in and the band relatively "tightens". The constricting pressure squeezes into the Median Nerve, causing symptoms. (surgery is to cut open the band) For some acute cases, symptoms come and go with rests and stopping the offending activities. (for instance, pregnant ladies tend to get this, and the solution is the delivery of the baby as the whole body swelling subsides) It sounds like your work is likely the culprit and chances are there is no getting around it effectively, or to the degree that satisfies your level of hands on work. As you mentioned, splinting at night is worth a try because some people sleep with their wrists fully bent under the blanket which can worsen the pressure and wake the folks up at night, with the typical flick sign: they flick their wrists to get rid of the numbing sensation in the hands (usually pinkie is not affected) The reason for an earlier, accurate diagnosis is this: it is not as some have said that when it gets worse to the point that you cannot take it anymore, then you go in for surgery to fix it once for all. Nerve damage goes through 3 main stages. Think of the first stage has reversible damage or irritation and the last stage you have crossed a point of no return, meaning, there is complete denervation and surgery then will not help recovery anymore. In other words, if the copper wire inside the electric wire is cut or damaged, no electric current will go through anymore. The best time to go for surgery is when the plastic wrapping on the wire is irritated. Studies after studies have shown that the timing of the surgery predicts the success of the outcome. No one should jump into surgery on the first sign of trouble, but waiting till your nerve is essentially dead is also pointless. So there is a bit of a catch 22: The best time for surgery may seem like the time you least need it. In a way it makes sense though, like how you guys approach a tiny crack on a violin. You may want to consider visiting a highly reputable hand surgeon or neurosurgeon, someone who does a lot of this type of surgery. One important piece of data to collect is through a test called electrodiagnosis or electromyography (EMG). No the most pleasant thing to go through, with some pins and electric current in your forearm and hand, but it provides a good idea to you and the surgeon on how bad the damage to the nerve is: mild , mod or severe, because surgical decision and outcome depends on that. The testing also rule in or out whether you indeed have CTS. If you do decide to get this test, consider getting a referral from the surgeon that you most likely will use because the surgeon must trust the guy who does the nerve test and the interpretations of the degree of nerve irritation or denervation. For the time being, you should consider doing something differently, like David suggested. Or stopping everything for a week to see if that even helps. Not getting better with rests is also a tell tale sign.
  6. http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/only-150-3500-u-colleges-worth-investment-former-132020890.html?vp=1
  7. Showmanship or herd mentality that standing upright and holding up the violin is a healthy posture when it is not necessarily so. The same posture can be as helpful to one as harmful to another. Give you an example. A and B both slouch too much and teacher would suggest both to raise the scroll, ext rot the left shoulder more, etc. A has good flexibility and suppleness and is able to benefit from the advice. B does not and therefore the added physical range of motion change becomes taxing and exertional. Although the advice is sound to A, it is not fitting for B at the moment. 2 things will ensue: 1. B does not find the advice helpful partly because B cannot effectively follow it. 2. B gets injured. When B is injured, the ultimate objective of playing the violin better is not reached. What happens here is that the teacher fails to distinguish A from B in terms of their conditions and needs. Something that is possible for A is not possible for B. To get B ready, from impossible to possible, requires a process, based on understanding and knowledge and experience. That is why it is very dangerous to apply learned ideas generally. Further a teacher that can teach both A and B effectively is someone who needs to learn to teach the same thing many different ways, and most likely, this teacher needs to go outside the realm of the violin world to get the needed resources and wisdom. My opinion is that the currently available violin literature, dating all the way back 150 yrs, limits itself to understanding or lack of understanding all the way back 150 yrs. We honor tradition and custom, yet violin pieces are getting much more intense and physically taxing. Students often practice more hours than kids working in Chinese Nike factories. Well meaning,,,highly harmful.
  8. Wow, you actually helped yourself because you were inquisitive and did your own due diligence. We are proud to be the witnesses! :0 My point about the posture is that between pointing the scroll down to the ground and pointing to the sky, it seems that we tend to favor the latter. We regard the former as bad posture, slouching, etc. We welcome scroll pointing higher because it looks more inspired. The truth for an individual is probably somewhere in between and imo, slightly less than horizontal.
  9. why not put the adjustable weight on the top (instead of the bottom) so that it can be easily adjusted without interruption in terms of the routine of loosening the strings, flip the end piece over, adjust, put things back, try again....
  10. It is very much on topic. Your thoughts again reiterate an earlier thesis that despite common physiological principles governing everyone, each individual reacts and presents differently. On top of that, each instrument is different; total length, strength, upper and lower bout width etc are not necessarily meaningful measurement.
  11. I think we all had similar experiences, even among similar sized violins. I think there are many factors governing the "playability setup" in terms of where the chin rest is, where the shoulder rest is located and angled, its height, its height relative to the rib height of a particular violin, violin neck thickness, fingerboard projection or tilt, bridge height, weight of the violin, etc,etc, etc. So many factors at play... The other issue that is worth exploring, prompted by omobono's post on his violin vs viola comfort levels is that often we hear people talk about shoulder impingement as the reason for shoulder discomfort. May be that is true, may be not completely true. There could be other physical issues co-existing with shoulder impingement, such as other degenerative and arthritic changes that may contribute to other symptoms. Ideally, the thinking is to find one etiology to explain all the symptoms, but it is not impossible to have multiple reasons leading to multiple physical signs in a symptom complex. And the brain is a funny animal in that its pain perception can be quite selective. Since there are different types of pain fibers located within the spinal cord, often the pain signals compete with one another to register in the brain. In other words, there may be 3 pain signals emitting from one part of the body but the brain at one moment in time may only register one out of the three. Let's say you twisted your knee badly enough and is getting therapy for the front of the knee where it hurts a lot. You tell the PT the pain is in the front and he focuses on treating there. Once that improves, you start noticing pain on the side, a new symptom. But the truth of the matter is that the side pain has always been there. When the front pain subsides, the side pain becomes obvious all of a sudden. This is not unlike teaching better intonation on violin. Is it really one reason for bad intonation aka, putting the finger on the wrong spot, or endless issues to address and entertain?
  12. Interesting. Perhaps your "trouble zone" --where impingement occurs-- falls more onto the violin dimension than on the viola's.
  13. If only discussion like this will prevent some folks from learning it afterwards...
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