#3034 Reply

Michael Sanchez

Thanks for your post SeaSongJac! There are certainly a lot of things you are doing wonderfully, and for self-teaching yourself you have done great! You actually have a very nice vibrato, that many people would love to have. It would be nice to know how long you have been playing for!

There are many things I will mention regarding technique towards the bottom of this response, but keep in mind I’m thinking you’ll be able to fix all of them relatively quickly. With your ability to do vibrato so well, I’m confident you are going to be able to make these changes which will positively affect your playing. You obviously have a lot of hand flexibility.

Intonation 9/10 – I didn’t notice a lot of out of tune notes. Great job! I did notice one thing that could be setup better in your left-hand, which I’ll cover below.

Rhythm 9/10 – You seem to have a very good sense of rhythm, great job! My guess is you have played another instrument before and this is not your first rodeo.

Articulation 8/10 – I don’t know the song you played, but I think overall you were doing a good job using the whole bow and doing slurs. Because of your technique in the right hand, I think you would have trouble doing some more advanced articulations, so hopefully you will take some of my tips and run with them below!

Style 10/10 – Outstanding! I really love your vibrato and think you could be a really good testimony to others out there trying to develop it. There really isn’t anything wrong with it, other than you might be pressing down too hard on the fingerboard with each note. I think though you are aiming your finger right on the edge of the string, which is making your vibrato really sing. Great job!

Technique Tips – You really are doing well for being self-taught. I think though it is going to be vital for you to work on some drills that are going to really help your playing. It is impossible to have great technique without having a good teacher so hopefully some of the videos I’ll suggest will get you on the right track. Your pinkie being way high in the air is restricting your ability to use the index and eventually will restrict your ability to get a good balance at the frog. I suggest watching my beginner lessons, and make sure you follow the proper bow hold in lesson 2. Also make sure you watch lesson 9 which will show you how to apply proper guide with the index finger. My last suggestion would be for you to take advantage of some of the drills I have put together over the years. Here are some of the best ones:

The Quarter Drill
Arm Extension Drills
The Index Drill
The Pinkie Drill (really good one for you to do)
The Wall Index Drill (one of my best drills that helps students tremendously)

Overall I think you have a ton of potential so I hope this is not overwhelming. I think anybody that self-teaches themselves has to go through the basics again at some point with an organized system. I don’t think you have habits you won’t be able to break, but I think the pinkie being way up in the air is hurting you in the right hand, and your thumb should be even with your index finger in the left hand. This will help you when you eventually start shifting, and will also make your vibrato more consistent.

Overall Grade – B+