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Mohammed Hajjar
Can the sound of a violin change?
Hello colleagues,

i've noticed that sometimes my violin has a clear sound and sometimes it's a bit fuzzy or waffly.  Could that be because of change in humidity? I usually store it in the case, in a silk bag with a dampit inside the f hole.



8 Responses
Posted: April 24, 2017

Elke Meier
Traveling with an instrument
I just found an article from the Musician's Union which rated airlines according to their policy regarding instruments on flights. I thought this could be interesting to you.

The full list can be found under this link.

22 Responses
Posted: March 21, 2017

Elke Meier
Meet my new very, very special friend :)!
Two years ago I got two old family heirlooms from an aunt and uncle. They had belonged to"uncle Paul", my uncles great-uncle who had been a professional violinist. They both had been in storage for about 25 years and looked rather worn. When I showed them to my luthier she felt that one was a nice instrument from Hermann Dölling jr. The other one (without inscription), she felt, would probably not be very special but it would still be a good student instrument. But since they both looked rather old and were not in playing position she couldn't promise what the end result would be for either one of them. From the very first moment, I had fallen in love with the no-name violin. It looked so terribly battered and worn, with Rosin just baked into the varnish under the strings. Uncle Paul must have played first violin because the finger board in the high positions looked like a highway where some heavy trucks have left their wheel marks :). But since I couldn't afford to have two violins restored I still decided to have the Hermann Dölling one repaired first since it definitely seemed to be the better instrument. And as a beginner, I figured, the better the instrument the easier it would be to get some half way decent tone from it. This is the violin I have been playing since. 

However, at some point I decided I wanted at least to hear what the old battered violin sounded like. The sound post was still standing, an old bridge was still laying around somewhere between the old gut strings, and the indents on the wood of where the bridge had been was CLEARLY visible. So I put some simple strings on - and was very surprised. Even with this extremely crude setup it sounded rather nice. And I had the feeling that I just could handle this violin better than my other one. So I have been saving for quite some time to be able to have this one properly restored again. Yesterday I collected it - and I just love it! 

Here is a picture of this new friend: On the left is the unrestored, very dirty original, and in the middle is the "new" version. The color actually is darker than the middle picture. The flash distorted this. So on the right I took a picture without flash to give a better impression of what it really looks like now. It is indeed a very special instrument - very un-perfect. So it really fits me perfectly :). The luthier pointed out the details of why this instrument is so special. This post is already long enough, so you find more explanation and pictures inside.


8 Responses
Posted: April 29, 2017

Cynthia Alpers
What's Changing in Your Playing as You Age?
I know...it's not polite to talk about someone's age, but I'm curious if any of you are experiencing changes in the way that you play as you get older.  I know that I certainly am.

I started playing the violin at the age of 59 and have been playing for about 3 years.  I have noticed small things, like my, "ear," is not quite as good as it was only a couple of years ago.  Also, I can't read the music on the page as well.  (It's at that difficult distance, too far for readers, too far for my driving glasses.)  My finger coordination isn't nearly what it should be.  My hands...heck, my whole body hurts after a long practice.  My intonation
and rhythm are sounding absolutely fantastic in my head, but not so much in practice.  I'm not sure whether it's just that I'm playing more challenging pieces, or it's simply age catching up with me.  I hope it's the former.  I don't want to sound like I'm hunting for excuses.  After all...we're all getting older.  What are some of you experiencing?

~ C

2 Responses
Posted: April 29, 2017

Christian Rivera
Greetings! Can an adult begineer play these two pieces at a high level?
Hey there! 

I joined this website about a year or so ago but, this is my first post.  I'm an 29 year old adult beginner that picked up the violin because I was looking for a hobby, and this is the only one that grabbed my attention.  I've been practicing with a teacher not-too-seriously for about a year but, I want to kick it into overdrive.  I'm making a list of songs I would like to learn (in addition to anything to I have to learn for technique or just find interesting) and I found two that look hard/sexy.

Paganini - Caprice no.24

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ307sM0t-0

Devil's Trill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7rxl5KsPjs

Assuming I practice about 18 hours a week and take 1 hour violin lessons; how feasible is it for an adult beginner to play these two songs at a high level? 

11 Responses
Posted: April 23, 2017

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Traveling with the violin
Hello family! My trip to Puerto Rico have been so much fun! And brought my violin overseas for the first time! 

Had no problem whatsoever with JetBlue! Brought it with me, placed in overhead bins, no problem! No questions asked! Been able to practice the songs for church for 4/30! Tomorrow returning back to the states. Will see how it goes once more with the violin. Thanks Elke once more for the link to the airlines and their music instrument policies! :0)

4 Responses
Posted: April 22, 2017

Alan Barnicoat
About Bow Tilt
I understand that for the up bow stroke the wrist gradually raises, and with gentle finger motion, the bow tilts toward the scroll as the stroke ends at the frog. And, on the down bow stroke, along with a quick change in finger motion the, the wrist  lowers and then flexes as the stroke ends at the tip.  However, on the down bow, I find that in order to reach the tip I must flex my wrist to the extent that the bow actually ends up tilting towards the tail piece near the end of the stroke.  I'm wondering if that is acceptable - otherwise there is a lot of strain at the base of my thumb trying to keep the bow hair flat all the way to the end of the down bow stroke.

3 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2017

Raúl Rivas
Oh my God!! I was practicing, eyes closed, listening, o lot of attention, very concentrate... and a bumblebee pass near my ear. The fright was so big that my violin fell to the ground. Is it serious? Does someone know if the reparation will affect the sound?
The good news is that it seems an open seam in the top plate, and not a crack. 
Pictures inside. 


10 Responses
Posted: April 29, 2017

Ray
Hi Everyone
Thought I would show y'all a violin I am working on which is a family heiloom and about 120 years old.  It needs a new bass bar, cleats for one of the cracks, and the violin top restored but not lose any of the patiena. 

This video is the start of the restoration process and if you want I will post a couple more videos as the project continues.  If you have any questions please feel free to throw them my way.  If I do not know, I'll make sound like I do.  :)))

Best,

Ray
This discussion includes members-only video content


7 Responses
Posted: April 24, 2017

Cheryl Frankfurth
Gavotte in D Major, Suzuki Book 3
Hi all...and Beth,

In the Gavotte in D Major, Suzuki Book 3, in the first full measure, there is an f# 8th note with a line through it...I've listened to Beth's video on this Gavotte and am curious as to any of you who have a 'live' teacher :) also.  Beth (and every youtube video I've watched) plays that note like you would a grace note...quickly...however my 'live' teacher tells me that the line through the note means that you hold it longer than a grace note...has anyone else heard this interpretation?  I intend to play it her way in my lesson but Beth's way at home as I think it sounds better.   Thanks for any feedback.

13 Responses
Posted: April 22, 2017

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