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Everything posted by sweetmusic

  1. nup on the rehair, as long as the bow has been stored in a clean, dry, dark location
  2. I have a similar student who is taking mandolin lessons. She is pre-med at Smith College, and has no time for practicing. She shows up week after week with this and that excuse. I think she probably wants to quit really, but can not bring herself to. Whatever, I try to do something interesting. Some weeks we listen to new material and discuss it. Some weeks we sight read. It works for me.
  3. For celtic musicians - a sheet music search engine: http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/cgi/abc/tunefind For celtic musicians - a celtic session database: http://thesession.org For violinists that want to fiddle - remote internet fiddle lessons: http://belchertownmusic.org/remote.html
  4. It's SOP Brad. Many players expect it done that way. Nice of her to spell it out for you. Where are you getting your bow hair?
  5. I played the viola for 20 years before I learned the clef. I was taught by Robby Merfeld (formerly of Apple Hill) to transpose. Simply play the viola as if you are fingering a violin in 3rd position, but in 1st position on the viola...that's the way I played until I was in my 30s and finally learned to read it. Now I really wish he had taught me to read the clef way back when...I found myself struggling with accidentals when I could have been focusing on right hand technique, tone, etc.
  6. I like a lot of Susan Conger's compositions
  7. We're doing the jam session again TODAY at 5:30 pm in the concert hall on the first floor see you there!
  8. I think learning to play the viola in tandem with the violin is a good idea. I started the violin at age 4 and the viola at 14. I wish I had started it earlier, but am glad I worked out all my bad habits before learning it because when I did, all I was really learning was the clef as everything else is identical to the violin - just a little larger. You can start your daughter now on the clef with her violin. There are some good viola books for learning to read the clef. That's a good way to get her started. Later when she's played long enough she will be ahead of the other violists who are just starting out! Re the electric 5 string, learning to play an electric is completely different than an acoustic. I would wait on that until she's much much older - settled into her acoustic and confident with her right and left hand technique, because bowing on an electric produces a much different result than on an acoustic!
  9. David you probably don't remember me from the VSA, but I remember Helen telling me about you. She said you're always looking for exceptional tonewood. You should shoot us an email sometime with your quality criteria. Next time Emily goes to Yunnan Mills she can be on the lookout for you.
  10. Emily and I looked for Cremona in Seoul last time we were visiting her sister. Couldn't find the shop and nobody in the violin industry there could tell us where it was. Nobody had heard of it. Nobody knew who Andrea Bang was either
  11. I have to laugh. I just noticed the banner ad at the top for Warchal strings. It looks like a cigarette advertisement for one of those snooty flavored cigarette lines! hahahahhahahhahahahaha ok done laughing now
  12. I prefer Larsens on all my violins and violas. Sorry I don't believe that old wives tale that different instruments require different strings. An instrument can be set up optimally for any set of strings. I like Larsens because they bring out the warm dark notes and support the highs without allowing them to be too shrill.
  13. I really like a lot of Steve Beckley's bows. He's got a website: www.bowworks.com I've played a few at the VSA shows and am very impressed with the balance, heft and of course looks! You know there's a lot of good bowmaking going on in Brazil these days. Of course Water Violet, Marco Raposo and Horst John bows are worth looking at. You can find them at most good violin shops. I'm also a huge fan of Benoit Rolland. Ever since I got my first bow hair order from him in 2000, I have been going over there to his little shop to see what he's working on. Lovely, exquisitely formed, almost as if he pulls them out of some liquid wood...and they draw such a tone (I like to think it's the hair, but...) on the web at www.rollandbows.com
  14. I have a box of chinrests and everytime we get a new 5 string in, I sort through the box and try different ones until I get the sound I like. Chinrests make a huge difference!
  15. Hey there Mr Bai I've been violin factories, workshops and individual luthiers throughout Heibei province, Hunan province, Beijing of course, Liaoning province. My wife and I own realestate in Shenyang, which is in Liaoning province, so we spend a lot of time in China. Because I'm a violinist, my interest is in the industry - and so we go to the factories. You told me specifically in one of your emails that the lower priced instruments (in the $500-$600 price range I believe, I don't have the email here) were made by your "students". I assumed you meant these were people in your employ working on lesser quality instruments, and because I have been to literally hundreds of similar (notice I said similar - I've never been to your shop and you haven't invited us either) shops and factories throughout China and S. Korea, I have a good idea of what that looks like. Until I receive an invitation to visit your shop and see how you do things, I won't know for sure, now will I? I never said anything is wrong with the quality or workmanship of your instruments. I just said they are priced high for similar-looking instruments in other shops from China. Very similar. In fact, the pictures, albeit grainy and of low resolution, look identical to what you call "factory" violins from Heibei (I assume you are slamming JinYin, because they're the largest factory there). Since you are attempting to go direct and bypass importers like my wife, I feel you need to take more care in how you respond on public websites like this. So far you have been defensive and you haven't convinced me of anything. Good luck to you
  16. Emily buys her violins from a small workshop in Ma zhou xiao, near Beijing. There are 9 workers in the shop, and over 1,000 that work in the big musical instrument factory nearby (they make guitars, accordions, pianos, flutes, whatever). Many of these workers "graduated" from the other factory after many years of production work there, and are now working on better instruments. Even though they still have a "workshop" approach to violin making here, there are just a few hands on each instrument, meaning the quality is much higher than a standard BEM student violin. My point is, you can find quality even in the big shops. You just have to look for it. Emily goes to the shop and picks the instruments she wants personally. I realize you can't do that, but if you could, wouldn't that be great?
  17. 99% of the western world's bow hair is processed in China
  18. nope...never heard of him. and the fact that he doesn't list anything about his shop in china, location, etc leads me to believe he's not the maker. did notice bow bug excrement on one of the carbon fiber pictures: http://home.earthlink.net/~bowmaker99/c17f9c07.jpg not good not good the hair he's using is sub-par. I would avoid the bows myself without knowing more.
  19. All ages, all levels. Please do come. Last time we had a 12 year old classically trained young man having his first "fiddling" experience. He loved it! I am sure you will too.
  20. REAL Chinese food is delicious. Especially hot pot! The stuff you get over here in the US is not Chinese. It's a jumbled-up mish-mash of asian stock with American taste thrown in. The Chinese don't like sweet, salty flavors; those are very American. I read recently about General Tso's Chicken. That was a made-up dish by a Chinese immigrant who ran a restaurant in NYC. Henry Kissinger is said to have frequented this establishment and it got to be quite famous. But anyone who has traveled as extensively as I have in China knows there is nothing like real Chinese food.
  21. I like "Techniques and Materials of Tonal Music" by Thomas Benjamin, Michael Horvit and Robert Nelson. I use it regularly in lessons.
  22. I'm happy to give you some lessons via web cam over the internet. I do this with a student in S. Korea and it works fine.
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