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  • #13944 Reply

    I am very happy to know this forum. I am learning the violin by myself. Here are my latest video on youtube. It was a month ago and this video was recorded on Vietnamese Lunar New Year occassion. Hope you enjoy and give me some feedback if possible. Thank you!

    #13957 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    WOW! Nguyenthienchan! Beautiful setting, lovely performance! You have skills far beyond this piece! I will try to provide feedback from two directions.

    First, in regards to the Suzuki Book I piece, Lightly Row. What should be taught/ learned in this particular piece, besides reinforcement of hand positions, is the staccato bow stroke. For that reason, I would recommend playing this piece and all Book I pieces with this in mind. I suggest starting more toward the middle of the bow and stopping the bow more deliberately. The beginning of the stroke should have a clear, crisp ‘K’ sound. The end of the bow stroke (during the silence) should be open and ringing.

    Second, in regards to technique. Your violin position and bow grip are excellent. So is your bow arm function, intonation, tone, bow control. Even the little bit of vibrato is perfect. So, I would have to give you a specific instruction that I usually would not require of a typical Lightly Row student! My suggestion is to study when to leave fingers down. It is necessary to hold fingers down that are not in the way of notes/ fingers coming after them. An example comes in this piece when you play the following in the first line:

    A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A4, A4

    As you place each finger, leave it down when you play the next. It is not in the way of the next finger, so leave it down. Lightly Row is an easy piece to find and fix this technique. It will pay off later when you play Bach Double in Book IV and the notes are faster. Imagine every motion as spending precious energy. Putting down a finger is one motion. Picking up a finger, another motion. Avoid picking up motions for individual fingers. Pick up fingers in groups. Lay them down by themselves. How many extra, unnecessary motions do you spend in this piece? How many can you save?

    I know that to vibrato, you may want to allow fingers to come off the string, and you do have to do so. Make sure your basic habit is to keep fingers down where possible. Here’s a spot where holding A2 would really help:

    A0, A2, A4, A4, A2, A2, A2 Why should we leave A2 down while playing A4? Because you’re going to play it again right after A4.

    Finally, at the very end, adding ritardando is your choice, but please try not to hyper-extend the bow arm at the end of the down bow. Keep the elbow joint unlocked. Stop the bow on the string when you have reached the end. (Your tip might not be all the way to the tip of the bow. It depends on the length of your arm.) Wait a second or two. Then remove the bow from the string.

    This is such a good job and what a sweet smile at the end! I look forward to hearing you play more advanced pieces!

    #13975 Reply

    Thank you so much for your constructive feedback, Dianne. I’ll keep in mind: staccato, leaving fingers down when possible and not to hyper- extend arm bow at the end.
    I’m practicing ” Song of the wind” and I face a problem. When I lift the bow then contact string again, I can not control the bow and it kind of jumps-up-and-down ( I don’t know the word to describe it). Would you give me some guide and advice? Do I need to practice a specific drill for it?

    #13996 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    Yes, my friend! Take this part out of the piece and practice the BOW LIFT and the key to bow control, SETTING the bow before you play.

    E1, A3, E3, E1, E0

    During this segment, hold down E1 until the last note. Let third finger hop from E to A. At the end of the segment, follow through from the down bow, lifting the bow off the string and setting it silently on the E before you repeat the segment.

    Now, you can make this even easier and more relevant to the bow lift, by playing without the fingering.

    E, A, E, E, E, Stop. Circle. Set. Repeat. ‘Circle’ or ‘Bow Circle’ means you are making a circle in the air as you play the down bow, stop the bow, lift the bow off and go up bow in the air, then set the bow on the string before you play. Keep the bow grip firm during this movement and make sure the tip stays aligned with the hand during the bow circle.

    To practice the ‘Bow Circle’ with all the essential steps, practice this on open E:

    Play (Down, E0).
    Stop (stay on the string).
    Circle (bring the bow around to prepare for another Down bow).
    Set (silently on the string, to gain control before playing again.)

    After this is easy, use the 4 steps of the bow circle in the previous practice unit. First with open strings, then add the fingers.

    Remember to start the bow stroke at the middle. Play half bows at the upper half, opening and closing the bow arm from the elbow like a gate. Stop every bow stroke.

    I hope you find this helpful!

    #14240 Reply

    Hi everyone,
    Dear Ms. Dianne,
    Here is my performance: twinkle twinkle little stars. This video was 2 months ago. It was quite long ago and now I have made progress in some skills. However, I haven’t received any professional feedback on this work. Because I sometimes perform it again, I really want to perfect it.
    I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback soon.

    #14241 Reply

    I remember adding the link, but after submitting, I can’t find my video nor edit my post. who can I raise this problem to? I post it again

    #14254 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    Hi Chan! The problem with EDIT and DELETE on this forum has been reported. Just post it again if you don’t mind!

    #14266 Reply

    #14267 Reply

    I tried but failed. Would you please click the link below?

    #14270 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    Chan! My friend! The Twinkle Variations video works! I smile while you play! Here are some tips:

    You can slow the tempo for practice. If you are listening to the CD, you will notice extremely fast tempos. We are never required to play CD tempo until Book II or later.

    On variation 1:
    I call this one ‘Everybody Stop Stop‘. I would like to hear the staccato down bow and up bow sound the same, so that if I close my eyes, I cannot tell if you are playing UP or DOWN. Make sure you stop the up bow before you continue playing the next note. If you think of each stroke as ‘STOP’, then you understand, it has the same name, it must sound the same, like identical twins 🙂

    On variation 2:
    I call this one ‘Yo – Ka | Ta‘. (meaning in Japanese – It Is Good) Now we take the staccato ‘STOP’ bow stroke and apply it to every bow stroke in ‘Yo – Ka | Ta‘. Make sure you don’t play ‘Yo Yo | Ta’. All staccato bow strokes should sound the same as each other. Now we must have identical triplets, regardless of bow direction!

    On variation 3:
    I call this one ‘Run Pony, Run Pony‘. I should call it ‘STOP’ Pony. Can you guess why? Because we must stop the 8th note bow stroke and make it sound the same staccato as learned in the previous two variations, whether DOWN or UP bow. Please use the same amount of bow for the 16th notes that you use for the 8th notes. You can use less bow if that is comfortable.

    On variation 4:
    I call this one ‘Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter‘. Yay! No stopping bow required. So I’ll think of something else! Please start by placing bow on E string. Then, rock the bow over to A string while leaving the bow elbow on E string. While playing on A and E string during Twinkle variations, the bow elbow can remain on E string level at all times. It is only necessary to lift the hand to A. The whole arm doesn’t need to raise for A string.

    On variation 5: The Twinkle Theme
    Well done! At this tempo, it is best to use less bow, perhaps start closer to middle bow and continue to tip, and reverse. It is good to also stop the bow and get a crisp, ‘K’ sound at the beginning of the bow stroke. Make sure the finger is ready before you move the bow so you don’t hear the finger lifting (slurps) after the bow has begun moving.

    There is an additional, new variation in newer versions of Suzuki Book I. It is a triplet x 2 on each note. I call it ‘Strawberry, Strawberry’. If you choose to practice it, no stop in the bow is required. Play equal bow lengths, all strokes, upper 1/2 of the bow.

    Congratulations! I really enjoy hearing you play! Please let me know if you have questions!

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