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Zlata Brouwer

How To Soap the Pegs of Your Violin or Viola (and make it easy to tune)

July 25, 2014 05:38

Perhaps you recognize this: when you tune your violin or viola with the tuning pegs, sometimes they squeak or don’t run smoothly or run too smoothly. This can indicate that it’s time to soap the pegs.

In this video I teach you how to soap the pegs of your violin or viola, so tuning will be easier and faster.



  • When you soap the pegs, do it string for string, one by one. If you take all the string off at once, you can loose the bridge or the soundpost can fall down.

  • To loosen the string, turn the peg loose until you can easily remove the string from the peg.

  • Take out the peg from the peg box.

  • Check if the peg is straight and not curved. The curve can mean that the peg is worn down. When the peg doesn’t fit into the peg box, soaping it will not be useful. In this case the peg needs to be cut or replaced.

  • Soap your pegs with peg soap (click here to buy it if you don’t have it yet). Peg soap looks a little bit like lipstick. Firmly soap the peg, so you can see that it becomes greasy. The peg soap will be a layer on the peg. However: don’t overdo it. For the female readers (and the male readers with strange Saturday night hobbies): you can compare it with lipstick... it must cover well, but you don’t want to look like a clown.

  • Put the peg back again in the peg box. Place your string back and you’re done.


When you buy pegs, they will not fit in your peg box. They need to be cut to the size of the holes in your peg box. Best is to have a luthier do this, however some violinists can do this themselves.

It’s easiest to combine soaping the pegs with string replacement. New strings are easier to place than used strings. Taking the strings off your violin and placing them back can be a ‘shock’ for your string and shorten the lifetime. Make it a habit to soap your pegs every time you replace your strings.

I hope with this help you can make your pegs run smoothly again :).

Is this useful to you? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love,

Zlata

PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to info@violinlounge.com and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!

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How to play OVER the RAINBOW on the Violin?

July 12, 2014 01:13

In this video I teach you how to play Over the Rainbow very easily on the violin. It can all be done in the first position.

Will you play along with me? Enjoy!

Click here to download the sheet music.

Judex asks:

Hi Zlata !

I just bought your Violin Lounge TV 2013 DVD box.

I want to learn to play very well 20 tunes on my violin. I am a Learner.

To start with, I will appreciate you teaching me the following :

1. Largo (Dvorak) from the New World Symphony.
2. Shenandoah.
3. May it be.
4. Pearl Fishers.
5. Somewhere over the Rainbow.

I start the bid at $ 50. and immediately increase the bid to $ 100.

I feel many of your Fans will appreciate to learn from you as I do.

Cheers !


Thanks for sponsoring this video, Judex, and making it possible for the Violin Lounge community to watch and learn.

 

Love,

Zlata

PS: Would you like to sponsor Violin Lounge TV? As a thank you gift we make a video especially for you! Contact me at info@violinlounge.com

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How to play the PEARL FISHER's DUET by BIZET on the Violin?

July 12, 2014 01:02

In this video I teach you how to play the Pearl Fisher's Duet by Bizet very easily on the violin. It can all be done in the first position.

Will you play along with me? Enjoy!

Click here to download the sheet music.

Judex asks:

Hi Zlata !

I just bought your Violin Lounge TV 2013 DVD box.

I want to learn to play very well 20 tunes on my violin. I am a Learner.

To start with, I will appreciate you teaching me the following :

1. Largo (Dvorak) from the New World Symphony.
2. Shenandoah.
3. May it be.
4. Pearl Fishers.
5. Somewhere over the Rainbow.

I start the bid at $ 50. and immediately increase the bid to $ 100.

I feel many of your Fans will appreciate to learn from you as I do.

Cheers !


Thanks for sponsoring this video, Judex, and making it possible for the Violin Lounge community to watch and learn.

 

Love,

Zlata

PS: Would you like to sponsor Violin Lounge TV? As a thank you gift we make a video especially for you! Contact me at info@violinlounge.com

Archive link

How to play MAY IT BE by ENYA on the Violin? (from Lord of the Rings)

July 12, 2014 00:52

In this video I teach you how to play 'May it be' very easily on the violin. It can all be done in the first position.

Will you play along with me? Enjoy!

Click here to download the sheet music.

Judex asks:

Hi Zlata !

I just bought your Violin Lounge TV 2013 DVD box.

I want to learn to play very well 20 tunes on my violin. I am a Learner.

To start with, I will appreciate you teaching me the following :

1. Largo (Dvorak) from the New World Symphony.
2. Shenandoah.
3. May it be.
4. Pearl Fishers.
5. Somewhere over the Rainbow.

I start the bid at $ 50. and immediately increase the bid to $ 100.

I feel many of your Fans will appreciate to learn from you as I do.

Cheers !


Thanks for sponsoring this video, Judex, and making it possible for the Violin Lounge community to watch and learn.

 

Love,

Zlata

PS: Would you like to sponsor Violin Lounge TV? As a thank you gift we make a video especially for you! Contact me at info@violinlounge.com

Archive link

How to play SHENANDOAH on the Violin?

July 12, 2014 00:45

In this video I teach you how to play Shenandoah very easily on the violin. It can all be done in the first position.

Will you play along with me? Enjoy!

Click here to download the sheet music.

Judex asks:

Hi Zlata !

I just bought your Violin Lounge TV 2013 DVD box.

I want to learn to play very well 20 tunes on my violin. I am a Learner.

To start with, I will appreciate you teaching me the following :

1. Largo (Dvorak) from the New World Symphony.
2. Shenandoah.
3. May it be.
4. Pearl Fishers.
5. Somewhere over the Rainbow.

I start the bid at $ 50. and immediately increase the bid to $ 100.

I feel many of your Fans will appreciate to learn from you as I do.

Cheers !


Thanks for sponsoring this video, Judex, and making it possible for the Violin Lounge community to watch and learn.

 

Love,

Zlata

PS: Would you like to sponsor Violin Lounge TV? As a thank you gift we make a video especially for you! Contact me at info@violinlounge.com

Archive link

How to play the LARGO from Dvorak's NEW WORLD SYMPHONY on the Violin?

July 12, 2014 00:44

In this video I teach you how to play the theme from the Largo of the New World Symphony by Dvorak very easily on the violin. It can all be done in the first position.

Will you play along with me? Enjoy!

Click here to download the sheet music.

Judex asks:

Hi Zlata !

I just bought your Violin Lounge TV 2013 DVD box.

I want to learn to play very well 20 tunes on my violin. I am a Learner.

To start with, I will appreciate you teaching me the following :

1. Largo (Dvorak) from the New World Symphony.
2. Shenandoah.
3. May it be.
4. Pearl Fishers.
5. Somewhere over the Rainbow.

I start the bid at $ 50. and immediately increase the bid to $ 100.

I feel many of your Fans will appreciate to learn from you as I do.

Cheers !


Thanks for sponsoring this video, Judex, and making it possible for the Violin Lounge community to watch and learn.

 

Love,

Zlata

PS: Would you like to sponsor Violin Lounge TV? As a thank you gift we make a video especially for you! Contact me at info@violinlounge.com

Archive link

How (and when?) To Replace the Strings of Your Violin or Viola

July 9, 2014 01:59

This video is about how to replace the strings on your violin or viola.

First I will explain when you need to replace your strings. Averagely for amateurs is to replace the strings about once a year.

Why should you replace your strings regularly and not wait until they snap? When your strings are old and/or damaged, this affects the stability of your intonation. The string seems to waddle in tone and you will play out of tune. It also effects the quality of the tone in a negative way.

The E string can have a little tube around it. This tube protects your bridge. As the E string has a high tension and is thin, you need to have a bridge protector to prevent it from cutting into your bridge. It differs a bit how a bridge protector looks like: it can be a plastic tube or a leather-like piece of cloth. This protector will only do it’s job when you place it between the string and the bridge. Some brands of strings also have a bridge protector on the A string.


Here’s how to replace your strings:


  • When you replace your strings, don’t remove all your strings away at once. The risk is your bridge or soundpost will fall. Just replace the strings one by one, tune it and go to the next. It doesn’t matter with which string you start and in which order you change them.

  • Turn the peg so the string loosens, remove the string from the peg and the tailpiece.

  • If you have a tailpiece with integrated finetuners, just place the ball of the new string between the little legs of the finetuners. For strings that don’t have finetuners, put the ball of the string through the hole in the tailpiece.

  • Put the string through the hole in the peg. It’s important to wind op the strings in a good way, so they don’t push the pegs out of the peg box. Watch the video to see exactly what I mean.

  • The string shouldn’t cross itself when you wind it around the peg, because this will effect the tuning stability and shortens the lifetime of the string.

  • When changing the string, check your bridge often. By tuning the strings, you can pull the bridge to one side and it can fall down. It must stand up straight. If not, adjust it carefully with both hands.

  • When you are done replacing the strings, tune them, sweep over de strings with your hand warming the strings, tune again, play something, tune again etc. In this way your strings will reach their tuning stability very soon.


The sound will be most in balance when you replace your strings all at once and not one by one throughout the year.

Click here to see the strings I recommend for violin.

Click here to order exactly the same Warchal Amber strings I personally use on my violin.

Click here to see the strings I recommend for viola.

Is this useful to you? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love,

Zlata

PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to info@violinlounge.com and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!

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What on Earth are You Supposed to Practice for 5 Hours???

July 2, 2014 10:07

Valyncia asks...

I see every so often to practice 5 hours daily... what exactly are you supposed to practice for 5 hours???

Good question! I can imagine that practicing for 5 hours sounds like a mission impossible.


First I will give you a kind warning...

When you are used to practicing about half an hour or an hour daily or you aren’t used to practicing at all (for example when you are a beginner)... don’t suddenly practice for 5 hours when you have a day off or something and feel like it.

You can compare this with sports: you have to build it up slowly. You can’t run a marathon without proper training.

I see everywhere that people are encouraging others to practice more and more, to study hours and hours. That’s not the whole story. You won’t be a good violinist when you only ‘make the hours’ like a machine.

Do you know many people brag about how much they practice and exaggerate the number of hours? The number they mention might not even be true.

Please consider the quality of your practice first. Focus on studying smart, awake, inspired, relaxed, concentrated and focussed. Don’t just make hours and hours without these factors.

You can compare playing a musical instrument with sports in some areas, but music is not a sport. It’s not all about building stamina and learning motor skills. Music is way more interesting as an art than as a sport.

Even in sports you can overtrain: you can ruin your results by training too much, while you can better train in a thought through way.

I’ve seen many people start hating their instrument because of too much practice or being pushed to practice. Also I have seen people getting injuries caused by too much practice or tensed practice. I don’t want this to happen to you :).

Now let’s go back to Valyncia’s question: what should you do when you practice many hours?

With my private students I create a so called ‘package’ with them and for them.

It can contain:


  • scales with assignments

  • technical exercises

  • etudes

  • pieces below your level (to easily perform when someone asks you to play)

  • pieces on your level

  • pieces above your level


Creating this package you should consider that all elements are connected, that the package is not a mishmash of things. The scales and etudes should match the technical difficulties in the pieces and should help playing the pieces.

When you have build up to playing 5 hours, this is how that can look like (just as an example):


  • 1,5 hours scales with variations and exercises

  • 1,5 hours etudes

  • 2 hours practicing on pieces


Consider the difference between practicing and playing/performing.

Practicing is identifying difficulties, taking it out and playing it in different ways. Just playing through a piece is not really practicing.

I hope this is an answer to your question. Please ignore big stories about how much other people practice. Just think about your goal, the steps to achieve your goal and the smartest way to make them.

Is this useful to you? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love,

Zlata

PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to info@violinlounge.com and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!

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