Printer-friendly version
Mendy Smith

The Viola Whisperer

May 3, 2008 at 3:57 AM

Ever watch "The Dog Whisperer"? He always advises a calm assertive nature to get your pooch to behave and follow directions.

I've been messing around so much with my viola position, bow arm position, finger positions, etc. so much lately I was losing my ability to have a relaxed stance so necessary to do vibrato, or anything else well. I was in need of a "Viola Whisperer" before I frustrated myself even more over the weekend. I remembered seeing something in the Primrose book (by Dalton), about the easiest way to figure out how to hold the viola. So, I pulled it out, found the section, read it, looked and the pictures, and started over.

I was instantly much more relaxed - no scrunched up shoulder or clamping down with my chin. Then I picked up my bow (with Blue Gumby) and tried the Kreutzer again with vibrato. What do you know! My first finger vibrated on the A string. And lo and behold, it did it again on the D string! Even got some wiggles on the C - but only with my 2nd & 3rd finger.

OK, so the bow got all crooked. I'll have to work on that - but without messing around with viola positions again. Mohammed goes to the mountain, the mountain does not go to Mohammed.

From Jon O'Brien
Posted on May 3, 2008 at 4:41 AM
Or Moses :-)
From Donna Clegg
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 1:39 PM
Great post and so timely for me. I am also struggling with all the things you mentioned. I do not have the Primrose book and will look for it today. I can so identify with your blog posts and enjoy reading each and every one.
From Alexis Charles
Posted on May 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM
That was a very uplifting entry! I enjoyed this post! :3

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

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

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

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