V.com weekend vote: When is the last time you switched brands for one or more strings on your instrument? border=0 align=

V.com weekend vote: When is the last time you switched brands for one or more strings on your instrument?

February 12, 2016, 1:10 PM · Despite the myriad kinds of strings out there, I most often find myself playing it safe and going with the same brand of strings on my violin, year after year.I started thinking about this last week, when I decided to string my good fiddle with the new Jargar "Superior" violin strings that I'd picked up at the NAMM Show in January. (I'll do a review after a few weeks of playing with them.)

Why this reluctance? It's not all that difficult to change strings, if you don't wind up liking the ones you've tried. And the reward can be great, if you can find a different brand that words better on one or more of your strings. Keep reading...

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High Tech 35 Exercises for Violin/Viola

High Tech 35 Exercises for Violin/Viola: In this book, I've gathered a lot of the numerous secrets of Paganini. If you search YouTube, Eun Hwan Bai, High Tech Exercise, you can see related clips. When you try these techniques at first, it is very hard, but if you keep trying with patience, eventually you can learn great techniques: Available on Amazon (Ad)

Bach Master Class with Bing Wang border=0 align=

Bach Master Class with Bing Wang

February 11, 2016, 7:28 PM · Violinists speak with reverence about Bach's solo works for violin -- the Six Sonatas and Partitas.

Why? Well frankly they flatter our instrument and they flatter us as musicians. Bach created entire musical worlds and then fit them into the hands of one violinist, on one violin. A three-voice fugue? Sure, we can do that on one violin. How about an entire suite of dances, all with their own harmony? Just need one violin.

It's no wonder that these works take a long time to learn, longer to perform well, and a lifetime to master. I love to play them; I love to teach them, and the revelations just keep coming.

So last month, when Los Angeles Philharmonic Associate Concertmaster Bing Wang gave an all-Bach master class, I jumped at the chance to go. The class took place at Chapman College in Orange, Calif. as part of the Southern California Junior Bach Festival. Four high school violin students from the Los Angeles area each played movements from Bach's solo Sonatas and Partitas. Wang, with an obvious love for both Bach and for teaching, advised them on style, technique, performance and more. Keep reading...

Stolen: 1988 J. Michael Fischer viola border=0 align=

Stolen: 1988 J. Michael Fischer viola

February 10, 2016, 2:29 PM · Violist Gillian Hunter reports that a Michael Fischer viola was stolen from her home in East Dulwich, London, around Jan. 29, while she was on holiday. The viola was in a fitted black backpack Gewa case with a blue interior, with two bows.

The viola was labeled "J. Michael G. Fischer, Fecit Los Angeles, Anno 1988. It is a 15 3/4-inch viola, a Maggini copy that is a distinctive darkish-brown color, made from American maple. If you have information, please e-mail Gillian Hunter at huntergillian@gmail.com. More pictures: Keep reading...

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