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Karen Allendoerfer

Pep talk

June 2, 2009 at 11:16 AM

After getting the new violin, I thought I would feel more settled, not less. 

But I'm hearing things.  Things that go bump in the night and in the middle of Tchaikovsky.  Weird, unpleasant screeches.

My teacher thinks this is a good sign.  "You're going to learn a lot from this violin, it's going to be great for you." she said at my lesson.  We went back to centering the pitch, to thinking from first position.  To using the note before to find your next note.  She understood I couldn't do every scale in the book.

"Your vibrato is less tense, you're not having to work as hard on it either.  This violin catches and brings out your vibrato." 

It's one of those fertile periods where you feel confused and out of sorts and then (one hopes) things come together in a new, better way. 

Posted on June 2, 2009 at 2:26 PM

one hopes things come together in a new, better way

they will

From Tom Holzman
Posted on June 2, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Keep at it!  You will get there.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 2, 2009 at 7:26 PM

 She also liked my fingerings for an especially difficult part of the Tchaikovsky, so now all I have to do is get it up to tempo.

From Smiley Hsu
Posted on June 3, 2009 at 1:10 AM


After getting a new instrument, I think it is common to get worse for a while before you start getting better.  After all, every instrument is different and it takes some time to adjust.


From Ray Chen
Posted on June 3, 2009 at 2:48 AM


Your violin may require more precision and control than your old one.  Things you could get away with on your old violin now produce screeches and weird sounds on this one.  (I had  a violin that so much more responsive than the previous one that I heard my fingers thump like an elephant was running on the fingerboard.)

You'll learn your lessons, your technique will improve and the weird sounds will go away.

Although I have a bow that continues to teach me things :-).

- Ray

Posted on June 3, 2009 at 2:55 AM

au contraire...not to write an epistle here; the short version is you are hearing things differently... the new fiddle is more responsive and you are becoming more receptive.

This is a big compliment to you.

From Bart Meijer
Posted on June 3, 2009 at 10:55 AM

As long as there are no

-ghosties and ghoulies lurching in your violin case;

-longleggety beasties crawling over the fingerboard

all is well. Happy playing!

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 3, 2009 at 11:40 AM

This violin is definitely more responsive.  It's lighter to hold, too.  My old violin was made ~150 years ago, my new one in 2008.  The old one had a one-piece back, the new one has a 2-piece.  The mysteries of violin-making and what we must have learned over time are fascinating . . .

From Anthony Barletta
Posted on June 4, 2009 at 12:14 AM

Similar weirdnesses occurred when I switched to gut strings, which ultimately helped me to correct some sloppy bowing technique.  Such things help build character. ;)

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