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  • #3281 Reply


    I have been playing about a year and a half. I’m still not happy with the sound I am producing. Suggestions?

    #3304 Reply

    Michael Sanchez

    Hey Lutherin, great job! I would be more happy about your playing after 1.5 years– it is well above average! You have very good left hand technique, and just need a few tweaks to the right side. The biggest thing I’m noticing is that you are using a lot of arm when you are playing. I suggest watching this arm extension video, which will be great practice for you to avoid using the shoulder to guide the bow. The other thing I would suggest is for you to work on the wall index drill, which will allow you to use the proper muscle to guide the bow instead of the shoulder. Try to use more bow when you are playing this piece, as each quarter note should bring you all the way to the tip.

    One thing to pay attention to is your right elbow. Do you see how it is moving up and down throughout your playing while you are on the same string? The right elbow shouldn’t move so much when you are on the same string (it is raising a lot of times as you go up bow). This is actually how I can tell you are using the shoulder instead of the index to guide the bow.

    That adjustments will help you to create a cleaner sound that you are probably looking for. If you do those drills twice a day for 3-4 weeks you will notice a significant difference. Good job!

    Overall Grade – A-

    #3688 Reply


    I enjoyed your playing~ keep up the good work~ 🙂

    #3732 Reply


    Great job! I think the tone sounds great!

    #8334 Reply

    Nice job! The intonation was really good! Keep up the good work! 🙂

    #8339 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    Lutherin, hello! As adult players, I find we are our own worst critics! I think you are producing a big, clear tone and there is a great deal to be said for that! It means you have something to refine. So I will give you a few pointers. Please start by addressing your bow grip. Think of the thumb as the most important part of your bow grip. Once you place the thumb from under the bow, the fingers on top should lay over the stick naturally, as hanging on the monkey bars on the playground. Holding the bow horizontally is pretty challenging, so point the tip to the sky and look at your fingers. The thumb is rounded and its fingernail looks slightly toward the tip. The longest, middle finger is opposite the thumb. It and the ring fingers, I call ‘hugger fingers’ as they hug the bow and overlap the thumb. The first finger lays a little past the first joint, but not as far over the stick as the hugger fingers. Set the pinkie last. It sits on the inner bevel of the stick, close to ring finger and always rounded. You should practice placing the fingers without your violin, strive to understand the relationship between the fingers in terms of balance. The thumb and pinkie push in opposing directions. The huggers keep the bow secure between the thumb and pinkie, the first finger keeps the bow from slipping forward or back. When one of these fingers isn’t doing its job, the result can be seen all the way to the shoulder. Your high elbow and straight pinkie are a very common problem. They are a result of the weak back of the hand/ pinkie. That’s just the way we’re made, so we have to build strength in that part of the hand. Hold the bow upright, place fingers carefully, look at them, check them. Then each time you begin to play, first set the bow grip, place bow to string, pull pinkie back and let the elbow drop. Remember, pinkie must stay on the inner side of the stick, not the top of the stick, so pull it back and your elbow will drop automatically in response. Now with the weight of your arm pulling the bow from underneath, instead of pushing the bow from above it, you have so many advantages! Weight in the bow adds tone. Lower elbow reserves your energy. Keep fingers firm on the bow and don’t let them change. Ever. Keep elbow low and relaxed. I congratulate you for taking on violin study! It is the hardest instrument! You play well in tune with a big tone. Now it’s time to play even better!

    #8371 Reply


    Thank you Dianne Adkins. I am sometimes overwhelmed with the details, but enjoy playing and learning. The immediate adjustments I made in my bow hold that I could feel and hear, was the thumb and the pinkie. I keep reminding my elbow, and expect it to respond soon (ha ha). I found it takes about a month for a change to become habit, so I will try to re- post this piece then so we can see the progress.

    #8392 Reply

    Ariel Polycarpo

    You have a wonderful sound! I see nothing wrong with it. Just follow Mr. Sanchez pieces of advice, that will help you feel more comfortable and confident!

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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