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  1. By the way John_London, just wondering why you don't use a practice mute so you don't have to worry about annoying your neighbours? I mean, I know they don't sound good but surely practising on a quiet/non-resonant violin is better than watching television? I've got one made by Artino and it really reduces the sound a lot, so I can play at midnight (and I frequently do!) without annoying anyone - and I live in a flat where neighbours let you know if you're too noisy.
  2. totally agree folks - I arrived at the same conclusion today...enough studying videos and instead just get down and practise, practise practise! And as you say, play however is comfortable. Also, I liked what Andrew Victor said "let your own body parts instruct you! " Nevertheless, I enjoyed this thread of posts anyway, so thanks for your input!
  3. thanks for the reference to Rosand, I actually wasn't familiar with him, so that was good to learn. Although your YouTube link is for my previous video on Menuhin, did you perhaps mean this Rosand video where he is teaching how to hold the violin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAfbBuWb0io
  4. ha ha, apologies John_London for getting you into this addictive mystery! Look at this old video of Menuhin, during the closeups I was wondering whether I could see a shoulder rest or not (for example, at around 5:00) and then at 7:40 he tightens his bow and his violin sticks out all by itself like he's definitely got a shoulder rest! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNNp85Fk3Dg What does this mean? .....don't do as I do...do as i say?
  5. John_London & thirteenthsteph: I found your conversation very interesting indeed and I could relate to a lot of what you said, pity I couldn't join in but I'm in a different time zone than you (Australia). I spent all this week practising using the Yehudi Menuhin method (i.e. ONLY using the thumb for support - rather than base of the index finger AND the thumb) and I found (as you said thirteenthsteph) it is uncomfortable and my thumb & cup of the hand definitely got tense and stiff. The tension in my hand started to put me off practising (normally I really enjoy practising). Annoyingly though, my fingers did seem more agile and dexterous! But in spite of that, I don't think I'll stick with the Menuhin technique, the tradeoff with the hand tension was just not worth it.
  6. wow that's very interesting, thanks for that! I wasn't aware that the 1st finger could be used to help the downward shifts, I only knew of the chin. Here's something interesting, at 5:45 in the following video on posture, Hadelich says "These days I don't hold the violin very much with my left hand. Sometimes I sustain it a little bit, but most of it happens here" (while gesturing to the collarbone and chin). So because he said "These days..." I guess that he is saying he has changed his technique a bit over the years.
  7. John_London and Crazy Jane: totally agree, the violin is supported by the left hand (and the collarbone of course). What I noticed when looking at YT videos of famous rest-less violinists was that most of them seemed to be using a combination of the thumb AND the base of the index finger to support the violin, rather than ONLY the thumb However, I found this old video of Yehudi Menuhin demonstrating how to hold a glass violin (!!!) without a shoulder rest, and in it he is definitely only using the thumb by itself - it is not in combination with the base of his index finger. You can see this at 4:45 in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvV4A6lz-0w
  8. Cathode Ray: I looked at some Hadelich videos, yes sometimes his thumb is right under the neck but I did notice it also on the side (the "low side thumb position") Violinewb: I take your point about Mutter's thumb position, and in fact I think it is quite similar to Hadelich's. The reason I was interested to see any videos of the "thumb-under" position was that I was actually doubting whether it really exists. I suspected that perhaps there were really only 2 positions, high and low thumb, but not "thumb under", and the thumb-under was only a temporary thing for particular passages. However, having said that....I've finally found a genuine, thumb-under violinist!!!! His name is Filip Pogady, and if you look at his video from about 6:00 to 6:45, there is no mistaking, he really does play that way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsKju_W1K0U&t=190s Andrew Victor: thanks for your input. That's interesting about your concert master, especially as I imagined that if anyone did actually play with their thumb under the neck then most probably they would have small hands, because that position does seem to increase the reach of the hand. Although the strange thing is if you watch a bit of that video I mentioned above you'll see that Pagody does not have small hands at all, and yet he still favors that thumb-under position. I totally agree with you about a non-parochial teacher, just haven't found one yet. But I don't really mind because I really do like trying different techniques and observing the differences. And we are lucky because there are so many variations on violin/viola technique to experiment with....bow holds, left hand thumb positions, vibratos, instrument positions, shoulder rests or not...etc. etc.
  9. Thank you GoPractice for your comprehensive post. Apologies, I don't think I was very clear in describing what I was looking for. Basically it was a request for famous violinists who play with "Thumb Position II: The Thumb Under The Neck" as described in the following web page: https://murphymusicacademy.org/violin-101-lesson1 And this was just to satisfy my curiosity, as I have seen plenty of YouTube videos of famous violinists who play with "Thumb Position I: The Low Side-Thumb" and also "Thumb Position III: The High-Thumb or “Old School” Position", but not many with "Thumb Position II: The Thumb Under The Neck" I know these are perhaps not conventional names for the thumb positions, but there are photos on that web page, which hopefully reduces the amount of misunderstanding. However, I now realize my initial request mightn't be an easy one, because I have been searching through YouTube and sometimes I think I've found someone who is playing with their thumb right under the neck as their default position...but then the camera angle changes and then I see that I was wrong, or they change the position of their thumb according to the needs of the music.
  10. Hi folks, if anyone could suggest the names of any famous violinists who play with their thumb right under the neck I'd be most grateful, because I want to study them on YouTube. The only one I know of at the moment is Anne-Sophie Mutter. thanks!
  11. Theghostis I think I know what you mean, and in fact, there is some advice that I can't really make much sense of, for example: (and to be fair, I'm not sure if this is from Karen or one of her students) "feel the viola resonating through your spine"...well I can certainly feel vibrations in the tips of my fingers of both hands, and also through my collar bone and jaw....but through my spine? It's beyond me, so I guess my body is not a very sensitive/resonant one.
  12. it's certainly a great situation to be in - to have all those choices and opportunities at hand! I would love to be in that position, if I were, I think I'd record Haydn/Mozart string quartets all by myself on multi-track. I hope that the ensemble playing starts getting back to its pre-pandemic proportions again.
  13. ha ha: "signed the Covenant of the True Russian School in your own blood" very funny thanks for the advice and the laugh!
  14. thanks Andrew, good advice as always! And I've been doing research on the subject matter and apparently the name "russian" bow hold is incorrect anyway...which of course further emphasizes what you said about who cares what names they have. Speaking of names, I must say I'm impressed with your possible pseudonym of "FromViolinToCelloToViola", and also with the number of years of experience you've got. If I can get anywhere near that I'll be very happy indeed! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- and thanks ctanzio for your thoughts, yes I've started researching about the "Hungarian" bow hold on the internet and of course there are lots of very different opinions about it...although I did notice that one opinion did seem to keep popping up, and that was that apparently spiccato is easier to do with the Franco-Belgian hold. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- L.Colburn that was very interesting to hear how the "Russian" hold saved you from giving up, a few months ago I also felt like giving up because my 4th finger was always flat (in pitch), but thankfully I got some great advice from this forum and thus my enthusiasm for the viola was rejuvenated! And who knows, this so-called "Russian/Hungarian" hold might further inflame my viola passion.
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