Andrew Victor

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  1. The frequency of my alcohol cleaning of strings is now greatly reduced. As I pointed out I immediately remove the alcohol from the string surface by wiping with a dry cotton cloth to prevent penetration to the core. The tonal changes I have achieved by using alcohol cleaning convinced me that there was a negative tonal effect of rosin between the metal string windings that is reduced by alcohol cleaning. I will admit that I no longer clean my strings with alcohol weekly. Now I only do that if a nylon scrubbie and microfiber cloth don't give me the effect I want. I probably alcohol clean no more than every 3 months (and that includes the 4 instruments I may play regularly - (violin, viola and cello). I also no longer use Liebenzeller rosins. Since that entry in this thread I have gone through Andrea, Magic, and settled mostly on Leatherwood rosins (both Supple and Crisp, sometimes mixing them) having bought their blends from the maker for violin, viola, and cello on a half-price deal when the company was fairly new. Expensive stuff - it never leaves home.
  2. This is my take on this question: When the bow is loosened sufficiently for storage, the leather should just touch the frog so that when the bow is tightened sufficiently the gap is minimized. Softer bows will probably create a greater gap when sufficiently tightened - so you don't want to over-hair them. You can purchase decent thumb leather pieces for $1(US) or so. Professional installation probably costs no more than $30 - I do it myself. So if the leather gets messed up by pressure from the frog it's no great loss. Some people like to play with their thumb on the leather and some with the thumb in the "notch" of the frog. The latter will eventually cost you in the long run (or the inheritor of your valuable bow). One of my bows is an F.N. Voirin and obviously previous players used it with thumb in notch - and so did I - probably for an additional 20 - 30 years - until the underlying metal was exposed (I have done a jerry-rigged repair patch). The potential value of that bow has probably all been played and worn out of it, but even so I don't do that any more!!! It is also best if your bow has been haired and the "gap" set in the climate in which it will be played. (Although for the future, who knows what that will be!)
  3. Fitting bridges, including the necessary trimming to optimize mass, is something that luthiers learn to do and perfect with a great deal of experience. Luthiers may well fit as many bridges in a week as some violin makers fit in a year.
  4. Some one, good point - some rosins do seem to require some scoring to get good application to the bow hair started.
  5. Peter K-G, If your time is limited you might find artistworks.com helpful. There you should encounter a very experienced professional violinist as teacher and have freedom to work at your own pace and have enough time between lessons (i.e., teacher interactions) to work on the stuff. My adult son has used Artistworks.com for on-line (delayed-response) video lessons.
  6. A reasonable list of shops some of which might meet your requirement: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=Bay+Area+violin+shops&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=&sxsrf=ACYBGNRGz7E3AysTOufjvRamcTlaE74RnQ:1576684652128&q=Bay Area violin shops&npsic=0&rflfq=1&rlha=0&rllag=37874149,-122410814,14657&tbm=lcl&rldimm=4916917212678676751&lqi=ChVCYXkgQXJlYSB2aW9saW4gc2hvcHNaJQoMdmlvbGluIHNob3BzIhViYXkgYXJlYSB2aW9saW4gc2hvcHM&phdesc=2poVRLBmvwA&ved=2ahUKEwj0oPOEyL_mAhXQHjQIHRJlCR4QvS4wAXoECAsQKw&rldoc=1&tbs=lrf:!1m4!1u3!2m2!3m1!1e1!1m4!1u2!2m2!2m1!1e1!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:10&rlst=f#rlfi=hd:;si:17873989545835575298,l,CitCYXkgQXJlYSB2aW9saW4gc2hvcHMgQmF5IEFyZWEgdmlvbGluIHNob3BzGVbgnjKh3N7FWlEKInZpb2xpbiBzaG9wcyBiYXkgYXJlYSB2aW9saW4gc2hvcHMiK2JheSBhcmVhIHZpb2xpbiBzaG9wcyBiYXkgYXJlYSB2aW9saW4gc2hvcHM,y,pm1j4I0t6fo;mv:[[38.509723699999995,-121.82162409999998],[37.220852400000005,-122.8836653]] I have visited about 4 of them plus Joan Balter in Berkeley.
  7. Three13, Two thoughts on teachers in Marin County: The Magic Flute, music store at Northgate One, maintains an on-line list of teachers who have registered with them (at least they did when I was teaching until 10 years ago). Julie Mellon, who runs the Suzuki violin program at Dominican U. in San Rafael should be competent to do the job (she is now the concertmaster of the conductor-less chamber orchestra I now play with - Lucas Valley Chamber Orchestra). You can find her on line as well. I hope this is a helpful start.
  8. The writer Malcolm Gladwell may have implied that 10,000 hours yield mastery of a subject or activity but if you look into it the truth of the matter is that although those who are acclaimed to be "masters" have put in 10,000 hours (and more) not all who put in the time achieve mastery. It is always best to have a face-to-face teacher when learning a string instrument,; one who can actually see the strain of the muscles against your skin and provide guidance from that information. Instruction based on knowledge of your internal processes is preferable to what one can observe from a greater distance but both are preferable to what a novice thinks is needed and what is actually going on. There comes a time when musicians feel they can self instruct and many of them are correct (but not all). However most of them feel that are qualified to teach others. And to some degree they are correct as long as they don't try to exceed their own knowledge and capability.
  9. https://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_Compositions_Featuring_the_Cello
  10. In my experience I find two kinds of slurs, let's call them "physical" and "musical." To those who play "portable" instruments, like bowed strings and winds, the physical slurs may indicate bowing changes or inhalation points. Piano music has slurs that are purely "musical" or "expressive. One often finds slurs within slurs in printed music and players can interpret them as they wish or as tradition indicates. To me a slur within a slur indicates separate bows with a silent bow change, in other words, a combination of "musical" and "physical" slurs. It takes an incredible player with an incredible instrument to perform all the written slurs in a violin concerto as "physical" slurs -- and be heard as the composer intended.
  11. I always check places like SHAR and Southwest Strings and several others, but always compare them with Concord Music and then choose by price. I have bought most of my strings from Concord.
  12. I play cello and the "chin instruments." I have never played a 5-string cello but I did own a 5-string violin for a few years and found it very disorienting. It is one thing to spend your life bowing 2 outside strings and 2 inside strings; 2 outside and 3 inside strings completely changes your universe. I suggest asking at the PEGBOX forum about how the makers and other luthiers set up the bridge, fingerboard and neck for 5-string cellos and how that relates to their customers who order them. Also, you could check at the Internet Cello society: tps://www.tapatalk.com/groups/cellofun/
  13. A combination of adjusting your wrist as "Violin Beautiful" suggests and changing the direction the scroll is pointing might also be helpful, but might be problematic if you use a rigid shoulder rest.
  14. MANFIO, I purchased the "Glory of Cremona" LP (new) over 40 years ago while my ears were still young-ish and was able to listen to it on my ("big-box) JBL speaker system with Fischer (tube, push-pull) amplifier (before a house fire took out its tubes and I could never get a good tube match and switched to a solid-state amp that could never match it) and and concluded the Bergonzi was the best and most interesting sounding violin in that collection (as played by Ricci). What is your opinion?
  15. Much of the sound of any instrument comes from the mind and hands of the player. Jack Benny played a Stradivarius! I never heard him live, but from what I heard on radio and later TV he could have saved the $25,000 (in those 1940-'60 year dollars, probably 100x more now) and done as well with $100 (today's dollars) - if he found a decent one.