Caprice No.16 by Paganini on A BIKE

Edited: February 2, 2019, 2:01 AM · They don't call paganini
"Gymnastics for violin" for nothing...

Also - I played here very fast- among the fastest in the world - 1:29.

Replies (328)

January 12, 2019, 10:04 AM · The fascinating thing about this is that the beginning, at least, is more in tune than your previous efforts.
January 12, 2019, 10:36 AM · There's only one thing I don't understand:

I can see from the window that it's a nice day outside. Why would anyone in their right mind stay inside to bicycle on a sunny day?

On the other hand, I may have answered my own question...

January 12, 2019, 10:53 AM · German luthier and violinist Christian Adam still holds the Guinness world record for cycling backwards (60 kilometers) while playing his violin (Bach and, on later occasions, also Bruch):
January 12, 2019, 11:00 AM · Now play it while using a hula hoop. See Hilary Hahn
January 12, 2019, 11:10 AM · Awesome.
January 12, 2019, 12:01 PM · I don't get any of this. Either he's trying to get into the troll hall of fame, or we are seeing, first hand, how this infernal instrument has driven somebody to insanity.
Edited: January 12, 2019, 12:28 PM · The thread title reminds me of "Green Eggs and Ham." Would you like them in a box? With a fox?
Edited: January 12, 2019, 12:46 PM · Leon skibinski
You know the bragging phrase "i can do it with my eyes closed"?

So now i can say everyone that i can play Paganini's caprice in a top speed while I'm riding a bike!.
And it will be true!!!...

Edited: January 12, 2019, 4:55 PM · Except that you aren't really riding a bike....
January 12, 2019, 3:16 PM · Please stop making new threads about caprice 16. You didn't even need 2. This is just spamming now.
January 12, 2019, 4:08 PM · What some may consider spam I consider a pleasant diversion from the mundane and I could not pedal a bike or hula hoop while playing.
Edited: January 12, 2019, 7:12 PM · Michael pijoan
How does something like that fit the previous threads?
This is absolutely something new.

You don't think that playing paganini caprice (The caprices are among the hardest pieces for violin even without a bike) , to play it fully!, in top speed, and all of this while pedaling a bike!!! deserves a thread?

January 12, 2019, 4:32 PM · Even more than that - as lydia said -
It might be my best version in terms of playing quality.
If you just hear the sound without seeing it you may not know it was on a bike.
It was pretty good performance.
Edited: January 12, 2019, 5:10 PM · On a pretty much lower level (happily chopping through some piles of boroque and not bothering with virtuoso literature) I've been observed to play more in tune while walking around, looking out of the window or being busy with anything one could technically be occupied while playing a stringed instrument, than I would play if concentrating on intonation.
A reliable sign that I should work much more on my intonation and block fingerings, I'd say...

For my part, I enjoy these Paganini 16 threads, although I do not take part in the discussion and even stopped watching the videos. Nobody's harmed or even forced to read them, but obviously they're irresistible to some in here. And it's really entertaining to watch them at their stone throwing exercises! (I guess Mr Krakovich is having a good time, too.)

January 12, 2019, 8:15 PM · Your Paganini playing deserves no threads. It deserves a toilet.
January 12, 2019, 8:23 PM · I agree that this should be confined to its existing thread rather than spawning new threads.
January 12, 2019, 9:20 PM · This one's not Paganini but it's on a unicycle.
Edited: January 12, 2019, 10:01 PM · No matter what you think, David's such a phenomenon on recently.

David should seriously think of becoming a comedian violinist, posting similar stuffs to hula hoop. Invest in some cool outfits, and YouTube denizens will be greatly entertained - video views can bring in money too.

Moreover, he can play as out of tune as he wants and people still think his playing is absolutely terrific when not being a comedian.

@Lydia the existing threads were already too long.

Edited: January 12, 2019, 10:14 PM · I agree with Marty, Michael and Lydia. Why is he allowed to start 3 discussions on the same subject and spam this forum with his vile playing?
January 12, 2019, 10:11 PM · I think Laurie tends to be a light-touch moderator (commendably so), and as long as forum rules aren't being broken, she doesn't intervene.

I do think that he shouldn't start a new thread for each video posted in close succession, and I imagine that if he continues to do it, Laurie might intervene.

Edited: January 13, 2019, 1:51 AM · In this recording on the bike i was far from the microphone,

But here: listen and compare, one after another My and the popular Markov version, almost at the same speed (he is in fact is 12 seconds faster - but he skips a part in the begging)
You really feel that the Tune in so bad in my recording?
Actually, i feel that except of some places it is even very good. Try to compare side by side. Back and forth.

Violin isn't piano, it always sounds a little bit out of tune. Therefore you can always complain about the tune.

Also - Markov had a soundman,
I have the pretty average zoom q2n:

Me - with the "regular" version of the caprice:

The Popular Markov version -

Edited: January 13, 2019, 4:57 AM · As I said, this is not a musical / violin-playing probem, but a mental health issue. Every online forum of any size attracts folks who are there only for the attention, spawning multiple topics that are essentially about themselves. No give and take whatsoever.

So, in this case, is partly a place for amateur players seeking advice; DK is an amateur who wants to hear he's at international professional level and keeps posting videos to confront with the most excruciating bad playing ever heard from an adult. And if the comments peter out he posts a new video.

Please stop looking at DK's hands (although the non-use of the index finger on the bow raises questions) and look at his facial expression. The whole idea of inventing a new(ish) genre, i.e. pop-classical violin playing is ridiculous. If one thing is necessary in that Andre Rieu / dancing girl genre, it's a happy friendly demeanor.

Edited: January 13, 2019, 3:10 AM · Herman west,
I want to hear the truth!. You are not an agent - even if you will tell that I'm great it doesn't matter much.
But you can help to corect things.

Sometimes even you are wrong not deliberately, for example- people here said that camera doesnt matter - really?

Here is the comparison:

Phone version:

"zoom q2n" camera version (with 96k on audio settings):

Edited: January 13, 2019, 3:30 AM · And yes, i was kind of a prodigy at local israeli level as a kid and teenager, performed solo in official events etc.
And prodigies rich high level as kids even without going to academy.

I'm not exaclty an amateur, i learned classical music at pretty advanced level at one of Israeli top classical high school departments.

Then i went to the army when i was 18 years old and to other sphere of political science, but it might be that i have this high abilities yet. Even without going to academy.

Nothing crazy or irrational here.

Edited: January 13, 2019, 3:41 AM · There were Jewish musicians that survived the Holocaust and didn't play for years at all and than got back to playing as professionals after the war,
I is possible.
January 13, 2019, 4:00 AM · If I were you, I'd focus on being the most musical player, rather than the fastest. No one really cares about speed here.
January 13, 2019, 5:10 AM · Here is a comparison to Markov:
January 13, 2019, 5:20 AM · And i can do it also while riding on a bike!!!!...
January 13, 2019, 5:43 AM · Wow, you play a lot more in tune this time. Very advanced playing!
Edited: January 13, 2019, 5:57 AM · No. It isn't a new video. This is the first video from the first thread!.
The one that was blasted few comments ago.
January 13, 2019, 10:49 AM · Seriously - maybe this intonation problem that you feel happens because of the distortion of the sound and the recording quality,
Because both in Markov comparison and here with julia Fischer i sound much cleaner.
But when you hear it alone it sounds not in tune.

January 13, 2019, 12:22 PM · Actually, no. The difference in intonation between you and Julia Fischer is immense, even in the very first phrase. And video equipment may change the tone quality, but it doesn't change the pitch.
January 13, 2019, 12:31 PM · andrew hsieh
julia fischer is probably the most "in tune" violinist in the world, she known for that,
also, i was playing here when i'm pedaling on a bike!!!!!, yes? and sitting far from the microphone,
and still you can feel that the sound is cleaner then when you hear it alone. the same bike video!

The markov video is more accurate comparison.

Edited: January 13, 2019, 1:04 PM · There's also a huge difference between you and Markov. Again, it's noticeable even within the first phrase.

You're playing at a decent amateur level, and you have extremely fast fingers. But your intonation, as you're playing it, has not been "reasonable" in any of your videos, with or without a bike. Any competent pro will be much more in tune, as Irene showed in the other thread on just three hours of practice. For that matter, Lydia was far more in tune on ten minutes of practice, and she'll be the first to tell you she's nowhere near professional level.

Edited: January 13, 2019, 1:06 PM · David doesn't hear he is out of tune.
One or two posters don't seem to mind either...
There is no solution to David's and our problem.
This is trolling and spamming, and it's not funny anymore.
I'm marking his posts as spam.
January 13, 2019, 1:27 PM · Krakovich, if you can not hear the differences between your own playing, and that of Julia Fisher and others you have referenced, I can only feel sorry for you.

Just curious: Was your screen name CRAK-ovich derived from a fondness for smoking way too much "crack"?

January 13, 2019, 1:33 PM · It’s not against any rules to post videos of yourself playing’ll get the reactions you get!
January 13, 2019, 3:04 PM · I guess Laurie's right, but it's going to get to a point where it's just downright spam. I mean, it already is, but it's not unbearable.
January 13, 2019, 3:07 PM · Can we just make a challenge where we try to play stuff as fast as possible, while doing the stupidest things possible?
(Wait, isn't that the Ling Ling Workout?)
But anyways, I can't wait to see David play Bach Chaconne while car surfing on a volcano.
January 13, 2019, 5:24 PM · An exercise bike isn’t a real bike. Please stop!
Edited: January 13, 2019, 6:41 PM · You know what?
Maybe it isn't the intination nor the distortion,
You simply hear according to your ideas - it is like "prejudice"- people don't treat fairly not because something objective but because of ideas-
You see me as amateur and you say "no way he can play so well". Despite logically i can and you see that it is the same speed.

The same as many violinist think that "Stradivarius" sound better despite they can't feel the difference with closed eyes, even proffesionals.

Maybe i will even do a test video like this, and we'll see if you can recognize when it is me and when it is a famous virtuoso.

Edited: January 13, 2019, 6:50 PM · And we saw this "Prejudice" already-
Matt Lawrence above said that i play much cleaner in markov video,
Despite it is the same video that i uploaded few comments before that he blasted!.
I'll do this test video and we'll see if you can recognize when it is me and when it is some famous virtuoso
Edited: January 13, 2019, 7:03 PM · Your main problem with me is tune!. And in violin you can always say something about the tune, especially when it isn't a studio recording.
It isn't a mechanical instrument.
It is always a little bit out of tune.
Therefore you can easily blast this.

In technical aspect you see that i can play this pieces full and fast.
Even in a bike!!!

January 13, 2019, 7:01 PM · I didn't blast your 16 Caprice David, you can check your old thread.

To my amateur ears, your Caprice 16 is much better, cleaner, and more in tune than your 24. But there is still room for improvement so keep striving for the better!

Edited: January 13, 2019, 7:10 PM · You did blast, you said few comments ago about the 16th caprice!:

"David should seriously think of becoming a comedian violinist, posting similar stuffs to hula hoop. Invest in some cool outfits, and YouTube denizens will be greatly entertained - video views can bring in money too.

Moreover, he can play as out of tune as he wants and people still think his playing is absolutely terrific"

And then after Markov video:
"Wow, you play a lot more in tune this time. Very advanced playing!"

Edited: January 13, 2019, 7:28 PM · I did not comment specifically on this 16, sorry for not being clear. To my ears, your biggest problem is playing out of tune, then intonation, specifically on the harder pieces. You should try to improve on these.
January 13, 2019, 7:32 PM · Ok. I will make a test video of different pieces, and everyone will be able to say when it is me and when it is a famous violinist "with their eyes closed" and we'll see.
Edited: January 13, 2019, 8:00 PM · That's why they do the auditions with closed curtain, no?
January 13, 2019, 9:03 PM · David, you can check your intonation for yourself. Slow down your Paganini 16 video(s), and try matching the pitches to a tuner. Whether you set an equal-temperament or just-temperament standard, you'll see that you're well off pitch on many notes.

People can't tell Strads from the absolute very best contemporary violins -- not that they can't tell them from random low-quality violins.

January 13, 2019, 10:01 PM · Here's the thing: there's no need to compare to Markov or Fischer. We can compare you to the two amateurs who replied to the long thread, playing the same caprice on less than one hour of practice.

"Better than before" is true, I think, but it does not mean good enough. The listener has to at least be able to hear the chord progression.

January 14, 2019, 1:33 AM · No no no.
I will make this "Blind" video.
If you say my intonation so bad everyone will tell easily where it is me and where it is a famous violinist.
January 14, 2019, 1:41 AM · The intonation doesn't bother me so much as the sound quality. It's partly the fiddle, but not completely. You just don't seem to try to get a nice sound with your bow, as if it just doesn't even matter because it's a fast piece.

And David, it matters where you look when you play. Staring at the camera doesn't help.

January 14, 2019, 2:18 AM · Scott Cole
I don't stare on the camers,
But on the notes.
The camera is on the stand.

Also - the sound quality is also something that can be checked in "Blind" video.

Edited: January 14, 2019, 2:37 AM · I'm not saying people here are lying, maybe they really feel that i play not in tune and bad sincerely,
but that feeling may be connected to this "prejudice" that "amateur" can't play at very high level.
(Despite as i explained - i am not exactly an amateur- i played very seriously and learned at official institutes till 18 years old,
Which is a pretty advanced age, and was kind of "prodigy" at local israeli level)

As in "Stradivarius" case - people sincerely think it sound better, but when it played with close curtain they can't say the difference.

January 14, 2019, 2:47 AM · Most politicians are like that - they leave Careers in different spheres and go to politics for several years, sometimes even to learn it academically as i did,
And then - if failed to be elected etc. They go back to the previous careers as Engineers, Lawyers, scientists etc.
The same can be in Music.
So there's nothing crazy or irrational here.
It might be that I'm at high level.
Edited: January 14, 2019, 3:48 AM · Matt, "playing in tune" and "good intonation" are the same thing..
Scott, minding tone more than intonation is very strange coming from a violinist.

Today's poll:
59% have relative pitch,
23% have absolute pitch,
and an astonishing 18% have "neither".

So David you are not alone, and it explains why you have some support! But 82% of us hear that you are very frequently out of tune (as opposed to occasional intonation "accidents", which we all have).

Known "pop" violinists play in tune; only the comic turns play deliberately out of tune, to amuse the 82%. Apparently, you, and the rest of the 18%, won't see (hear) the joke..

We violinists, amateur or professional, spend a lot of time maintaining good intonation. It's not "boring", it's immensely satisfying.

Edited: January 14, 2019, 4:32 AM · Adrian, I stand corrected, thank you for pointing that out, it's very helpful. musicality should be in place of intonation.
January 14, 2019, 5:23 AM · Ok. We will check everyone hearing later today when i will make a "closed curtain" odition video.
January 14, 2019, 12:29 PM · Keep pumping out content, David.
January 15, 2019, 6:50 AM · He could be a YouTuber pumping out this much content.
Edited: January 15, 2019, 8:06 AM · Ok. Let's test it:
I made a test video:
4 fragments of 4 pieces,
Just 1 fragment in every piece is me playing.

Please be honest and listen to this just 1 time as in an Audition.

January 15, 2019, 8:56 AM · I am not sure who is the players, but I can give my opinions...

Oblivion 3/4 - amateur. Just almost in tune, but not quite, and a terrible vibrato and not very musical.

Liebesleid 1/4 - An amateur. Not really in tune and terrible accents everywhere. Don't like the vibrato.

Shostakovich 4/4 - 2 amateurs (or more likely the same violinist playing both parts) Not really in tune and terrible accents everywhere.

Paganini - 2/5 horrible out of tune... many notes doesn't even resemble he intended pitch.

January 15, 2019, 9:02 AM · Mattias ekuland,
Thank you.
I will upload the video without the "Curtain" tomorrow.
Meanwhile- anyone else?
January 15, 2019, 9:21 AM · I agree with Mathias' guesses. The intonation in the slow pieces might be found in many a professional live performance, although the odd too-high note is a bit of a giveaway. And I don't necessarily prefer the interpretation of all the "pro" versions.
David's Paganini is unmistakable, and sounds like an embarrassing over-praised kid on a talent show.

January 15, 2019, 9:28 AM · Ok. Thank you, i guess...
Anyone else?
Edited: January 15, 2019, 9:32 AM · You know what? I will give you another chance- you can hear it once again and change your decisions till tomorrow, for not to be embarrassed when the curtain will be taken down.

But you can hear it just twice!.
January 15, 2019, 9:39 AM · I listened to Oblivion, Liebesleid and #16 and I'll trust Mattias for the Shostakovich, so same picks for me.

If any of those are wrong guesses, I'll learn the piece(s) this year and post it here (I've only played for 15 months at this point but I'll do it anyway as a fun challenge, maybe I'll improve a bit faster with a goal.)

Edited: January 15, 2019, 10:17 AM · I also agree with Mathias. The Liebesleid 1/4, Shostakovich 4/4, and Paganini 2/5 really stick out as amateurish. And the intonation problems of the Shostakovich are multiplied by stacking two recordings, neither of which is in tune, into one recording which is jarring.

The Oblivion recordings are interesting. In Oblivion 3/4, it's the little things that betray the amateur (or student) performance. The intonation is "close enough", but, for instance, you can hear shifts that are not really perfectly controlled. And the vibrato is very fast. But a non-violinist listener would probably enjoy it just fine, and there would be plenty of amateurs happy to play it that way. We don't hear enough of Oblivion 4/4 to really get a sense of the player.

The Paganini 5/5 is also a little bit of an odd one out. The intonation is in the kinda-okay range -- not bothersome to a non-violinist, but not really dead-on. I'd vote for "student" on Paganini 5/5, rather than a pro, or if it's a pro, it's not a pro in their prime.

I'm guessing that some of these recordings have been run through a digital filter that artificially alters the space -- i.e. making some of them sound like they were taken at considerable distance (or are cellphone video or the like). And some of them are old enough to sound like they were recorded in a box. Even when the sound is distorted, the quality of the playing is unaffected, though.

January 15, 2019, 9:47 AM · Ok. Thank you, anyone else?
January 15, 2019, 9:50 AM · It's obvious from the acoustics which are professional and which are recorded in David's living room.
But then to use that awareness to slaughter each and every one of David's recordings is very dishonest.
The Paganini is the ony real joke piece, but then you are forgetting the OP - playing it on a bike. I thought that was funny. This is my first contribution to any of these threads. I hope it will be my last!
January 15, 2019, 10:18 AM · Andrew, you can't hear the differences apart from the acoustics?
Edited: January 15, 2019, 10:47 AM · Andrew, that is not fair: we can admire David for putting himself on the line (as opposed to "online"!) and Mathias' and Lydia's comments are sincere and detailed. My comment on the Paganini was not kind, but accurate, I think, and even you called it a "joke piece", which apparently David never intended it to be (at least in the previous threads without the bike).

It's a pity David didn't do this comparison before; we might have avoided 3 threads (the first is now archived) of his protests and our often savage mockery. In fact he has never protested at our nastiest humour (to his credit), only at our genuine criticism and advice (which is sad).

Edited: January 15, 2019, 10:52 AM · Andrew Fryer,
Thank you very much.
I'll tell even more than that - people
cough!!! in some of the recordings in the audience.

I couldn't compare to studio recordings of course because of the recording quality, and a hall acoustic is obvious too as you said.
I thought that if people will listen to it just once this things might be less obvious, but they still are.

I wasn't going anyway consider seriously if people would have guessed,as they did, because of this faults,
But if they would not have guessed even with this faults it could be a good indication that i play very well.

Here is the "Curtain up" video:

Edited: January 15, 2019, 11:13 AM · Also -
I played the test video one! time as a test to "regular" people, not musicians,
and meanwhile they had some difficulty to guesss even with the obvious differences and faults in the recordings,
so i think it is some sort of indication that I might be ok violinist. No?
But I'll do more tests to be sure.

Eventually the real test is real life playing. With objective!;) Listeners.

January 15, 2019, 11:24 AM · David,
Here is some concrete advice:

1. Try to work on sound quality when doing bow crossings to the lower strings. The scratching bothers me WAY more than intonation problems. You're just throwing the bow over, and it's "catching" the lower strings without proper speed or pressure. Often, you don't get tone-jut a scratching noise.

You have not tried to work out in your practice how exactly to do this. Sure, a better violin and room acoustics can help. But you can still get a better tone.

This piece is steady 16th notes. But one can still think more horizontally/melodically or it just turns into a scratch-fest. This advice is for anyone working on Paganini 16. That way, I won't feel like I just wasted 4 minutes on this post.

2. Stop sticking out your first finger on the bow. It is a bad habit.

Edited: January 15, 2019, 12:04 PM · Scott cole
The "Bike" video isn't serious playing of course, it was more for entertainment and "Bragging" that i can play it fully and fast with reletvly acceptable Musicality while I'm riding on a bike!.
and it was recorded far from the camera while moving, that's why it was
So scratching.

The other versions are more accurately represent how i play:

January 15, 2019, 12:01 PM · David, if some "regular" folk find your playing good, I'm glad for you, but rest assured that there are many non-musicians with fine musical discrimination; surely these are the ones we most want to please?

For example, I like drawing and painting, but I am red-green colour-blind, so my efforts only convince other colour-blind folk (around 1 in 8). To those with normal vision, my paintings are a mess, unless I label all the tubes and note down where I used what. I will certainly not submit my artwork to the general public, let alone a forum of experts!

Do you see my point?

Edited: January 15, 2019, 12:32 PM · Adrian heath
I was learning for 3 years all what's realted to classical music at the second biggest israeli high school department for classical music. We learned there to pretty advanced level Classical music Theory, History, Solfeggio, composition etc.
And i had very high scores there.
And i performed in a lot of official events,
If it was so horrible you think anyone would have listened to it?

I really don't feel it is so out of tune near my ear as you say, maybe it is the recording equipment or something else, i too feel it is out of tune seriously in the recording sometimes then near my ear.
Sometimes it isn't even rational - empty string! Sounds out of tune.

But overall i think that except of the intonation, that can be effected by the recording equipment! you can see that I'm at advanced level technically.

Edited: January 15, 2019, 12:48 PM · Anyone else here has the "zoom q2n" to compare?

It is clear that the recording device efects:
Phone version:

"zoom q2n" camera version (with 96k on audio settings):

January 15, 2019, 12:49 PM · do-ti-la-so-fa-mi-re-do.
I think you need to RE-DO your violin technique all over again!!! Haha.
Yeah, that wasn't funny.
But seriously, you need to touch up on this stuff. It's not good, and it's going to get worse and become permanent if you continuously practice like this.
January 15, 2019, 1:00 PM · David, could you post links to the source videos? I don't recognize some of the violinists either by sight or sound, and I'm curious who they are. (I see my guess that some of this was cellphone video was correct, though.)

(I find it interesting that Paganini 5/5 is Markov, but I don't especially like his #16, whereas I love a lot of the other caprices on his DVD.)

Edited: January 15, 2019, 1:34 PM · I don't think any of us had trouble guessing which one was you, other than perhaps Andrew Fryer.

By the way, take note of the fact that your best tone is produced in the Oblivion -- and it's almost certainly because it's the only video in which, at least for a brief period of time, you actually use the whole bow instead of just the upper half.

Also, you're playing at the level of a capable amateur. There's really nothing wrong with that. It's just not a professional level.

I play public concerts, which are free or give-what-you-want donation (which goes to charity). The audience seems to enjoy them; it's not necessary to be immaculate to give a performance that an ordinary person will enjoy. But I don't mistake my playing for that of a professional performer's.

Edited: January 15, 2019, 3:23 PM · I usually shoot my video with a Zoom Q4n, which has better video resolution but the same audio hardware and software as the Zoom Q2n. (The Paganini #16 videos I posted were shot with an old iPad Mini, which has a somewhat inferior microphone compared to an iPhone. For reference: LINK)

I don't have much in the way of unaccompanied videos, but here's one taken with the Q4n:

The sound of the violin comes through pretty realistically in both videos, I think. The iPad one is taken from a closer distance -- the iPad is right next to my music stand. But the difference in tone quality is primarily a result of the different tone production of both works.

Also, there is no distortion to the intonation, either in this or any other smartphone or personal recording device one. The fact that it's Mozart makes that very clear. Flaws are my own.

January 15, 2019, 1:47 PM · All of You will not convince me. I have ears and eyes.
I play better and faster then most proffesionals that i see on youtube.
Someone who can play Paganini's caprices fully in top virtuoso speed isn't amateur. Period.

The main problem in my videos is unstable intonation - and this is something that i think is conected to the equipment. Because near my ear it is very good overall.
It's not that i don't have problems in some places with it or that it is perfect, but it defenetly doesn't sound so glitchy.

January 15, 2019, 2:01 PM · All right, then. Here are the folks that represent Hilary Hahn and many other professional players:

Off you go, get famous soon.

January 15, 2019, 2:30 PM · One of the hardest things to do while practicing is to actually hear what we're playing accurately. We all have a mental picture of how the piece should go, and a lot of the time our brain substitutes that picture in place of what the ears are telling us. It's like when you're writing (or speaking!) and use the entirely wrong word, but because you know what you meant to say, you don't notice unless it's pointed out to you. Hearing what you're actually playing instead of what you meant to play requires a great deal of focus and concentration. For that reason I tend to trust recordings I make of my playing over my own ears - my ears are biased and lie, but machines can only spit out what was put in - they don't add or subtract notes of their own accord.
January 15, 2019, 2:45 PM · David, it's not your equipment. Take Irene's comment to heart. And besides, I've just showed you that a Zoom captures a violin perfectly well. I'm certain intonation slips in my videos are actually me and not the equipment. And i'm certain your intonation issues are actually you and not your equipment.
January 15, 2019, 2:49 PM · @David, I think you play reasonably well, especially on the easier pieces. This is assuming that you play to an average audience, and not to a group of musicians. And it is nearly impossible for listeners to judge the intonation if they are sufficiently unfamiliar with the music.
January 15, 2019, 2:58 PM · Scott bailey,
Believe it or not, I'm not sure that i even want or will try to be a violinist. I'm just checking it and what people think.
My proffesion is politics. This is my main direction. I'm thinking about violin playing alongside to it.
January 15, 2019, 2:58 PM · Scott bailey,
Believe it or not, I'm not sure that i even want or will try to be a violinist. I'm just checking it and what people think.
My proffesion is politics. This is my main direction. I'm thinking about violin playing alongside to it.
January 15, 2019, 3:01 PM · Hi,David,
If you listen to some old recordings on you tube,
(most dont have video-just a picture).By old,I mean
recorded say,between 1900 and 1940,when the recording technology
was very 'basic' compared to now,you will notice that the
music is still very in tune.One only has to listen to
an early Menuhin recording to hear this.
Also,once you realise that YOU are in control of your
intonation,imagine how accurate you could make it,with practise.

Part of the reason folks here are saying you should slow down in your practise,is that when playing fast pieces,it is very easy
to play the note BEFORE the finger is fully down on the string.
This results in a muffled or bad note.The same applies to string-crossing.Its just about adjusting co-ordination between the left and right hands.This has to be done slowly to make it an
automatic thing.

Keep on trying,

January 15, 2019, 3:20 PM · David, you keep asking people here what they think, and then you disregard most of the feedback, which you must admit is confusing. That's why I think you should just audition for a professional orchestra (as someone has previously suggested), or query a talent agency, and get some opinions from a different source. You say yourself that you play at a professional level; it's unclear why you need anyone's opinion on this forum.

I enjoyed the Paganini-on-an-excercycle video. It made me laugh after a rough day at the office.

Edited: January 15, 2019, 3:23 PM · Malcolk blyth
I don't have a problem to work on intonation, or work slowly.
I do it! Obviously- i didn't play the caprices before for example and you can't play them fast right away.
I just don't hear near the ear what is in the recordings.

You know what? I'll make a new test - i will play a scale with a tuner, so a computer! will show that it is perfect,
and let's see how it will sound on the camera.
If it still will sound not in tune that is a camera problem.

Edited: January 15, 2019, 3:54 PM · Lydia, I liked your video. But I think the reason for you intonation slips is because your not riding a stationary bike.
Edited: January 15, 2019, 4:34 PM · David you have made it quite clear that you find your intonation acceptable, together with one or two sincere posters, and one or two very sarcastic jokers (of which I don't approve).

Most of us can hear your poor intonation and try to help.
If we don't know the piece, we may not notice wrong notes, but we still hear out-of-tune ones, however fast they are played. And it is not a camera problem, except for cassette-tape cameras.

For myself I have responded with exasperation more often than sarcasm. Maybe you played more in tune as a student. I've even sees teachers who need the money and flatter poor playing to just keep the student!

You have enormous dexterity, but without good intonation, it will only please folks with little musical ear. You may even get paid to play, but not twice by the same people..

I wish you joy, but above all I am really saddened..

January 15, 2019, 4:42 PM · It's also relevant that we have a lot more tolerance for errors in children, including intonation issues, because it is understood that they are on a journey.

Adult professionals are expected to have mastered the skills.

January 15, 2019, 4:58 PM · Adrian heath
No. I don't think it sounds okay in the video, that's why I'm doing this discussion and bought the new camera. To try to solve it.
But i can't fix it because i don't hear it near my ear, just on the video.
That's why I'm thinking that it might be connected to the camera.

Take for example the "Srping", i hear that it isn't exactly in tune at the begging, and i put a lot of empasis when i recorded it on the beginning because people like it.but near my ear it sounded ok.

I checked now the settings on the camera and they were on some auto function, i will change it, and it looks like it stabilize the sound.

January 15, 2019, 5:01 PM · I am disappointed that I was unable to take Mr. Krakovich's aural test and wish that he had given a bit more time for other people to evaluate and opine on this subject. It is probably not fair for me at this point to speculate on what my choices would have been with just the sound clips available.

Perhaps I am one of the sincere posters which Adrian is referring to but I am in agreement with the majority that his intonation is slightly off and believe that I have mentioned this fact previously but not disparagingly. If David does not want to examine his playing for the tiniest defects to work on elimininating then he will stay status quo for longer than needs be and hope that he seeks out a wonderful teacher to guide him to be the best that he can be.

Intonation, time,and sound, every minute of our precious practice time should be focused on these three critical aspects for a string player imo.

January 15, 2019, 5:26 PM · Lydia, the acoustics are sufficient not necessary.
January 15, 2019, 5:27 PM · I can take up one of David's points.
Our sense of pitch is distorted when the sounds get very loud: upwards or down wards depending on the person. This a well-documented property of the ear. And a violin measured just under ear can reach 100 decibels (I've measured mine with a real sound meter, not an I-Phone..).

So David can hear himself in tune, but the camera (any digital camera) will give the real pitch of the note (whatever the settings or compression).

The solution is to plug the left ear with a dedicated filter, so we hear our violin as from a distance.

Edited: January 15, 2019, 8:04 PM · Perfect pitch is a rare gift which not everyone is privileged to have. Researchers estimate the occurrence of perfect pitch to be 1 to 5 in 10,000 people, musicians or non-musicians (0.01% - 0.05%). Just among musicians, it occurs at higher rates, from <1% up to 11%. Occurrence is higher with early musical training (use Google to find academic source for these numbers if you are in doubt). Note that self-report is a popular method used in most research, which presents one possible source of overestimation.

The 23% having perfect pitch in a recent poll, mentioned by Adrian, is extraordinarily high compared to estimates in the current body of formal literature, and I'm curious as to whether it's inflated, or the sample of musicians & non-musicians on is drastically different from the sample of musicians participated in the formal research (thanks to playing a string instrument?).

Having said that, ordinary human ear can of course recognise notes playing or singing out of tune without having perfect or relative pitch, provided that the listener is sufficiently familiar with the piece, and that the playing is deviant enough from the correct note.

BTW, check out Miss Mississipi playing Zapateado if you felt sad about the OP - it may help reduce the sadness. Her playing was significantly worse than David's and she dared showing it on the world stage (and she's presumably a smart graduate who's gotten a scholarship in STEM).

January 15, 2019, 7:50 PM · Matt, it is important to realize that it is not necessary to have perfect pitch in order to play the violin completely in tune. Indeed, for some players whose pitch sense is fixed to a particular pitch reference (like A=440), it can be more difficult to adjust to, say, an A=440 or an A=415.

For most experienced violinists (including some with perfect pitch), they take the first pitch as a reference pitch, and their sense of what is in tune is based on that -- and can shift if a player, say, has a passage that is shifted slightly sharp (because the player played one note out of tune, and then tuned the subsequent notes against that, and then eventually got it corrected by, for example, the use of an open string). That can be true for listeners as well.

So listeners can have a sense of whether or not something is in tune without any knowledge of the piece at all. The ear clues into the *intervals* and not the individual notes.

January 15, 2019, 8:14 PM · If you read David’s recent responses carefully, you can see that he’s beginning to observe/admit his intonation problems. Your comments on his playing ARE making a difference in his evaluation of himself.
Edited: January 15, 2019, 8:31 PM · Oh, My, God...

1. Are you, Matt (and David), really trying to argue with a violinist community about pitch, what's in tune and what's not?
You guys do realize we violinists have trained ear, right?
It's quite shocking David still thinks he's playing that n.16 in tune. Sure, the beginning, after all these weeks, have improved a lot (watch the first video and die), but after a few seconds David goes all over the fingerboard. And that's just intonation. If I take into account the phrasing and the whole caprice in general, oh my God, it's absolutely amateur "try as hard as you can knowing that you can't" level.

2. Matt, perfect pitch has absolutely nothing to do with trained ear. I don't have perfect pitch at all. May be after playing a lot of times a piece that starts with an A I can sing you an almost perfect A, but perfect pitch means you can name any note playing as fast and easy as you name a color you're seeing. People that are not musicians normally have bad ear training. We ear trained musicians have a much more developed ear sensitivity to pitch (David seems to be bad at this though).
I've experienced countless of times that scenario where a friend tells you "wow, isn't [insert pop singer] amazing at singing? What an amazing singer, so perfect, so in tune..."
I'm dying inside, noticing how the singer barely hits the correct note. Nonetheless 90% of people will think he or she sings like an angel.

3. Matt, that "Zapateado" was unbearable to watch. Pretty much like David's n.16. I recognize that David now plays the beginning of the n.16 way better than the first videos in terms of intonation, but as I said, just the beginning. He actually plays way more in tune and better when playing easy pieces. He's clearly trying to "impress" everybody playing Paganini, but any musician with a little bit of musical sense will die listening live to David's interpretation. I don't mean to be mean, but David is claiming "professional" level and fastest player ever. He tells me that, I tell him to play it in front of me, he does what he does on the video, and I laugh, tell him "oh, that's what you mean by "I can play Paganini"..." and die.

4. Fun fact: David, you may find this shocking, but a good quality "studio" recording of your Caprice would make it even more clear that your level is amateur. Sure, good quality studio microphones and recording will improve a lot the clarity of your tone, just as much as it will feature all the little errors you make. Studio recording is like a lens: it augments everything by a factor of x1000. Every little out of tune note, every bow scratch, every error, will be way more noticeable. Your "not so good" quality now is actually screening and covering all that with the noise, frequency cut and "bad" quality audio signals.

5. David, stop wasting your time and our time, stop spamming dozens of versions and be brave, do what you claim to think and go to an agency, be famous, rich and pioneer classical pop violin music. Go ahead and do it! Stop behaving like a teenager and do what you say. Just one favor, will you?
Please, the day you get and audition for a professional orchestra or "soloist" agency, stream it and share it with us. Install a GoPro camera in your bow, head or bike and let us see the whole process.

Edited: January 15, 2019, 9:36 PM · Lydia, of course it would be strange to assume someone can't play in tune without perfect pitch.

However things are a little harder for listeners to recognise when a note is out of tune when played for the first time, especially when hearing a piece from a genre they did not grow up with (or have frequent exposure). Of course I'm not talking about notes being played outrageously out of tune.

Say I was from an East Asian country. It would be impossible for me to always find out whether an Irish or Indian folk music piece was playing a certain note out of tune.

Classical music originated from the West, but not every Western person has frequent listening of it, so my guess is that the majority of Westerners can't recognise imperfect intonation as long as the intonation isn't outrageous, when a piece is played for the first time. Surely there are situations where discerning ears can clue into the *melody progression* due to chords and scales (that's how we can appreciate songs). I also think this ability would also depend a lot on the location of the wrong note, and how it *stands out* from the ordinary scale.

I guess many posters here know the Zapateado performance by Miss Mississippi I mentioned. I remember when it was first released on YouTube, lots of commenters praised her talent and that they didn't know why it failed - I think it was because they were unfamiliar with the music. And I could see how normal the panel and general audience reaction was, after she finished the piece.

January 15, 2019, 8:46 PM · Maybe David should play the Pag 16 from memory then he could devote more focus on intonation, phrasing and expression...!?
Edited: January 15, 2019, 10:54 PM · Jocelyn marrow
I didn't say that i don't feel that - if i was thinking it is perfect, why i bought a new camera???

I don't say still that it is an intonation problem, but probably a camera problem (overall- because of course i have some intonation problems too in some places that i have to work on as any violinist).

I will make tommorow 2 new tests:
1. I will play scales with a tuner that will show it is in tune and record it on the camera.
If it still will sound out of tune it is a camera - equipment problem.

2. I will change the camera settings - the audio was on some auto function and from a video test it sounds more "straight" when it is on "off".

January 15, 2019, 11:01 PM · Maybe this is the reason that in Markov video, the same video sounds cleaner -
Some audio effect- that makes the sound more "Flexible" and effected - like "Automatic Zoom" on the pictures (that i saw also on the recordings).

Edited: January 15, 2019, 11:22 PM · Here is the same "Introduction" video with different setting on the zoom q2n:
The first video with 44k settings,
The second with 96k setting, you can feel the change significantly between them.
With the same camera.
But they both were on auto function - i will change it and let's see.

Also you can see that the picture "moves" to adjuat in auto mode. Maybe it is happening with the sound to.



Edited: January 15, 2019, 11:35 PM · When i hear all the new videos carefully with earphones and closed eyes! (Very important - because you are more consentrated on the audio) they all sound very clean.

It is like there is an effect that makes the sound "spread" and becoming not in tune.
As i open my eyes it becomes not in tune again.

Anyone tried to listen to it with closed eyes! And headphones? (The closed eyes are very important!)

Edited: January 16, 2019, 2:33 PM · So yes, 44k doesn't capture the sound of the instrument as well as 96k. But it's not distorting the pitch. (Note that I, and countless other violinists, are using the same Zoom audio hardware and software as you. I have not ever felt that my Zoom has distorted the pitch of the performers, regardless of circumstance. True of my iPhone as well, by the way -- no pitch distortion.)

Note that when you play less difficult works, the intonation is usually better. The introduction of that Sarasate work is straightforward, for instance; you do not play it at a professional level of skill, but it's within perfectly competent amateur range. You could play that in public at a free concert and the average audience member would probably enjoy it.

January 16, 2019, 1:04 AM · Lydia leong
You tried to listen to 16caprice or the indroduction with closed eyes and earphones?
In sounds clean!. If it is a camera problem why should i adjust to the camera?
January 16, 2019, 1:09 AM · David - please do this test for me. Record a video with your phone or your ZOOM of ANY video on youtube that you admire for their intonation. Then playback your phone's recording at the same time as the youtube recording and you will see that the intonation hasn't changed at all.

It is an easy test that only will take a few minutes for you.

(and just as a footnote... if you can hear that your recordings sound horrible out of tune when you play them back (because of the equipment), why even try to do that behind the curtains test for us?)

January 16, 2019, 1:15 AM · David - you need to listen to that Inroduction again. Even your 2'nd note is so high that it is a quartertone. Very few notes is perfectly in tune and it gives the entire recording a "dirty" sound.
Edited: January 16, 2019, 1:23 AM · Mattias Eklund,
I will do even better test today - with a tuner! On phone That will show it is in tune and we will see if it sounds clean on the camera.

And i did the "Behind Curtain" to be sure that people not effected by the fact that i am "amateur".
It wasn't a good test because of the hall acoustic and the sound quality that reveals everything quickly.

But as i said - if you hear this videos with closed eyes and headphones it sound clean (You don't have this "spread" sound effect).

January 16, 2019, 1:32 AM · Such bad faith!

Those without absolute pitch can tell if notes are out of tune compared with preceding pitches even if the piece is unfamiliar and fast, by interval and even if the sound quality is poor.

And those who actually play the violin are even more aware of why notes or passages are out of tune.

January 16, 2019, 2:01 AM · Adrian heath,
I recorded it now with a tuner, you will see by yourself it is clean on the scale.
Let's see how it sounds on the camera.
I will upload it soon.
Edited: January 16, 2019, 2:12 AM · David, if you're suggesting that people here are choosing to dislike your playing out of prejudice because you're an amateur, think again. Many of the people on this forum are amateurs who also happen to be very accomplished violinists themselves. We are aware that an amateur violinist is not necessarily a bad player, but is simply a person who does not rely on their playing financially. It's inappropriate to assume that people on here are dissing you just because you're not a pro. Calm down.
Edited: January 16, 2019, 2:33 AM · Michael pijoan
Actually I'm preety convinced now that you really feel I'm out of tune seriously,
I too feel so when i hear the recordings without earphones,
But i think this is a camera problem and i will proove it within few minutes.
I think You will be surprised how in tune i am with the new video i recorded with a tuner.
January 16, 2019, 2:44 AM · Ok. This is the intonation test with a tuner:

Edited: January 16, 2019, 6:21 AM · You should not tune your violin strings one by one with a tuner, tune only the A and then adjust the pitch of the other strings accordingly by listening to the intervals of a perfect fifth
January 16, 2019, 6:25 AM · This intonation test is an abject failure by the way
January 16, 2019, 6:29 AM · Your margin of error is too wide -- I use the exact same app to check my intonation, and in most cases playing a note 1-2 bars above or below the pitch on the tuner is already noticeable as inaccurate intonation
January 16, 2019, 6:34 AM · Why are you playing only in the top half of the bow? You paid for a whole bow, you should use the entire thing.
Edited: January 16, 2019, 8:48 AM · Joel hoe,
I hear it is clean and the tuner shows i play clean,
But people that see the recording, including me when it is without earphones and closed eyes,
Hear it is out of tune,
So it is probably the camera.

I changed some settings on the camera and maybe now it will sound more clean.

January 16, 2019, 9:54 AM · You’re sharp in the first four notes of the scale, and then I hit pause to reply.
January 16, 2019, 9:54 AM · David - no... Please do my test and record youtube, and you'll see that the camera doesn't change the pitch.

And if you look at you tuner (that is a very forginving tuner(!)) you'll notice that you stop on a note, say that it is "almost", but it is between the note and the quarter note. That is unacceptable out of tune, not "almost" in tune.

You can also try to play the 16'th caprice in this way (with the tuner):
Don't look at the tuner, play the first note as a long note, then look att the tuner, it should be exactly in the center, since it is a forgiving tuner.
Don't look. First note quickly, second note long, look - is it in tune (the first time you played in the tuner video you played a B-natural there, bot a Bb, and you didn't seem to notice)
Don't look. First 2 notes quickly, long 3'rd note - look

If you do it this way you'll see that some passages are way out of tune.

January 16, 2019, 10:05 AM · Mattias eukland
You serious?
You ever tried to played with it?
How exactly it is forgiving? Or not accurate?
This is an electronic device!

Here is the program, try by yourself, it is very accurate:

Edited: January 16, 2019, 10:19 AM · How about here, the reverb is insane, but you can hear every note and they're all in tune...

Edited: January 16, 2019, 10:22 AM · Leslie weibeler:
This is a recording of "The violin channel" - not a phone recording-
January 16, 2019, 12:37 PM · David, the issue is not that the tuner is inaccurate, it's that you are not using it properly. Re-read Joel's and Mattias's advice about how to use it.
January 16, 2019, 2:45 PM · What Andrew said.

Also, I find it somewhat amusing that you're still zipping through.

Furthermore, can you hear that you're not always repeating the same pitch? For instance, in the Sarasate when you're pointing out the accurate "E" at 2:18, at that moment the E is indeed spot-on. But the E that preceded it at 2:16 is not spot-on, and you did a bit with your vibrato at 2:17 that resulted in an accurate fully-resonant pitch at 2:18. And then you repeat the E, and you've moved your finger a tiny bit and it's no longer spot-on in tune -- and the resonance changes as a result. Can you hear that in the video, and could you hear that deviation under your ear?

I do think that your recording equipment is fine, though, in terms of reproducing what you're doing with fidelity. When you stop on a note to check the tuner, you are generally either in tune, or fairly close to in tune (i.e. you are probably reading the app as telling you that you are close enough, even if it's not really close enough to the quality of intonation expected from an advanced player).

January 16, 2019, 3:31 PM · I'm working on a children's book, excerpt below:

I will not tune Caprice 16,
I will not make it nice and clean.

I will play it for a mic
I will play it on a bike

I will play it for my phone
I will blame that for the tone

I won't play it nice and slow
I'll play the pitches high or low

I will not tune Caprice 16,
I will not do it! Don't be mean!

apologies to, well, pretty much everyone but especially Dr. Seuss

January 16, 2019, 3:41 PM · Bravo, Irene!!!!!
January 16, 2019, 3:48 PM · What Lydia said. But David, setting aside your intonation issues, do you see that you have other technical problems?

1. Your vibrato is flawed. You have no control over the speed, and it's way to narrow. You also don't use it consistently. Some notes have it, others are dead.
2. Your tempo is not steady. You slow down hard parts. You speed up the easy ones.
3. The details just aren't there: for example, in the Sarasate, at second 17, you slop right through those notes. String crossings are sloppy, notes are cut short, etc.
4. Your bow arm is faulty. You have unintended accents all over the place because you haven't put in the time to really think about bow distribution. Your arm looks a bit low to me, and your fingers aren't flexible at all.
5. Your overall tone is very harsh, and very monotonous.
6. You have virtually no dynamic range. It's all forte.

These are all technical flaws that are getting in the way of the music. You can fix them all. I recommend getting Simon Fischer's book 'Basics' and going through those exercises. A teacher would also help you immensely.

January 16, 2019, 4:02 PM · Excellent job Irene !!!
Edited: January 16, 2019, 4:41 PM · Wow. I can understand when people say that i don't hear well, but that a tuner! A machine! Doesn't?
Its 2 of us saying it is clean.

Ok, anyone of the "In tune" people here can download tuner and record a video as i did and lets check how it looks like when it is in tune?
I guess the scale will be always straight?
(It doesn't stays straight even if you press hard on the bow)

Anyway, i am changing settings on the camera and i will upload a new video with the new settings.

January 16, 2019, 5:12 PM · Duplicate post- and this is totally on purpose.

What Lydia said. But David, setting aside your intonation issues, do you see that you have other technical problems?
1. Your vibrato is flawed. You have no control over the speed, and it's way to narrow. You also don't use it consistently. Some notes have it, others are dead.
2. Your tempo is not steady. You slow down hard parts. You speed up the easy ones.
3. The details just aren't there: for example, in the Sarasate, at second 17, you slop right through those notes. String crossings are sloppy, notes are cut short, etc.
4. Your bow arm is faulty. You have unintended accents all over the place because you haven't put in the time to really think about bow distribution. Your arm looks a bit low to me, and your fingers aren't flexible at all.
5. Your overall tone is very harsh, and very monotonous.
6. You have virtually no dynamic range. It's all forte.

These are all technical flaws that are getting in the way of the music. You can fix them all. I recommend getting Simon Fischer's book 'Basics' and going through those exercises. A teacher would also help you immensely.

January 16, 2019, 5:54 PM · What Julie said. But David, setting aside your intonation issues, do you see that you have other technical problems?
1. Your vibrato is flawed. You have no control over the speed, and it's way to narrow. You also don't use it consistently. Some notes have it, others are dead.
2. Your tempo is not steady. You slow down hard parts. You speed up the easy ones.
3. The details just aren't there: for example, in the Sarasate, at second 17, you slop right through those notes. String crossings are sloppy, notes are cut short, etc.
4. Your bow arm is faulty. You have unintended accents all over the place because you haven't put in the time to really think about bow distribution. Your arm looks a bit low to me, and your fingers aren't flexible at all.
5. Your overall tone is very harsh, and very monotonous.
6. You have virtually no dynamic range. It's all forte.

These are all technical flaws that are getting in the way of the music. You can fix them all. I recommend getting Simon Fischer's book 'Basics' and going through those exercises. A teacher would also help you immensely.

January 16, 2019, 8:16 PM · Much love for Irene's poem!
January 16, 2019, 8:30 PM · Irene's poem is unquestionably the best (and in fact only good) thing about this whole thread.
January 16, 2019, 8:38 PM · I don't think Irene's joke is funny. That Dawson, Leon, Lydia, and even Julie think it is funny is quite pitiful. It is not good to laugh at other people, or musician at another musician. And with all of the talk about harassment these days.
Edited: January 16, 2019, 8:44 PM · David, the notes where you stop and say "accurate" are accurate. Those notes aren't the problem. And your Sarasate is mostly in tune, anyway. The previous video of the Sarasate was mostly in tune as well -- good enough for an amateur, even in public performance, as I noted previously.

I notice that you didn't answer my question about whether you could hear the pitch of the notes move. It's not just the bow that's doing it.

Try the same thing with your Liebesleid, though, which is more starkly out of tune.

Edited: January 16, 2019, 9:03 PM · I changed the settings on the camera: turned off the audio settings,
And I think that now it is more stable and sound overall clean finally, and almost as i hear near the ear or on the headphones-
Without this problematic "spread distorted" sound that was in the previous videos.
I really think that now it sounds very good:

January 16, 2019, 9:22 PM · :-) :-) :-)
January 16, 2019, 9:55 PM · Hon Do is right. People can offer constructive comments without poking fun. Or refrain from commenting, as your mother may have taught you.
Edited: January 16, 2019, 11:56 PM · Gabriel solof, thank you very much for the support,
But i must remind everyone that I'm a politician! - this is my academical profession, and I'm a public, known to many, political candidate in my country,
And politicians are known for having very "thick skin" -
I attack and people attack me all the time With very straightforward, cynical and "artistic" attacks.

So if anyone feels i play bad or something not good feel free to say streightfully,
As long as it is truly what you think.

January 17, 2019, 12:01 AM · David - before I comment on the recording can you answer this?
You write: "I really think that now it sounds very good"

Do you mean the recording that we all can hear or do you mean only in the room and that the recording is distorting your pitch?

January 17, 2019, 12:26 AM · Hon Do , I agree, and I think David should stop laughing at us!
January 17, 2019, 12:32 AM · Mattias Eklund
With the new settings the sound is more "tight",
Before i felt the sound was "spreading" and distorted,
That's why when i heard it with earphones and closed eyes it sounded okay, but with speaker it sounded not in tune.

I think that now it sounds clean overlal beacuse of this difference.

January 17, 2019, 12:44 AM · Here is the comparison:

With the previous settings:

The current settings:

January 17, 2019, 2:01 AM · Hon Do wrote:
"I don't think Irene's joke is funny. That Dawson, Leon, Lydia, and even Julie think it is funny is quite pitiful. It is not good to laugh at other people, or musician at another musician. And with all of the talk about harassment these days."

Then why are you harassing Irene, Dawson, Leon, Lydia and Julie? ;-)

January 17, 2019, 3:46 AM · Hon Do: And you registered here yesterday only to harrass the people who have written very meaningful comments and given thoughtful advice throughout the TE`s numerous threads - and who in response for their efforts have been accused of jealousy and prejudice by the TE. To use your own words: pitiful.
January 17, 2019, 4:47 AM · G (low) Bb (low) D (low) G (ok!)
A (ok!) Bb (acceptable) F# (a little sharp, but accaptable) A (low)
G (ok!) D (ok!) Bb (high) G (low)
F (low) A (perfect!) Eb (ok!) a (perfect!)
D (perfect)

And so on. If we take away the open strings, then:
4 = ok
2 = not perfect but acceptable
6 = too low
1 = too high

Less then half of the notes in first position with acceptable intonation is not "clean overal".

As you go up in position there is less then 10% hit rate in that recording.

January 17, 2019, 5:19 AM · David that you don't hear being not in tune may have to do with your violin, if it is a violin-shaped object with totally worn out strings to boot, the resonances you normally get when playing in tune will simply not be there. So, perfectly in-tune notes will not "stick out" and everything seems fine to you. In addition the problem may have to do with bowing, you can only get a resonant sound when you bow with the right amount of pressure. And on lesser violins you typically need quite a lot of bow speed.
January 17, 2019, 5:42 AM · I want to hear this piece played slowly and in tune David.
In order of importance:
1. In tune
2. Proper expression
3. Speed

Speed is the last on the list here and is not important at all if the other 2 are not properly addressed.

No amount of strings or violins or bows or recumbent fitness machinery will do this.

January 17, 2019, 6:58 AM · David K, you are pushing for one world government, and once ran for the office of Israeli Prime Minister?

Edited: January 17, 2019, 8:18 AM · Hon Do said: I don't think Irene's joke is funny. That Dawson, Leon, Lydia, and even Julie think it is funny is quite pitiful. It is not good to laugh at other people, or musician at another musician. And with all of the talk about harassment these days.

Well, well, well, looks like you're new to the internet. The joke was funny. If you don't like satire, fine, but it was a good joke. Don't tell other people what jokes are funny and what aren't. It wasn't a personal attack or anything like that. If you don't want us to laugh at other people, what are we supposed to laugh at? Funny animals? I've watched every cat video on the internet already, sorry kid. It's perfectly fine to laugh at others, and Irene's joke wasn't even a mean-spirited joke. It was just poking fun at his playing in a playful manner. Jeez, my piano teacher does it all the time, and I find it hilarious! There are some viola players who love viola jokes, too. And now we can't make jokes about this guy? Really? And that was not harassment. Nowadays on the internet, anything is harassment. If Irene's poem was harassment, that's the equivalent of me jokingly saying to my friend that her shirt is backwards and her telling me that my statement was harassment.

January 17, 2019, 8:14 AM · +1 for Irene's poem, but scroll back to Jan 12. I mentioned "Green Eggs and Ham" several days ago! However, I was not hinting at David's intonation, only on his choice to play whilst seated on an exercise bike. The images in the book ("not in the dark" and "not on a train!") came to mind.

As for whether these jokes are appropriate, if David were genuinely engaging with his critics (whose comments he invited), taking their suggestions to heart, and striving humbly for improvement, nobody would be joking. But instead we find that his response is one of arrogance and recalcitrance that are, in my memory, without precedent on this forum. In his view, everything other than his skill is to blame -- his tuner, his microphone, his recording device -- for the flaws in his playing.

January 17, 2019, 8:19 AM · Paul, stop harassing ;-)
Edited: January 17, 2019, 8:31 AM · David Burgess
Welcome. I see that you read my thread for the first time.

Yes. Everyone here knows that I'm 34 years old and a politian in Israel, and that it is my academical proffesion.
And not once - but currently too I'm pretty known political candidate in Israel with new party that I'm establishing.

And we had very long discussion here about the "Universal Democratic State" that i promote, which is global unity to one Democratic state.
As the EU is kind of one state in a continent!- Europe.

You can read more about it on the website:

There are many organizations that work on such thing related to political science, and this isn't a new idea - it was promoted very seriously by Albert Einstein and many other known people-
here is the wikipedia page of "world government":

Nothing Crazy here!.

January 17, 2019, 8:38 AM · Hi,its interesting how these 'paganini ' threads are evolving
into not talking about actual violin-playing,rather technology....recording devices,etc.

All that can be said is 'go and practise yer fiddle'lol

January 17, 2019, 9:41 AM · P R A C T I C E
(and make it good quality practice, not just repeating stuff that you're doing wrong)
January 17, 2019, 9:41 AM · This is in some ways really an interesting thread. In the three-hour challenge thread it was pointed out (quite legitimately) that some of my intonation on that caprice was suspect (ok, most, at least on the early runs), which made me dig a bit deeper into this question of my perception of intonation and tone on recording.

I am a total amateur (and was never a prodigy or even on conservatory track) so it is _doubtless_ correct in my case that the intonation issue is real, particularly in new pieces that I am playing at the edges of my technical ability. The only question for me is what I need do to fix it, and whether all my playing sounds the same - but I still found some surprising effects in my ability to detect these flaws in the same recording, played back differently.

I can hear the inaccuracy far more clearly in the same recording of mine (which was taken by mobile phone) if it is played directly on the mobile phone's lousy internal speakers, vs if it is played on a good stereo through bluetooth, from the phone. When I previewed on a stereo (of course I listened before posting), to my ear, the recordings sounded "basically ok."

But for my own recording, it sounded less accurate (i.e. wobbly intonation) on phone speakers than a good stereo on bluetooth from the same phone. This is actually odd because the bluetooth ought to be losing information and is certainly not adding any real information, but I also fail to see how its compression could improve intonation. And any pitch inaccuracies ought to be easily discernable from the fundamentals, all of which are over 200 hz and well into the response range of all the speakers. Perhaps it is harder to percieve intonation gaps when the lower frequencies are more properly balanced? I know the phone speakers aren't adding fake inaccuracy because professional CDs sound fine on them. (And as it happens I had just replaced my strings so they weren't false.)

As an amateur who plays almost only for myself, it wouldn't surprise me at all if I've slipped into being too uncritical in listening to myself (also I don't play enough scales, sigh). I've tried to work since on slowing down and listening more precisely to gradations within the range my brain categorizes as "the pitch".

Regarding speed in general - I've heard it said that when international touring soloists perform a piece, even one that sounds breakneck to us, they are playing at a fraction of the speed they could reach, in order to have a controllable and reliable performance. Also there is an element of just-in-time correction of pitch from the fingers. (My violin prof. in college said that in slowed-down videos of Heifetz, they found even he didn't hit the right note on landing, but corrected his pitch with finger movement so far literally no one could see or hear it.)

So maybe (?) _anyone_ who records (as I did) a piece at the approximate maximum velocity their fingers can play it, may inherently have intonation issues. The key is probably to work on the precision of the piece (practicing slowly to bake in the finger autocorrection at lower speeds) until the actual maximum velocity your fingers can make just based on where they land (i.e. approximate pitch) is _far above_ your performance target.

Then record or perform it at the like half that speed, and you may have perfect inonation? Here's hoping!

This does of course lead to the frightening question of just how fast someone like Ricci or Heifetz could have performed had they played flat out maximum velocity.

January 17, 2019, 10:00 AM · Seriously- i don't know what you are talking about -
Not just me, electronic! Tuner shows I'm playing clean (overall - i agree that here and there there are some problems in some notes that i have to work on).

There was some problem with the auto settings that made the sound unstable,
I switched them off - and now it sounds very cleam and stable i think.

A tuner! is lying too?

The current settings:

January 17, 2019, 10:11 AM · Curious what audio setting you changed? (I doubt that is my issue, but one could always hope!)

While I'm not sure how much I trust my ear, this one definitely does sound better to me (on bluetooth headphones) than the version in the blind test, other than the few "here and there" spots you mention.

I found this particular piece to be unusually tricky for intonation for some reason, kind of a torture test. Just getting the tone color of the initial g minor and then the various things it modulates through, I found cranky and am still far from solid at.

January 17, 2019, 10:21 AM · Francis, the ring and resonance of the instrument is very useful for discerning whether or not we're really in tune. That's why we tend to play more in tune on better instruments that provide more of that, with strings that have rich harmonic content.

People have different abilities to perceive pitch differences. In general, you have to train your ear to recognize smaller differences. In my experience, each time I stopped playing and resumed again a decade later, it took a full year before my brain was properly processing small differences in pitch (verifiable via that online pitch-discrimination test). That's the despite the fact I have perfect pitch.

I have found that listening to more music, especially highly tonal music (like Mozart) helps center my sense of pitch, and these days, if I start out a practice session or rehearsal feeling like my pitch sense is wobbly (for instance, a miscalibrated A because i have been listening to a period ensemble or the like, or I've just been listening to someone play really out of tune), the Oistrakh warmup of a Mozart concerto exposition, played below tempo and without vibrato, is hugely helpful.

Players with pre-professional or professional levels of technique generally learn to land their fingers where they want them to go, at extremely high velocity. Then they can adjust from there, pretty much automatically -- even in virtuosic music. When I was a teenager, my teacher made me learn the first two pages of Schradieck op. 1 book 1, doing it with a metronome daily, until I could reliably do it at quarter = 216 (the top speed on most physical metronomes), with every note clear, completely even, and with the pitches completely identical the whole way through. Add a pile of other technical drills to that, and by and large, you can get extremely clean playing with very few intonation slips, regardless of speed. Amateurs usually don't have the time to invest in this much in the way of technical basics, and it's also tedious, exacting work because in order for it to be effective, you can have zero tolerance for any deviation from perfect.

January 17, 2019, 10:27 AM · David, you're not playing slowly enough for the tuner to do the pitch detection and display it, I believe.

On the plus side, the more you work on Paganini #16, at somewhat slower tempos, the more reliable it's becoming. That's actually you, not the recording equipment.

In your latest recording, the intonation is in the good-enough range for much of it, and then deteriorates on the hardest bits or when you end up speeding up the tempo. Again, that suggests that it's not the recording equipment. I would bet that if you shot a video at that speed with your smartphone, you'd find the intonation to be similar.

Actually, my suggestion is that you try that experiment. Set up both your Zoom and your smartphone to record simultaneously, and compare the two. You'll hear a sound quality difference but not an intonation difference.

Edited: January 17, 2019, 12:06 PM · David Krakovich wrote:
"David Burgess Welcome. I see that you read my thread for the first time.
Yes. Everyone here knows that I'm 34 years old and a politian in Israel, and that it is my academical proffesion. "

Uhm, I had little clue whatsoever regarding who you might be, prior to doing several rather time-consuming searches.

Dude, you might consider yourself to be pretty good in your own microcosm, but you would crash and burn at any major symphony audition, let alone a soloist competition.

You and I can fight about that until we both drop dead, but I'd rather that you would learn from all the good advice posted here. If you were looking for nothing but kudos from people who are not highly skilled at violin playing, I would suggest posting on some other website.

Edited: January 17, 2019, 11:50 AM · So, on today's edition of Amateurs Playing Badly, here's a video:

I'm still posting on this thread because it's absolutely fascinating to me how an advanced player can't hear his own intonation under his ear. And so, here we have today's exploration of strobe tuners.

For this video, I used Peterson's iStrobosoft, which is the strobe tuner that's installed on my iPhone 8, and which is the most accurate tuner on the market, with a fast response time and accuracy to 0.1 cents. So we can take it as a given that it's accurate. I tested it against the A=440 generator in my Musafia case, and it was dead-on for calibration. Interestingly, I was not able to keep my strings perfectly in tune; the pitch is dropping very slowly and I gave up on retuning, so the strings are off by about a cent. (Also, the strings are tuned in perfect fifths, not equal temperament.)

I was interested in demonstrating my assertion that the strobe tuner is incapable of reacting fast enough even to the Sarasate's speed, much less the Paganini #16 at a much faster tempo. You can see from the tuner display that it's all over the place, whether I'm in tune or out of tune, and it's getting nowhere close to displaying the notes in real time.

Ignore the sound quality. There's a metallic ring that's caused by two metal Manhasset stands facing one another in close proximity so I could capture the iPhone's screen on my iPad. (I tried just recording the iPhone's screen directly from iOS's screen record feature, but it turns out that the extra processing power consumed by this causes the tuner to be unable to calibrate.)

Also note: I haven't played this piece in nearly 20 years. I'm well aware when it's out of tune, not connected properly, etc.

January 17, 2019, 12:08 PM · I like the strobe idea for a tuner.
Edited: January 17, 2019, 1:03 PM · Lydia leong

So? What's the problem?
You play very clean too overall, And the tuner shows that (and we can hear it).
It is never exactly on the tune- even when you press little bit the bow it changes. So it is very good.

January 17, 2019, 1:23 PM · David Burgess
If classical proffesinals argue with a tuner!, and think they hear better, of course i will fail...
I'm a normal! person:)
Edited: January 17, 2019, 1:55 PM · Two questions:

1. What sort of intonation temperament does your "tuner" use?

2. Have you gone through your videos with the tuner showing, frame by frame, to see how far off you really are from what the tuner shows? I have. Are you willing to learn from the many brilliant people here, or not? (I am not claiming to be among the brilliant, but some things are obvious even to me.) ;-)

January 17, 2019, 1:52 PM · The tuner is indication, I'm not going to "scrub" every note with it.
And if i play a piece and it shows that overall it is ok, this is an indication.
The hearing is the important.
And it showed it is ok.
January 17, 2019, 2:00 PM · David K, do you consider yourself to be "teachable", or do you think you have everything figured out already?
January 17, 2019, 2:04 PM · David B., he’s not only teachable, he’s also electable! ;)
January 17, 2019, 2:05 PM · As several people have pointed out, intonation isn't the only challenge here. You've not really commented on anything besides your intonation- I assume because you can't blame all the other stuff on faulty equipment.
January 17, 2019, 2:55 PM · @Hon Do, no need to worry about the OP. He has the thick skin to deal with the entire universe, as he claimed and as it happened.
January 17, 2019, 3:30 PM · This thread is a classic example of how outrage is the most contagious and addictive emotion, and that's why news outlets all focus on stories that elicit it. Outrage keeps people coming back. It's fascinating to see so many people complain about these threads, or about David's behavior, when in reality the quickest way to shut it down would be to simply disengage.

Not that I'm complaining, as threads like this often bring about the most interesting results and are a fresh breath of air compared to "what's the best string?" I think of it like trying to juice a rock. No, it's not something that would traditionally be juiced, and you're never really going to get juice out of the rock, but you end up discovering unexpected things in the process of attempting the impossible task. And if we had only ever stuck to the predictable, safe option of juicing fruit, nothing new would be discovered.

Now, another point: this thread reminds me of something I often tell brand-new adult beginners who come for lessons. Much of the time, I warn them on their first lesson that initially their progress will be slower than they want it to be, because their "prerequisite learning skills" haven't yet been developed. This isn't true for everyone, obviously, but towards the end of an introductory lesson, I can always tell if a student has already-existing learning skills in place or not.

"Prerequisite learning skills" are things like the ability to trust one's teacher without being stubborn or trying overly hard to "do it all on your own", the ability to think independently while also following specific instructions, the ability to communicate that you do/don't understand a piece of advice, the ability to pay *full* attention to the explanation that is being given to you, without spacing out or wandering off half-way through the explanation, the ability to demonstrate humility, not being afraid of being wrong, being open to the idea of dynamic change where one piece of advice might eventually evolve into a different piece of advice without assuming that the first piece of advice was wrong....... etc....

By far, the students who come in with the most prerequisite learning skills make the fastest progress. These are FAR more important to one's progress than any physical abilities. So the most important skill that many beginners have to learn is "how to learn," rather than "how to play."

January 17, 2019, 3:39 PM · "1. What sort of intonation temperament does your "tuner" use?"
Yes, the question had occurred to me.
Edited: January 17, 2019, 3:42 PM · David, can you hear that I'm out of tune? Because the intonation in my recording is definitely not pure.

That's a question for everyone else, too:

1. Can you hear that I'm out of tune?
2. How much does the intonation bother you?

January 17, 2019, 3:56 PM · I like Erik's post, very thoughtful.

In summary, to me this whole thing is simple: some ABRSM-grade-8-equivalent player, probably not in 100% state of mind, who initially thought he was at international soloist level, who was rude initially, and who has been unwilling (or unable) to follow with helpful advice.

Therefore, I'm a tad surprised how much of a drama the reaction has become.

January 17, 2019, 3:57 PM · Lydia -

1. I can hear that you are out of tune.
2. It bothered me enough that I did not want to continue listening.

January 17, 2019, 4:53 PM · I’d forgive his poor tone and intonation if he played it while riding a pogo stick. Maybe he’ll do that next.
Edited: January 17, 2019, 5:11 PM · This is his fourth thread (the Paganini No24 one is now archived).
And we still haven't given him the praise he wants.
We should get a medal, and he a consolation prize!
January 17, 2019, 6:22 PM ·
January 17, 2019, 6:25 PM · Edited: January 17, 2019, 6:33 PM · Lydia leong
In my view it was very clean overall, except of note here and there a little bit. But overall it was very clean.
And the tuner prooves it.

As i said - if people here are so crazy about tune you should be pianists or something mechanical else (despite you have problems with the tune of machines!, tuners! Too,and you think you hear better, so who knows;))

Violin is always a little bit out of tune, This isn't mechanical instrument.
And i see the main focus on speed, musicality, virtuosity if possible, and sound overall and of course reasonable intonation.

Maybe these aren't "classical" standarts but that is very fine for "Classical pop" - the style i view myself part of. That intends to combine "Catchyness" and high level of playing.

January 17, 2019, 8:37 PM · @Erik I love your "prerequisite learning skills". You should advise grad students!

@Nate, if we've learned anything in the last two years, it's that "electable" does not imply "teachable" ... or even "sentient."

Edited: January 17, 2019, 10:20 PM · As i said - I don't see a problem with the intonation, in my view it is reasonable at least.
There was a problem with the audio settings and distortion, but with the new settings I'm very satisfied.
Here's something i recoorded yesterday with the new setting (auto audio off):
Edited: January 17, 2019, 11:44 PM · Pamela, thanks for being honest. Anyone else want to offer an opinion? I assure you that I am not going to be hurt or offended. I'm asking this question in an attempt to triangulate "What is the acceptable threshold?" in a way that's less personal to David.

David, this latest Elgar is probably the most in-tune thing you've posted so far. I'm wondering if you're listening to yourself more closely now. Or if the backdrop of the piano accompaniment is helping stabilize your pitch center. It's not the dead-on intonation of a professional, but it's sufficiently in tune to play in public.

Coincidentally, I did a public performance of this a couple of months back. I learned this work almost 20 years ago. I needed a brief encore work that I could throw together a day before a sonata performance, with one chance to play it through with piano, so this got dusted off. I practiced it very briefly to kinda sorta return it to my fingers. I'm reasonably certain that many people here will be able to tell it's rusty and drastically underprepared, but less discerning concert attendees didn't much care.

Same query here for folks: Can you tell that it's out of tune, and how much does it bother you?

Shot with a Zoom Q4n with 24-bit 96 kHz, X/Y microphone positioning, automatic audio settings otherwise. Tripod placed in the middle of one side of the audience.

Edited: January 18, 2019, 6:01 AM · @Paul are you talking about DT? What would you think about someone who agrees with everything DT does?

@David, the first part of your Salut D'Amour is not perfect but OK to listen to. However you get a bit more out of tune from 1:44 in the video. I wonder if part of the problem is due to your cheap violin which may not have the correct distribution of *certain notes* along the fingerboard?

Edited: January 18, 2019, 12:43 AM · Lydia leong
I changed the settings on camera - i feel that now it is very good an I'm very satisfied. It doesn't distort the sound.
It is more "tight".

And about your video - as i said, i think you play very clean overall (and the tuner prooves it) - in this video you had some slips but this is a live performance, not home or studio recording. it happens.

And matt lawrence
I don't know if the violin effects intonation, but it deffenetly effects the sound quality, i played on better rented violin before and it sounded better.
If i will go to proffesional playing i will buy/rent better one of course.

January 18, 2019, 12:46 AM · David, while your Salut D'Amour may be acceptable to listen to in a free public concert setting, it is not quite as good as that of Lydia's, to my amateur ears - and I have no intention to praise her performance over yours.

I strongly suspect that your violin is one of the factors that hold you back. You should play on a better violin even if it's just a hobby. I don't think the $500 violin you have is even of amateur standard.

January 18, 2019, 1:09 AM · Nate Robinson
It's legitimate to think that i don't play well enough,
I'm not a proffesional violinist, and i don't have enough time to practice etc.,

But i think that the "Electable" thing is something that no one should underestimate or be cynical about.
This is my main proffesion. With academical knowledge.

And i think that it will be great to see political leaders that are very connected to this world of classical music and professionalism in art, and respect it and have the aim to advance this things politically.

In Israel, for example, we have huge problems with all what's realted to art and support for it, i for example don't even try to audition to orchestra because of the low salaries (as it is in many countries).

Edited: January 18, 2019, 4:15 AM · Matt laLawrence
Maybe you right.
On cheap violin everything sounds "amateur" as if it is a child playing.
I don't know how much it effects the "Tune" feeling, but it defenetly feels more "seriuos" and "Adult":

January 18, 2019, 5:07 AM · David, here we go again....

In your videos, even with your cheap violin, (and whichever recorder you use,)
we hear your in-tune notes in tune, and your out-of-tune notes out of tune.

If the problem was the violin or the recording, all the notes would sound of tune to our our ears.

January 18, 2019, 6:56 AM · He's never blamed his violin before. How refreshing!
Edited: January 18, 2019, 7:21 AM · Lydia's Elgar: I heard accurate intonation overall. The highest passages seemed slightly tentative, and I especially had questions at 1:10ish and 1:40ish. Nice rich vibrato. Nice tone especially on the A and E strings. The musical interpretation is tasteful, respectful, neither robotic nor dripping with sentimentality. Beautiful artistic finish.

David's Elgar: His intonation is not as accurate overall but still quite good. There were some shifts on the A string in routine passages that were off. Very nice to listen to -- I like his overall conception of the piece (rubatos etc.) up until the end, which didn't make as much sense to me. David's vibrato is fast, thin, and nervous sounding -- I found this more off-putting than his intonation. His sound in the sections on the G and D strings was great -- nice and rich -- even though there were a couple of notes out of tune.

In the melody there is a lot of "F" (A string, 3rd position, 3rd finger -- that note). I hear this note slightly lower in my head than either Lydia or David played. I kept wanting it to be lower! Just a thought to put out there.

I've decided this might be a good piece for me for the three-hour challenge. I will allow myself additional time to learn and record the piano part.

January 18, 2019, 8:11 AM · Paul, that is perhaps because the note is an F#, not an F. :-)
Edited: January 18, 2019, 8:26 AM · No, that's not it. Now I'm confused. I might have been thinking of the E, but of course that's immovable.

Edit: Yes I was thinking of the E! I had the key of the piece wrong in my head. E sounds too high relative to everything else! To me!! LOL So, since E is fixed, maybe that means D# needs to be higher, which would make sense in hindsight because that's the leading tone of the key (E major). Seriously, though, I'm hearing it as E being too high.

One of the reasons I like to hear local live chamber music is because we have some really great people performing often. I hear their intonation, and I think, "really?" and then I realize I'm the one who has to recalibrate. So I'm conceding that possibility here as well. I do sometimes wonder if I'm taking that whole "expressive intonation" thing too far. (How far is too far??)

Edited: January 18, 2019, 8:39 AM · Actually, now i agree with you that there's intonation inaccurcy in some notes that i played.
When i played it it seemed not so significant and i preferred the ability to play it fully and "musical" but it looks like it is significant, so i will work on this. This isn't a big problem to fix it.

But now, with the new settings, i don't hear the distortion that was before. That made sometimes every note sound not clean on speaker.
Here, with the new settings, you can hear that this are spesific notes.

Edited: January 18, 2019, 9:18 AM · Despite I will work on this inaccurate notes now - but I'm still not sure that this is so significant in real life as on recording, this intonation inaccuracy,
Because in recordings you are more consetrated, while in real life it is more the "feeling" -and you "move on" and forgett fast,
- that's why it may seemed ok to me near the ear but on recording it feels significant.
January 18, 2019, 9:23 AM · But David, to get "good enough" intonation for a live, expressive performance, we all have to spend a lot of practice time in "recording" style precision!
Edited: January 18, 2019, 9:31 AM · Is this known difference? Between live and recording intonation sensitivity?
Because I guess that there's a reason why they do recordings in studios and not at live performances in most cases.
Edited: January 18, 2019, 9:57 AM · Adrian heath
I'm not sure that you have to "scrub" it to recording level:
I can do it, but is a lot of work, and if it doesn't really so significant in real life maybe it isn't neccessary:
Also, most of the recorded music today, even live shows, are "fixed" by music technicians anyway. Probably even in classical music.and I'm not sure that itvis even possible to reach such clean sound in real life.

When you hear live performance of pop singees live on radio sometimes it is very far from how they sound on recordings.
But in live performances people find it reasonable.

I really don't know.

January 18, 2019, 10:13 AM · Lydia - I figured that is what you were doing with these videos of yours! (And I appreciate you being willing to do this here.)

This issue ("acceptable" intonation) has been at the forefront of my practice lately, and as I'm currently working with two teachers (longish story, but it's a very good balance). Because of working with two teachers, I see that "acceptable" intonation is quite individual. What is acceptable for one teacher (or person - it appears), is completely unacceptable for the other.

Like Paul - I've been having conversations about expressive intonation, equal temperament, and so on. I find playing with the piano to be incredibly difficult, because I hear how "out of tune" the piano is and it makes me crazy. (That's a whole other discussion, that's been hashed out here several times by the looks of the archives though!)

As such, I'm finding a major to push to refine even further, and have a better grasp on my tendencies and how to redirect them. Hearing/knowing and bridging the gap of consistently doing re: intonation seems to be a long road...

Would be great to have a separate thread on this too!

January 18, 2019, 10:21 AM · Hi,David,liked your Salut D Amour.


January 18, 2019, 10:27 AM · Malcolm blyth
Thank you
January 18, 2019, 10:42 AM · Pamela, thank you for undoing my suggestions and giving David even more excuses!
January 18, 2019, 11:06 AM · Adrian Heath
I'll show you what I'm talking about:
Here's a live performance of armenian singer:
There are 2 versions of the same live performance:
The first without music technicians and the second after "fixing".
The "fixed" version sounds perfect!, amazing. Intonation, balance, volume.
The "not fixed" sounds "human"- you feel little slips here and there.

But, it was a live pergormance and you see that the people are satisfied and happy, they don't feel it isn't accurate in places.
So, maybe it is enough overall,
At least i felt it sounded reasonable near my ear when i played.

The first "Not fixed" version:

The second "fixed" version:

January 18, 2019, 11:14 AM · I'm sure they do the same, and maybe even more advanced "fixing" in classical music too in recordings.
January 18, 2019, 11:31 AM · For everyone's reference, the intonation tolerance thread was started a few days ago: LINK
Edited: January 18, 2019, 12:38 PM · Fixing? For some singers, sometimes, for classical violin, no. Especially as isolated recording of a soloist is rare in the classical world.
And our tolerance with the "warm" voice of singers is in fact greater than with the purer, brighter tone of a violin. Indeed the "unfixed" singer you uploaded is already more in tune than much of your violin playing.

The recent poll showed good pitch awareness in 80% of posters (though I thought it might be more..) amateurs and professionals included. I the general public it may be e.g. 50%. But that is the 50% whose opinion matters to me. When someone says that I was entertaining or that I looked good, I want to scream!

January 18, 2019, 12:08 PM · Adrian Heath
I'm sure that they do it in classical music too,
But, anyway, as i said - if the intonation accuracy is so critical to people that they don't even look on the fact that you can play Paganini's caprice fully, in top speed, on a bike!,
I will work on it. It isn't so hard but it takes a lot of time. But i will do it.
January 18, 2019, 12:16 PM · I'd would guess that the soloists who play on electric violins -- Lindsey Stirling, Vanessa Mae, etc. -- could potentially be autotuned.

Regular classical musicians though, no. (And I've heard David Garrett play a crossover concert live. His technique is superb.)

Edited: January 18, 2019, 12:41 PM · David, I hardly expected you to agree!!!

But I'm right.

And I find you have a rather poor opinion of classical violinists, amateur & professional alike...

January 18, 2019, 12:25 PM · Even if there were some fixing, there couldn't possibly be so much fixing in classical music that you can get away with playing as far out of tune as you are right now!

First, there are plenty of live, amateur recordings of professional classical performances on YouTube. Those are clearly not corrected, but still sound very much in tune.

Second, while it's rather trivial to fix a single voice recorded on its own microphone, fixing an entire string section on an orchestral recording is a different story. Perhaps it might be possible to fix the intonation if everyone is playing the exact same wrong pitch, but that is highly unlikely in an orchestra. The players in a section have to be in tune with each other, to a small tolerance. If players in a section differ by up to 30 cents, which is what you are considering "reasonable" intonation, there is no way to make it sound like they are all playing the same note.

Edited: January 18, 2019, 12:54 PM · Maybe you right,
This intonation accuracy is one of the main things the differentiate classical music from pop or folk music, no?
That's why i define myself as a new style - Classical pop,
I can for example work on fixing the intonation, but i think that i overall play good enough, even when i know that some notes are not perfect.
This is like with singers - there are opera singers and regular pop singers. The accuracy of intonation is one of the main differences, no?
Edited: January 18, 2019, 1:26 PM · I prefer to spend my time for example on a "stunt" like playing the caprice on a bike, or playing it fully in the highst speed in the world than "scrubing" the intonation.
If it sounds reasonable to me near my ear - it is enough for me.
January 18, 2019, 2:02 PM · You know, David, I often ask my students who they're practicing for; is it for themselves, for kids, for adults? Do they want to impress a group of highly refined musicians or impress a group of beginners? Because depending on your audience, you will need to practice differently.

If you want to play "classical pop" then why do you ask the opinion of this forum? Most of the people here are not your target audience. People here are going to be most impressed by perfect intonation, good bow control, and good overall musicality.

You need to be asking the opinion of the group of people that love to watch "the voice," "America/Britain/etc's got talent". The type of people that watched the newest "fastest in the world" flight of the bumblebee Guinness world record and thought to themselves "that's amazing!"

You gotta know your audience.

January 18, 2019, 2:12 PM · No, it's not one of the main differences. Even on a show like The Voice, amateurs hoping to become pros get reprimanded for being, in their parlance, "pitchy" (out of tune).
January 18, 2019, 2:13 PM · Lydia, your Sarasate fragment with the tuner: contrary to Pamela's findings for me this was quite well in tune!

Your Elgar, on the other hand, I found to be less in tune than David's.

While David now admits being out of tune, I still maintain it may also have to do with his violin (or VSO). The thing is, in-tune notes, with their resonant sound, do not stick out on a VSO, where everything sounds the same dullness, and then I understand what David thinks, that on a violin notes are never fully in tune, this is wrong of course, but he may not have the proper violin to experience that he is wrong.

January 18, 2019, 2:16 PM · I wonder if it's a great idea for David to cover Flight of Bumblebee, because

No vibrato required.
Speed is more important.
Easier than Caprice 24.
It's a crowd pleaser.
Many non-violinists think it's the most difficult piece ever.

January 18, 2019, 2:21 PM · This is completely unscientific, but I think non musicians are more likely to hear tempo and phrasing inconsistencies than pitch, as long as the pitch is *somewhat* reasonable.
January 18, 2019, 2:24 PM · Well, I think we understand each other now.
After four exhausting threads, David has given up posing as a "high level" player, and prefers amusing stunts rather than real music-making.
Edited: January 18, 2019, 2:50 PM · I've got a good friend and colleague who would appreciate David's playing. I told my friend, I'm thinking of having a violin recital, and if I do, I'll invite you. He told me that he hoped I would be playing at least a few things that are fast because he gets too bored with slow pieces!

Listening again, there are a couple of high spots in the Elgar that sound tricky. At 1:10ish, I thought David did better. I couldn't tell whether Lydia's was out of tune but it sounded insecure. At 1:40ish, Lydia did better; David bungled that one.

January 18, 2019, 3:09 PM · @Matt - David won't be able to beat Ben Lee's speed.
Edited: January 18, 2019, 3:55 PM · Erik Williams,
The only "Not classical" thing in my playing is the intonation faults.
Something that you don't even have on other instruments like piano.
I agree that there are some faluts, but i don't see it as critical currently.
I too prefer cleaner playing, and if i had time i probably would have worked on it.
But currently i think the intonation is overall reasonable and i don't want to compromise speed and virtuosity for it.

In classical playing it preferred too to play fast and virtuously, but if you can not do both you expected to compromise speed and virtuosity for clean playing, in "Classical - pop" not neccessary.
This is just different compromises and priorities (currently).

January 18, 2019, 4:08 PM · Jean - ha! Consider me reprimanded! (In in my lame defense: am fresh out of a lesson where I was nailed on intonation all over the place moving from "acceptable" to "ideal" - so maybe I'm being overcritical...)
Edited: January 18, 2019, 4:22 PM · Erik Williams
Take for example the 16 caprice -
Probably every classial virtuoso can play it in 1:15 minutes as fast as i did, or to play it on a bike,
but he will sound less "classical" and will have some faults, so they don't do it.
But i do.
They sacrifice "fun" for this, i don't.

January 18, 2019, 4:27 PM · Yes, the intonation bothered me, I listened to the end because I was partaking in the exercise, I would've turned off other wise. A few nights ago I listened to a live concert by Ray Chen, I listened intently for an hour or more to his glorious playing and not one note did I hear out of tune.
January 18, 2019, 4:30 PM · No David, intonation is not the only "non-classical" problem in your playing; particularly in the fast music there is also rhythm, tone and phrasing.
Yes, fast music also has an ebb and flow, partly created by the sequence of harmonies. But if you find your intonation "OK" you will certainly not be offered professional work, whether "pop" or other. Agents and organisers have to satisfy those with a musical ear as well the stunt-lovers.
January 18, 2019, 4:35 PM · @Dawson, I too don't think David would be able to beat Ben Lee's speed.

@David, prove us wrong!

@Lydia, interestingly, The Voice, Idol, etc. contestants (those chosen by judges - be it amateur or pro) have much better singing techniques than the average professional, IMO. Not only they have better control of melisma, vibrato, and volume, their voices possess more color.

I think for such competitions, singing out of tune is judged much harsher (unless the singer deviates for good reason), as the public is a lot more familiar with human voice songs, rather than say, Caprice 16.

January 18, 2019, 4:41 PM · Adeian Heath-
That's the thing:
That it isn't so bad as you describe, that's why there are people who like it.
It is reasonable for many Listeners, and if you can play fast or more intresting with reasonable compromises on intonation or other things it still sound good. From different angle.

What is better? To play Paganini's caprice slow and boring with clear intonation and beats or fast with some compromises ot this things?
As long as the compromises are reasonable people may like the fast version more.

January 18, 2019, 5:10 PM · David no point arguing anymore. You just will have to try entering the "pop-classical-stunt" profession and try to get paid. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." Good luck and so long.
January 18, 2019, 5:33 PM · Jean dubuisson
That's another important thing-
Violin isn't my proffesion, that's why I'm not really bothered if
It will succeed or not.
I'm not sure that i even want to be professional violinist.
I think that i play at high level
and want to see what people think about it. And what is the potential of it.

Edited: January 18, 2019, 6:05 PM · David K., I think the most recent recordings you have posted have much better intonation than what you posted earlier. So maybe you are learning something from the critiques posted here, despite your resistance and multiple justifications for things having been adequate before.
January 18, 2019, 6:10 PM · Henry - Ray Chen (and other pros) make it look SO EASY. Sigh.
January 18, 2019, 8:27 PM · Starting at 4 years old makes it look easy...
January 18, 2019, 8:40 PM · I started when I was 5. It wasn't easy. It's still not easy, damn it!!
January 18, 2019, 8:46 PM · I'm finding the differing reactions to my Elgar video (and David's Elgar) to be interesting. I'm guessing that the indication is that it's in a range of "close enough" that different people are coming away with differing impressions.

I believe that what makes a performance compelling has a great deal to do with whether or not the music makes sense to the listener. It is what can make contemporary composition difficult to grapple with, for instance. If something is just a mass of notes, it doesn't leave a great impression on the listener.

January 18, 2019, 9:53 PM · Re Lydia’s intonation. There were a couple cringe notes for me but overall, only tiny minor issues that didn’t really affect listenability. Actually, I found the underpreparedness, the anxiety about getting each note right, maybe of not quite trusting yourself, bothered me more! This transferred some anxiety to me as a listener, and might have made me listen closer for any off notes. Anyway, Lydia already acknowledged that she hadn’t worked on the piece very long before this performance.

Generally, regardless of confidence or style or anything else, I don’t mind slightly off notes here or there, if they’re close enough, and not on too important a note. It begins to bother me when, for one, there are so many just-off notes bunched together that I’m distracted from the melodic or harmonic structure, OR if the player obviously doesn’t hear the errors. You can hear whether the violinist knows they’re off or not.

January 18, 2019, 10:08 PM · “What is better? To play Paganini's caprice slow and boring with clear intonation and beats or fast with some compromises ot this things?
As long as the compromises are reasonable people may like the fast version more.”

David I believe you’re right on this point. I just think (and it looks like, almost everyone else commenting) that the compromises you make are unreasonable. They’re just too distracting. If you put SOME MORE WORK into it, like PRACTICED SLOW, I think you may be able to get to that reasonable point!! If your goal is to be a pop violinist, or whatever, why NOT get as good as you CAN be??

Edited: January 18, 2019, 10:54 PM · Lydia depending on the audience, it's not only contemporary music that has to be given a compelling story-line but also solo Bach. Many of the composers in-between did make that rather easier for us.

In the Elgar, there are a few passages where a listener might wonder, "What's going on? Where is this heading?" whereas that's not the case with Meditation from Thais, say, or the Gluck-Kreisler Melodie. Those have air-tight, ready-made story-lines. Sometimes in the confusing spots, what helps is a little more clarity in the piano accompaniment.

I started working on the Elgar this evening. One hour in!

January 19, 2019, 12:01 AM · Lydia wrote, "I believe that what makes a performance compelling has a great deal to do with whether or not the music makes sense to the listener. It is what can make contemporary composition difficult to grapple with, for instance. If something is just a mass of notes, it doesn't leave a great impression on the listener."

Previously I made a point that if the listener isn't familiar with the music, it is difficult to know if the music is played in tune. This is because, to them it is 'just a mass of notes' anyway.

Some music can click with a listener right away for the first time it's played, depending on the listener's background and taste, and the music itself. In my experience, such music is rare for an average listener.

In today's age, if a composition clicked right away for many types of listeners, it can get rewarded handsomely. ('Pop' music is popular for a reason) Such as this catchy Baby Shark song with > 2 billion views on YouTube.

January 19, 2019, 12:24 AM · Paul, I would agree it has to be absolutely everything. Some repertoire needs more help than other repertoire, though.

Edited: January 19, 2019, 12:54 AM · I heard again now to the Salute d'amour that i played with earphones,
And I'm changing what i said before-
I think it is very clean!.
Maybe there is still some distortion on speakers. But with earphones and closed eyes, as in the 16 caprice, it sounds clean to me.

If you hear the line of the music you see that there aren't notes that are "unreasonable", except one or two that might sound like that but were close enough.
I will check the video later with a tuner.

Eventually you can't play better than you hear it, and i played exactly as i hear it is ok. I worked on it before and chose the best and most accurate version to upload. So i think it is probably the best i can. Because for me it sounds clean.

The tuner showed that i have very good i don't know exaclty why it sound so inaccurate to others.

January 19, 2019, 1:15 AM · Ok. I checked the salut d'amour video with speakers! And with a tuner,
And it affirms with a tuner!, that it is very clean.
All the notes are very close to the accurate sound on the scale.
I will upload the video that shows that later.
So it is reasonable intonation not just for me and some people, but for a tuner too.

Maybe you see this very small inaccuracy as critical, but it isn't for me. And it defenetly can be "perfected" by musical technicians in a recording.
Probably any violinist will be a little bit not in tune on this scale - i checked with other famous players.

I will upload the video later.

Edited: January 19, 2019, 2:02 AM · By the way - the Tuner shows that studio recordings are very accurrate on the scale,
It means 2 things:
1. That the studio recordings were "fixed" by sound technicians.
2. That i might have better! Hearing than the people here. And that That's might be the reason why my playing sounds to me clean and to people here as inaacurate.
Or that you might be effected about my intonation Judgment by a "Prejudice" over the "Amateur" thing.
Edited: January 19, 2019, 4:06 AM · Matt, an unfamiliar piece is indeed "a jumble of notes" but for a music-lover they are notes and intervals we have heard countless times in other music, so we can hear there are bad notes, even if we can't say straight away which ones.

David, you have regressed to bad faith again:
- We are comparing you with ourselves and with well-prepared live performances.
- Many of us are "serious" amateurs, unlike you.
- Most of us on this forum actually care about music, be they amateur or professional.
- You have shown that you can improve, but that you don't want to: you are on the wrong forum.
- You are not strictly speaking an amateur, since your attitude shows that despite your great dexterity you don't actually love music for itself, but only as vehicle for self promotion.

Edited: January 19, 2019, 3:09 AM · I hear it is clean, the tuner shows that it is almost in recording level clean,
And you say it doesn't,
So who i should believe?

I will show the salut damore video on a tuner later.

January 19, 2019, 3:10 AM · You can download a tuner and to see by yourself
January 19, 2019, 3:16 AM · Downloaded tuners have a reaction time too slow to be accurate with a performance in real-time. They only cope with individual, separate notes.
January 19, 2019, 7:53 AM · This thread is the gift that keeps on giving.
January 19, 2019, 9:53 AM · This is a check with a tuner of the "Salut d'amour" video:
January 19, 2019, 10:21 AM · We can hear your heart David. You would not play the violin if you did't have some love. Either as a politician that knows violin or a violinist who knows politics it is a good combination and you will find your way. The best things are not easy.
January 19, 2019, 10:42 AM · Hon do.
Thank you very much
January 19, 2019, 11:19 AM · David - I call your tuner "forgiving" for the simple reason that each line between the notes represent 10 cents. Just a couple of cents is enough for it to sound dirty, and 10 cents is out of tune.

When you play now most notes are between the second and the third line, ie 20 - 30 cents off.

Pretty please do a test for me - tune up your D-string 30 cents high (or 3 lines on your tuner), play both the A- and the D-strings at once and see for your self that it is horribly out of tune.

Then tune down the D-string 10-cents (so that it is 20 cents high) and play the D- and A-strings at once. Still horrible out of tune, right?

Then tune down the D-string 10-cents (so that it is 10 cents high) and play the D- and A-strings at once. Still unacceptible out of tune, right?

Please, please do this test.

January 19, 2019, 12:03 PM · Mattias ekuland
I don't say it isn't a little bit out of tune-
But how can know it isn't "normal"?
The studio recordings are very accurate, but how it is in real life?
You think that the known violinist play exactly on tune?
I have to check
Edited: January 19, 2019, 12:41 PM · "But how can know it isn't "normal"?"

Well, you might learn from your "audience" reactions here. Or not. It's really up to you whether you would rather be combative, or learn to be a better fiddle player.

"The studio recordings are very accurate, but how it is in real life?"

Live performances can have fabulous intonation. Have you spent much time listening to live performances by Heifetz or Hilary Hahn?

One of Hahn's life performances: (No, I don't care whether your lame electronic turner agrees with what she or Heifetz do, and why would anyone?)

Edited: January 19, 2019, 12:49 PM · David K., this is "classical pop"

That's Roman Kim, here he plays Caprice #1, "check" that with your "tuner"

January 19, 2019, 12:48 PM · " This thread is the gift that keeps on giving."
If I could get through David's bad faith and hubris to his inner ear, I could teach absolutely anybody!
Edited: January 19, 2019, 1:13 PM · A violinist doesn't have to be a Hilary Hahn or a Heifetz to have near perfect intonation. I go to a lot of student and faculty recitals at university, and I go to smaller chamber performances of symphony musicians. They aren't internationally known violinists, they are just plain old well-trained musicians. And they play in tune.
January 19, 2019, 1:34 PM · David - you wrote: "I don't say it isn't a little bit out of tune-"
Yes you did: ""I hear it is clean, the tuner shows that it is almost in recording level clean"

And it is not a little bit out of tune, it is very out of tune. Please do my simple test, it will only take 30 seconds!

And if you find that it sounds unacceptable out of tune to tune the violin with one string 20-30 cents high, then you must admit that it also does sound very out of tune when fingering a note as far from the center of the pitch.

January 19, 2019, 2:00 PM · "David - you wrote: "I don't say it isn't a little bit out of tune-"
Yes you did: ""I hear it is clean, the tuner shows that it is almost in recording level clean".

LOL, well that's why David K. considers himself to be a professional politician, and only an amateur violinist. Lots of incongruities will be accepted in the political realm. Not so much in the fiddle-playing realm.

Edited: January 19, 2019, 2:16 PM · Ok. Here is the videos of Julia fischer and Hillary Hahn with the Tuner, both known for great intonation:

And this is mine with "Salut d'amour" video:

Edited: January 19, 2019, 3:09 PM · But David, the piano is being tested at the same time.
If I were a nasty person I should find you either stupid or dishonest.
Which is how I find many politicians!

In fact, though, you are probably wetting yourself at our good will.

Edited: January 19, 2019, 2:58 PM · Also worth noting that the tuner is at equal temperament. Violinists have to adjust intonation for the key.

Good intonation for violinists is not just a matter of clean technique. It's actually one of the ways that we help the listeners make sense of the music. The way that a note is placed is related to its harmonic context. That's why, for instance, an F# and a Gb are not the same note. Or why a C# in A major is not the same as a C# in D major, for that matter. We have to tune with the intended harmonic progression and help demonstrate that progression through the placement.

Edited: January 19, 2019, 5:02 PM · Adrian Heath
What you talking about?
What piano?
You see clearly that the tuner "listens" to my playing. You see the notes.
And the same thing with the other video.
If you want you can check it with some solo piece, i believe that results will be the same.

And who said i am not honest politician?
Here is thw definition of "Politician":
"a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office."
If someone is a candidate to political office, if someone is involved in advancing things realted to politics, if he studied political! Science academically - He is a politican. It doesn't mean neccessary that he isn't honest.
In my case it is literally my proffesion.
You want to say the The academical subject of Political science , that i learned at very serious institution -
Tel-Aviv university, is dishonest?

Edited: January 19, 2019, 5:00 PM · And i did another test that i already mentioned here, without piano, the results are the same:
Edited: January 19, 2019, 5:16 PM · Please read what people say!
I said many politicians are dishonest, not you personally, not Tel Aviv University..
In the video of Salut d'Amour, the tuner reacts to some of your notes plus many of the piano notes, which are sometimes briefly the same. The piano plays many notes at once, which confuses the tuner. You play reasonably in tune (within 10 cents) except near the end; the piano is very good. As a proof of good intonation I might describe this as "stupid", if I was not such a nice chap!
If you are trying to trick us, that is "dishonest".
If you are making fun of us, fair enough!
January 19, 2019, 6:03 PM · You shouldn't have been playing a Caprice, you should have been playing a song cycle.
January 19, 2019, 7:57 PM · How does the tuner read through all that vibrato?
January 19, 2019, 8:15 PM · I want to hear David play Paganini’s 1st caprice now!
January 19, 2019, 8:49 PM · I also want to hear David playing Bumble Bee!
January 19, 2019, 10:03 PM · I think David's Elgar is well within the bounds for a free public performance. It's better than a lot of what one hears during church, for example. And I don't think it's at all unfair to say that the violin he plays is probably limiting him. This isn't the issue with the Caprice, as others have pointed out in abundant specifics. Funny thing: the caprice, even played by professionals, still registers to me as an exercise. I'd rather hear Elgar, sappy though it may be. I suspect most other people would too. So the question I ponder is: if you're David, why bother with Paganini? You won't impress the real violinists and it's sort of dull for the less informed audience.
Edited: January 20, 2019, 12:34 AM · Katie B.
The caprice is ok.
It is hard to check it with a tuner because it has so many notes and i play it in very high speed.
But you can feel that the intonation is okay overall in this comparison:

Also, you've seen from the other video that i play overall very accurate,
i have a recording of salute d'amour that is without piano - i will check it later with a tuner,
But it was recorded with the phone so i may record new with the Zoom q2n.

I will do a tuner test to both videos later.

Edited: January 20, 2019, 12:52 AM · Seriously, you can't compare me to Amateurs-
I learned playing on violin 10 years! With private teachers,
In official institutions. Till 18 years old.
3 years in one of 2 israeli biggest and serious high scool departments for classical music and i have pretty advanced theoretical knowladge.
And i was kind of a Prodigy on israeli local level and performed alot.

Most of the famous violinist at this age are already known proffesionals.
Even before going to academy.
So nothing here isn't unnatural.
And it seems you try always to find a reason why I'm not good enough or "Amateur".

I simply went to other sphere- politics, for several years, as many polticians do,and now, since i may not be elected, I'm thinking about going back to music and I'm checking what people think about my current level, whuich is obviously very high.

January 20, 2019, 1:09 AM · Let's say someone like David Garett who was very advanced player and proffesional at 18 years old already,
Let's say he had left it then and went to politics or some other sphere professionally, you think that after 15 years he would have become "Amateur"?
Maybe with some problems, but he still would have been at high level of playing no?

So nothing unnatural here.

Edited: January 20, 2019, 1:15 AM · And yet you don't seem to understand how to read a tuner...

Look, your level is not "obviously very high" -- the reason you're being compared to amateurs is that your level is clearly not higher than the amateurs on this forum who have posted their videos. In fact, most of the amateurs here seem to have a better ear for intonation than you. Although you have remarkable agility, your hit-and-miss intonation and rudimentary bowing technique mean you would probably have a hard time getting into a high-level amateur orchestra.

January 20, 2019, 1:17 AM · David - please, please, please - do my little test... And you will see that your intonation is not acceptible
January 20, 2019, 1:22 AM · An amateur is by definition someone who is not a professional.

This whole thread has made me think a lot about intonation and reliability (for which there's also a separate thread). One of the characteristics of the amateur (and many of the non-performing pros) is that the reliability is just not there. It's different for different pieces, and it's different from day to day.

Again in the Amateurs Playing Badly video of the day, I'm linking three different videos of my performing the same work. The first one was done of May of last year, the second one in June, and the third in November; all but the middle are public performances (the second is a student recital). Intonation is decently reliable (but not perfect) in the first two videos. And in the third of the videos, my strings were dead (a huge mistake not to change them) plus more importantly, my hands were frigid. And that was enough to... simply screw up, a lot.

Strauss sonata (just posting the first movements for convenience of comparison):
May: VIDEO 1
June: VIDEO 2
November: VIDEO 3

By the way, I was very good as a child. That doesn't make me any less of an amateur now, especially with 20 years taken off playing. If anything, it leaves me with a professional's critical ear, and the inability to find the practice time to play to the standard I want. It taught me to be perfectionistic and rarely self-satisfied, and it's been a journey to learn to take joy in what's possible.

So David, just because your Elgar is more or less in tune, doesn't mean that your Paganini 16 is in tune. And just because at a slower tempo it's not constantly out of tune, doesn't mean that the pitch is even close at a fast tempo.

Edited: January 20, 2019, 1:24 AM · am·a·teur
1. a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid rather than a professional basis.
synonyms: nonprofessional, nonspecialist, layman, layperson; dilettante, dabbler, potterer, trifler; enthusiast, devotee, fan, … lover;
Edited: January 20, 2019, 1:38 AM · I came here for 1 reason:
I'm thinking about going back to playing, and i wanted the honest opinions of people related to this world about my level of playing and what i should do with it:
Should i try to audition as tuti player in small orchestra, or maybe to audition to first violin in bigger one, or maybe try being soloist,
And how i can advance it.
Or maybe nothing of these - it may be too.
You probably know this things, but i don't feel honest, constructive evaluation.
January 20, 2019, 2:06 AM · In your own words "This intonation accuracy is one of the main things the differentiate classical music from pop or folk music"

Are the violinists in orchestras Classical or Pop?

Edited: January 20, 2019, 2:11 AM · David, in your four very long threads (!) you have received a huge quantity of "honest, constructive evaluation", but it's not what you wanted to hear (read).

However, despite enormous potential, you totally lack modesty, self-criticism, discipline, patience, precision, especially in the utterly vital area of intonation (= right pitch, being in tune), but also in rhythm, and tone (timbre).

So without a shift in your outlook, the is no earthly chance of professional work, even in a "pop" context.

(You have also received some mockery and insults, but many of us thought you were mocking us!...)

January 20, 2019, 2:15 AM · Mattias Eklund-
My intonation is reasonable, maybe even good in some parts.
There are some problems but overall it's okay.
And the tuner prooves it.
And of course technically I'm at very high level.

But, since i never played professionally, in orchestra or things like that,
Just performed for free as teenager at official events and some gigs here and there,
I can't compare my level to professionals level.
To audition i have to buy/rent a new violin, prepare, maybe take some days off, even but a flight ticket, pay to pianist,
This is a serious thing,
So i want to know what people think about the current level, and what lwvel to aim.

Edited: January 20, 2019, 2:19 AM · Mattias Eklund-
My intonation is reasonable, maybe even good in some parts.
There are some problems but overall it's okay.
And the tuner prooves it.
And of course technically I'm at very high level.

But, since i never played professionally, in orchestra or things like that,
Just performed for free as teenager at official events and some gigs here and there,
I can't compare my level to professionals level.
To audition i have to buy/rent a new violin, prepare, maybe take some days off, even buy a flight ticket, pay to pianist,
This is a serious thing,
So i want to know what people think about the current level, and what level to aim.

Edited: January 20, 2019, 3:12 AM · "So i want to know what people think about the current level, and what level to aim."

David, see what I mean?

We continue to answer you because we care, and would like to overcome your hubris..

Edited: January 20, 2019, 3:20 AM · You keep saying the tuner proves it... the main thing that has been proven is that you don't know how to read a tuner. Mattias and others have explained what those lines on your tuner mean.

What you're calling "reasonable" intonation is up to 30 cents out of tune. 10 cents is possibly reasonable -- it's about the maximum that isn't going to sound out of tune to a typical person. (A musician with a trained ear starts to perceive a note being out of tune at about 6 cents.) 30 cents is definitely not reasonable.

Also consider: if one violinist in an orchestra is 30 cents sharp, and another is 30 cents flat... that's a spread of more than a quarter-tone. There's no way any human will perceive that as a unison, and there's no way an audio engineer will be able to make that sound like a unison in the midst of a full orchestra. A mid-level amateur orchestra will expect better accuracy than that, never mind pro orchestras or even elite amateur orchestras.

January 20, 2019, 2:59 AM · David, you should record yourself playing caprice no. 1 and if you do THAT one well, then you might garner some respect. Or no.5 with original bowing.
January 20, 2019, 3:19 AM · David I was the first to answer your Paganini No24 thread (archived).
I said I would like to play as fast as you, but without better intonation and tone I should be too embarrassed to offer it to the public.

After 4 threads and around a thousand posts, we haven't advanced one iota.

January 20, 2019, 4:30 AM · Some of us just want David to try Caprice No 1 & 5 so badly :-)
Edited: January 20, 2019, 4:03 PM · David, people have been trying to give you honest feedback, but you don't seem to want to hear it.

So let's talk about what it takes to win an orchestral audition, at any level where you're going to be paid. (This might be better in its own thread, especially since this bike thread is approaching 300 posts.)

The standard professional orchestra audition consists of a concerto first movement (often exposition only, but you can't count on that), plus a set of excerpts. Most concertmaster's auditions also include an additional Mozart concerto first movement, and/or solo Bach. There are unwritten expectations about what the concertos are, as well.

I suggest you post video of:

The exposition of the first movement of either the Tchaikovsky, Brahms, or Sibelius concerto
The exposition of the first movement of Mozart concertos 4 or 5
The first page of the first violin part for "Don Juan"
The Schumann Scherzo (2nd symphony, Scherzo movement, through m54)

January 20, 2019, 10:01 AM · David, some comments here:
"My intonation is reasonable, maybe even good in some parts."
-No. Your intonation is not resonable. Easy parts are so-so, and any part that is just a tad harder is very out of tune.

"There are some problems but overall it's okay."
-The opposite - There are some that are ok, but overall there are intonaiton problems.

"And the tuner prooves it. "
-If you read it correctly you'll see that it proves that you don't play in tune.

"And of course technically I'm at very high level."
-No. The abillity to move the bow quickly and make a terrible noise is not the same as high level technique.

One definition of technique is how fast you can play in tune with a beautiful sound. It is not a thin tremolo sound with the left hand fingers just pushing down on random places on the fingerboard.

January 20, 2019, 10:11 AM · David, do you want to know what level you are?
ABRSM lists what is requierd for grade 8 as this (among other things)
Scale: E-major, three octaves, 8-th notes mm.120, 7-notes per bow.

Then score according to this:

And grade 8 is not even close to enter a university as a music major (and still many years from playing in a professional orchestra)

Anyone plying on a high level will ace that test.

January 20, 2019, 10:58 AM · David - probably the best thing you can do for yourself is find a teacher and start taking regular lessons again (this has been mentioned before). You need someone to watch/hear you play IRL and someone to help you work on intonation, sound quality, articulation and bowing (these have all been mentioned before).

It is not reasonable to expect to pick up where you left off after taking a 15 year break (has anyone asked are these all pieces you played as a kid?). And it seems like posting videos here is not a good fit for you to learn from.

Find a good teacher and come back here is 6 months. I guarantee if you put in the work we will notice the difference!

January 20, 2019, 11:57 AM · For that matter, since we're talking about "amateurs"...

Even high-level amateur orchestras, while their auditions may not be as rigorous, have certain expectations for repertoire. An auditioned amateur orchestra will likely ask for a solo and an excerpt or two, which contrast with one another.

Now, consider Sassmannshaus's graded list of concertante repertoire:

And his graded list of repertoire for violin and piano:

As Lydia mentioned, professional orchestras will almost always expect a Level 9 concerto.

Elite amateur orchestras, even if they don't specify a list of concertos or excerpts, will likely expect a Level 7 or 8 concerto or sonata. (You might be able to get away with a Level 6 piece if you play it to a very high technical and musical standard.) Most or all of the tutti 1st violins played Level 8 or higher pieces when they auditioned -- and remember, these are still amateurs, most of whom have no chance of winning a seat in a professional audition. Similarly, an elite amateur orchestra may not ask for Don Juan, but will expect you to pick something from the list of commonly used professional audition excerpts.

January 20, 2019, 2:03 PM · I'll stop following this thread when David does this:
January 20, 2019, 3:14 PM · This is beginning to feel exploitative, and like we're going round in circles. 300 comments? Really?

Anyone feel like making a collective decision not to encourage these threads anymore?

January 20, 2019, 3:24 PM · And let's not forget TwoSet Violin + Hilary Hahn for Paganini 24 while hula hooping: VIDEO

Even the merely mortal Brett and Eddy manage it very well.

So the standard for "play the violin while clowning around" is still very hard. Indeed, what makes those sorts of videos impressive is that the amount of compromise is minor despite the rest of the physical feat.

January 20, 2019, 3:30 PM · I don't think David's getting anything out of this due to his stubbornness, but some good has come out of it- I'm sure there's never been so many violinists in the world working on Paganini 16 at the same time! That's pretty cool.
January 20, 2019, 4:01 PM · At first, I was willing to believe these commenters were genuinely looking to help him, but a combined 600+ comments later (most of which are saying the same 3 things), that's just not even remotely possible.

People are enjoying this like it's entertainment when he is clearly an easy target. It's despicable. This is a real person.

January 20, 2019, 4:33 PM · I hardly think that David is a victim here (although some commentary is constructive and some is exasperated, certainly).
Edited: January 20, 2019, 5:13 PM · Gemma, we are all real persons! I don't like savage mockery, although I have often felt David is just winding us up. I'm not so sure now, but it has taken four very long threads for him to start asking a few relevant questions. We would actually like to breach the armour-plating, and we have been extremely patient with his constant bad faith.
January 20, 2019, 6:18 PM · Gemma, I have been one of a few people who supported David.

My personal opinion about this is that while some comments were truly very insulting, the majority of feedback have been constructive.

We should also take into account that David just kept coming back and ask for more!

Personally I'd give credits to David for having (wholly or partly) inspired some other meaningful threads for community members, such as the three hours challenge, intonation and reliability, and Paganini studies. (Of course, this is not meant to take away from the creators of these threads). All in all, for me he is a phenomenal breath of fresh air to

January 20, 2019, 6:46 PM · I wonder if he has ever considered practicing slowly?
Edited: January 20, 2019, 10:39 PM · Bro. We have been giving you honest feedback, but the moment you read anything that isn't praise, you reject it and tell us that we're lying or biased or whatever. Get over yourself and throw your ego away. It's preventing you from improving your playing. And by the way, every day that I pick up my violin I know my playing isn't great but I take a deep breath, look at my list of everything that sounded bad the day before and keep trudging forward to fix my flaws. It's just how it goes. I suggest you join the rest of us and just keep trying.
January 21, 2019, 12:44 AM · My point is that he obviously needs help (of the non-musical variety) and we all know this.

If he was genuinely just a mean-spirited troll, of course I would not be saying this.

January 21, 2019, 3:59 AM · Ok. I thought about it and decided the following decision about intonation:
In all what's realted to intonation i will listen only to myself and as i hear it near my ear.
I practice intonation too And if i think something isn't in tune or not reasonable i fix it. The tuner says i have good hearing so it is enough for me.
If someone think it isn't good enough i can't do much about it - eventually i can play only as i hear it.
Edited: January 21, 2019, 4:32 AM · And if the classical world will reject this "Personal" intonation, i will do it solely.
I anyway define myself as new style "Popular classics" stlye that intends to combine "Catcyness" and High level performance:
January 21, 2019, 5:26 AM · Well David, after four very long threads, we are back to square one.

"Catchiness" and "high level" seem to mean "entertaining" and "very fast".
But you will "catch" a much bigger audience if you add "quality" (intonation, rythm and tone) so that folks hear the real "you"...

Edited: January 21, 2019, 6:11 AM · Big audience as the audience of "Classical""very accurate" music? ;)
January 21, 2019, 6:12 AM · David, so what you are saying is that you don't want our advice after all?
(and it is still no, your tuner does not agree with you)
Edited: January 21, 2019, 6:31 AM · Pop audiences have ears too!

And what you call "classical pop" is always high quality..

(And Mathias, David never wanted our advice, only our approval.)

Edited: January 21, 2019, 6:33 AM · Mattias Eklund
Of course i want the audience of the classical music, and the cooperation with the classical world,
But you put Bars that aren't human.
It sounds very ok overall, and the tuner shows isn't perfectly on the scale,but neither the classical top performers, or any other human.

You just killing creativity.
If you see violinist that play 16 or 24 caprice in top speed and all what you can say is that he isn't in tune enough, no wonder people running away.
The same thing with the length of the pieced,
The same thing with the "Catchyness"- this is like a Gulag.

Edited: January 21, 2019, 6:38 AM · Of course if someone can play cleaner it is better,
But you "Killed" me over that. Despite even the tuner and people here and me feel it is reasonable overall.

And in classical music you do it to many others.

Edited: January 21, 2019, 6:41 AM · David, if we play at top speed but out of tune, we are not playing the piece at all! We are even insulting Paganini!
Edited: January 21, 2019, 7:05 AM · Adrian Heath
But i play reasonably in tune. And the tuner shows that. And people say it. And i hear it.
And you say- Don't play at all.
That's how you kill creativity- and that's why people, audience and musicians run away from classical music.

If it wasn't me - 34 years old grown man, a politician with "Thick skin" to attacks , after comments like yours i would have left playing.
And many do leave and many others just "afraid" to perform or create.

Edited: January 22, 2019, 12:08 PM · David I have long undrstood that you have "thick skin"!
I never said "dont play at all", I suggested playing the piano.
An acrobat who keeps falling over may be either entertaining or very sad, but certainly not "creative".

When you play slow and low, you play "reasonably in tune".
When you play high and fast (too fast for the tuner) you are usually very out of tune. On a violinist forum 80% hear this; in the general public, maybe 50%.

Even in an amateur orchestra a violinist who plays out of tune and with erratic rhythm will destroy the ensemble and won't be invited back.

You have improved the first page of the Paganini No16, so we know it is possible, but you don't want to improve the rest. I am very sad to see a grown man with your enormous potential destroying a fine piece of music in this way.

Edited: January 21, 2019, 8:22 AM · Playing P16 that fast isn't "creative." Neither is jumping the Snake River Canyon on a rocket-propelled motorcycle. It's just silly.

"If someone think it isn't good enough i can't do much about it - eventually i can play only as i hear it."

The only reason that's true is because of your own malignant ego. Everyone else in this thread understands that our hearing and our playing skill advance more or less in synchrony. We don't use tuner apps to improve. We hire teachers and we set ourselves the studies and repertoire the teacher advises.

Edited: January 21, 2019, 9:52 AM · DK: "Should I try to audition as tuti player in small orchestra, or maybe to audition to first violin in bigger one, or maybe try being soloist,
And how I can advance it.
Or maybe nothing of these - it may be too."

The latter. No one is going to pay you for the kind of playing you do.
You would need years and years of practice, under a teacher, to come close to audition level.
By that time you'd be competing with better players half your age.
Also, it doesn't look like you have the cooperation skills you need to be a performing artist.

January 21, 2019, 10:03 AM · David, I noticed that you didn't respond to my commentary on orchestra auditions (which really was fully constructive).

So let's say that we leave aside your intonation entirely, even if that's the first thing people notice. And hey, let's even set aside other left-hand issues like your vibrato. What about your right-hand problems, like your seeming inability to use the bow below the midpoint, perform a variety of bowstrokes, etc.?

January 21, 2019, 10:05 AM · David, no one's placing "bars that aren't human"... The fact is that thousands of violinists can meet those standards, including many who are tutti players in amateur orchestras.
January 21, 2019, 10:49 AM · Not even merely "thousands", but tens of thousands.
January 21, 2019, 11:11 AM · David K. wrote:
"If it wasn't me - 34 years old grown man, a politician with "Thick skin" to attacks , after comments like yours i would have left playing."

Having a "thick skin" can have its upsides and downsides. I extend my best wishes to you for better sorting this out in the future.

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