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  1. Working with ivory is a big no-no in a lot of places now, so it's doubtful that it will be replaced with ivory, just a FYI. But yes, it needs to be replaced, not glued back on. What happened is exactly what is supposed to happen, the plate and/or the ebony lining breaking before the wood itself is damaged. It is a replaceable part of the bow.
  2. I think that if you take a look at viola's chosen profession, you see where the slight bias towards auction houses comes from. There are several dealers, minor and major, on this forum, who speak badly about auction houses. It's true that there are some bad apples among auction houses, but also among dealers, and I'd guess that the average musician runs a far greater likelihood of running into a bad apple dealer, than a bad apple auction house. I've only ever dealt with Tarisio, but they are worlds better than most dealers I've come across. I'm not a shill for them, but to put it simply, it's the first place I'd look for a new instrument.
  3. I think the type of mask may be important. One of the cotton ones that's roomy is a good idea. Surgical masks are barely any more effective than cotton anyways, for covid. Mainly you are avoiding spit spray from a sneeze or cough. Stay far apart, that is the most effective tactic.
  4. This is a toxic thought, but I'm just imagining complaining about 5ths on the a/e, and blaming it on the violin..... And chuckling a bit. Violin is just hard. Go practice if you want to play in tune. 5ths are different on every violin, for every person. You are saying the trickiest 5ths are tricky for you, as if they aren't tricky for everyone on every violin. I think other than practicing scalular 5ths, Bach fugues and Ysaye is the best and most fun way to practice them. If you can play Ysaye 5 in tune, you have a good idea of how to play the violin.
  5. Depends on your level of motivation. Your plan is good as long as you are motivated, and don't skip days. Once you lose a bit of motivation, you'll need to search for things that make you happy. No shame in being on Kreutzer, many violinists have never seriously gone through half the etudes you list. I haven't. Kreutzer and Sevcik prepare you for most things, sure add in some finger torture (Schradieck). More important is what you want to hear when you practice a scale, or Kreutzer. Exactly how do you hear yourself? If you truly internalized great sound, 1 hour would let you get a ton of upkeep done each day. You don't need much more than 1 hour to stay a really good violinist, though getting there would be hard with 1 hour per day.
  6. A lot of people find cheap horrible stuff that feels ok, and think they have won the lottery. There is certainly a lottery for cheap junk, because some of it is worlds better than others, but it's still cheap junk. You might be able to play well with it, but it will simply have flaws that better made instruments will tend to not have. That said, I think bows are very personal, and if someone feels attached to a piece of junk, I say go for it. Just don't convince yourself it's a great bow. I have a bow in my case that cost $40, and it makes sound just fine. Maybe I should reach for it more often... When I use it at gigs, it does indeed produce sound.
  7. Using well fitted real pegs on a violin is just such a treat. I agree that on fractionals, geared pegs would save the teacher, student, parent, everyone much pain, suffering, heartache, and time. For me, and this is totally a personal problem, if I was looking at nice violins to buy, I'd almost instantly dismiss anything with geared pegs. If it's not worth someone taking the time to properly fit pegs, it's probably not even worth trying. If it was the greatest violin I've ever heard, for $500, I'd maybe consider it, but probably not.
  8. Money laundering is also another possibility. There is significant amounts of it on ebay, but I would also suspect stolen credit card. Stolen credit card information has never been as available as it is now, and I have been hearing from friends that they were victims recently. Stolen credit cards are virtually unlimited. People will sell you an almost unlimited supply of them. The only challenge is not getting caught, and in this case, the seller is rather protected. Neither eBay nor Shar ends up with information that can be used to find this person, so managing the internet identity is the only challenge. If you're small potatoes, ebay/Shar won't be looking that hard at you.
  9. That does sound crazy. I don't think the majority of musicians are like that, though I have been wrong about that before... Where I am, musicians are generally grateful for things, and just scared about the future. Anyone without an actual contract, which is all freelancers, is either thinking about a career change, or will be soon. I've been thinking about your cases Mr. Musafia, I'm about to need a new one. Hope you and the others in your business can get back to normalish soon. I keep wondering if there will be a second round of all this, and how bad it will get. Italy sure got it pretty badly the first time around. Crazy times.
  10. I have experience with a Jacob Winter case, which I have used since 2005. It has held up very well. The backstrap part of it doesn't work well anymore, and now the zipper is going out, but as a case, it still functions incredibly well, and I could probably just replace the zipper and get another 10 years out of it. Also have experience with a Musafia shaped case. I bet it will last longer than I will. It's more like $700. Have also had Bobelock and BAM, neither hold up all that well.
  11. I think many of us have been trying to get decent microphones, I dove deep into looking for a good setup, here's what I found. By the way, there was a thread about 2 months ago with a lot of good advice, and Martin had a lot of good advice in it. I ended up getting a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface. It can be made to work with an ipad, which was its main draw, so I can quickly record video with the ipad, audio from the scarlett, and watch immediately afterwards, without having to mess with a computer, but if I want a computer DAW, I can go that route just as easily. For the mic, I have ordered a pair of Alctron MC410 condenser microphones. From reading a lot about mics, they do a great job of giving a realistic representation of sound in a space, on a budget. Unfortunately, I ordered them from aliexpress, more than a month ago... Still not here. But many violinists recommend large diaphragm condenser microphones. It's sort of an expensive setup (150 for interface, 90 for both mics, another 50 for cables/stands), but is portable, and is not much worse than you see in many studios. Now that I've bought it all, does Martin think those are ok choices? edit: Here is the thread.
  12. We all have our opinions on how to fix things, but from my experience, telling people to keep a straight bow is not nearly as useful as asking them to maintain the same contact point. No matter where exactly they start, if you have them watch their contact point, and keep it the same, they are developing control, and it's really hard to do if the bow is flip flopping around, so it ends up fixing straightness for the most part. They can't really see if the bow is perpendicular to the strings, no matter what Bill says, though sure they can see if it's really off. Contact point, and allowing weight into the string results in a soft and flexible bow hold. The bow can do most of its own work without our help, but the problem for most beginners is that it feels so inconsistent. If the contact point is at least consistent, then the weight from the arm can also be consistent, and students start to feel a lot more comfortable, which means less tension.
  13. Hi! And welcome! I think you are doing very well. Your seem to be loving the experience, which is great. You may have enjoyed making this video more than many seasoned (bitter, jaded) pros would enjoy playing Mahler 5. I think the road forward is always in low hanging fruit. How could you improve some aspect of your playing the fastest? I think it's your tone. Experiment with your contact point, and the weight in your arm. We spend most of the arm's energy simply holding it up all the time while playing. Try letting the weight of your arm fall a little more into the sound. You will work less, and have a bigger, more effortless sound. If I had to complain about something, I'd say your rhythm shows that you aren't singing internally as you play. Maybe you sort of are, but not truly. You wouldn't sing it with your voice the way you played in the video. If you can internalize exactly what you want to sound like, you stand a chance at bringing that out in your playing. Great progress in the space of 1 year. I hope you stick with it.
  14. Release 50% for the slide. About your "i am not a flexible person" comment, I think that the above poster is correct that that can stunt your playing, but I bet that you also feel it's a strength at times. I think we could remove the bad characteristics by simply changing the language, and yes, sometimes it's really that easy. I bet that the reason you're ok with being inflexible at times is because you want to do 1 thing, with repetitions, get it really good, and be able to do that consistently. That doesn't have to be inflexible, it's doing it intentionally. There is a lot of power in doing things intentionally. You can always tell which violinists are half-heartedly doing what they've been told, and which really mean to do exactly what they are doing. You should be just as intentional as you are now about practice, but when doing etudes especially, or something like solo Bach, be open to intentionally practicing different ways. I don't mean half-heartedly scrub around on your instrument with 2 or 3 fingerings before choosing the path of least resistance (I'm totally not guilty of ever doing this), I mean really commit to making each fingering as good as you can, right then and there. Nail those fingerings like you're Odin trying to take down the Eiffel Tower. You'll see that you can do that, and then choose a fingering, and it won't have been inflexibility, it will have been the flexibility to truly explore your options, and then pick the one you'd like best. You are already doing this, by the way. You already play scales, arpeggios differently, when you play them in Tchaikovsky, or Mozart, or Beethoven, or Mahler. You just don't think of it that way yet. But you are already flexible.
  15. You don't need to pay double retail... Just pick one with good reviews for microphone quality, and don't worry about the video resolution too much. If you are getting a 4k camera for 20 bucks, no way is it a good one.