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Violinist.com Interviews: Vol. 1

Our exclusive, one-on-one interviews with 27 of today's best-known violinists, including Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, David Garrett, Anne Akiko Meyers, Maxim Vengerov, and others.


Zlata Brouwer

How To Place a Wittner Augsburg chinrest and adjust it in height

April 23, 2014 03:46

Watch me putter!

First a short introduction to what I’m doing in this video...

To make playing the violin or viola more comfortable for your neck, you might want to fill up the space between your shoulder and neck a bit. In this way you don’t have to bend and tighten your neck too much to hold your violin or viola.

Lots of people increase the height of their shoulder rest, but you can better increase the height of your chinrest. If you increase the height of your shoulder rest, your violin will be higher and therefore your bow arm will be higher. A too high bow arm can cause shoulder injury.

The problem was that there were no adjustable chin rests, while shoulder rests are easily adjustable in height.

As a solution people would risk raising there shoulder rests and get shoulder injury... or they would have a high chinrest made by a luthier.

Having made a custom height chinrest is not only expensive, but you are still fixed to one height. You can try out different heights to find out your ideal.

Wittner has now created the Augsburg chinrest, which you can adjust in height yourself on both sides. You can try out and find out what the ideal height is for you and you can also decide to have the chinrest a bit tilted by using different heights on the left en right side of the chinrest. Great invention! Eureka!

It took me a little while to figure out how you can do this easily, so I have made a video for you about this. Enjoy!

Click here to buy the Wittner Augsburg chinrest for € 29,95!

Click here to buy the Wittner Augsburg chinrest for $ 40,43!

Did you enjoy this video? Please let me know in the comments!


Love,


Zlata

Archive link

How to Make Your Bow Jump on Purpose (Spiccato)

April 16, 2014 04:10

Valyncia asks:


I am learning how to play Irish jigs and there is a funny thing that is done with the bow: it sounds like a skip (I don’t know the tech name for it... sorry). I can do it on accident, but not on purpose...


Question: How do I do it on purpose?



Making your bow jump on purpose is called ‘spiccato'.

Click here to watch my video ‘How to stop your bow from jumping’ if your bow jumps by accident and you don’t want it to.

This is important when learning spiccato and I will explain how to do it in this video:


  • Bow hold (normal or different from normal?)

  • Relaxed, balanced and flexible bow hand fingers

  • Basic bowing technique: motion in your bow hold while bowing (spring system!)

  • Find the right place on YOUR bow (something above the balance point)

  • Pivot the bow a bit

  • Find the natural jump of the bow, don’t work too much

  • Don’t practice too slow

  • Don’t jump too high, stay close to the string

  • Skipping, no chopping

  • Leave the string or not?



Did you enjoy this video? Please let me know in the comments!

Love,

Zlata

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How To Clean Your Violin or Viola

April 8, 2014 01:12

Take good care of your little musical friend!

In this video I will show you how to clean your violin or viola:

This is what you should do daily:


  • Clean your strings with a dry cleaning cloth

  • Clean your violin or viola with a dry cloth


This is mainly to remove the rosin when you can still remove it. Too much rosin (a thick layer) on your strings create a bad sound.

Rosin can be removed easily with a dry cloth, but only when you don’t wait too long and do it often.

Once in a while you might want to clean your violin a bit more thoroughly (about once in a year):


  • Use special cleaning fluid for stringed instruments, like this one (click to see and buy)

  • Just use a couple of drops, don’t use too much or clean too often

  • Don’t use it on the bridge and the strings


This maintains the laquer and can polish away small damages.

Now I’d like to hear from you! What is your way to take good care of your musical friend? Do you have tips for other viewers? Share them in the comments below!

Love,

Zlata

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Do You Get Nervous and Scared when Performing? I Do!

April 1, 2014 03:58

Sylviane writes...

Hello Zlata,

I can't wait to see the pictures and movie of your recital with your piano accompanist. It must be great!
Is it true that you also get nervous and scared? But you are so good, you should not have the feeling?
I am in the contrary always have that feeling. I sometimes perform accompanying my daughter either on piano or on violin. I always have trembling and sweaty hands, my heart would beat so fast that it might pop out. No matter how hard I practice and tell myself it's giong to be okay, the moment I step on the stage with her, those scary feelings come back.

I am glad you overcome your fear and it turned out great!
Sylviane


In this video I share with you my experience with stage fright (including panic attacks) and my view on this topic after quite some research.

Nope, I didn’t lose the fear! Yes, I am terrified from time to time, certainly when performing solo.

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Watch this video to learn you are not the only one and how you can perform despite of the fear:

Now I would like to hear from you!

Do you have experienced stage fright?

What are your strategies?

Please let me know in the comments!

Love,

Zlata

2 replies

[Product Review] Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow (under $60)

April 1, 2014 03:03

Fiddlershop.com asked me to review one of their bows: the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow. It’s a bow under $ 60.

In this video I share with you:


  • why a decent bow is important

  • why you can better choose a carbon bow when you buy a cheap bow online in a webshop

  • what the advantages of carbon fiber bows are

  • demonstration of this bow and what I think

  • what weight is good for a bow (this bow I review is 70 grams)

  • what I think about the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow, if I would recommend it and to whom I would

  • clarity around my interest in this review video to keep everything transparant


Interested in buying this bow? Click here!

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

Love,

Zlata

PS: Do you sell of make a product or service violinists and violists benefit from? Let me review it! Contact me at info@violinlounge.com about the details.

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Previous entries: March 2014

About Zlata

Zlata Brouwer is from Hilversum, Netherlands. Biography

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