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  1. I'm resurrecting this thread because I have an acquaintance who has asked me this question. Does anyone who plays electric violin have an answer? I would have suggested Helicores, too, because that's what I use on my Yamaha Silent Violin, but I just use it as a practice violin when traveling, and not for performing.
  2. Thanks, but I was looking for this specific publication.
  3. Never mind... I just found the ad for it: http://www.thecompletescalebook.com/scale-books/ for anyone who was wondering.
  4. Last spring or summer (2007) I was mailed an ad for a violin scale book that covered 3 and 4 octave scales, as well as double stops. I think the book was supposed to be spiral bound, and cost in the $20 - $25 range. I went to the website, and liked the layout of the book, and printed out a couple of the sample pages for reference. Alas, their website was not on the pages, and now that I'd like to order a copy, I can't find out what it is. I think it was self-published, and I haven't found it at SHAR, Southwest Strings, or Sheet Music Plus. Does anyone have an idea of what book I'm describing, and a link to the website? This book would be technically on the level between the Barbara Barber scale book and Flesch's scale system. Thanks in advance!
  5. I was going to say that mothballs will kill them, but the case will smell like... mothballs! But GMM22 beat me to it. If you do choose to go that route, put the mothballs into a sock toe and knot the sock, so the mothballs don't escape (especially if you have kids or pets). I put them in the case for a few months, and then removed them. It still smells faintly of them, but not badly. Have not had a recurrence of the bugs (it was with a bow and violin that I only use when I have an outdoor gig with threat of rain).
  6. Thank you Reedman! That's very exciting to know.
  7. I love my Weber case - when I got it about 10 years ago, I looked at the beautiful Musafia cases, but the weight bothered me. The only thing on my Weber that has worn out is the violin bag - I think some of the hooks from the velcro neck holder got it. It has brass hinges (don't know if they're what you're talking about). A beautifully built case, but alas, I heard that Leroy Weber retired a couple of years ago, and I don't know if anyone is making cases like his now.
  8. As a teacher, I often don't get to all the same things at every lesson - particularly with the students who are only taking half hour lessons. I usually ask my students toward the end of the lesson if there is anything that they would like to play for me. If your teacher doesn't do this, or is continually asking you to play the things you didn't spend time on, ask him/her while you still have some time left, if s/he would listen to you play the exercise with martele (or whatever it is that hasn't been covered). I make note of things that I want to keep an eye on, but I feel it is the student's responsibility to keep track of what s/he's working on. Since the things we cover are fairly standard: warm ups, scales, etudes, pieces, I can usually tell by the dates in their books what was the last thing I assigned. For my very young (or very irresponsible) students, I have assignment sheets that they can use to check off their daily practice on - the sheets list the general item (scale, etude, book) and I write in the page or exercise number. They usually bring those to me at the next lesson. One of my students has me write any special assignments down for her in a notebook, but I'd prefer not to have to do that because it takes away from the lesson time. If you're frustrated by your teacher's assigning things and then never listening to them, talk to him/her about the problem - s/he should be happy to oblige.
  9. Previous posters have given you a lot of ideas and descriptions of how you can transpose (change the key) of the hymns. I personally don't find hymns too low for the violin - the soprano line is in the normal range of a violin in first position. When I play hymns for weddings, I don't usually transpose them to a higher key - I usually play one verse at normal pitch, and the next one an octave higher. I don't write it out, just do it. Playing things 8va at sight is pretty normal, even for us classical geeks. It gives you a chance to play in a couple of registers of the violin, and makes it a little more interesting.
  10. You might try Infeld Blue, although if Dominant didn't do anything, Blues might not work. Dominants work on my violin, but I hate the break in time, and they don't last very well. Blues don't have much of a break in time (or maybe they just don't sound bad during break in), and they sound big and full on my violin. It does have a pretty robust sound of it's own (Evah's and Obbligato's didn't sound particularly full on it). Duh - I forgot that I am currently using Visions. They pack a punch (more than Blues), and the Vision Titaniums pack even more of a punch (at a price). Went to order strings, and at that point remembered that I haven't used Blues in probably a year and a half.
  11. I really don't see the point of having a student read from something that isn't notation. If they are at a point where they can read the letters, they can read the notes just as easily. I will use the letters at the beginning in their assignment books to remind them of the things they're supposed to be working on (by rote - see below). What I do that works well is for the first month or so (until they are completely comfortable holding the violin and bow correctly and bowing properly - long and short bowstrokes) is to essentially teach them a few simple things by rote. First it's just a series of long notes (bows) on a single string -- to get the feel for bowing straight and playing with a beautiful sound. Then we add rhythm, and I have them do a certain number of notes in rhythm (like 8, 4, 2 on each string). Then I have them do "Happy Birthday" on each string -- this establishes where the first finger goes. Then I build on that by teaching them "Frere Jacques" to establish where 1,2,3, and 4 go. Only then do I start with note reading, because I have found that if you start with note reading (or reading letters, etc.) while playing at first, the position, bowhold, and drawing straight bows are much harder to maintain. The beginner books I use sort of depend on the temperament and age of the child, but I often start with Applebaum's String Builder (yes, it's really dated...). I also really like Doflein's books - although they are certainly not large print -- I've used the first one with an 8 year old successfully, but she's incredibly gifted. Another one I really like is called Fiddle Magic by Sally O'Reilly. It's a series of very simple, but very well thought out and distilled technical exercises (simple, but not always easy). It is fairly large print and has cute pictures. FWIW, that's how I do it.
  12. I think I have the David edition -- which shows how it was done in the OLD days, the Galamian edition which uses his inimitable fingerings, and the Ricci edition which shows how one of the recent masters of the caprices did it. They're interesting to compare, but ultimately, you do kind of have to figure what works for you - which sometimes ends up being none of the above!
  13. I'll have to give it a listen -- I was wondering about his chamber music. Thanks for the recommendation. BTW (regarding WHY I like this piece), some of the things I was impressed with in his Philadelphia Stories were his ability to write counterpoint, and his ability to come up with good little tunes that worked contrapuntally. One of them I noticed worked as a tune starting as if the first note was a pickup, and all the rest of the tune falling the way it would on strong and weak beats, with one interpretation, and the same tune starting with the first note on the downbeat, and all the opposite notes therefore falling on strong and weak beats -- with an equally valid, but different interpretation due to the fact that all the OTHER notes were falling on the strong beats the second time. It was very interesting to me.
  14. Really, you should get a teacher who will help you do this. No one here really can see what you're doing to give you appropriate advice (appropriate to your particular situation). It is likely that the way you are holding your bow is causing some of your problems with stiffness and a teacher could help you with that. As for starting to think about loosening up -- it sounds like anything would help you. Here are a few very general exercises/ideas that may or may not help you. To feel flexibility in your RH fingers and thumb, put all of your fingers and thumb together as if you were going to pick up a pea with all of them straight (extended) and touching the pea. Now contract all of them toward the palm of your hand. That should give you a feeling of flexibility in the hand, and a sense of what it feels like for the fingers and thumb to be flexible. Now pick up a pencil, holding it with your hand like you'd hold your bow. Do the same extending and contracting motions with your fingers and thumb, but while maintaining your bow hold on the pencil. The tip of the pinkie should always stay in contact with the pencil, and the first joint (the tip joint) of the thumb should always have a slight bend to it, even when extended (the bend is with the tip of the thumb pointing toward the palm, not away from it). Those should loosen up your finger and thumb joints. When you become very comfortable doing them with the pencil, you can try them with the bow, but they will be more restricted. To involve the wrist, you can do the same exercise, adding to it, bending the wrist: when you're doing the "picking up the pea" extension with the fingers/thumb, bend the wrist as if you were bringing it to your nose to smellthe part of it just above the back of your hand. When you do the contraction of the fingers, bend the wrist the other way (it's like the hand is moving down (with extension) and up (with contraction), not side to side). Much easier to show than to tell. To translate the wrist motion to the bow, the "palm side" of the wrist leads on the downbow, and the "back of the hand side" of the wrist leads on the upbow. A way you can try to feel this better with the bow is to play on your open strings downbow on D, upbow on A, repeating many times (in the middle of bow, feeling the wrist leading). You can also make it a bigger motion by doing downbow on G, upbow on A.
  15. We recently played Michael Daugherty's Philadelphia Stories (2001), and it was a lot of fun to play and I enjoyed listening to it as well. A friend described it as "Contemporary music for people who don't like contemporary music", which sounded like a put down to me, but I still enjoyed the piece, and would be interested in hearing and playing some of his other music.
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