help with feedback!

January 5, 2019, 10:20 PM · any honest feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Replies (7)

January 5, 2019, 10:44 PM · You have this interesting "flying pinkie" going in both hands. My guess is that it originates in one hand, but gets unconsciously mirrored in the other hand. I'd bet that the straight, stuck-out pinkie causes tension in both hands.

Pinkie should be on the bow (in most bow holds, it balances the hand and helps support the weight of the bow), and should be relaxed in the left hand so it doesn't distort the left-hand position or be vastly far from the fingerboard when it's needed.

January 5, 2019, 10:55 PM · I'm not an expert violinist, but I can talk to you about some of the problems I've had to overcome. It's tempting to rush into more advanced techniques like vibrato, but you should stay focused on the basics such as straight bowing. I also had a similar problem with my right hand pinky and to some extent my left pinky too. It doesn't seem like a big deal at first but will really hinder your progress later.
Edited: January 5, 2019, 11:00 PM · Way to go Nick, nice playing!

(1) I can't really see what your bow arm is doing because the camera is too close. From the way your bow angle is changing I'm inferring that your wrist and right hand are too stiff.

(2) Your right pinkie is aloft. You are not drinking tea with the queen! Let your pinkie relax onto the top of the frog, either right on top or in the first angled area of the octagon. You may have to trim the fingernail on that finger way back -- I have to. Strive for a more fleshy and relaxed bow grip. Eventually you will be calling your fingers into action so they can't be stiff.

(3) Your intonation is pretty good! But, how to make it even better? It starts with listening -- listen back to your own video and when you have a few F-sharps in a row, are they all the same? A good tune for listening to notes that occur a few times in rapid succession is your Ashokan Farewell.

(4) Your bowing in Ashokan Farewell is kind of random and you wind up with ineffective "bow distribution." You end up in the far upper half of the bow too much and your tone will be more thin there. Work on some bowings that will allow you to explore the frog (heel) of the bow and in a tune like that you can enjoy some longer bow strokes too.

(5) Your left hand looks set up okay but sometimes your pinkie has to reach hard. Remember that the purpose of your hand position is to make it so your fingers can reach the notes without straining. (Credit: Gingold). Look at your left wrist in the video. To my eye it looks a little close to the bout of the violin for first position. Try moving your left wrist out a little more. What you'll find is that to reach your notes you have to rock your left elbow underneath your violin further. That's normal even if it feels slightly awkward at first.

(6) When you play your body is bobbing and weave some. Not really a flaw, but the way you are doing it suggests general physical tension, even though your intention might have been just the opposite -- to convey a relaxed feeling. Keep your shoulders back and don't hunch over. Good posture is important for violin playing in the long term.

January 5, 2019, 11:22 PM · Have you looked for any jams in your area? You'd be looking for a slow jam, but you can learn a lot about the music going to a regular one too. Just jump in and play. It's a really friendly community and very helpful to newbies!

There are tons of old time Clifftop type events in state parks. They do workshops, and if you don't mind camping, the cost is practically free.

January 6, 2019, 2:52 AM · thank you all so much! this is gold! I am very appreciative and will be considering all of the information above for quite some time.
January 8, 2019, 5:51 PM · Vid appears to be unavailable. I'll try again - or could someone embed it?
January 8, 2019, 5:59 PM ·

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