Shifting with out the 'meow'

July 28, 2010 at 05:57 PM ·

I've been doing a lot of recording lately, and I notice that my shifts are much too... audible. I get a sort of "meow" sound as I shift, and it really isn't that nice :) So, now that I'm more conscious of it, I am trying to cover (or get rid of!) this "meow". But I'm not sure what to do other than to try and shift more rapidly. Is this the right approach? Or am I missing something?

Thanks! 

Replies (65)

July 28, 2010 at 08:02 PM ·

 There are several things to do to eliminate unwanted shifting sounds. Firstly, when you shift, move the shifting finger on the surface of the string. So, when you begin the shift, lift the finger slightly so that you're only on the surface of the string. Then shift smoothly; don't jerk.  At the end of the shift, put the finger back down more firmly, but not so firmly that you can't vibrate. In fact, the onset of vibrato is the end of the shift. Secondly, you can lighten the bow pressure during the shift. Any minimally competent teacher should have explained this to you. You need to find a better teacher. In fact, you can test a potential teacher by asking him or her to show you how to shift. If you don't get a good account, keep looking.    Charles Johnston

July 28, 2010 at 11:58 PM ·

Thanks for the advice, I think....

But...

"Any minimally competent teacher should have explained this to you. You need to find a better teacher."

Why on earth are you attacking my teacher? ... :(

Not that it is at all related to my question but... I only see my teacher once a week, first of all, and secondly, I am only with him for an hour. We can't address every single aspect of violin playing at every single lesson. Thirdly, this problem is one we have only just begun to address. I was simply hoping that perhaps some v.com friends might provide some supplementary information...

 

July 29, 2010 at 04:21 AM ·

Make sure the change of bow coincides with arrival at the note you are shifting to. Of course this does not apply to shifts with slurs.

July 29, 2010 at 05:40 AM ·

 Hi Alison,

   Here are links to some of Todd Ehle's videos where he  talks about  and demonstrates shifting, but, as you'll see, he has videos for violinists on many different topics. Hope this is of some help.

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqcDb1L4YuU

   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPGJML_YNHs&feature=channel

July 29, 2010 at 08:04 AM ·

Practice to shift quickly and make sure you start a bow change (if there is one) when you arrive at the new note (like Bruce said).

July 29, 2010 at 10:23 AM ·

Thanks everyone. Those videos are especially helpful. I think focusing on my bowing will help me. Was working with this earlier combined with less pressure on the fingers and I am beginning to hear a difference. Certainly I am far from there, but it is a start :)

July 29, 2010 at 12:40 PM ·

Noone has mentioned the obvious: perhaps you need to change string type?  Some of the windings are much more prone to catching on the sliding finger...

just a thought.  And I bet your teacher is a darling :)

July 29, 2010 at 12:47 PM ·

Hi, Alison.
As a psychologist (not a professional violinist or violin teacher), I'd just like to make one comment on the psychological side of this problem. When we have a problem of any kind that we feel is a roadblock to achieving our goals, one of the side effects of spending all of that time and energy focusing on it is that we end up over-focusing on it. So make sure you spend just a bit of your practice time focusing your attention, musically, on the note before the shift and the note after the shift (and, of course, on the melodic substance of the passage). Just forget about the shift, at least a couple of times going over the passage. After all, you don't want your listeners to over focus on the shift either.
Cheers,
Sandy

July 29, 2010 at 02:59 PM ·

What great advice all round - it makes learning into a positive not negative experience... thanks...

July 29, 2010 at 03:13 PM · In support of Sander's comments, my teacher has been getting me to mentally focus on the type of sound that I want to produce for each note, rather than on the mechanical means of achieving it. The idea is that your body is smarter than you may think it is, and that the mental focus on the desired sound goes a long way in telling your body what it needs to do, and may already know how to do. Hope this makes sense, because it works. Also, to break down specific practice points into the smallest possible units (e.g., the note before the shift, the shift, the note after the shift), all done very slowly with repetition until the desired sound or lack of sound is achieved.

July 29, 2010 at 05:24 PM ·

@ Elise: Right now my strings are strung with a steel Dominant G, a silver Dominant D, Evah Pirazzi A, and Evah Pirazzi gold E... I had no idea that some strings "catch" more than others! Is this selection alright? 

@ Sander: Point well taken. I've been stuggling in trying to sound more "musical" in general for about a year now. I've wondered before if perhaps I am hindering myself with all this obsessing... ha :)

July 29, 2010 at 08:59 PM ·

Hearing is always helpful, but its hard to do that here.  A cat's meow starts on a higher note and goes down in pitch.  If that is literally the sound you hear in your recordings, then you are over-shooting and "schooching" the finger back down into the proper pitch.  If so, practice your shifts slowly and focus on landing on the correct place/pitch.  Don't move your wrist muscles - it throws everything off. Shift with your bicep.  Don't "schooch" - it is a bad habit.  If you miss, you miss.  Just try again.  Do it 10 times and aim for 10 correct pitches.  Then switch fingers; switch strings; switch positions.  Also, practice 2 or 3 octave scales and focus  on landing in the proper place/pitch.

July 29, 2010 at 09:55 PM ·

Hi Alison,

Strange question, but why do you want to hide shifts so much?  You know, sustaining with the bow through a shift helps with your security since you hear where you are going.  To make a slide that carries in a hall, you often have to really exaggerate it (something I discovered playing tango nuevo), so there is a considerable difference.  I find that overly trying to hide shifts makes one aurally "blind" so to speak.  These days, nobody wants to hear shifts, and few shift in tune. No matter how you try to improve your shifting, one has to make sure that they don't develop a worst problem in the meantime...

My own two cents...

Cheers! 

July 29, 2010 at 10:27 PM ·

 Are you talking about glissando shifts or just the normal shift where the finger lands directly on a higher or lower note?

Glissando shifts will inevitably have a meeow sound because the finger slides along the string. The clarinet can also do that as in the opening bars of Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin and it is more difficult with a wind instrument. Normal shifts entail the lifting of the fingers from the string until it lands on the next note in co-ordination with the bow.  That co-ordination has to be learned and practiced like a boxer  working on the speed bag in the gym or with the skipping rope. It is all about timing.

July 29, 2010 at 11:19 PM ·

Hi Alison,

I made a video on shifting which I use for teaching. Since moving house I can only find the unedited one (multiple computers, portable drives, etc!), so if you can be patient I'll do the final version again. It shows how to shift cleanly from one note to another, either in the same position, or from one position to another. It shows the exact mechanics of how it's done properly, and just as importantly what it can sound like if not done correctly (whining, miaowing etc). Prof Vs videos are always good, however the shifting ones don't quite get across the urgency of getting from point A to point B quickly and cleanly - no sliding, no glissando, just hard shift (think shunt) :) It's hard to get this across when you have to show the technique slowly so the viewer can follow and understand it.

I'd agree with all the advice so far from our members (except that one about the teacher thing - irrelevant, to say the least), however I try to show how shifting (and other techniques) can be de-mystified and reduced to simple mechanics, which is what it is, albeit with L/ R co-ordination involved.

Jim

July 30, 2010 at 02:26 AM ·

 Greetings,

>Normal shifts entail the lifting of the fingers from the string until it lands on the next note in co-ordination with the bow. 

I`m terribly sorry, but I am rather confused by this.  Did you mean releasing the weight?

If one is shifting on the same finger one does -not- lift the finger off.   That is a `jump` not a shift and is a major caus eof poor technique.  If one is shifting from a lower finger to an upper finger then ususually the lower finger is the guiding finger.  One does not lift the upper finger off becaus eit is already off.   An alternative way of doing this is to place the upper finger on the string and slide with it on the string which ha sbeen called, among other things a `romatic shift`  or a `Russian Shift.`   There is also a combination shift in which one sarts on the lower finger and changes to the upper half way through the shift. In general for techncial security it is a ood idea to practice all three kinds even though you are probably doing the first option.

Lifting finger soff te string totally or not using some kind of guide is generally to be avoide dat all costs.

Cheers,

Buri

July 30, 2010 at 12:47 PM ·

Yes, releasing would be the better word, lifting in the normal sense would be clumsy. I just wanted to emphasize the importance of shift and bow co-ordination in getting rid of the meeow. The meeow comes from a moving pressure on the string while bowing at the same time. Her finger nail sliding on the string would not make a meeow sound.

July 30, 2010 at 12:58 PM ·

@ Christian: It's true that there is certainly a time and place that one might like the sound of an audible shift, I think that what I want to accomplish is blending the shift in with the music, so to speak. When I listen to my recordings, most of my shifts make my brain sort of quit listening to the song and say "oooh there's a shift"... even a shift that is audible in a pleasant way probably shouldn't cause such a breech in the music so to speak. Sorry if that sounds bizarre, not sure how to explain what I mean really... haha :)

@ Jim: I would love to see your video whenever it's finished!

@ Buri: Sorry, I know it's confusing without a video. I need a webcam :(  .... I do know that I shouldn't be "jumping" when I shift, but when I compare my own playing to professionals, to my teacher, or even some amateur friends who are simply better violinists than me, their shifts sound like a part of the music, not a separate entity that sort of stops the music. That is what mine seem to do. I am getting the impression it has a lot to do with my bowing, and maybe over-thinking my shifts, making them a little too slow...  but I need to talk more with my teacher next week.

July 30, 2010 at 02:32 PM ·

I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but I have another "noise"-related question.  I frequently hear a sound produced when I simply lift a finger off of a string -- just a little "plink".  It's like my finger was sort of "stuck" to the string, and when contact was broken the string vibrated enough to produce a sound.  Is this a common "newbie" problem?  What am I doing wrong???

July 30, 2010 at 03:00 PM ·

 Marsha do you cut your  nails regularly?

July 30, 2010 at 04:07 PM ·

Dion --

Oh, good heavens, yes!!  They're only about 1/16" long!  It's not that my nails are catching on the strings -- it's the breaking of contact between the skin and the strings.  Could it have anything to do with pressing down too hard?  I try not to, but if I'm working on something really challenging the pressure sneaks back in.

July 30, 2010 at 05:02 PM ·

@Marsha ;

When you release the finger you must be pulling it side ways to make a sound, it is like plucking a string. Pressure does not make a sound and neither does releasing pressure, if it is straight up or down on the string. 

July 30, 2010 at 06:29 PM ·

Marsha, is it a hardened bit of skin on the fingertip? That's what cause my pops if I'm not careful.

July 31, 2010 at 09:12 AM ·

Joachim the cat says: "Just enjoy the meow!" But then, he's a cat.

July 31, 2010 at 09:46 AM ·

 nobody more racist than a cat.

July 31, 2010 at 10:34 AM ·

Wanna know a secret about cats? they don't purr. They drill. Constantly. Just listen .... ah, that reminds me. I must publish my Pusker Concerto and makes lots of money :)

July 31, 2010 at 01:15 PM ·

Dion and Jim -- I think you're BOTH onto something!  I paid closer attention, and I am using a bit of a sideways motion when I release.  I'll have to work on that.  And there is some rough/peeling skin on the calluses on my fingertips.  I think both factors have been contributing to the "plink".  Thanks, guys!

August 1, 2010 at 12:16 AM ·

John --  Oops!!  :)

August 1, 2010 at 09:03 AM ·

Hi Alison,

Here is the video. It's a fresh re-do, and some of the audio has dropped a the beginning, but the rest is OK, The words are "How to achieve a clean shift from 1st position to 3rd position .... notes are D, E F# G open A, B, C." Hopefully it should highlight the cause of the "miaow" :) it's on YouTube, unlisted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY7khkUAx74

Jim

August 1, 2010 at 11:25 PM ·

It's a singularity, Captain Cadd, sir. Part scale in key of G, starting on D, warp factor 4. Came from planet Sevcik, in our own galaxy, sir :)

August 2, 2010 at 02:30 AM ·

To avoid inconsistant intonation, excersises must be co-ordinated with 'ear training'. I believe this is the principle of 'repetition hits'. In this case we could call it 'repetition shifts". The notes are heard in the inner ear before they are played. If the note is played out of tune there must not be any adjustment made or sliding to correct the note, go back and try it again. This trains the mind to anticipate the pitch of the notes and not to accept 'out-of-tuness' and thus compels the muscles/fingers to follow the commands of the mind.  

August 4, 2010 at 04:11 AM ·

Alison,

I think I understand what you mean by "meow." From my own experience, I know that there are two culprits to my meow. First is excessive finger weight in the left hand (keeping my finger "down" -sort of pressed into the string- through the change of position was the cause of my meow), and the second is a desire to shift quickly to try and hide the meow (a jerk-y motion will actually make a meow more audible). The latter is actually quite easy to eliminate; I just move my arm more slowly through the shift. However, excessive finger weight (or something similar such as pressing the finger into the fingerboard) took me a longer time to correct. It might benefit you Alison to experiment to find out how lightly you can place your fingers on any string in any place and have the note sound. To my own delight, I found a way for my left hand to work efficiently and effortlessly.

I know a few people have mentioned a sort of "release" in the grip of your fingers between the notes of a shift, but I think that if you are truly using the minimum amount of fingertip pressure to have the note sound, you will be in this "released" state all of the time. There won't be a need to press-release-press, etc

 

Also, if you are looking for exercises to practice shifting, I'd highly recommend out of Kreutzer 42 studies number 11 for shifting with a legato bow stroke and number 12 for shifting with a detache bow stroke.

August 4, 2010 at 11:01 PM ·

Hm. Yes, I think the shifts are a little more "jerky" on a down shift than an up, but I'm sure I'm not knocking into the neck. I'm pretty good about relaxing my left hand grip, though I tend to tighten when I am playing something particularly hard. I hear the meow sound more when I am doing a shorter shift, say back and forth anywhere between maybe I through IV position, but if I shift from, say I to V or above the meow sound is less.

This thread is making me seriously consider investing in a webcam... so hard to explain this with words :)

August 5, 2010 at 01:57 AM ·

Try supporting the violin scroll, this will give the sensation of freedom from the excessive tensions causing the 'jerkyness'. This sensation now becomes the point of focus when practising shifts in the normal violin support.

Lean the violin scroll against the wall with a cloth between to protect from damage. Or, while seated at the dinner table with the hydraulic chair set at the correct height,  rest the scroll on the opened violin case, the lid of the case becomes a very good music stand.

A 'smidgen' of vegetable oil on the very finger tip will enhance the gliding effect and may soften those hardened calluses, but the oil must be used very sparingly, remove any excess amounts and clean thoroughly after practise.

The strings and finger board must be cleaned and polished, even the neck, to remove any rosin dust that may have settled, or spread by the fingers from playing way up on those very high notes. And, also the hands must be cleaned and well dried before every practise session.

If that does'nt show any immediate improvement, then I would suggest to read Menuhin's book, lesson 5 , 'Left-hand Movements', your teacher may have a copy of this very informative book. 

August 5, 2010 at 10:56 AM ·

I'm afraid there are too many cooks on this subject and they may be spoiling the broths.

I really don't think that amateurs should be giving advice and demonstrations to other amateurs. I would repeat the advice a professional gave much earlier on i.e. any good professional teacher will sort this problem out for you. He was slated for it, but it was excellent advice. And if your teacher can't sort it in about 3 months then get another teacher.

Sorry, its a case of too many brothels are spoiling the cook ...

August 5, 2010 at 11:43 AM ·

 Peter did you miss spell cook?

August 5, 2010 at 11:52 AM ·

No Dion, I think I messed up on the brothels ...!!

August 5, 2010 at 01:52 PM ·

Peter : "I really don't think that amateurs should be giving advice and demonstrations to other amateurs. I would repeat the advice a professional gave much earlier on i.e. any good professional teacher will sort this problem out for you. He was slated for it, but it was excellent advice. And if your teacher can't sort it in about 3 months then get another teacher."

@Peter - Sorry, but that's what happens on a forum. One person asks a question, lots of people reply - and they are all of mixed ability, both as players and as teachers (if they teach at all). It's really quite impossible to know exactly the best advice to give to someone when 1. you don't know them 2. You don't know what they sound like. 3 - so, you can't really quantify the problem. If you really think the advice and demonstations are bad, then why don't you be more specific about their detail? Telling someone to find a better teacher doesn't help. How is the student supposed to know that there is something lacking in their teacher's ability, if in fact, at all? Sorry, but the only thing you are offering right now is negatitvity. Why don't you offer some positive professional advice and back it up with a professional demonstration?

August 5, 2010 at 01:57 PM ·

 @Henry ;

If any one starts putting oil on their fingers they are looking for real trouble. And I don't care if its vegetable or cooking oil. If that comes on the bow you will really know what slip sliding away means.

August 5, 2010 at 02:22 PM ·

"Peter - Sorry, but that's what happens on a forum. One person asks a question, lots of people reply - and they are all of mixed ability, both as players and as teachers (if they teach at all). It's really quite impossible to know exactly the best advice to give to someone when 1. you don't know them 2. You don't know what they sound like. 3 - so, you can't really quantify the problem."

Jim, I'm not meaning to be difficult and critical, and I know the problems of giving advice on forums such as this. You are right of course that we don't really know their problems or what they sound like. And I know you mean well.

 

"If you really think the advice and demonstations are bad, then why don't you be more specific about their detail? Telling someone to find a better teacher doesn't help. How is the student supposed to know that there is something lacking in their teacher's ability, if in fact, at all? "

Because it is hard to be specific on a forum. That's why I can't be too specific. And I haven't said their teacher is no good, or that they should get a better one. But if problems such as basic shifting aren't being overcome within a few months, then something is clearly wrong. In the end the student has to decide if the progress they are making is good enough.

I do agree that it is very hard for a student to assess a teacher. Generally speaking in the UK (I can only speak for the UK) a lot of teaching is inadequate. At the top level at Academies and Colleges it is pretty good and often excellent. But outside it is variable. I know players who teach and who really don't know how to play their instruments well themselves!

"Sorry, but the only thing you are offering right now is negatitvity. Why don't you offer some positive professional advice and back it up with a professional demonstration?"

I'm not meaning to be negative, but for students to be wary of advice. The Internet and Youtube is full of people giving lessons, 90% of which is total bull****.

My advice would be for the person in question to maybe blow some money on a top professional teacher just for one or two lessons to get a new perspective on playing and these technical problems. The problem with shifting may be a combination of bad left hand technique, along with rythmic and aural problems, as well as general instrument posture and balance. Unless I saw the person in question and was able to make adjustments and give face to face advice I wouldn't want to make poor predictions or assumptions on a forum.

August 5, 2010 at 02:23 PM ·

A very small amount of talcum powder on the LH fingertips is safer :)

August 5, 2010 at 02:24 PM ·

A very small amount of talcum powder on the fingertips is safer :)

August 5, 2010 at 02:24 PM ·

A little talcum powder on the fingertips is safer :)

August 5, 2010 at 05:19 PM ·

Sorry, I really didn't mean to post about the talc 3 times in a row. Doggam computers :)

August 5, 2010 at 05:36 PM ·

I appreciate all advice, both from pros and amateurs. I am not so stupid as to actually take any of it (no matter who it comes from) without finding out whether or not it is appropriate first.

August 5, 2010 at 06:19 PM ·

Try 'lock-tite' (the stuff to make the little screw in your glasses frame stay in).  Your finger grips so hard it adheres to the string and finger boad and when you shift it makes a rasping sound - actually, not unlike a dog growling.

Well, it stops the meow...

(and I'm very glad you don't take the posts above too seriously)

August 5, 2010 at 10:13 PM ·

Elise - I took your advice re the Loctite. It worked at first, but then my finger got stuck.I would'nt have minded so much, but I was playing a viola at the time ...and I'm still stuck with it. I need to stick to the violin in future. Can anyone help? :)

 

August 5, 2010 at 10:17 PM ·

Hi Peter, thanks for your response, which does explain a few things. A couple more things from me : you said, "I really don't think that amateurs should be giving advice and demonstrations to other amateurs." Let's just clarify a few things here ... it's worth remembering that "amateur" is just a label (and really quite a pejorative one when used in this context), and does not necessarily reflect on a person's playing or teaching ability. In other words, just because you're a professional, doesn't mean you're good. We all know that - or we should. Many "amatuers" are quite astounding players (and many are ex-professionals). Not getting personal, but your profile implies that you are now an "amateur" too, yet you have posted and have given advice here, many times, so ... what's going on? OK, I'm not having a go at you, but you'll get my general drift.

You mentioned about students being wary of advice. You said, "The Internet and Youtube is full of people giving lessons, 90% of which is total bull****." I agree (not sure about the 90% bit, though). I think a learner / improver (more so an adult) can make an informed decision about what to accept on the web, and on YouTube in particular. Meaning, if a clip is well and clearly presented, has a link to the presenter's website, checks out positively when "Google"-ed, then the chances are it's worth pursuing (and good ones usually have a series of lessons / demos). If on the other hand, the clip is of poor quality, bad audio, bad lighting, beer bottles in the background, unedited, (forcing you to sit through 30 seconds of setting the recording kit up at the beginning), violin out of tune, presenter dribbling from one side of the mouth .. then you would give it a miss. I think you'll find that the well-presented ones offer the best advice. It's pretty much the same with anything - not just violin lessons :)
 

August 5, 2010 at 10:38 PM ·

Jim: I took your advice re the Loctite. It worked at first, but then my finger got stuck.I would'nt have minded so much, but I was playing a viola at the time ...and I'm still stuck with it. I need to stick to the violin in future. Can anyone help? :)

Try some talcum powder

Yes, some talcum powder

I said TALCUM POWDER

TALCUM POWDER!!!!

Sheesh... And if that does not work find yourself a chair in the nether-reagions of an orchestra.  its probably the only place noone will notice a man with a severe case of violagum syndrome...

August 5, 2010 at 11:23 PM ·

But would the chair be sincere and non-commital? That's my only concern ... :)

August 6, 2010 at 12:18 AM ·

lock-tite huh? Talk about being stuck on violin!  teehee :)

August 6, 2010 at 01:40 AM ·

Would lock-tite work on shoulder rests that keep falling off? And what about solidifying those fingered octaves so they can always stay in tune. It reminds me of an episode from Saturday Night Live called "Bad Opera" in which the singer was condemned to hold one note for an eternity....

August 6, 2010 at 07:00 AM ·

"And what about solidifying those fingered octaves so they can always stay in tune?"

No, snap-on, quick-release Mole grips are better for that. Need to put some soft leather padding between to jaws, just in case you have sensitive fingers. The good thing is, it's all a one-handed operation. Loctite's still good for improving the bow-grip, though.  

 

August 6, 2010 at 08:31 AM ·

...a whole new meaning to 'the violinists toolbox'...

Can't wait for the chapter on peg replacement - will it be worm drives or hydraulics?

Oooh.  the suspense....

August 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM ·

"Can't wait for the chapter on peg replacement - will it be worm drives or hydraulics?"

Well, (seriously) Knilling Perfection Pegs are very good. A planetary gear system inside the pegs. I have a set fitted on mine, and tuning is really easy. The turning ratio feels like 2.5 : 1, as opposed to 1:1 with traditional pegs. Bet I find there's already a thread on v.com about them, after just posting this .....

August 6, 2010 at 01:11 PM ·

Really???  Does that negate the need for the tailpiece tuners.?

Edit: Also, do they in effect prevent wear of the violin peg box holes?

August 6, 2010 at 02:08 PM ·

"Really???  Does that negate the need for the tailpiece tuners.?"

Yes it does, although some still like the gold-plated E adjuster for show. You only need it if you have a loop-end string, not a ball-end one.

"Edit: Also, do they in effect prevent wear of the violin peg box holes?"

Yes, entirely. The outer shaft is fixed in the hole. Only the inner shaft turns.

August 6, 2010 at 03:01 PM ·

I bet you can make a cool 'meow' sound by rotating two at a time too...

[Just trying to get back on topic here :D ]

August 6, 2010 at 05:57 PM ·

Jim

I'm afraid I have not changed my mind about people posting videos on here and the Internet about how to play the violin. All those comments from you about being an amateur and/or a professional, are just smokescreens.

I will re-state my opinion that there is huge harm done by people who "think" they know about  technique when they are pretty clueless. I'm afraid my opinion of you falls into this category.

Therefore I feel I should NOT contribute to the forum any more, and I will cancel my registration as a member immediately.

Good luck and best wishes

PC

August 6, 2010 at 08:11 PM ·

Peter,

Sometimes I think you are a cubist creation.

xx

ee

August 6, 2010 at 08:29 PM ·

 Peter will be back he only likes to say good bye.

August 6, 2010 at 09:08 PM ·

Peter,

I'm sure you will hang around long enough here to see a response from me. I'm not really sure what you are thinking. A quick reminder : you passed an opinion about "clueless" people and "amateurs" giving advice on the internet. I responded (as your implication in this case most certainly included me, as I had published a help video on this forum, which was in fact useful to the person who asked the question in the first place). You then called me "clueless" in public, on this forum. Just "clueless" - if you had said "poor intonation, bad tone, awkward posture, irrelevant material, eyes out of focus, dribbling when I speak, etc etc" - that would have meant something, and made some sense as a criticism, but instead you decided just to insult me publicly. It's actually for this very reason that I don't attach any importance to your opinion. You yourself don't offer any picture, audio or video of your playing on this site, which is something else I wonder about, especially as you are so quick to vocalise and dismiss others ... what's going on? Why don't you put something up there?

I'm sure if my demos were doing "huge harm" (your words), the site moderator would have something to say. This actually does happen on other violin sites when bad advice is given. 

Anyway, why don't we just agree to disagree on this one? If you think my playing / teaching is clueless sh****, then just don't listen to me. No need to leave the doggam forum!

I'm not that far from you anyway. I'll buy you a beer if we meet. Howzat? :)

Jim
 

August 6, 2010 at 11:28 PM ·

I  have found nearly everyone on this site to be reasonable. There's a lot of good will and helpful advice being offered and no one is putting on the hat of a brain or heart surgeon stating that their advice is so perfect and so sound that if not followed total paralysis or death will follow. People pose questions, ask for help, and anyone who is a member is allowed to contribute. It's up to the person receiving the advice to either ignore it, says thanks but no thanks, try it out and see if it works- if there are additional questions ask for clarification or more information, etc. The one thing that I think will not be tolerated is intolerance- a.k.a. - a bad attitude towards others. Anyone is entitled to disagree with others opinions but to attack a person or be accusatory or to  categorically dismiss someone or an entire website because of opinions expressed shows, in my opinion, a lack of maturity and patience and reasonableness. We are by and large a friendly bunch here and I'm glad Laurie  Niles does her best to keep it that way. Goodness knows, with all the horrible things going on in the world, is it really that dangerous for someone to offer advice to the best of their ability  in a violin discussion?

  My advice: Be polite, be reasonable, criticize opinions and statements but don't attack people  for having them. No one's perfect.

August 7, 2010 at 03:12 AM ·

I totally agree with Ron.  Since when does someone have to be a pro to offer advice?  It looks like Peter spoke his peace and left; his profile is blank.  Given his recent comments, I personally think this board is a better place without him.  Opinions are fine, and indeed provide the foundation of this forum, but rudeness is totally unnecessary. 

August 7, 2010 at 03:35 AM ·

 Greetings,

thanks Ronald and Smiley.  perhaps we could call it `talking without the meeeow!`

Cheers,

Buri

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