Joyce Lin

Epiphany

May 15, 2011 02:45

Tonight it became clear to me that I don't need a smaller violin -- it turned out that almost all my left-hand struggle and inconsistency can be solved by the way I positioned the violin and my thumb... Tonight somehow I held it just right, and everything became so easy - 2-3 whole steps, 4th finger notes in first position, leaving all fingers down, playing at fast tempo, etc. Well, playing 3rds with 2-4 was still hard but at least I was able to do it... My left hand felt relaxed and my hand frame looked great, and everything just made sense... I did not want to put the violin down lest the magic would disappear and I would turn into a pumpkin... 

Now I just have to be able to repeat it tomorrow...

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Checklist for a ready-to-play violin

May 10, 2011 16:11

  1. Body has no unrepaired cracks or open seam.
  2. Neck is smooth and has correct* thickness, angle and length.
  3. Bridge is well fitted, is perpendicular to the top plate, and has correct* thickness and shape.
  4. Correct* string heights, string distances, string length and after-length.
  5. Sound post has no crack and is at the right place.
  6. Fingerboard has acceptable thicknesses, widths, radius, scoop, and the surface is smooth (no grooves, etc.).
  7. Nut is well fitted (no sharp edges) and provides correct* string grooves, distances and heights.
  8. Pegs and fine tuner(s) are easy to tune and stay in tune, and there is not excessive wear in pegs and peg holes.
  9. Tailpiece, tail-gut, and end-pin are in good shape.
  10. Newish, good quality strings that are not false and have no apparent wear.
  11. No buzzing sound or loose parts

*Correct means within industry standard, or is optimal for the instrument. Here is a table of the average measurements of the violin.


I'm going through my 5th round of violin hunting in less than two years as an adult violin student, and the above is a checklist that I came up with.  It was posted in a discussion, but I think it might be useful for people who will soon shop for a violin and don't know what to look out for, so I'm re-posting it as a blog entry.

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