August 2003

August 21, 2003 07:38


The pain was only moderate last night so I couldnt resist playing violin last night after a 3 day hiatus. That is ok Ill just practice extra long this weekend. To tell the truth I needed a break - not a break in my back, a break from playing violin that is.

I can not describe the feelings that come over me when I play. I am transformed, the wonderful sound becomes my voice that comes out of me, the vibrations of the violin on your chin: there is nothing like it at all.

I only did about 20 minutes of scale/arpeggio practice including pag 5 beginning and the played the b min for about 2 hours and decided to let my back rest because it was starting to hurt more. The chords are so hard but Im starting to really get to know how it feels for my hand to shape those intervals in the b min. Of course playing with a bad back forces one to rethink the whole concept of posture when playing.

At the end of practice I played the sections of devils trill I have been focusing on, nailing the intonation. I feel confident now playing in 3rd and 4th position.

Maybe Ill work on vivaldis winter this weekend? That will be exciting!

Did we get him yet?

Begin rant:
Every day when I wake up and turn my computer on, the first thing I do is look at the news to see if we got Sadam yet. I cant wait until we get him and BinLaden. It makes me sick knowing they are still out there and how many lives are being lost in the search, I wish people would cooperate more over there, I mean some one knows where they are. I know about the writings on the wall too, how one man who tried to tip off our army about where sadam is and they didnt find him but everyone knew he snitched and they told him kill your son or we will kill you and your whole family, the mans son was dead the next day. What a horrible story but I would probably have done the same thing I guess. Nothing but a complete nightmare that I find terribly disturbing.

Gasoline: A conspiracy or do we really need it as much as we do?

Closer to the truth is Im not completely convinced we need oil, I mean we have hybrid and electric cars. Heifetz had an electric car 30 years ago. It seems to me this whole oil thing is a conspiracy thing the govenrment is in on because politicians are in with the oil companies who will do anything and everything to keep making billions for something i believe we havent needed for 30 years only because the people with all the money dont want the gasoline market to die and keep making their money.

I know that hybrid cars are starting to become more common and the next few years we will see an increase of these on the market. I believe the government should make suv's illegal because they guzzle gas, not only this but automakers should only be allowed to make hybrid cars, phasing out the old gas only cars and forcing change. Of course this will never happen because the oil comanies support political campaigns. It seems to me that we, the taxpayer, are paying to keep an industry we dont need for the sake of greed alone, not to mention unecessary killing and an escalation of racial hatred of arabs and vice versa.
/End Rant

Re: Random Thought 1

I have changed my opinion of the parable I mentioned yesterday. A quiet tongue does indeed reveal a smart head, but a silent tongue reveals someone who is missing out, no decision is a decision in its self.

Archive link

August 20, 2003 11:42


I have been playing the complete b min sarabande from memory for the last two weeks or so and still alot of troubles so that is going kind of slow, for some reason the chords are alot herder for me to play than the d min sarabande.

The bach d min giga has introduced me formally to shifting into 3rd position. I have been practicing shifting and 3rd position for a while and I feel I have that togather already with respect to intonation. The giga also has formally introduced me to spiccato, something new for me that I am only now beginning to experiment with.

The last movement of the bach c maj I was working on before, I put on the back burner to concentrate on the b min sarabande and because I was not having much luck with it, I plan on coming back to it soon.

Page 1 of the tartini devils trill sonata is starting to sound like music and im starting to experiment with vibrato a little though I feel Im not ready to practice vibrato yet because I want to work on intonation a while longer.

Liebsleid Im starting to hit the notes regularly in 3rd position + I was watching the Oistrakh video of this piece and it is so clever how he will switch fingers on the same note to make the next phrase easier to play, very clever.

I know all of vivaldi's spring mvt 2 and will soon work on winter 2nd mvt soon, I love those so much.

The beginning of paganini caprice 5 is still not there but the leagto is alot cleaner than it was, it is helping me alot to play those patterns but still a long way to go.

I am satisfied with my progress on the violin so far this year and it is so rewarding to me more than I can say.

Piano and Guitar

I recently called an old friend who agreed to let me practice on their piano, I have many plans of playing bach chopin and mozart in the near future and Im getting excited about that. I also plan to resume playing parts of the bach lute suites on guitar in the next few weeks.

Last weekend I was hanging out at the jazz bar and a musician I know was playing there, Derek DiCenzo. I may start taking jazz guitar lessons from him even though I already know some jazz but this guy is the guru master and he is so creative and vary laid back and always is smiling and happy. I think a good techer should be intensely cretive and that is something that gets forgotten.


2 Days ago I threw out my back just laying in bed and its finally starting to heal but no violin for 2 days, talk about withdrawl! One of my frineds told me "Gecmis Olsun" which means something like "i hope your back heals" in turkish. Laying on your back for 2 days changes you. Im starting to heal but I better stay away from anything that involves leaning over for another week or so. I spent some time listening to Reger solo sonatas op 91 and corelli op5 so when I get back into it Ill be completely inspired to play. I havent had time to watch any videos or listen to music in a long time because I have been practicing so hard.

CD Trading

There is a cd trading group I have become involved with trading stuff you cant buy anywhere, I encourage all to join who are looking for things they cant find anywhere.

Random Thought 1

I recently read that an ancient parable that said a quiet tongue reveals a smart head. Im not so sure about that, maybe a quiet tongue reveals somene who misses out on things.

Random Thought 2

I have neighbors who have to listen to me practice. Perhaps they are like Buri's neighbors who he beleieves may be trying to poison him?

Until next time...

Archive link

August 4, 2003 12:06


Yesterday I finished the d min sarabande, I can now play the whole thing by memory but its still a bit rusty and awkward in the most recently learned sections. The sections that were new to me a few weeks ago now sound good. When I practice I tend to play a few bars over and over until it sounds right, sometimes I have alot of trouble with doublestops and when I do Ill play all the notes of the scale and then the 2 notes, one at a time and in tune, before I play both of them at the same time, it seems to help. I was playing a few sections over and over yesterday when I heard birds siging outside my window and I began to play the slow movement of vivaldis spring and adding many trills to making my violin sound like a bird, it was a great moment: feeling like I was talking to the birds.

For the first time I feel like I have some degree of control over my bow and I have recently been playing with a better tone and more of a sence of dynamics and control over volume. My intonation has improved massively and I am beginning to feel like a violinist for the first time because I feel like I know where everything is, and what comes out usually sounds like music and the bow doesnt jump anymore. One of the biggest things I noticed recently is not to press down hard with your left hand especially in the high positions, its really hard to bow a note in the middle two strings if your pressing downhard with your left hand, kind of a major discovery for me, how exciting.

Since I finished learning the d min sarabande, I have begun memorizing the b minor sarabande and Im able to play the first section from the work I have done so far. I already know the b minor sarabande becase I learned it last year on guitar. I put the b minor sarabande away for playing on the violin for a while before because the first chord looked impossible to play but when I came back to it again and re-read it, I discovered I read the notes of the chord wrong the first time.

I also tried playing with no shoulder rest and actually did ok with it, it seems the violin is feeling more comfortable for me to hold.

After getting bored playing the same things over and over, I turned on the radio and started to play along to some pop and rock tunes by ear which is always fun and is a good exercise for intonation and quality of tone as well as the challange of trying to phrase melodies like a singer.

After a while, I had to let my fingers rest and spent a little time listening to Zukerman play the Mendelssohn Octet & e min violin concerto, also listened to the naxos cd of the mendelssohn d min violin concerto and concerto for violin and piano, great stuff. I also listened to some of the corelli op5 sonatas and some of telemann's tafflemusic, and some other random vivaldi violin concertos performed by zukerman. I love baroque so much!

I am satisfied with my progress of the last few weeks, I get an incredible sence of accomplishment when I teach myself to play bach. Violin is hard but fun when you work hard and improve your abilities.

Most of you know I have a background in jazz, I played part of blue in green by miles davis a few weeks ago and may practice a few more jazz tunes soon. I want to play naima by john coltrane also. Both of these songs I already know on guitar and hope to record them soon, I really seem to be attracted to the balads.

Back to practice, talk to you soon.

Archive link

More entries: September 2003July 2003

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

2023 Authenticate LA: Los Angeles Violin Shop
2023 Authenticate LA Shopping Guide Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine