September 2011

From horror to magic to silliness.

September 12, 2011 03:09

 Greetings,

lots of videos of our volunteer group by my friend Keichi-san going up on facebook these days.  This one

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2250347425927

has a bit of a slow intro but then shows in graphic detail what the disaster zone in Japan looks like after five months.  

To cheer myself up after I always go and watch the DVD of Milstein playing the Bach Chacconne at his last recital in Sweden when he was 82.  It is one of the finest performances of the work in existence,  devoid of artifice and technically awesome.  he was playing virtually minus his injured first finger as well!

If that doesn`t cheer me up I write silly poems.  here is one about my cat....

 

The cat did it.


Oh,
my udon,
it`s been poodon.
The cat did it.

Oh,
look at my fiddle,
covered in widdle.
the cat did it.

Oh,
shower curtain,
gone for burton.
The cat did it.

Oh,
Ripped up cushon,
I can`t put my tushon.
The cat did it.

Oh,
mounds of c%%%
where I nap.
The cat did it.

See this cool belt,
Of white furry pelt.
The Ohner did it.

 

Cheers,

Buri

5 replies


Three ways to become a much better violinist.

September 1, 2011 22:38

Greetings,

over the years it has seemed to me that there are,  in the case of many players,  three basic, uncomplicated things they can do to become seriously better players.  Here they are:

1)  Learn the even numbered positions.  If I could have a dollar for every player even up to and beyond intermediate level who is not comfortable in the even positions I would be able to buy up the applecorp.  What an earth is going on dudes (especially teachers!)?  Why are you not learning /teaching this fundamental thing?  If you don`t know these you don`t know the fingerboard. Yes,  you don`t actually know where certain notes are on that long black thing in front of your nose.   Do you realize how much better an orchestral player you would be with this simple knowledge?   How much better your sight reading would be? You could stop posting about sight reading....;)  How many more musical and expressive possibilities would become available?  Material:  Kreutzer no2 in 2nd/4th and 6th position everyday for a year;  the relevant sevcik;  Schradieck;  Paginini Barucaba Variation in 4th position etc.  

2)  Learn to play at the heel.

Admittedly this may be a little different (but not really) for the Russian bowing school, but most people use Franco Belgian type these days and it`s never been an excuse anyway.  My main teacher`s teacher,  Albert Sammons said `Master the heel and you`ve mastered to bow.` He may have had a point.   Don`t compromise!  Move under the thumb.  You are using six inches too short a bow. It`s just not good enough. 

BTW the heel does not automatically equate with `loud.` Some of the most delicate ,  refined and musical touces can only be done at the heel or in the lower third of the bow,  not faffing around at the point because that is supposed to be `the quiet part of the bow.`

Materials:  Kreutzer no2 and the f major separate bows and various combinations. Sevcik bowing exercises.  Casorti etc.  Scales!

3)  Handle your instrument like your loved one.

The way people handle instruments often makes me sick.  A month back a semi professional player asked to try my violin and took it from me by the bouts leaving sticky fingers on the violin.  I make a very harsh judgement about players based on this simple thing.  If you can`t  respect the beauty and elegance of your violin to the extent you are happy to smear oil on it you probably don`t have that last 0.1 percent of dedication necessary to be a pro.  Respecting,  indeed loving your instrunment is fundamental and it should be the first things teachers teach.  In the same way I have amateur students who put expensive instruments on the floor,  hang bows down so the point touches the ground while at the same time fumbling in their case for this weeks scores and my pay packet.  The same players leave instruments unattended almost anywhere during rehearsal breaks.  The big differnce between a pro and an amateur (in the judgmental sense rather than the regular employment distinction):  an amateur behaves in an amateur way towards their instrument irrespective of how good they are.

Materials: half a brain,  commonsense,  respect  and a teacher who insists on this from the beginning.

There you go. Three simple things.

Cheers,

Buri.

16 replies


More entries: August 2011

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