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Yehudi violn hold

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quote:


Originally posted by:
xdmitrix420

as emmanuel vardi once said to a student at a masterclass that i

attended "i think you need to go sit yourself down somewhere and

rethink your technique."

the problem i have with shoulder rests is that they really destroy

muscle movements necessary for truly coordinated playing.

 shoulder rests ARE NOT a 'technological advancement', and

they are not a 'gift'.  they are for people who can't figure

out balance.  

WELL OF COURSE, (SLAP MY FOREHEAD), MAKING SOMETHING EASIER, LIKE REDUCING THE LOAD ON THE BRAIN REQUIRED TO BALANCE THE INSTRUMENT WHILE MANIPULATING STRING LENGTH WITH THE LEFT HAND FINGERS AND BOW MOVEMENTS OF THE RIGHT HAND/ARM WOULD OBVIOUSLY MAKE THE VIOLIN HARDER TO PLAY. I HAVE AN IDEA, WHY DON'T YOU START PLAYING ON STILTS, THAT REQUIRES EVEN MORE BALANCE, AND BY YOUR LOGIC WILL MAKE YOU PLAY EVEN BETTER.

balance is what menuhin is teaching in his video, and while he is

explaining it in a complex way, it's even more complex explaining

to someone how to be comfortable with a piece of rubber crap

attached to their instrument.

HMM, IT TOOK ME ABOUT 5 MINUTES TO LEARN TO BE COMFORTABLE WITH SHOULDER REST, I MUST BE A GENIUS!

XDIMITRIX, YOU MAY ACTUALLY BE ONE OF THOSE WHO ACTUALLY ARE MORE COMFORTABLE WITHOUT A SHOULDER REST - MORE POWER TO YOU. BUT I GREATLY BEG TO DIFFER IN YOUR ASSESMENT THAT FINDING STABILITY AND BALANCE WITH A SHOULDER REST IS MORE COMPLEX THAN WITHOUT ONE. I HAVE NEVER HAD TO HAVE A STUDENT GO THROUGH THE DRILLS THAT MENHUHIN IS PUTTING HIS STUDENTS THROUGH TO ACHIEVE COMFORT, FREEDOM, AND YES, BALANCE IN THEIR HOLD.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
strauzart

Interesting that there is a line of shoulder rests with the name

Menuhin right on them!

Yeah I used to have one of those. Didn't Yehudi develop these?

Not very comfortable as I remember!

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quote:


Originally posted by:
DR. S
quote:


Originally posted by:
con_ritmo

By the way, the state of the art high performance automatic transmissions have proven themselves better performers than manual transimissions even with the best drivers in almost all conditions. High speed electronic processors coupled with well designed sensors and mature algorithms are superior to human reflexes and skill. But I admit, they aren't nearly as much fun.
p><p>2.  F1 for automobiles.  The clutch is computer-controlled...but it

This is not to be confused with some automatic-tiptronic-gear-selector thing that you find cropping up in many of today's vehicles...those are inferior automatic trannies.

One day this may change...but for now just about all forms of motorsport use manual transmissions.

Ok threadjack over.
i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif' alt='face-icon-small-smile.gif'>

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I thought a Manual transmission is cheaper,and also one can get more with the same

amount of gas. I am not sure if it is superior. .

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I've been working on the left hand since this thread started.

 I never have used a shoulder rest, and already hold the

violin with collar bone and chin as Menuhin instructs, but the left

thumb is something else!  I wish the pictures on the video

were clearer, but it appears that the thumb isn't under the neck,

but more along side it.

I will say that using his hold makes the fingers feel a lot freer,

even though my knuckles are pretty high in my original hold, and it

does make shifting more fluid when I play 3-octave scales, and when

I play 2-octave scales on a single string.

It's going to take quite a while, I think, to get consistently

comfortable with this hold, but I think it may be worth it,

especially for the kind of music I eventually want to play (swing

and bop).  In the mean time, it's pretty awkward, caught

between holds, so to speak!

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Yes! While there are many schools over many aspects of violin playing...there really aren't that many in regards to the left hand. The thumb does go alongside the left side of the neck...with the thumb pointing straight up vertically. The difference is simply where the thumb contacts the neck...and how high the thumb sticks up over the fingerboard.

The thumb-on-the-left-side of the neck offers several benefits:

1. It is a very ergonomic hold (as opposed to the thumb underneath). Make a shape of a relaxed fist in violin-playing position...and look where the thumb is....it's on the left pointing straight up.

2. It frees up the hand for vibrato purposes...

3. It helps to relax and minimize the pressure of the left hand fingers. With the thumb underneath the fingers have something to pound against. With the thumb along the side, the fingers have nothing to pound against...which helps to eliminate all unnecessary tension and effort.

The key thing is that the thumb should be free to move on its own as is necessary. So it may be stretched back...and it may occasionally rotate underneath the fingerboard. However, its base position should be along the left side of the neck.

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I would recommend shoulder-rest free to anyone who experiences tension and pain with a shoulder-rest.

Try to play rest free for awhile and then go back to shoulder-rest. I can assure that you can play very more ease.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
con_ritmo
Y The thumb does

go alongside the left side of the neck...with the thumb pointing

straight up vertically. The difference is simply where the thumb

contacts the neck...and how high the thumb sticks up over the

fingerboard. The thumb-on-the-left-side of the neck offers several

benefits: 1. It is a very ergonomic hold (as opposed to the thumb

underneath). Make a shape of a relaxed fist in violin-playing

position...and look where the thumb is....it's on the left pointing

straight up. 2. It frees up the hand for vibrato purposes... 3. It

helps to relax and minimize the pressure of the left hand fingers.

With the thumb underneath the fingers have something to pound

against. With the thumb along the side, the fingers have nothing to

pound against...which helps to eliminate all unnecessary tension

and effort. The key thing is that the thumb should be free to move

on its own as is necessary. So it may be stretched back...and it

may occasionally rotate underneath the fingerboard. However, its

base position should be along the left side of the neck.

My normal left hand position is as depicted in Fischer's

"Basics". Last joint of thumb and base of index

finger touching the neck very lightly, thumb very mobile,

counter pressure very light, etc.

The problem is, Menuhin's video makes it look like the index finger

side of the hand doesn't touch the neck at all.  I'm finding

it pretty hard to keep the thumb on the side of the neck, provide

counterpressure for the fingers on the G string, and support the

neck all at the same time without some balancing pressure from the

other side.  Using the hold shown in Fischer, all works fine,

but it is nice to have the knuckles even higher and the fingers

even freer. 

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Wow, a long legged thread!

Since this discussion began, I've been attempting the Yehudi Hold and have now set aside the shoulder rests on both of my violins. I'm still not totally comfortable holding the fiddle "bare backed" so to speak, but I was never totally comfortable with the shoulder rest either. The fiddle is definitely LIGHTER without it!!! This makes a strong grip less necessary as the lightweight instrument only needs minor skin contact to keep it from slipping sideways. Like a cheek weld on a rifle stock, the skin contact at the end peg region 'tacks' the fiddle in place and the whole support is between the collarbone and the thumb. The chinrest is only really there to keep my beard from scratching the finish.

The secret is holding the fiddle neck high enough to keep the strings parallel to the floor.

My biggest problem now is making my left hand flexible enough to get the thumb support right. I have a very long thumb and an age hardened grip. It's hard to get the neck way up on the pad of the thumb and still be able to reach the G string without a lot of uncomfortable twisting. It's coming along though.

Whether the actual voice of the fiddle is improved or not, I can't tell. I just know it sounds a lot better to me. There's more clarity and resonance to my ear. I can tilt my head to one side and align my ear to the edge of the fiddle. this cuts off much of the direct sound from the front and allows me more of a sense of the reflected sound from my surroundings. An interesting perspective.

These are the cheapest violin lessons I've ever had! Thanks Maestronet!

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An interesting discussion.

Menuhin himself used a shoulder rest. So did Oistrakh. So do Hilary Hahn, Gil Shaham, and Vadim Repin. Look on Google images if you don't believe this.

So you can play well with or without one, the important thing is that you can play in a relaxed manner and not wind up with chronic pain in your neck and back.

I actually find it useful to go back and forth periodically - using the left hand to support the instrument seems to improve my kinesthetic sense of positions and intonation, but ultimately find it more comfortable to play with one.

Patrick

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quote:


Originally posted by:
SkiBum

Menuhin himself used a shoulder rest. So did Oistrakh. So do Hilary Hahn, Gil Shaham, and Vadim Repin. Look on Google images if you don't believe this.

Patrick

Young Menuhin definitely used one, as can be seen in some earlier pictures. Later he was against the shoulder rest so he could not have been using one. To my eye, Oistrakh looks like he is not using a shoulder rest in the photos I managed to find.

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Sorry to come in so late on this.

The youtube clip has been removed and I'm very keen to know what all this is about..........

Is there someone who might elaborate on the way that it is being suggested to hold the violin......let's not forget that Menuhin formulated his technique some 80? years ago, and one should not read too much into things as pedagogy has come a long way since then!!!

I have seen old films of Menuhin and have worked under the Maestro on a few occasions, as well as being friends with pupils from his school etc. I would not site "what he does" and "how he does it" as a good example of the type of technical experimentation a player might consider.

For information, my left thumb plays no substantial part in holding the violin, but if I play without a rest (as I do, quite often) the thumb tends to assist more noticeably.

I would like to comment on the Modern approach (as a pupil of English/Czech/Russian and "Galamian" influenced teachers) and answer any questions to those who might be unclear on any aspect.

T_D

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Try both ways (with or without a shoulder rest) and then decide for yourself. There are benefits

in each way. I have heard experts (world class top soloists) explained to us in more than one master classes.

In conclusion, I would think that it is entirely up to you.

It sounds contradictory, but it is not. The master class teacher (accomplished soloist) demonstrated

how to get better tone out of a violin, if you were in a competition. Other teacher was concerned about how a student to secure a violin while practice. Different situations. For a little extra of tone, if you

need it, then get rid of the shoulder rest. (Up to you)

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Is nobody able to elaborate.....please?....it's making me crazy!

The INFERNAL shoulder rest....ahh days long gone....let's not go there!

Whatever your preference, learn to hold the violin properly and work daily on relaxing the hold.

T_D

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Well, heh heh..........My private teacher taught me to hold the violin with my left thumb back next to the nut area (beside the nut, on the side of the neck). Anyways, im in an Advanced middle school orchestra, I have two violins and one shoulder rest. Its a pain carring a shoulder rest in my school with a whole bunch of youth asking me what it is and asking me if they can touch it. Back to the point, so my school violin I use no shoulder rest (only at home). After a while u get used to your violin without a shoulder rest. But there are some challenging things to do without a shoulder rest ( tuning with the bow, shifting, hand position, body position).

But I noticed im not the only violinist with out a shoulder rest, our mariachi violins have no shoulder rest but there hand position is SO WRONG IT DRIVES ME CRAZY! But any ways you get used to using your violin without your sholder rest in a few days or weeks.....or so I think its that long.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
stillnew

quote:


Originally posted by:
SkiBum

Menuhin himself used a shoulder rest. So did Oistrakh. So do Hilary Hahn, Gil Shaham, and Vadim Repin. Look on Google images if you don't believe this.

Patrick

Young Menuhin definitely used one, as can be seen in some earlier pictures. Later he was against the shoulder rest so he could not have been using one. To my eye, Oistrakh looks like he is not using a shoulder rest in the photos I managed to find.

True about Menuhin, I'm not sure when he switched. In the picture found at http://inkpot.com/classical/people/menuhin.jpg, he doesn't look all that young, though.

Oistrakh used a Poehland - I have no idea how, I found it about one of the most uncomfortable things ever. You can see it on some of the videos.

Just goes to show, ultimately rest or no rest probably doesn't make _that_ much of a difference. As Milstein said, "either one can play or one cannot play."

Patrick

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that picture of menuhin is of him playing a viola, so he might have

justgrabbed someone's viola from the orchestra and someone snapped

a shot of him.also, that pic looks like he is using the 'menuhin

rest', which is somethinghe either endorsed or helped create and

bring to the market.personally, i don't use a shoulder rest. I

think it changes the mechanics of playingprofoundly. While

listening to someone it will sound about the same, but it does make

a big change to the player's mechanics.my main gripe with shoulder

rests is that they sort of push the violin/viola away from the

body.i've seen a lot of players who raise the screws on the feet of

their wolfs/kuns, and it looks like a car jack trying to raise a

car.also, shoulder rests take away from the main concept that the

instrumentneeds only to rest on the collarbone. the chin rests

gently on the chinrestbut does not squeeze. it took me many years

to realize how little i needed to 'squeeze' and 'grip' to hold the

instrument.

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XDMITRIX420 said - i think if dr. s had a lesson with one of the great masters like heifetz or primrose, he'd be putting his foot where his mouth is.

REPLY:

I have. No foot in my mouth.

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Sometime last year, i started a thread called 'shoulder rest question again' coz i was kind of wondering the same question and got quite a lot of replies. At that time, i kind of thought that shoulder rests were a must for some people as at various times over the past couple of years, i had tried holding the violin without a rest and failed to do so.

Incidentally, a couple of days before this thread was even started, i tried to play without a rest again and i was pleasantly surprised that i could play reasonably comfortably without a rest! To do this i had to shift the violin slightly to the left though compared to using a rest and it does require me to turn my head to the left a bit as well.

Not quite sure what's happening but i'm pretty motivated to experiment with rest-less playing these days. Think i'll keep on doing this until warning signs like a sore neck or shoulder start to appear telling me it's time to back to my trusty rest again

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littlefactory, what happened is you probably are aligning your

muscles correctly, whereas last time you tried you did not have the

proper balance.it's all about balance and proper muscle alignment.

if you get discouraged, or have pains, analyse carefully what you

are doing with your body when you play. it's very important that

your shoulder does not hunch up to support the instrument.

experiment with different sizes of chinrests if you feel your head

has to tilt too much.part of the joy of shoulder-restless playing

is that it forces you to approach the violin in a relaxed, and

fluid manner, and your technique is destroyed when you start

tensing up.one of the things i've seen with people who do use

shoulder rests is that they can have a lot of tension when playing

and they start using that tension as part of their technique, which

is totally wrong.if

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There are a lot of attitudes and assumptions implied in many of these comments, that I find short sighted and almost cultish. First, don't let anyone tell you that you aren't playing the violin (or viola) properly if you are using a shoulder rest. The goal is to achieve good position and technique as easily as possible. I know, you mention "easy' next to violin playing an some people get all upset and feel you are not a true follower of the faith, but actually, when proper technique is achieved, playing a stringed instrument is actaully quiet easy - hard to learn - but easy to do once you have learned well. Of course you can always find a peice that is to hard (or impossible) for you or I to play, but there is always music written for any instrument that pushes the bounds of what is humanly possible.

Some people will be able to easily play their instrument without at shoulder rest. Some others, with some work, will be able to learn to play effortlessly without one. Others will find it much easier to achieve proper relaxed position with a shoudler rest. Certainly many violinists have poor position and excess tension and use the shoulder rest as a crutch - at least it makes playing easier for them, even with the poor position. A shoulder rest is not a substitue for good instruction and good technique, but a possible tool in acheiving a relaxed yet stable instrument hold.

Those of you who can play without a shoulder rest, my hat off to you. You don't have to mess with a shoulder rest like I have chosen to do. Congratualtions. By no means would I suggest to you that you should use a shoulder rest. Perhaps teachers and students are too quick to assume that everyone should use a shoulder rest. I actually will agree that everyone should experiment going without one for a time, but you need to do what works for you - the goal is to achieve the highest level of playing possible.

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Progress report: I've been playing without a shoulder rest for a few months now and I can say that I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Even at this early point, I can see the advantages and can truthfully say it's much easier to just do without the dang thing.

I play a lot at bluegrass jams on the weekend and not having a brace on the back of my fiddle is a big plus safety wize. At an outdoor jam, there's really no place to set my fiddle down while I do something else with my hands so I'm constantly having to take off my shoulder rest to put the fiddle back in the case. Can't just set the fiddle in the case with the rest on it because the wind might blow the lid closed and crush everything.

It seemed that every time I took the rest off and put it back on, it felt different. I could never seem to get it adjusted right. Compound that with having two different fiddles and it seemed all I did was adjust rests. Now, both fiddles feel identical when I play except for the difference in chinrest height and I'm fixin' to take care of that.

I still catch myself pinching the fiddle with my chin and gripping the neck too hard but it takes some time for the old habits to wear off. My collar bone is not prominent enough to really provide a positive lock on the fiddle so I'm having to carefully watch the balance and the position of my shoulder. Lowering it makes the collar bone protrude more so I practice playing with my shoulder down and my back straight. Still takes some muscular tension to get the arm to stay high enough but the muscles are learning. My left shoulder was dislocated in a bicycle accident about seven years ago so I knew I was going to be adapting anyway when I started playing fiddle. The therapists taught me that lowering the shoulder is something you have to do anyway to raise the arm.

A fiddle instructor from up north dropped by one weekend to jam with us and the first thing he told me is that I needed to get a shoulder rest. His reason, that I would't be able to control the fiddle for the bowing and shifts necessary in bluegrass. I showed him that I could bow string crossings, double stops, double stop shuffle and shift from first to third back to first positions without difficulty and he seemed confused that I could do it. Thought there must be something special about my physical nature....

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krug, a lot of people don't understand the specialized left hand

technique when not using a shoulder rest, which is why he was

confused you were able to shift etc without one.i had a masterclass

with herbert greenberg (former concertmaster of baltimore

symphony)and when asked about shoulder rests he simply said 'the

shoulder is not designed to support the violin'.i think he was

getting at the idea of the collarbone being substantially stronger

than the fleshy part of the shoulder.this could be of importance

for people who have damaged their shoulder muscle structure.i don't

know if this is of any help, but i find the dmitri dounis exercises

extremely helpful in developing a relaxed technique.

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If I didn't hate doing exercises so much, I'd look up that Dmitri guy's books and go at it. I know how helpful the right kind of directed practice can be. But that takes me back to my bad experiences learning guitar. Endless exercises, scales, and practice with very little enjoyment as reward. For me to take that up again would just take all the joy out of playing. Just sitting through the Yehudi films took all my patience and attention span.

My abilities have come so far, so fast that I'm playing much better at this point than I ever thought possible. For just starting out a little more than 2-1/2 years ago, I've already progressed to the point that I'm performing as much as 3 hours at a time in public. The past five months have been some of the fastest learning time I've ever known.

I sometimes get the feeling that I'll be hitting a wall soon and maybe then I'll go back and dig in to exercises and get an instructor that can help me out. But until that time, I'm just going to enjoy the ride!

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