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AndrewPollow

Spiccato is expensive/push high notes down to wood?

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Im used to a tough solid body violin I made with big guitar strings and I just bought a nice acoustic Scotti violin with thinner strings.

Does bouncy spiccato break hairs and strings alot? I like Perlman's spiccato tone but Im afraid Ill break strings and he breaks alot of bow hairs in the 1979 Tchaikovsky concerto DVD. I dont know if its because of spiccato. I enjoy only stiff arm staccato enough. I think Spohr only did that?

And on this violin the strings are 3.5 and 5.5 like they are supposed to be and thats a little hard to push past position 5. And if you do push them all the way down at the highest notes the fingerboard bends a little like a diving board and that seems bad. Do violinists not push the highest notes all the way down? Cuz you can still hear a note even if you dont.

And if you havent seen Yehudi Menuhin's Mendohlson Concerto/Encores 1947 you should get it. I got that on DVD and it blew my mind. Every violinist should own that DVD.

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Im used to a tough solid body violin I made with big guitar strings and I just bought a nice acoustic Scotti violin with thinner strings.

Does bouncy spiccato break hairs and strings alot? I like Perlman's spiccato tone but Im afraid Ill break strings and he breaks alot of bow hairs in the 1979 Tchaikovsky concerto DVD. I dont know if its because of spiccato. I enjoy only stiff arm staccato enough. I think Spohr only did that?

And on this violin the strings are 3.5 and 5.5 like they are supposed to be and thats a little hard to push past position 5. And if you do push them all the way down at the highest notes the fingerboard bends a little like a diving board and that seems bad. Do violinists not push the highest notes all the way down? Cuz you can still hear a note even if you dont.

And if you havent seen Yehudi Menuhin's Mendohlson Concerto/Encores 1947 you should get it. I got that on DVD and it blew my mind. Every violinist should own that DVD.

What kind of strings are you using? It could be that the strings are too high above the fingerboard, maybe the nut is too high. If you get a chance you could have your violin checked by a luthier to make sure everything is properly adjusted.

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Does bouncy spiccato break hairs and strings alot?

I enjoy only stiff arm staccato enough. I think Spohr only did that?

And if you do push them all the way down at the highest notes the fingerboard bends a little like a diving board and that seems bad.

Spiccato should not break hair or strings.

I'm not sure what you mean by "stiff arm staccato." Are you talking about ricochet? I'm fascinated by your reference to Spohr. Though historically interesting, it would be unwise to base your spiccato technique on his Violinschule (1832).

It is definitely bad if your fingerboard is bending "like a diving board." Is the fingerboard actually bending or is the neck moving?

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Im used to a tough solid body violin I made with big guitar strings and I just bought a nice acoustic Scotti violin with thinner strings.

Does bouncy spiccato break hairs and strings alot? I like Perlman's spiccato tone but Im afraid Ill break strings and he breaks alot of bow hairs in the 1979 Tchaikovsky concerto DVD. I dont know if its because of spiccato. I enjoy only stiff arm staccato enough. I think Spohr only did that?

And on this violin the strings are 3.5 and 5.5 like they are supposed to be and thats a little hard to push past position 5. And if you do push them all the way down at the highest notes the fingerboard bends a little like a diving board and that seems bad. Do violinists not push the highest notes all the way down? Cuz you can still hear a note even if you dont.

And if you havent seen Yehudi Menuhin's Mendohlson Concerto/Encores 1947 you should get it. I got that on DVD and it blew my mind. Every violinist should own that DVD.

Spiccato should not break bow hairs, if the bow stroke, no matter how violent, has the bow absolutely perpendicular to the string. (And the hair is not too old, and it has been properly installed) Perlman has enough control that he can angle it just so in order to break a few hairs that will flail about, impressing the blue haired crowd without impeding his playing. :)

I'm assuming (never a good thing, but bear with me) that you are referring to the last movement double stop 16ths that cross all strings (International edition, rehearsal letters F and L). While it may look like it is completely done with the arm, there is a little lag in the wrist changing directions that make the bow jump off the string.

As far as pushing the string all the way down in the highest positions, yes, it should be pushed down all the way. You can get a note to sound without total compression of the string into the fingerboard, but the sound is not as strong and brilliant, which is (most of the time, especially in the Tchaikovsky) the reason for going up there. The fingerboard flexing depends on the thickness of the wood and your pressure control. This issue could be a neck set issue, as Lymond has written, or it could just be a thin FB, which some players prefer or deal with.

The Menuhin DVD, I haven't seen yet, but will look for it, very curious after such a strong endorsement! I love Kyung Wha Chung's recording of the piece, not sure if it's available on video.

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Every violinist I watch has high strings exactly like mine. Ive been playing without a shoulder rest and I feel like with the violin lower its easier to push strings and balance the bow. Maybe Ill like that more. It does sound better but I wonder if that is only better technique?

Stiff arm I thought is what you call fast elbow spasms when the bow hair doesnt leave the string. And spiccato is bouncy wrist movements like knocking on a door? And they have a different tone.

Thats funny that Perlman would break hairs on purpose. But couldnt there be a shortage of horse hair if everyone did that? You should try to make it last.

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Whoa.

Well, your terminology is off. As far as I know, no one uses the term "stiff arm" to refer to anything other than a type of football block. It certainly isn't used to refer to a bow stroke. (At least not in American English.)

The general separated bow stroke initiated by the elbow is called détaché.

Spiccato is an off-the-string stroke descended from détaché. Perhaps the wrist is more flexible in a spiccato stroke, but the motion certainly does not originate from the wrist (and there is no stroke I know of that is "like knocking on a door."

Sautillé is the wristiest of spiccato strokes, with only a slight impulse from the elbow. It requires speed, short strokes, and a relaxed hand. Though it is a controlled stroke, it is often described as letting the bow bounce on its own. It requires locating the natural balance point of the bow.

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I believe that the "stiff arm" to which Andrew refers is actually the way some violinists perform their staccato. From what I read, saw or learnt, staccato is the violin stroke that differs the most amongst performers, and that very often is not really taught. But everybody comes with their own way of achieving it. And the stiff arm is one of these ways (no wrist pronation or up movements, no thumb and middle finger impulse, just a very stiff arm that goes up with very short rests to get this staccato sound). You just have to use what work best for you.

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I believe that the "stiff arm" to which Andrew refers is actually the way some violinists perform their staccato. From what I read, saw or learnt, staccato is the violin stroke that differs the most amongst performers, and that very often is not really taught. But everybody comes with their own way of achieving it. And the stiff arm is one of these ways (no wrist pronation or up movements, no thumb and middle finger impulse, just a very stiff arm that goes up with very short rests to get this staccato sound). You just have to use what work best for you.

Yes but its more like " Stiff wrist staccato". Its a very very fast staccato with a fair amount of control but its important not to over do it if you can only do staccato that way. (health reasons) Ive never been able to it that way but ive seen some players that get some of the most amazing staccatos that way. Leopold Auer himself mentions this staccato was the one he used and taught. He also says that Wienawski used it and he was the most brillant exponent of staccato, About Sphor, he also mentions they taught staccato with aid of the wrist, and that he must had had an admirable staccato.

1.

Im used to a tough solid body violin I made with big guitar strings and I just bought a nice acoustic Scotti violin with thinner strings.

2,

Does bouncy spiccato break hairs and strings alot? I like Perlman's spiccato tone but Im afraid Ill break strings and he breaks alot of bow hairs in the 1979 Tchaikovsky concerto DVD. I dont know if its because of spiccato. I enjoy only stiff arm staccato enough. I think Spohr only did that?

3,

And on this violin the strings are 3.5 and 5.5 like they are supposed to be and thats a little hard to push past position 5. And if you do push them all the way down at the highest notes the fingerboard bends a little like a diving board and that seems bad. Do violinists not push the highest notes all the way down? Cuz you can still hear a note even if you dont.

4,

And if you havent seen Yehudi Menuhin's Mendohlson Concerto/Encores 1947 you should get it. I got that on DVD and it blew my mind. Every violinist should own that DVD.

I hope I can help with some of the confution. :)

1,

We dont refer to non-acustic or electric violins as "solid body" like they do on the guitar, just to clear confusions.

2,

Its common for the Tchaikovsky to break some hairs, the concerto is insane. Besides, Perlman is very active violinist and we do not know if hes bow hair already had extensive use.

3,

It goes to personale preference. You have to press them harder but you can always lower the height, new violins dont always have a good setup too and yes, you press them all they way down, its important to get or you will have problems playing piano or softer.

About the fingerboard, I dont know what to say. It shouldnt bend (ebony doesnt even bend? :) ) so I dont know. Maybe its not properly glued?

4,

Thanks for the recommendation, yes Yehudi Menuhin is amazing. I found this copyright-less recording wich you might like too: http://www.archive.org/details/PaganiniViolinConcerto

Its the Paganini concerto No.1 with Paris Symphony orchestra on 1934 and really really like that recording, plus its free.

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You can learn alot by looking up all of Andrew Victors posts. He has played violin for 70 years and he knows alot. I love playing without a shoulder rest now. Like the shoulder rest is good for beginners like training wheels and the its better with only wood on your shoulder.

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