February 2004

February 28, 2004 13:25

Today is the first day I can go outside without wearing a coat so what do I do? Stay in and practice the bach c maj largo of course. I resigned from the second job since the weather is getting nice and I plan on spending more time playing. Hopefully soon I will buy a digital piano soon, Im eager to start working on chopin. I also want to get down the bach boruree and gavotte for guitar, there is alot of fast position shifting involved so its not very easy. Maybe sometime I will take the violin down to the river and play under the bridge, the acoustics are great there.

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February 24, 2004 12:34

Yet a third note to Buri regarding why a guitar player (or pianist) might be attracted to the violin:

Mainly the sound and ability to shape notes more expressively. The violin has a superior tone and is the closest thing to the human voice. The way you can shape notes with vibrato is competely different than guitar and I find it alot more expressive when executed with the right hands. Obviously the guitar and piano are superior with respect to harmonic possibilities but it is the tone and ability to shape notes that attracts me to the violin.

Now I'm off to practice!

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February 23, 2004 09:15

Another note to Buri regarding scale practice:

You were referring to Jamie Laredo's reference to being forced to learn patterns. Actually patterns is exactly what I am memorizing when I play scales.

I figure out the patterns and write them down geometrically, that is to say I write a visual chart of the fingerboard and draw frets where the notes go and put circles where the notes of the scales are in all the positions. Very similar to these diagrams:


Then I play one position at a time and go up one until Im all the way up the neck. Then I do the same thing with another scale.

When I play a piece of music, I play the scale first so even before I start to read, I already know the scale shape as it appears on the fingerboard, it just a question of what combonation of notes will be played at that point. Im still not very good but playing scales really helps with learning to play in tune and that is the most important thing.

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February 21, 2004 14:35

My deepest condolances to Laurie for her ding letter, being on a 120 hour standby status, and having to dive into Berg, sustaining unimagineable ailments...

any violin medics out there?

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February 20, 2004 18:55

This note is for Buri, I have no other way of contacting him. My apologies to everyone else, please disregard this note.



I enjoy your wit on the violinist.com forum vey much!

I have only been playing violin for about a year and a half, I played guitar for over 20 years and at some point I started to study bach violin stuff on guitar, so when I finished college I decided it was time to switch instruments.

I have studied scales extensively, Im a very fluid guitarist and can play scales all over the fretboard up and down, my approach to violin scales is the same. I know the concept of positions and playing horizonially then moving up and playing the next higher position and also have this thing where use slides to get into a higher position, one scale exercise involves one scale using slides that allows you to play the scale all the way up, for example on guitar you play 3 notes a string and slide and go to the next string, violin is 4 notes a string slide to 5th note change strings 4 notes slide 4 notes slide 4 notes... you can also play the first note with your first finger then move to the next note with your first finger play the next 3 notes slide to a 6th note on the string, etc. This allows for a more smooth transition for playing 3 and 4 octave scales. I am also familiar with the concept of playing vertically like playing the whole scale on one string but that doesnt seem as easy or natural to do, although I do see its advantages tonally.

No I dont have galamian or flesch, I do have hrimaly but even that is redundant because as you see I could actually write scale books since I know all the scales, arpeggios, and chord theory. I also know synthetic scales like jazz melodic minor, harmonic minor, half whole diminished, whole half diminished, whole tone, lydian minor, etc etc. I studied jazz for 10 years and they use alot of altered and chromatically enhanced scales, and you have to really know chord and scale theory to get around doing that stuff. Im not really a great musician but I love playing anyways. I hope to write some music eventually and it will probably be more like new age stuff. Of course I study bach on guitar and violin and some of the 4 seasons stuff.

Its not that im not interested in galamian or flesch, maybe i will get to it one day, its just that i know enough scale theory to keep me busy for a long time. I do play some sevick op2 and soon op8 stuff as i did have lessons for about 2 months when i had the time and money I would also like to invite you to this forum, many downloads available


to get into the restricted areas, send an email to steve


steve studied with shumsky and is the assistant of erick friedman, greatest pupil of heifetz of course, I have uploaded many rare recordings and videos of kogan, milstein, oistrakh, rabin and the like, there is also much sheet music available for download.

hope to see you there


================END MESSAGE===================

On Thu, 19 Feb 2004
brivati wrote:
>Hi Scott. Was just enjoying reading your blog and was interested in your
>heroically patholgical appraoch to scale practice. It reminded me of an
>appraoch recommended by Jaime Laredo. That is, play a scale in all
>posiitons to the top of the fingerboard, but stay in one key. That
>really forces you tto think about patterns. Have you got the Galamian
>book? The scales up one string getting prgressively higehr are also a
>meaningful alternative /adjunct to what you are doing.
>Sorry, I have just changed my e-mail and forgotten it so you can=t reply
>except through the blog or on the list,

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February 18, 2004 14:32

Im really glad hilaryhahn.com is back up, I really enjoy reading her journal entries.

Hey, good news! I got a new job for more money (yea me), also the old job let me have my last two weeks off and that means more time to practice. Ive been playing alot of scales and Bach on violin and play until my hand or arm gets tired. I play major and minor in all keys about 20 times with each scale and repeat 5 times, up and down one position and then shift until i have played all the way up and down the fingerboard. I have also been trying suggestions from Simon Fischer's book "Basics" about vibrato, they havn't helped much but I keep trying. Then I play Bach on guitar for about 20 minutes. Then I play more scales and Bach on violin and repeat the cycle for about 5 hours.

Its good to have the time to devote to musical discipline again, even if its only for two weeks, I'm savoring every minute of spare time I have been given. I love my new bow too, makes alot of my old "mistakes" disappear.

Been going to library also, many new cds and about 15 books about Brahms (one of them has his translated letters), Im I'm collecting facts about Brahms and his concerto out of personal curiosity and will put something up on my web soon so that I can show it to other people but mostly its for me to organize the facts and so it will be there incase I want to read it again.

Currently I'm listeing to Saint Saens Cello Concertos and Sonatas, that man is so amazing, I can say without hesitation once again that I prefer the music of Saint Saens to even Beethoven and Mozart! Also listening to piano sonatas and ballades of Brahms, cello sonatas of brahms, and piano preludes and etudes of Debussy. Also, another discovery is the Plentev at Carnegie Hall CD where he plays the Bach Chaconne on piano, very interesting. I love Plentev's tone and he has many interesting ideas with respect to dynamics, tempo and rubatos. He is very expressive and his technique is amazing but the chopin scherzos seemed too fast, the Beethoven sonata was amazing. He seems a little more of a virtuoso/prodigy type than someone more focused on musicality to me but I really enjoyed listening to him, a real master.

Also entertaining the thought of a black hole that was seen ripping a star apart, science can be so cool.

Random thought:
Why isn't science spelled sceince? Isn't the rule i before e excpet after c? Since this does not apply, why make a rule in the first place?

...nevermind, I never liked grammar anyways!

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February 12, 2004 12:12

Remember the german made pernambuco bow made by Karl Knilling I was talking about in October? When Connie died I told them not to worry about it and to keep the money out of respect for her legacy. Anyways, yesterday they told me they found the bow in a case ready to ship to me and it will be here in a few days. This is after I had completely given up and even started saving up for a different one, not beginning to know what I would buy or even try out. She once said the bow is as nice as some that cost more than triple what I paid. Every time I play with my new bow I will think of Connie, it was actually hers and was rehaired just before she was going to send it to me. Im very excited about getting it but Im also still very sad about loosing my good friend. We even used to talk on the phone and she once played the Bach d min giga with perfect intonation and almost no vibrato at all (she was a baroque violinist). God Bless Connie.

Saturday I plan on writing some stuff about Brahms and his violin concerto, this will be the beginnings of a violin timeline Im working on and also several documents that give details about the major works of the violin and the composers who wrote them.

The Bach G min is starting to sound good and Im able to play alot of it from memory. It will be nice to play all that Bach I have learned with a new bow, Im excited by this.

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February 6, 2004 10:33

Random thought:
Perhaps I would improve if I practiced on platform 9 3/4, hmm...

-Scott, muggle violinist

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February 3, 2004 06:25

I woke up early today, I havent been able to sleep lately and maybe Ill explain why some other time.

So I took the violin into the office and played almost three hours, this time playing part of the Bach G minor sonata from memory, it is such a gorgeous piece that I love playing and it isnt too hard at all. The D min is sounding good consistantly and Im making more progress on the Chaconne. I never thought I would be playing this stuff as well as I am, nothing can explain the feeling that come over me when those notes come out of my instrument. I am really happy with my progress even though I have alot less time to practice.

At night, I have been going through the Szigetti book and the copy of Fischer's book "Basics" came in and Im strating to work with that. I can also play the first 10 notes of the Paganini A min caprice really slowly but more importantly in tune and I find it to be a great shifting exercise.

Maybe Ill work on Vivaldi's summer soon? I find baroque to be so addicting!

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