February 2014

What is Practicing the Violin or the Viola?

February 25, 2014 07:43

To play the violin or viola beautifully, you will have to practice... a lot.

Repeating the same piece over and over again is not the most fun and not the most effective way to practice.

Lots of violinists and violists don't know what practicing exactly is. In this video I will explain what practicing is to make your practicing more fun and more effective.

Click here to buy the book I recommend in the video!

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



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How to Play a Low First Finger on the Violin or Viola (ie B flat)

February 25, 2014 07:10

Wayne writes...

Hello Zlata,

Thank you for the great videos...good humour too. You mention things in your explanations and have covered questions which others don’t cover.

Zlata, wondering what is the most efficient way to play, for example B flat, that is the first semitones on the strings after the nut? Is it best to move the first finger back or change position of the left hand or do both, depending on what notes come before and after? It seems to be very awkward to stretch the first finger back - maybe I just need to get used to it?

NB: I'm an adult beginner playing 1 year, and haven't taken any lessons, but progressing.

Thanks Wayne.

In this video I explain everything about the low second finger:

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



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9 Things You Can Do About Sloppy Position Play

February 19, 2014 04:22

Position play is something that lots of violin and viola players find difficult and sometimes scary.

How to 'get' that high note in tune confidently?

In this video I share with you 9 tips to make your position play more confident, more in tune and less scary.

1) Learn every position separately (one by one, one step at a time and train it in scales and exercises
2) Change positions slow and lazy (like a cat that leaps)
3) Keep training your position play, maintain your technique
4) Every change is different and should by practiced separately
5) Use 'in between' or 'help' notes
6) Change positions with your whole arm, not just one finger
7) Find reference points on the violin, so you always know where you are and where you are going
8) Choose handy fingerings
9) Don't jump, do it smart

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



PS: Do you have questions for me on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to info@violinlounge.com

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How to Stop Your Violin or Viola from Squeeking

February 19, 2014 04:13

Genesis asks:

Hello, my name is Genesis and I play the viola. I’ve seen many of your videos and was wondering if you can make a video about how to prevent from squeaking when playing? PS: I’ve been playing for about 7 months.

Watch this video to learn how to stop your violin or viola from squeaking and scratching.

Just wiping the strings with your bow solves the issue of squeaking, but doesn’t create a beautiful sound.

Violin playing is a game with speed and pressure. Let me explain how to let them work in your advantage and make it possible for you to create a beautiful tone.

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



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A Little Violin and Viola Study Secret Based on the 80/20 Rule

February 12, 2014 03:58

Have you also heard so many tales about that you have to study many hours a day to be able to play the violin or viola beautifully?

Are they really true?

How can you ever combine this with your normal day-to-day life as a mortal?

In this video I will share with you a little study secret...

Watch this video and learn!

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



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How to Have a Comfortable Violin Hold when You Have a Long Neck

February 12, 2014 03:57

Phung asks:

Dear Ms Zlata Brouwer,
 I watched the video of yours about bow straight a couple days ago and i would like to consult your advices about playing violin. The most frustuating problem that i dont know how to deal with is: although i've play violin for 3 years, i have never felt comfortable when holding my violin. I have a long neck and a thin body and according to Maia Bang's violin book, which is the only one I consult besides my teacher, I suppose that my long neck is the obstacle. Also in the book, the Author said I should find the solution in raising chinrest instead of trying higher shoulder rests. However, raising chinrest seems impossible because all the violin shops i've visit refused to do that and suggest me to higher my shoulder rest, and they had no idea about raising the chinrest. My teacher thinks that I could use tower or handkerchief, but they just ease the problem rather than solving it completely.

I think that problem is the mother one, causing many other minor effects. When i play, my right shoulder holding the bow just keeps raising up, making me feel tired of that shoulder. For now i'm trying to balance my way of playing, and i think that you could suggest me some solutions.And for the last, I'm kind of curious about how can some violinists like Itzhak Perlman or Jascha Heifetz hold the violin without shoulder rest, evenmore, Heifetz's violin seemed to point up a small angle. I just want to feel comfortable and can play it with joy just like they did in their videos.

I would be very appreciated if you could help. Thank you and happy new years !

Best wishes,

Phung Quoc Trung

How to have a comfortable violin hold when you have a long neck?

Making your shoulder rest higher and higher is not the solution and can even cause injury on your right shoulder and arm.

Watch this video to find out what’s an easy solution to this issue (and it involves wine):

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



4 replies

How to Play in Tune with the Fourth Finger on the Violin or Viola

February 4, 2014 04:58

Robyn writes in response to the Pinky Training Program:

LOL yes, I have 4th finger phobia! I am not afraid to use my (left) pinky, but every day when I practise it seems to want to go to another place. I will be too sharp, or too flat, and even if I correct this, the next day it is off on it's own journey again. Frustrating!
Thanks again for another informative video Zlata

In this video I will tell you how to play in tune with the fourth finger on the violin or viola:

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



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Does Your Practice Make Perfect? 5 Tips...

February 4, 2014 04:43

Shirley writes:


I am a violinist and now retired violin teacher. I have a friend who has been playing about 10 years and is not progressing as she feels she should. I have seen her play and have given her some advice as her request on bowing. For some reason, so many violin players feel that they must play fast from the beginning but it is going slow and being accurate that creates the good sounds. Maybe a session about how to practice if you have not covered that already including going slow, working small sections of the music, concentrating on the hard spots before ever trying to go fast!

My friend asked me how I play with such beautiful sound and I tried to explain the hours of just working with the bow to create that sound!

Thank you and I love your videos!!! Very good and very informative!

Shirley Vatter

In this video I share with you 5 tips to make your practice more effective and efficient, so your practice will make perfect:

1) Play something slow before you play it fast
2) Be very accurate while practicing
3) Play separate technical studies, etudes, exercises and scales
4) Play small sections and concentrate on the hard spots
5) Manage your expectation level, be happy with every small progress

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



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More entries: January 2014

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