Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #12830 Reply

    William Bickerstaff
    Participant
    #12835 Reply

    William Bickerstaff
    Participant

    Ascending: From 3rd position to 6th position to 8th position with a stretch of the 4th finger at the top.
    Descending: From 8th position to 5th position to 3rd position.

    #12890 Reply

    Blueroseviolin
    Participant

    You really nailed the highest notes! Others were somewhat pitchy. Some of the shifts just need a bit more work. Nice job overall!

    #12919 Reply

    William Bickerstaff
    Participant

    Well… today is day 3. Perhaps there will be some improvement.

    #12954 Reply

    Dianne Adkins
    Moderator

    William! I see you in this video!! Hi!!! So I have some advice for you, but please see my comments today on your Yiddish tune regarding vibrato, because they are relevant to your scale work.

    Tackling a three octave, multi-position scale is a brave and wondrous feat! So I congratulate you to begin with! If you were studying in my studio, I would ask you to slow down and play each note very carefully with lots of bow, no vibrato. Careful intonation, good tone. After that, you can started adding slurs and speed, but not until the intonation is spot on.

    Aside from that I would address what the violin hand thumb is doing during shifts. Where is the thumb in third position? It is in a similar ‘shape’ related to the hand, as it is in when you are in first position. Good. Now when you travel to fourth, fifth, sixth and realms beyond, the thumb should come more under the neck for each higher position, a little further under the neck. Bring the elbow well under so the fingers can stay rounded and not reach out for notes in higher positions. Know what position you’re in, and where the thumb belongs in each position.

    One good practice to help with this is shifting from the old position to the new position, then in reverse. So you are starting in third position, and then, when you reach the A string, you are shifting on first finger into sixth position. So let’s address that shift, because you are leaving your poor violin thumb behind in third position. I would make up a ‘unit’ to practice the shift and train the thumb. Start by playing all the A string notes in your scale.

    (Fingering: On A, starting in 3rd position — Play and hold down 1, 2, 3, shift into 6th on 1, Stop). What does the thumb do during this segment? Let’s narrow that unit down to the shift alone, so we can see what the thumb is doing, then train the thumb to move with the left hand during the shift.

    (Fingering: On A, starting in 3rd position — Play 1, shift 1 slowly, sliding into 6th on 1, Stop. Play 1 in 6th, slowly, slide shift 1 back down to 3rd) That’s yours to master, William! As you shift from third to sixth position on first finger, make the thumb come under the neck so the pinkie could reach if you wanted it to sit on the string. Slowly slide back, hearing the slide, seeing the thumb smoothly return to its place in third position.

    So now I remember why scale practice is sort of my nemesis! Scales require all these added techniques and if you’re not doing them, it shows. You have to isolate the problems, in this case, shifts… and conquer them one by one! Good work, and good luck William!

    #12956 Reply

    William Bickerstaff
    Participant

    Thanks again! I will review the video and work on these things. That is covered by my teacher when we work on the Whistler positions book, but I never made the connection, until now.

    #13296 Reply

    William Bickerstaff
    Participant

    Dianne Adkins…

    Today I went to my weekly lesson and played the 2 to a bow, 3 to a bow, and 4 to a bow scale and my teacher was amazed at how well I did , especially with the difficult shift on the A string. I owe you my thanks for that. Now, she has me started on 6 to a bow stroke… which is kind of fast now, but I know I will do it before my next lesson. Also, the little shifting exercise you gave me helped in the Whistler position book exercises She is pleased and I am pleased. Also, my vibrato is much improved too, which makes me very happy.

    On a somewhat humorous note:

    I asked my teacher if she would forgive me for “cheatin’ on her” with the help I get here… Her smile shone out as she said “No, Not at all”. In fact, she is very pleased that I do and may join and start using this site for herself.

    #13304 Reply

    Dianne Adkins
    Moderator

    William! My friend!!! This made my day. I am so happy I could make a little difference! Thank you for sharing your teacher’s reaction to the little advice I gave and you put to action so perfectly. I think I might be as happy as you are! I often feel a calling, now in my old age (lol), to organize somehow a ‘teaching teachers to teach’ class or book (<I have actually started this for the Suzuki literature), because I see a lot of teachers tell their students to do stuff that really isn’t helpful. I have also seen ‘devices’ that assist in bow grip and bow control and violin hand position that are detrimental. It’s twice as hard to fix something that is learned wrong, than it is to learn it right the first time. That’s why I think at this stage in my life, it might be time to pass on some insights like that. Anyway, Congratulations!! Your success is my success!

    #13377 Reply

    William Bickerstaff
    Participant

    I learned a lot of “wrong” technique during my school days (1965-1974). My first “teacher” was a clarinetist, my second was a trombonist and my high school teachers were a pianist and a guitarist. They virtually knew nothing about violin technique so I was never taught any. (If it was in tune it was ok). I quit in 1974 and restarted last year (2015) and then… I hired a teacher in October who was a violinist and we started working on my wrong (bad) technique. I’ve still got a way to go, but I am learning, and with a lot more zeal than when I was a kid.

    Back then I practiced because I “had” to practice 30 minutes a day on violin and 30 minutes a day on saxophone. After practice I could go outside and play.

    Now I practice because I want to practice, and practicing violin IS my playtime… from 45 minutes up to 2 hours per day.

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Reply To: 3 Octave C Major Scale 3 per Bow followed by 2 per Bow Day 2
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