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Mendy Smith

What is all the Buzz about?

April 19, 2008 at 4:07 AM

I managed some good practice time after work today, and began practicing the Clarke Sonata. That is when I noticed a buzzing coming from my viola. It happened mostly on my C and G strings when I played fff. So, I started peeking into every nook and cranny on my viola trying to find the source of the buzz.

After sometime, I noticed that the ball ends of my strings were slightly off-kilter in the tailpiece (I recently started using a Whittner to make tuning faster and easier). So, I loosened each string one at a time, and got one of those small eye-glass / electronics screw drivers to gently nudge the ball end of the string back into alignment. The buzz went away. I was so happy.

I then continued to practice the sonata. A year ago I couldn't play this at all. I would look at it, see those high notes in treble clef, then put it back down again. There are few notes up in 8th position, and many in 5th. My recent explorations this high up the fingboard gave me inspiration to actually start to try to learn this piece. Tonight, I could do it! At least the first page.

I have assigned myself some Yost - from 3rd to 8th. I'm going flat on the down-shift by almost a semi-tone.

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