Should inotonation inaccuracy be a barrier to professional playing?

Edited: January 25, 2019, 8:26 PM · Violin is absolutely "Not Mechanical" instrument.
Everything is "Human" and "manual".

But while every other thing is considered "Legitimate" if it isn't perfect, even for top proffesional violinists,
Intonation accuracy in classical music considered to be a neccessary barrier.
And that's while no one in the world can play absolutely perfect in tune, so it is in many senses a "Subjective" feeling if something is acceptable and clean or not.

I don't think that something like that, intonation perfect accuracy, should be a barrier to proffesional playing,
And we know it isn't always in other styles, like pop,

What do you think?

Replies (162)

January 23, 2019, 6:45 AM · Intonation must be accurate enough for professionals to feel like something is in tune if you want to be a professional.
January 23, 2019, 6:47 AM · But you don't play for proffesinals, you play for the public.
January 23, 2019, 6:50 AM · Probably most of worlds famous singers couldn't enter classical academy and pass the exam,
But they are very popular, and people think it is acceptable,
Why not in violin too?
January 23, 2019, 6:56 AM · In the official recordings, as with singers, there are sound technicians that can fix things for perfection.
January 23, 2019, 7:27 AM · Anyone who is going to perform classical violin at a professional level needs to have accurate intonation for the simple reason that there are far too many applicants for the number of actual performing jobs available, and therefore no employer needs to tolerate out-of-tune playing.

In orchestras and in chamber music, you have multiple musicians, so anyone who isn't in tune is fundamentally spoiling the performance. Indeed, chamber groups -- quartets -- spend rehearsal time tuning chords and the like, since everyone needs to compromise a bit. (Usually you build a chord from the bottom -- in a string quartet you often build a chord by taking a reference pitch from the cello, and you rely on them to be in tune... or cope if they're not.)

"Soloists" are often playing solo with orchestra, or solo with piano, so again, you have multiple instruments and a good performance requires sounding good against them. Note again with piano you have some compromises you have to make due to the piano's equal temperament.

Now, there are many people who make a living teaching and playing low-level gigs, like weddings. I can't tell you how many wedding musicians I've heard who are noticeably out of tune, sometimes to the painful point where even the folks who consider themselves tone-deaf can notice it. So there are certainly professionals out there who don't really play in tune, but they don't truly perform for a living.

Even for pop singers, digital correction via Auto-Tune and the like is only available in the recording studio. And slight intonation errors in pop vocals tend to be less bothersome, especially at high volume.

Note that in classical instrumental playing, intonation is just the beginning of the skills that a professional performer is expected to have perfected. Putting the fingers of the left hand where they are supposed to go, accurately and quickly, is the absolute minimum. In the end, that just creates the notes. Artistry is created with everything else, from our musical conception to how that is manifested by the bow, vibrato, portamento, and so forth, to produce subtleties of timing and emphasis.

January 23, 2019, 7:29 AM · The public might not know when you missed a note inside a fast passage. They might not even be able to tell if a certain passage was out of tune on the whole. But they actually can tell when something sounds bad. If there are 12 first violins and each of them has his or her own different idea about what a B-flat should sound like, the result will be a bad overall sound. Sure, a violinist can fix their B-flat if it's out of tune with the rest of the section, but that takes time. Rehearsal time is precious. If everyone's B-flat is out of tune, how do you know whether yours is correct or not? That's a disaster.

You asked whether inaccurate intonation should be a barrier to professional playing. Whether it "should" or not is maybe an interesting question. But it is a barrier because auditions are judged by discerning individuals.

Should inaccurate spelling be a barrier to careers in journalism? After all, our word processing software can fix it. But if your cover letter for a reporting job is full of spelling and grammatical mistakes, you're not getting an interview.

Should a chemical technician need a bachelor's degree, even if the job involves only a subset of what a typical college student would learn?

This is how competition works. Employers require top-level training, experience, and skills not necessarily because the job requires them, but because it's the easiest way to winnow an applicant pool of 200 people down to 20. Why should we hire a just-graduated journalism student who can't spell when there are others who can? Why should we hire a chemist without a BS degree when half our applicants have the degree? Employers demand these things because they can, not because they necessarily need them.

January 23, 2019, 8:24 AM · Timothy Smith
How many popular singers you know that would have been approved as OK singers in intonation terms and singing overall by classical Proffesinals?
Probably just few.
But still the public thinks it is ok.

The pop music, with this "Flexible" attitude to intonation, is more related to singing, but i think
It might be in instrumental playing too.

January 23, 2019, 8:34 AM · Lydia leong
I don't agree-
Most of the pop singers are not in "classical level" and yet, they play with orchestras, bands etc.
It doesn't sound "clean" as opera, but it is still reasonable to many people.
And in recordings it is perfected anyway.

Yes, in classical music there aren't many jobs, simply because people don't go to concerts,
But pop doesn't have such problem.

January 23, 2019, 8:47 AM · I don't really understand the question. Of course intonation has a minimum limit in both classical and pop.
The lowest acceptible level between classical and pop is different, sure, but there still is a requirement to have a good intonation.
January 23, 2019, 9:03 AM · David K, rather than arguing and making various excuses for your intonation in multiple threads, how about just improving it? :-)
January 23, 2019, 9:10 AM · I don't understand why this is even debatable. Poor intonation is painful for many people to listen to. Very few musicians short of Ozzy Osborne can make a career of putting their audiences in discomfort.

Successful pop singers use studio pitch correction, which is why they usually lip synch in supposedly "live" performances. Some folk singers like Bob Dylan get away with poor intonation since it gives a more rustic feel, and expectations are for an unpolished performance. A rustic, unpolished performance for violin is probably busking in the subway or playing folk tunes in a bar, but that's hardly a way to make a career out of it.

January 23, 2019, 9:20 AM · David, your first goal for this evening should be to learn how to spell "professional." It's a bit ironic that you've chosen this particular word to misspell despite having been corrected on this point in previous threads.
January 23, 2019, 10:43 AM · You must have good intonation and a good tone. That's why I'm not a professional.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 11:12 AM · There are no fixed ingredients, intonation or anything else, that guarantee success as an artist, be it classical or pop or rock artist. As I said in the other thread: the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If people want to pay you for the things you do, you are successful. There is no recipe. It's a bad unpredictable world out there. So this discussion is rather pointless.

Having said that, I am quite certain that almost all successful pop and rock singers actually are able to sing very well in tune.

January 23, 2019, 11:35 AM · Forgetting the bycicle and other threads' saga-which are of no interest to me-I would say that intonation is 100% important even for non-professionals. Of course pros *will* have intonation lapses, but these are very minor. The violin is challenging enough that some works have more leniency towards what is considered "perfect" intonation (which is often an ideal goal-even the great masters play a very slightly off tune note here and there due to the nature of our instrument.) Mozart Concertos requires more superb perfection than Wieniawski #1, but both MUST sound in tune to the audience. So yes, anyone wbo loves the violin and its repertoire should strive for "perfect intonation"-which by no means implies an insipid, mechanical way of playing, as may have been suggested earlier.

Mr. Krakovich should however be happy to know it's entirely possibly for him to-eventually-play perfectly in tune, though he must be aware of his deficiencies, and intelligently work to improve in this all-too-crucial area of our art.

It's great to be able to play fast, as long as it sounds in tune. Sometimes slightly slower is better if it will help the passage-and thus the musical message-sound clearer and cleaner.

There are a number of gifted virtuoso violinists I do not enjoy as much listening to because they play fast, but either the bowing or the notes themselves sound sloppy, and I know for a fact they could do better. They choose to play this way to "fit the music" (as in virtuoso concertos or showpieces), but I know they can still sound technically brilliant without that type of "reckless" playing. In the end, they will likely never agree with me, and I wish them well regardless.

(My point above is: speed and technical brilliance is important to the musical message of virtuoso works, but even then these should still sound clean and well in-tune.)

Edited: January 23, 2019, 11:39 AM · Jean Dubbuisson
I know that i and everyone can do whatever they want (and i will;)),
but i'm asking this question because it isn't so common an "instrumental pop" as singer pop, especially classical violin, which ia very hard instrument.

Anyone knows other known "popular" violinists with classical path,
, exept if David Garett (who is a top virtuoso in classical music too, so t he intonasion isn't exactly a "problem" in his case for classical proffesinals)?

January 23, 2019, 11:42 AM · It's always good to reflect on how far you've come along in violin playing, but the key towards artistical mastery is being aware of what could be better, and to keep improving, rather than finding one's playing is "done" and good "as-is". It's a musical life journey that never ends, but it's a sweet and worthy lifestyle in the end, in my strong view.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 11:54 AM · Adalberto valle rivera
As i said before - i feel and hear that my intonation is ok overall, or at least good enough,
And there are people, even here, that agree,
And the tuner shows objectivly it is very close to the perfect tune (no one plays perfect in tune - so it is pretty subjective if it is "good enough").

I have problems with the classical world not just about that vut also on other things that i mentiond before-
As not being "catchy" enough:

Edited: January 23, 2019, 11:58 AM · David Burgees
It is not that i can't improve this intonation, probably i could, at least a little bit if i worked a lot of hours on this, as popular singers can improve their intonation,
But i don't see it as so big problem.
It looks ok to me overall. That's the thing.
January 23, 2019, 12:01 PM · Playing out of tune is objective. It is as much for you and me.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 12:07 PM · Of course violinists aren't expected to be perfectly in tune... the question is how far out of tune listeners can tolerate. The level of tolerance for error may be higher for pop performers, but it really isn't that much higher.

A well-trained musician can distinguish a pitch difference of 5 or 6 cents. A member of the way public will hear a note as being out of tune when it's 10-12 cents off. 20-30 cents, which is the error your tuner is showing on some notes, is unacceptable for any performing violinist, even for amateur pop violinists.

January 23, 2019, 12:07 PM · No. It isn't objective on violin,
It may be objective on piano but it violin even the greatest always a little bit out of tune. Because it is absolutely "Manual"
And i showed it:

Edited: January 23, 2019, 12:19 PM · Andrew Hsieh
And that's exactly why I'm making this discussion:

Take for example the "Salut Damore" that i played - for me, and some other people it sounded ok overall for playing. And the tuner showed it is very close.
But here it was attacked as "horrible".
Therefore something like that maybe not enough for classical music but okey for pop music ( Classical -pop) and the average listener:

January 23, 2019, 12:25 PM · of the professional musicians I know/have known NONE OF THEM HAVE EVER SAID:

"It is not that i can't improve this intonation, probably i could...but i don't see it as so big problem."

Any hint of imperfection in their playing was cause to rush back to the practice room and immediately try to fix it.

Why accept mediocrity David?

January 23, 2019, 12:30 PM · Dawson Weber,
I don't define it mediocre.
For me it sounds ok overall. That's the thing.
If i hear something isn't reasonably in tune i work on it.
But isn't unreasonable in my view.
And i prefer to spend the time on other things.
Speed for example.
January 23, 2019, 12:33 PM · Pianos are out of tune-a feature of them being "tempered". But they are also "in tune", because most people are used to its pitch system, which is obviously different than that of stringed instruments.

Pitch is relative to the passage and scale, but intonation itself is not subjective. With some double stops it is relative, but even then, it should give the audience the impression of excellent intonation. Thus, while intonation is relative to the piece being played, it must still sound objectivily in tune. Expert performers practice intonation at the highest levels. No shame in improving it, or taking care it doesn't go out of form due to lack of attention.

I am trying to help you, by making you aware of a solvable problem. Denying one is ill won't cure one's disease. Tackle this issue, and conquer it.

January 23, 2019, 12:38 PM · David - where does that tuner show that you are very close?
The first note that the tuner stabilizes on is the A (timestamp 0.07), and that is 20 cents high.
The next one (0.11) is the F# and that is also 20 cents high.
The next one is the double shart Fx (0.13) that is 20 cents low.
After that E (0.24) 10 cents high.
B (0.25) 30 cents high.
A (at 0.31) is the first note that the tuner says that it is almost in tune.
F# (0.37) 20 cents high
E (0.48) 15 cents high
A (1.31) between 10 cents low and 20 high ;)
G# (2.11) 25 cents low
E (2.17) 20 cents high

So there are only 11 notes that the tuner has time to pick up, and only one is "very close". So the tuner does Not agree with you...

January 23, 2019, 12:51 PM · BTW... tuners... those are not meant to check for our "manual intonation" as you put it. Only tune your A. Most notes will be out of tune with such a device, even if we play perfectly in tune, without vibrato. You can use drones for practice (say, a background F# for F# minor, though I still prefer using the violin itself), but not to check whether you are "in tune". With such an inappropriate standard, not even Heifetz or Oistrakh will play "in tune" for you.

A extremely minor lapse of a few cents by most artists is no excuse to playing out of tune. Everyone one needs to improve, so I am not singling you out. Play better, for your own sake. Being "mean" is no concern of mine, but I must be both truthful and helpful. I believe you can play much better in tune-which will make your penchant for "fast playing" much more effective.

January 23, 2019, 12:52 PM · I understand your overall point that the level of perfection expected from violinists is ridiculously--inhumanly--high. You're correct. But that won't be going away any time soon. You may as well attempt to alter the rotation of the Earth.

I remember sitting in the audience at the IVCI and one of the finalists hit a high A that was very slightly sharp in the Beethoven concerto. I heard it, and most of the audience likely did as well, although it should be said that the IVCI audiences are always comprised of professionals, very high level amateurs and true die-hard fanatics, so their collective ears are far better than the average audience's. Now, this individual's Beethoven was utterly exquisite; the best I'd ever heard at the time. And yet I heard people all around me talking about how sorry they were for her because of that barely-sharp A. Is that fair? No, it sure isn't. Actually, it's crazy. But she had the last laugh, because she went on to win the competition.

January 23, 2019, 12:52 PM · Speed over intonation because "speed is key."
January 23, 2019, 1:08 PM · David Krakovich, I'm still rather gobsmacked by how highly invested you are in defending your own opinion of your playing, and how resistant to are to learning and accepting feedback. I think you have the potential to be really good, but that's not going to happen unless you change your strategy.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 1:13 PM · Sarah Skerko:
You got my point -
I think too that classical music is a little bit "Uptight".
Of course if you can play cleaner and more perfected it is better.
But it has this high, unhuman stadarts as entering barrier,
Sometimes in the cost of other "Interesting" things as speed or virtuosity.
January 23, 2019, 1:16 PM · Much of the audience can not tell for a specific note - and they might not mind but that's not the point; the people that hire and fire can tell and, as said above, if you want a job and the other 10 candidates play near perfect in tune and you don't... case closed.

It really has nothing to do with professional vs amateur. It has to do with quality and material. The higher the quality and the more intonation-dependent the material obviously the less likely you are to be included.

That said, it also depends very much on the performance. While intonation is critical for chamber music (nothing sounds right without it; its not about playing a perfect frequency but about having the ear to compliment or bridge your colleagues), you may have a little more flexibility with solos (though some may disagree) if the intonation 'error' is an expressive tool (such as playing the minor third slightly flat). As I understand it, for an orchestra player the most important ability is rhythm, the second dynamics with intonation third.

But let the games begin...

Edited: January 23, 2019, 3:30 PM · "Don't confuse me with the facts--my mind's made up!"

Dude, if you sound bad, you won't work. Even average audiences can tell if you are out of tune. Therefore--no pro career.

January 23, 2019, 1:21 PM · And this is not just intonation, this is things like the length of the pieces,
Creativity with the pieces structures,
Openes to new instruments and more.
That's why i define myself as new style - "Classical Pop".
Pretty much you can define such style as "Not uptight classical music"
January 23, 2019, 1:23 PM · I think that playing in tune is the art of the violin. Why not strive to make our Art better and more musical every day?

Virtuoso playing can (and should) be done so in tune. Perhaps not the best-ever in the world, but making excuses for ourselves won't make a piece sound better! Let us improve, rather than point fingers. We will enjoy our own playing infinitely more-fast or not-when it's well in tune.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 1:27 PM · run your instrument through pro-tools with reinforcement and see if you can hear the difference. if you are out of tune with yourself, you'll know.

most singers, of a pop sort, are running real-time pitch correction. can't really do that live with a fiddle unless it is electric.

intonation is relative to everything. relative to the piano that you are playing with, relative to the other players, relative to the harp. you have to be able to hear and adapt.

i believe that it was casals who called it "expressive intonation".

just play solo recitals and you'll be ok.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 1:39 PM · This conversation really hinges on the definition of "professional." Some would define that as someone who lands a full-time orchestra job, by which definition, there are very few professionals. Some would define it as someone who is able to pay the bills by being a musician. Others would define it as anyone who gets paid to play music at all.

Sure, there is no reason why someone who doesn't sound very "good" by technical standards, but has some kind of other X factor--Tom Waits comes to mind--shouldn't build themselves a cult following and have a bang-up career. It's anyone's game to try to do that, especially now in the YouTube era. The question is how much market demand there will be for such an individual. For every Tom Waits in the world, there's ten thousand guys with guitars in their garages that just don't sound that good and don't have anything particularly unique to offer, either.

But there is no ignoring the cultural, political and economic history (baggage?) of the violin. Anyone who wants to engage with it in any fashion is going to have to confront that at some point.

January 23, 2019, 1:33 PM · I have had a few recording gigs in the past where we were doing back up strings for pop albums and I assure you that the standard for intonation was every bit as high, if not higher, than for classical playing.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 1:44 PM · Sarah skerko:
In terms of money making and popularity and the abilities it gives the Pop music and many other styles that are less "accurate"(or "Uptight") are far more "proffesional".
That's why it might be that the "Classical Pop" can be more popular than the classical music.
As pop singers are more popular and profitable then many opera singers.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 2:06 PM · Mr. Krakovich, "pop" is popular because it uses simple musical styles, not because it is tolerant of playing out of tune.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 1:57 PM · Sure, the ones that get on Top 40 radio are. But what percentage of singers do that?

Music is an extremely tough profession no matter what. Virtually no one "makes it" to paid gigs at all, and of those, virtually no one gets a full time gig, and of those, virtually no one is rich and famous.

Pop singers may or may not have the intonation demands that classical musicians have, depending on who they are and what they do, but rest assured they work just as hard. They do things like put in twelve-hour days at the dance studio, etc. If their voices don't sound great, then they're successful because they're incredible performers, which also takes a ridiculous amount of work. Just having the option to use AutoTune isn't a ticket to be completely incompetent otherwise.

January 23, 2019, 1:58 PM · Oh, come on Mary Ellen, the fact that you did a 'few' recording gigs means nothing. Pop artists are tremendously manipulated by recording engineers--projection, artistic interpretation, etc. and also intonation. The question by Mr. Krakovich is legitimate.

I like you David Krakovich. Remember that is known by the community to be an elitist group with only a few respondents because it intimidates others readers. Most of the respondents here aren't nearly as accomplished as they think. And their opinions not so valuable.

Whether you are a troll, even a made up person as some imagine, or legitimately whom you claim, I don't care. you offer something of value to all discussions.

January 23, 2019, 2:02 PM · If a tree falls in the wood and no one is there to see/hear it, did the tree really fall?

David, as long as the only audience you desire is yourself, you're doing just fine. You get to define what you like. You can give your playing style whatever names you want. You can fill YouTube with your videos, seek out local performing opportunities, etc.

You really don't get to define other people's taste and enthusiasm, however.

Most of the folks on this forum are actually classical violinists. Uptight or not, they are focused on producing a certain level of sound/accuracy/fidelity to the composer's original intent. Nina, for example, is obsessed with nailing the tricky polyrhythms in the second movement of the Sibelius. There's a case to be made that some audience somewhere wouldn't know or care if she got it wrong but that doesn't affect her desire to get it right.

There's a well-defined audience for this kind of music (straight classical) and insane amounts of competition among those who seek to earn money performing for that audience at the highest levels, which is roughly what we call being "professional." If you've decided that this is not a path for you–that you'd rather not be judged by the highly exacting standards of this particular genre of music--that's fine. You do you.

But you've pitched your brand of violin playing at the audience and most seem unimpressed. You’re not going to change their minds. You might as well try crashing a Celine Dion fan club meeting and trying to convince them all that she sucks. It's probably time to try a different venue and see if you fare better.

January 23, 2019, 2:05 PM · David K. (and maybe a few others,) stop insulting the public! Why do you assume they can't hear, or don't care, just because you can't and don't?

However I'm glad you are, at long last, asking a relevant question!

January 23, 2019, 2:07 PM · David K, here's some really old pop music, from way before pitch correction could be easily done in the studio, for you to aspire to.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 2:14 PM · Michael Browder
Thank you.

But i can assure you and everyone that I'm going to try "In real life" anyway, including in classical music. Probably will go to auditions etc.
I didn't even try yet anything in real life and I'm still thinking and checking the options.

And i'm defently not a troll.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 2:20 PM · David, playing in tune is not an "unhuman" standard if thousands (if not tens of thousands) of amateur violinists are able to meet that standard. I'm not even talking about pros.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 2:32 PM · The short answer to the question is "Yes". Or; if it sounds out of tune it probably is. "Perfect" intonation in the sense of exactly correct Hz (cps) frequencies as measured by some electronic device is impossible. But a practical version of "perfect" intonation, within the natural margin of error of hearing (5 cents or 1/20 of a half-step !) is possible, the evidence being the performances and recordings of leading soloists, string quartets, and good singers, both pop and classical. Violin is especially hard to play in tune, at least for me, because that margin of error of our hearing is smaller than what our fingers can feel or measure on the fingerboard (less than 1 mm!) Vibrato helps. ---"Violin is Not mechanical" I respectfully disagree. In my teaching I have found that most technical problems are related to incorrect mechanics, motions, posture, ergonomics.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 2:27 PM · Sarah Skreko
My academical proffesion is politics, I'm a politician - believe me that i know well all this economical problems of musicians (and trying to deal with),

But still - Pop music if far more profitable,and popular,on every level.
Even Classical musicians "survive economically" in many cases because of the "Gigs" that in style are "less tight" then classical music.

And also - the pop music doesn't have any government support in most cases, while the classical depends on it.
So it is defenetly more profitable. Despite every one have big economical problems on most cases.

January 23, 2019, 2:26 PM · Yes. Intonation should be a barrier. As should bad bowing technique, poor tempo, lack of musicianship, and unpleasant stage presence.

Why hire a performer with bad intonation, overall mediocre playing ability, and no charisma as a performer when you can easily find someone with all those things?

Nearly every top soloist has been putting out crossover albums (thank you Laurie for promoting those!) for a while now. They perform this music at smaller venues and pick up a few thousand dollars per gig. David, you cannot compete with them. This 'classical pop' style that you're talking about already exists. And the caliber of their playing is quite high.

Edited: January 23, 2019, 2:52 PM · I cannot for the life of me understand why you guys keep discussing this nonsense with Tuner Man.

It's a complete time sinkhole.

January 23, 2019, 2:56 PM · Julie o'cconor
Why pay or eat fast food when you have prestigious restaurants?
But people do it, no? The fast food is much more popular,

Because of the cost, but also because for many it is more "fast" and "easy" ,"catchy" Etc.

January 23, 2019, 2:59 PM · I agree Herman. I kept saying I won't, but I just keep coming back. It's some sort of sick addiction. Speaking for myself, I know how hard I've worked and how hard I continue to work to achieve perfection. I know how hard my students work, I know how hard all the posters here work to become better violinists. I know I spent an hour this morning before work on 2 lines of music- making them as near to perfect as I can get them. I did not spend an hour posting a nonsense video claiming my playing was 'good enough.'
It's a slap in the face for a lazy, mediocre player to post video after video claiming to be a professional level player.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 3:12 PM · Julie o'cconor
As i said- You can define the "Classical- Pop" as the "Fast Food" of classical music.
Is fast food perfect?
In many aspects it isn't more then "Good enough".
But people like it, including many rich people (Trump for instance),
Because of the cost (that is also influenced by this "less uptight" approach")
Because it is easy and "fast" and tasty, even if it isn't even real cooking in many cases.
January 23, 2019, 3:19 PM · I think the value of fast food is that every Chick-fil-A nugget in the country is going to taste exactly the same. It's consistent. That may seem like an easy feat, but I assure you quality control over an entire country's restaurant chain is very difficult. Like intonation, no? Every note always in tune, consistently is no easy feat.
David you're not fast food. You're a dodgy roadside diner.
January 23, 2019, 3:38 PM · David K. --Stick with music. Cranky musicians cause less damage to the world than politicians that know they are right. done with this.
January 23, 2019, 3:40 PM · Katie B. - Thanks? I hope that was a compliment, and not a comment on my nonexistent OCD. (I'm kidding, don't worry. Thanks!)
January 23, 2019, 4:10 PM · Mr. Krakovich,

I am sure you can play in tune. Just do it. There's nothing "evil" in requiring good intonation. You put in the work, you'll get results.

Blaming "the system" (and believe me, I myself am not a "system" individual) for playing out of tune is pointless. Enjoy the pleasure of playing fast *and* in tune, whether you become a pop, classical-or something-in-between-musician.

If I was your teacher, I would make you work on intonation, and would strive to convince you that all of these threads about playing great-except just out of tune-are a lazy excuse to avoid working harder on your deficiencies. Every player can improve. Why won't you? And what's so bad about needing to get better anyway? As better music will be the result (pop or otherwise.)

Edited: January 23, 2019, 4:20 PM · Adalberto valle rivera
It is like you will say to pop singer - "just work on your intonation and sing like opera singer" before you can play proffesionaly.

This is a huge task that you ask - and as i said I sound reasonable to myself overall already.

January 23, 2019, 4:37 PM · "Oh, come on Mary Ellen, the fact that you did a 'few' recording gigs means nothing. "

How many gigs did you say you've done with pop musicians?

Mary Ellen is correct: successful pop musicians typically do have good ears and are quick to point out intonation errors. In pop music, they say notes are "pitchy" instead of "out of tune." In fact, sometimes they're actually more honest about it and less likely to cut a classical musician slack.

I have played with many acts in country, R&B, and rock. Having things fixed can cost money. Most musicians want to get things right the first time.

January 23, 2019, 4:55 PM · And recording engineers have the very best ears of anyone in the business.

Time is money and fixing pitch after the fact takes time. Musicians who play out of tune are musicians who are never, ever going to get called again (if they were somehow hired the first time) for recording gigs. And live acts don't want you on stage either, if you can't play in tune.

Good musicians are good musicians whatever their genre of choice, and the standards are not lower for good musicians in popular genres.

January 23, 2019, 4:55 PM · I'm a section player. If I didn't fit, I wouldn't work.
That's note length,sound,intonation - everything.
And quite often, with a small section miked up.
One of my old leaders told us that when conductors etc. commented on the section sound, they often meant intonation, even if they didn't know it. If the section sounded a bit "sour" it was normally lack of care in intonation that caused it.
Edited: January 23, 2019, 5:05 PM · "This is a huge task that you ask - and as i said I sound reasonable to myself overall already."

David, yes it is a huge task...which violinists enjoy!
If you don't like this kind of effort, and to top it all you are satisfied with your intonation, you are playing the wrong instrument.

Why not put your dexterity and passion into a fixed-note or fretted instrument? I mean this kindly..

January 23, 2019, 5:13 PM · David you seem to be under the impression that intonation is fluid in real life. It's not. It's dead on balls math. And if you miss it, you will stick out as out of tune.

Intonation is not fluid. Depending on what your A is (Let's say 440 Hz), you will get other A(s) at 27.5, 55Hz, 110, 220, 440, 880, 1760, 3520, 7040 and 14080. Everything else is outside our hearing range. Mind you - we are talking well tempered intonation.

Missing a pitch in the lower octaves by 3 hz is noticable, missing a pitch in the upper octaves by the same amount is less so.

If you are within 3 Hz (as a general rule) you can fing it with good vibrato (provided you know exactly weather you are low or high)

It does not matter weather an instrument has keys or smooth fingerboard. Intonation is paramount for any musician. That is why people give far more attention to pitch stability than to - say - speed. Because speed means nothing if you are not playing in tune.

WHEN and only WHEN you are in tune you should progress with speed. But there is a catch. Speed means nothing (again) if your BPM is fluctuating. And I do not mean intentional rubato. I mean non-intentional sagging or speeding. This is bloody apparent if you play with a good rock, pop or jazz band. Their sense of rhythm is far more metronome like than any classical musician's, so this is an area we all can improve in.

January 23, 2019, 5:17 PM · Can I ask exactly what do you mean by 'playing out of tune'? Because if the answer is 'an electric tuner' we need to have a totally different topic....
January 23, 2019, 7:05 PM · I would add that the rock bands playing at bars, often "for the exposure" for free, almost always have singers who are singing in tune. Might they be a little bit off here and there? Perhaps, but not enough to seize one's attention, or spoil the performance. And I'd guess many of those singers don't actually make a living in music.

Heck, your average volunteer church choir is generally adequately in tune.

The "Intonation and Reliability" thread (LINK) contains a useful discussion of what sorts of intonation deviances are perceptible to the listener. One can slip a bit and still have a performance enjoyable to the listener, even though it might not to be professional performer standards.

January 23, 2019, 8:45 PM · I also can’t agree that other styles pay better than classical. At the absolute upper echelon (again, top 40 radio), yes. For literally everyone else, no. I play gigs in a number of different styles, and by far the best paying gigs are regional orchestras and weddings. In any other style, you will be expected to be willing to play for “exposure,” as Lydia mentioned. If you aren’t willing to do that (and I’m not; I’ll play for free occasionally, if I truly believe in the cause, but I don’t need “exposure”), be prepared to fight for pay. Musicians in other styles don’t have salaried full-time gigs with benefits. So actually, classical musicians are far more privileged than most in terms of what they can charge and the kind of working conditions they can expect.
January 23, 2019, 8:59 PM · My main issue is that Mr. Krakovich uses the flawed argument: "some pop styles do not require perfect intonation, so why should I work on my own?" as a justification to leave his playing stuck in a level he could most assuredly surpass if he chose to work on it, rather than complain about it.

Playing in tune is a beautiful thing, a worthy goal, and not restricted to Heifetz alone. You can be proud of your accomplishments while acknowledging there's always room for improvement. Let us not make excuses for our deficiencies, but rather work harder to improve further every day.

January 23, 2019, 9:07 PM · There's merit in the core point that David is making, which is that every player has to decide what they are satisfied with, and prioritize their practice time accordingly.

For instance, in David's case, his right hand needs tremendous work. If he decided to leave off focusing on the left hand for now, in order to concentrate on all things related to tone production, that would be a reasonable trade-off. (That should probably be right-hand in focus, though, since the work on vibrato should almost certainly wait until the intonation is stable.)

For professional playing, of course, it all has to be there -- intonation, left hand facility, right hand and tone production control, artistry. But the particular order in which it is achieved, and the shifting practice priorities, doesn't much matter.

Speed is a poor priority, though. Speed comes after all the basics are solidly in place at a slower speed.

Edited: January 24, 2019, 12:31 AM · Latin lesson: -

fateor, fateri, fassus
confiteor, confiteri, confessus
profiteor, profiteri, professus

"prestigious", very good!

Even wind players have to intonate every note. My oboe teacher's exact words were "if notes are slightly out of tune, the audience may not know it consciously, but they will start to suffer general fatigue."

Otoh, Dorothy DeLay is quoted as saying, if you want the audience to grasp a musical idea, you have to hit them over the head with it.

Professionals don't have perfect intonation, they have adequate intonation and the ability to bluff and adjust, some more than others. I have, or had, a disc of Pag 1 by Ilya Kaler. The violin part opens with a 5 note phrase ending on D (sounding Eb). Kaler plays that D a good quarter-tone flat. He attempts to get it up to pitch but runs out of time before the following F#.

Yesterday I listened to Menuhin play the Bruch and the Tchaikovsky. His intonation is not perfect, but he may have recorded it very late in life.

January 24, 2019, 6:58 AM · I'd like to point out, the point of auto-tune on most pop songs (with the exception of "Friday" by Rebecca Black) is not to fix minor errors (though that is its purpose) but rather to make the music more clean and modern sounding. It's mostly just a genre thing now.
And yes, there are pop singers who are extremely well trained in classical and bel canto and coloratura and the like.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 7:14 AM · I eat once a week in a Chinese café and I notice that a lot of Chinese pop music uses autotune nowadays. Pity. Not only do studios have auto-tune, they have auto-tempo or auto-rhythm as well! (I speed-read a book on it and can't remember its official name)

Nice Family Guy joke: -
Stewie: "What are ya doin?"
Brian: "Speed-reading this book"
"what's it about?"
"I have no idea"

Edited: January 24, 2019, 3:23 PM · Perhaps a little off topic, but speed-reading is a real skill that can be taught, as it should be for the best results (compare violin-teacher vs. self-taught). The "speed-reading" in the joke would have been no more than skimming through the book, thereby missing most of the detail.

With real speed-reading you learn a usefully higher reading rate whilst assimilating far more detail than you would expect. Read at a normal pace, possibly with unconscious subvocalizing, and the brain gets distracted and misses out on some of the stuff.

On a speed-reading course I was sent on by my employer many years ago we experienced an example of the effectiveness of speed-reading. Towards the end of the course we were given a chapter from a novel none of us had read and asked to read it at normal reading speed. Then we had to answer a number of questions about detail in that chapter. There was a high percentage of wrong or "don't know" answers. Then, we were given another chapter from the novel to read, but this time to be read with the speed-reading skills we had been taught, and again were given questions to answer. This time we all attained a high percentage of correct answers, some achieving 100%.

A family friend, who is also a professional librarian, sits on a panel of judges for one of these literature awards. For this she had to read through 200 new novels and select the best 14 in her opinion. Then all the judges get together for two or three days and whittle their 14 selections (which hopefully have significant overlap!) down to the final winner. This is happening now as I write. I haven't asked, but I'd be prepared to wager that speed-reading comes into it!

There are of course reading situations when speed-reading may not be the best choice - technical literature in the sciences and law, for example.

January 24, 2019, 2:40 PM · I'm a speed reader. I took courses on it - helps me take less time on independent reading in English, while still being able to read stuff for myself.
Trevor is right, though - for law and science, or anything with microscopic details, it's definitely better to sit down and analyze like those overanalytical teachers (nothing wrong with that, btw).
Is there any kinds of speed reading for music? This is making me extremely curious.
January 24, 2019, 3:22 PM · Nina, I'm sure that experienced violinists, along other instrumentalists, especially if they are busy orchestral players, can read through their sheet music and "hear" in real time how it should sound. Furthermore, they will have developed the ability to swiftly skim through their sheet music in order to identify the technically tricky bits which will need special attention in the practice room.

What I have just said would surely apply even more so to a good conductor when faced with an unfamiliar score. I must talk about this to one of my conductors during the rehearsal coffee break, and I'll also raise the question of speed-reading courses for musicians (I haven't heard of one). The conductor I refer to goes on regular masterclasses and seminars for conductors, and if any such speed-reading courses exist I'd think he would have heard about them.

January 24, 2019, 4:21 PM · This is like some "many-worlds" hypothesis stuff. Every thought this guy has creates a new universe to justify his personal reality.

Yeah, David, there may be a nearly infinite amount of universes where I want to hear you play out of tune, but fortunately, this does not count amongst them.

Edited: January 24, 2019, 4:39 PM · Sarah skreko

Although i, at least in israel, feel that pop is more popular,
But overall i agree with you.

What you talk about is a very serious political! problem. Worldwide!. in the current "Anarchic"(unregulated) and "exploitive" capitalistic system.
This! is the biggest! problem. Not this style or other.

Although In different countries it is different, but overall in most countries, even western, the vast majority of the population doesn't have enough money and free time to see different things and pay for them.
Therefore what happens is that there's small percentage of "Known" artists in every style that succeed,
while most others are very poor or not paid at all.
And many talented artists simply don't play or create because it isn't profitable.

Huge problem!. That happens because the current capitalistic systems are anarchic and exploitive:
The governments take a lot of money in taxes on one hand (the Goverments and billionaires! That profit enormously from this systems)
and don't leave money to average people to buy tickets and art products,
And on the other hand the governments don't regulate enough the economy to create fair and supportive conditions for artists. Especially economically.

When people have time and money they are interested and explore new things and styles and pieces. And more "relaxed" and tolerant to what they pay for.

So this is the biggest problem.
And this was one of the main reason i went to politics and not to proffesional playing.

January 24, 2019, 5:34 PM · We seem to have changed the subject?
January 24, 2019, 7:26 PM · Anyway what's wrong with fast food? Our president serves it to his guests.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 10:52 PM · Adrian Heath
We changed a little bit the subject but i think it is still very relevant. For several reasons:

1. These "Political" problems - especially economical, effect very seriously the music and art worlds, especially the classical, which is more "Proffesional" and demands more work and practicing etc to be at minimum "Listenable" level (and of course there are more developed things like operas).

You can't just "Take the violin and play" Mozart or Paganini, you have to work a lot of hours on every piece for it to sound good.
And this is money!. Time!.
It have to be profitable otherwise you just can't bring good, hige quality product. Even if you able to do it.

Although i have less "tight" standarts in "Classical-Pop" then in Classical music, but
I agree with people here that in my playing i have some faults that you can feel, that are simply "Economical" faults that effect:
The practice! time, even the time to shoot a video and then select "a good one",
the violin quality, the recording device quality, the ability maybe to consult with professionals,
To pay for pianist or orchestra live accompaniments,
To record proffesionaly with audio problems fixing,
To perform! - organize concerts.
All this things are money!.

It effects most of musicians- orchestra players all over the world for example, have very low salaries,
In Israel it is practically a minimum! wage.
You simply can't play well when you don't have time to practice and you have to work in different jobs to have reasonable income.

2. The public is less tolerant-
People go to see only the "Known" pieces and Performers, "The sure thing"
The world doesn't develop-
You have a lot of composers in classical style today for example, we don't know them. This is mainly Bach, Mozart etc, who are great but they lived hundreds of years ago.
Maybe the contemporary composers could make a pieces that are more attractive to people.
But it is money!.and time. And abilities for piece to become "known".

3. It effects the proffesional reactions -
Instead of positive and constructive attitude, it becomes destructive competitions between musicians- over work places etc.
And I think this destructive attitude that many proffesionals develop
effects some of the comments about my playing too. Even if I'm not directly compete here with anyone.

January 24, 2019, 11:58 PM · Well, that's just the reality of the situation for musicians. You *do* have to spend time practising, pay $$$ for piano accompanists, deal with picky audiences, etc. If you don't like the classical music industry (which would be very understandable!) I suggest keeping violin as a hobby, rather than pursuing it as a full-time job.
January 25, 2019, 12:47 AM · It's nice to know that there are Billionaires among the commentators on my thread;) (Gemma k)

But Seriously,
In Hebrew we have a phrase:
"Without flour there's no Tora(The bible)" - Meaning you can't learn and think and make quality things, even when it is religion!, Without having living standarts and economical abilities.
Not to say something like music.

This "Political" challenges harm! Severely The ability to craeate quality things and new things.

Even the Top musicians have difficulties, nothing is sure, big instability. You can be very successful today and tomorrow you are poor.
It effects the innovation- even top musicians in almost every style not always dare to play something new.

This are serious and very significant problems.

January 25, 2019, 1:20 AM · It's not about what you think "should be" or what you think is fair. The standard is where it is because there are a lot of people who can achieve it. Plain and simple. Argue all you want, but that's the truth and that high standard is what we are all striving to achieve.
Edited: January 25, 2019, 2:08 AM · David, I'm a near-broke student, not a billionaire. The sad fact is, being a musician costs money, often more than someone will earn from it.

I would love for it to be possible to be a musician and not worry about these things, but it's not going to happen in our lifetime.

January 25, 2019, 6:56 AM · David, the answer to the original question is. No.
I just remembered the proof, that you can be a pro and suck at it:
January 25, 2019, 7:02 AM · Tony, that is a rather inflammatory association of ideas!
People went to hear Mrs Jenkins to laugh at her: I now think that is not what David is seeking!
January 25, 2019, 7:02 AM · David, the only way you will prove to me that you're not a troll will be to spell "professional" correctly from now on.
Edited: January 25, 2019, 7:07 AM · About Florence Foster Jenkins, the history of arts and culture is riddled with such individuals. I read that Frank Zappa (an exceptionally gifted musician) made the movie "200 Motels" because he wanted to see how bad of a movie people would actually pay to see. But he was outstripped (literally!) by John Waters.
January 25, 2019, 7:18 AM · David, I liked your bit about flour and the Torah!
"General" Booth of the very evangelical Salvation Army said something similar about the difficulty of accepting Jesus on an empty stomach...
You make very valid points about musical economics, repertoire, and a public that only likes what it knows.

And yes, these difficulties can make musicians bitter.
But on a forum like this, our critical attitudes come not from bitterness, but from a real love of fine music and fine playing for its own sake.

January 26, 2019, 1:30 AM · Michael pijoan
Defenetly- i absolutely agree - everyone should strive to play the best. In "Classical-Pop" too.
And if you play better and have better technique or anything else it is better and should be appreciated.
And that Includes intonation.
I personally admire violinists like Julia Fischer or Hillary Hahn for thier perfect intonation.

But, what I'm saying is that while on other things the limits aren't so strict for professional playing in classical music, lets say if you don't have great vibrato or arpeggio or staccato,
Classical music in very tough on intonation.

I'm saying that the bar should be lower - if it sounds reasonable to the player and to the Audience it is enough for me to pass the "Professional" bar.

Sometimes people are willing to "comprise" on something for something else -
Let's say the "16th caprice on a bike"-
Maybe the intonation isn't perfect, but it is still reasonable and it is very fast and full version on a bike!!!.
So people may agree it is reasonable.
It may not be acceptable in Classical Music, but in "Classical-Pop" it ia okay for me.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 3:07 AM · "I read that Frank Zappa (an exceptionally gifted musician) made the movie "200 Motels" because he wanted to see how bad of a movie people would actually pay to see. But he was outstripped (literally!) by John Waters."

People have been inventing that myth about anything they don't like, be it about Picasso, Dalí, Carl Andre, for a long time.

Some artists do deliberately try to wind up the bourgeoisie, but that's a different phenomenon. The intellectualism of Joyce/Beckett, etc had that as one of its purposes.

Pink Flamingos is a fine movie with a strong political message.
200 Motels is indeed garbage, though. Zappa was shrewd, but he did suffer from the delusion that he could have been, or even was, a classical composer.

The movie of Florence FJ is worth watching. I have a friend who has researched her life story, but I haven't dug into it at all. She wasn't a pro - she was a millionairess socialite with tertiary syphilis and as nutty as a fruitcake (that's an oversimplified picture). She performed in Carnegie Hall because she hired it to perform in!

Wild Man Fischer? Dangerous schizophrenic. He did some interesting stuff, but he sounds like a cornered rat in some of Zappa's recordings of him when they get too obviously exploitative.

Rhino published an album of the world's worst recordings. It's great.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 2:23 AM · That comparison with Julia Fischer is so absurd as to be either grotesque or pitiful.
Or simply some very funny self-mockery..

BTW the TwoSet violinists are very good classical players.

January 26, 2019, 2:18 AM · If you listen to hers, then yours, her's is so much better. And it still would be if she was "riding" a bike. And do you know what makes it worse for you? Violin is not her only instrument.
Edited: January 26, 2019, 7:49 AM · Jake watson
And Violin isn't even my Profession;)

But seriously - of course hers is better, she might be the best female violinist in the world, one of them for sure.
But the fact that i can make a full Duet of Paganini caprice!!!, in the same speed!!!, on a bike!!! With her recording And it still sounds reasonable it is something, no?

Despite it is kind of a joke, but it was "Serious" playing joke.
Like the "Typewriter".
If you can play it better it is great.
If i will make a solo performances in the future i will probably add "Stunts" like that.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 2:47 AM · It does not sound reasonable. That is the problem. In fact, the tuner proves that it is not reasonably in tune. You are 20-30 cents off on many notes -- a quarter of the way to the next note! Mattias has already explained how you're misreading the tuner, anything further I can say about it is redundant.
January 26, 2019, 3:07 AM · To improve the intonation while playing on a Bike you have to work on it slowly- at 5km/h;)
January 26, 2019, 3:29 AM · " To improve the intonation while playing on a Bike you have to work on it slowly- at 5km/h;)"

David, you've got it! On your fifth ludicrous thread. You deserve a medal!
Practice slowly to play fast. What a discovery!

January 26, 2019, 5:05 AM · Adrean Heath-
It was a joke:

People always say "Practice slowly" and refer to the speed of playing on violin, i referred to the speen of pedaling on the Bike...

Nice one, no?

But if to talk seriously, i agree that you have practice the intonation, including practice slowly, and if i had enough time i probably would have sone it,
But overall i think my intonation is not so horrible as you say here.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 5:13 AM · "But overall i think my intonation is not so horrible as you say here."

Which is why I have sincerely suggested you play an easier instrument!

And a large part of the public is not tone-deaf, and that is the part I want to play for..

January 26, 2019, 5:59 AM · Can you please learn to spell "professional" correctly? I know it's not your first language but it just seems like stubbornness at this point.
January 26, 2019, 7:11 AM · Elise. My inner ear is not good for intonation and I can tell its out of tune.
Edited: January 26, 2019, 7:55 AM · Gemma K
How ironic,no?
i can't even spell the word "professional";)...

But seriously, for some reason the auto correction on keyboard gave me this option. I changed it now.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 8:13 AM · Elise Stanley
Defenetly there's such thing "Perfect tune" that can be measured by machines,
But on violin no one can play perfect, because everything is "Manual" and "Human".
So the intonation feeling is "subjective" anyway.

Currently in Classical Music there are very hige standarts for minimum accuracy for "Professional" playing,
And i think that it should be lower at least in "Classical-Pop" style:
And if the player and the audience feel it is reasonable it is legitimate.

Of course if you can play more in tune it is better.

January 26, 2019, 8:25 AM · Adrian Heath
This is exactly the theme in this thread:
In Classical Music if you can't play in tune you should "Change instrument " or "You can't be Proffesional",
And I'm saying you can if the audience and you think it is reasonable.
At least in "Classical Pop" style.

That's one of the main reasons i call the "Classical Pop" style "The fast food of classical music" -
As fast food - it maybe isn't always in "Gourmet dish" level in different aspects, but it is still "eatable" and people might even find it sometimes more "Tasty" and "accessible" than "Gourmet dish".

Edited: January 26, 2019, 8:30 AM · David, why do you assume that the wider public can't hear the difference?
Have you any evidence, or is it just a supposition?

And fast food can be well prepared, with fresh ingredients;
and pop music is usually played, if not sung, in tune.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 8:40 AM · The wider public may even hear the inaccuracy, but it may be "Tolerant" for it for other things: Let's say speed, or playing it on a bike!!!. In classical music it is unacceptable such "compromise" at professional level.

As it in most pop singers cases. Who aren't necessary classical level professionals.

January 26, 2019, 8:55 AM · In is pretty much like pop - where you don't have really standarts, or limits for "Professionalism",
But the difference is that here it is with the "Professional" organization structure like in classical music,
And there are 2 limits:
You have to keep it "catchy"as possible and at high level of playing and performance as possible.
January 26, 2019, 8:57 AM · You're "riding" a stable recumbent bike at a very slow speed.

Try a unicycle: LINK

Note that she's still in tune. Tone is compromised by the motion, but lacks the harshness of your sound.

January 26, 2019, 8:57 AM · as I said before, you have no chance in po-classical.

Every popular fiddler /violinist always looks very pleasant as if he or she is having a great time. That's indispensible in this genre. You always have an angry-looking frown.

It's a tough world.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 9:32 AM · Lydia leong
1.She doesn't play paganini! Carpice!fully! At top virtuoso speed!.
2.she doesn't play stable as i did. intonation is better in my view.
4. I'm not so rich to afford myself to break a violin.
5. It isn't healthy to play on violin while riding on real bike.
January 26, 2019, 9:35 AM · "But seriously, for some reason the auto correction on keyboard gave me this option. I changed it now."

OMG- David, do you ever take responsibility for anything at all?

January 26, 2019, 9:39 AM · David, your intonation is atrocious. I am still interested in your answer to Elise about whether you are basing your whole argument on what your tuner shows. Also, I see no real-world evidence that pop singers can't stay in tune, so I am wondering what your evidence is for that, since it is clear to most of us that you have no idea what "in tune" is. Tuner, again?

If so, you need to explore intonation further because you do NOT understand what it is. It is NOT being able to follow a tuner, or being able to deliver the theoretical pitches as defined by mathematics. Read up, please.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 9:42 AM · Lydia leong
Now that you showed this video
I'm starting seriously to think that the Quality of my violin effects the intonation feeling.
It suppresses the sound very much.
It's like it doesn't have Resonance box.

Maybe I'll buy or rent new one soon

January 26, 2019, 9:48 AM · Julie occonor
You can see by yourself:
Edited: January 26, 2019, 10:46 AM · See? He spells "professional" correctly now. That proves he's trainable. And who succeeded? Good ol' Paul, that's who.

"To improve the intonation while playing on a Bike you have to work on it slowly- at 5km/h;)"

Yeah that's a good one. Touche, my friend.

January 26, 2019, 10:55 AM · I listened to your recording - it was pretty good! I think you should forget this whole approach. Here is my suggestion:

Find some people to play chamber music with. Other than in solo work intonation is contextual: its active and depends on the context. If you have good relative intonation you will adjust to the group to make a nice sound. If not they won't ask you back and you will have to improve it - but do so with playing with drones and working on doublestops NOT by testing yourself with an ap. Aps don't clap.

January 26, 2019, 10:59 AM · Paul, didn't you see the pic? It was the phone's fault. It's not a proffessional phone. It's a pop phone. The autocorrect standards of pop phones aren't nearly as high as a proffessional phone.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 11:28 AM · Julie o'cconor
But it is really the phone's fault - if there's no such word why it auto corrects to it? With different related variations?
Like "proffesion" ,"proffesionalism" etc.

In israel we speak Hebrew so it isn't a big deal if i had mistake, but in this case it is really auto correction misleading.

January 26, 2019, 12:00 PM · It says that because you doctored a photo because you're either a troll or you have a disordered personality.

January 26, 2019, 12:18 PM · I saw the title of this thread pop up and immediately guessed who the OP would be. What do you know, I was right.
January 26, 2019, 12:35 PM · Julie O'Connor
So you say that when i wrote the word the auto correction showed that the right word is "Professional" and i insisted to change it to wrong word - "proffessional".
And then i started to change all the related words on my keyboard? To include 2 "ff"s?
And now i will have to go back and erase each of these words?

Edited: January 26, 2019, 2:53 PM · I don't know any professional violinists with bad intonation, they just don't get hired. It's a little like asking if you need to be able to balance on a bicycle in order to do the Tour de France.
January 26, 2019, 3:27 PM · Also, re: Auto-Tune in pop music, often it's for effect, not because the singer can't sing in tune.

Consider, for example, T-Pain, whose name is often seen as synonymous with overuse of Auto-Tune. He showed up to NPR's Tiny Desk Concert and demonstrated that he was perfectly capable of singing without it. Some pitch-bending, but it was all stylistic and completely intentional.

January 26, 2019, 3:46 PM · 1. I simply don't agree that my intonation is so bad.
I have some notes here and there that aren't in tune that need some work, but overall it is ok in my view.
And there are people that agree, even here.
2.I don't want to embarrass anyone and bring examples but i think that on lower professional level there are some issues too. we see on YouTube mainly top virtuous on professional edited recordings and best performances.
In pop music we know definitely that intonation is an issue.
January 26, 2019, 3:58 PM · If we tell you we think you are a professional-level violinist, will you stop making threads here?
Edited: January 26, 2019, 4:36 PM · Even if you all right (and you don't, but let's say you do),
And all classical and pop musicians are perfectly in tune,
It still doesn't matter-
Because i define myself as new style "Classical-Pop" and in this style you and the audience decide if you at professional level.
And if you and the audience think it is reasonable it is good enough.
If you can play better it is better.
January 26, 2019, 4:25 PM · Gemma k
Actually i don't have anymore issues to open new threads about.
Enjoy it as long it is happening;)
Edited: January 28, 2019, 10:23 AM · Er, I had noticed that David K. does reply to specific remarks if they are expressed in one or two lines, on one subject only....
January 26, 2019, 5:35 PM · Would Paganini (and the other composers) agree it sounds as intended? Or would they just say: "at least it's fast!"

There's a common myth that players from other eras had bad intonation (poor early 20th century players are often maligned in this regard by some-if not many-immature, younger players for "that"). Was never the case-violinists have always tried to play in tune, even before the 78rpm era. That now it's even more strict doesn't mean that it has ever been "fine" to play out of tune.

As I said, great intonation *is* the art of the violin (and so is the bow arm, etc.) Most people can achieve this, with patient, careful work, and years of playing experience.

I believe Mr. Krakovich can play better than he allows himself to. It's not as black and white as conformism vs perfectionism, but if you lean too much towards the first principle, you may be unable to ever improve further. Now, it seems he does want to let us know his intonation is "alright", whether you or professionals agree or not. That is perhaps "fine" as his personal opinion, but the resulting blowback is both expected and justified.

Any of you enjoyed the stereotypical, young, braggart violin student who couldn't really play well but was "all knowing"? That's the type of person I am reminded of. (No offense really intended.)

January 26, 2019, 5:38 PM · "So you say that when i wrote the word the auto correction showed that the right word is "Professional" and i insisted to change it to wrong word - 'proffessional'."

Now you are hopefully learning how accurate phone apps are. The wrong spelling is probably in your dictionary because you put it there.

January 26, 2019, 6:13 PM · Nina, I've talked to the conductor I mentioned in my previous post about “speed reading” music. The short answer is that he has never heard of it. Would it indeed be possible, given that printed music and the printed word are entirely different languages? The printed word is self-sufficient, and exists in its own right. A music score is not the music – it consists of written or printed instructions for making the sounds the composer had in his head.

I think music scores are in the same category as technical literature in the sciences and law, which, as I pointed out in a preceding post, are not the best choices for using speed-reading, even if a practical speed-reading method could be devised for music scores, which I very much doubt.
January 26, 2019, 7:07 PM · Paul deck
I'm not sure- because it gives different variations of the word : "proffesionalism", "proffesion" "proffesionaly" etc.

But even if it was me and it remembered it, i expected it not to remember wrong words,
What's the point of auto correction if it learns mistakes?

Now i downloaded new keyboard - Google keyboard, and no matter how much i wrote "proffesional" it doesn't remember it. And gives the correct form.
So this was clearly the previous keyboard problem.

January 26, 2019, 7:32 PM · Adalberto, I know that 'type' all too well, but at least they have the excuse of being teenagers.
January 27, 2019, 4:04 AM · Whats the point of continuing this discussion, stopping would be for the best for all. You have got to realise the personality traits of the op and if you do not, just trust me when I say that this is doing no good whatsoever to anyone, it is a loosing battle.
Edited: January 27, 2019, 5:16 AM · Maria, I quite agree, it's a bit like being unable to stop scratching one's eczema..

I thought we were getting through: David has lowered his sights on section work, being a concertmaster or a soloist, to concentrate on being an apparently unwitting clown to tone-deaf audiences. But I still wish he wouldn't publicise his playing: it's a bad advertisement for our beloved instrument!

January 27, 2019, 6:13 AM · Laurie (as usual) got it totally right.
If you don't play in tune, you don't get hired.
One of my gigs years back was in the string section for C&W records. The producer wanted to know he could bring in the strings, and we would just play it. Job done.
And as far as people talking about making money. I didn't care whether the record made a huge profit or not. That was someo e else's problem. I got nicely paid for my contribution. That's all I cared about.
Edited: January 27, 2019, 1:33 PM · I saw a faint glimmer of hope for D.K. when he noticed that his violin was not resonant, but dull. The resonance, clarity, and volume will improve when the intonation is fixed. Only after that step consider getting better equipment. Elise S. advice is spot-on; do string quartets, If you can find a quartet that would accept you. The second violin part, Not the first. A quartet that rehearses and works on tuning the chords, not an ad-hoc sight-reading- only quartet.
January 27, 2019, 2:21 PM · Trevor - Thanks for going through the trouble of asking your conductor!
Anyways, your point makes sense - reading music is kind of like an instruction manual now that I think of it.
Well, thanks for asking, anyways.
Edited: January 27, 2019, 3:10 PM · Here's a way to look at this topic which is undeniably clear: If you are hearing auditions and someone comes in and plays beautifully in tune, then the next person comes in and plays just as well as the first person in every regard EXCEPT that their intonation is not as good, which one are you going to hire?

If anyone says "well, I'd give the one with worse intonation a chance", then they need their head examined. Period. End of discussion.

January 27, 2019, 3:17 PM · Thank you. Next!
January 27, 2019, 4:49 PM · Hi,David,
I would......forget autocorrect
forget exercise-bikes
forget world record-speed-playing
forget fancy recording devices

Find a violin teacher,to help you play really well.

January 27, 2019, 5:45 PM · David K. seems to be so hopelessly invested in making excuses and justifications, that I think we are wasting our time trying to help him. Wouldn't our time and skills be better invested elsewhere?
Edited: January 27, 2019, 11:35 PM · Yes, a waste of time and energy, but strangely entertaining, like watching Russian car crash videos on u-tube.
Edited: January 28, 2019, 3:50 AM · "Elise S. advice is spot-on; do string quartets, If you can find a quartet that would accept you. The second violin part, Not the first. "

this ignores the obvious problems in the cooperation area, of which DK's inability to hear his own intonation is just a symptom... Quartet playing is about listening to each other and working to fit in, which are two things DK is clearly unwilling to do.

January 28, 2019, 2:55 AM · Troll: nom, nom, nom.
January 28, 2019, 1:44 PM · But the tuner in the background is superfluous. Any video posted can be heard, and assuming that some sort of auto-tune magic hasn't been performed, that's the test right there. People here have videos up for others to check out, and by doing that, they are putting it all out there. Just as David does, I'm tempted to hedge, and go, "well this video isn't perfect, but you should have heard the rehearsal", or I ate some old cheese before and it really threw out my bow arm" or any number of things, but the proof is in the listening, and if my ears tell me something sounds good but the tuner disagrees, then I'm inclined to go with my ears as a listener. I have to be more circumspect as a performer, and that's where the playback is helpful.

There is a balance between enjoying playing and keeping yourself honest that does not have to result in moving the goalposts and playing all these mind games with yourself and just generally wasting your own time and energy instead of just putting it into practicing.

But perhaps these threads are the fastest way for David to break out of his own delusion and start putting in real work. Really, you have to drop the magical thinking to get better at an instrument, and to do that, you have to truly believe that through practice, you have a path to improvement. For a long time, I thought that playing violin well was magic, and so I was resistant to disciplined practice, and I didn't start to make improvements until I saw that there was a path.

Edited: January 28, 2019, 2:32 PM · This is like asking if it’s important for a baseball pitcher to throw strikes or if it’s important for a soccer player to be able to hit the net with the ball. Intonation is not just important - it is absolutely EVERYTHING.

Now go practice!

January 28, 2019, 4:56 PM · Herman wrote: "this ignores the obvious problems in the cooperation area, of which DK's inability to hear his own intonation is just a symptom... Quartet playing is about listening to each other and working to fit in, which are two things DK is clearly unwilling to do. "

But you miss the point: the question is whether he really does have intonation issues. IMO the worst way to find out is to play with a tuner while the best way is to play with others (with Joel's caveat - they must be interested in harmony and not just sight-reading). If there is a serious problem he won't be able to hear that he is out of tune - and the consequences on his participation in the quartet will be immediate. If, however, they don't ask him back he will know that he is unable to adjust his note to the chord - and this is far more important 'playing in tune' than any other measure.

January 28, 2019, 9:51 PM · Whenever I see one of these threads pop up, I'm always reminded of that one story where a tuning cellist at a symphony audition was asked to leave by the judges (was it Heifetz? I can't remember) because they had already heard enough.
Edited: January 29, 2019, 10:35 AM · He's not terrible in *every* way if he helps sell albums and shows. The fact that he's black probably hasn't much to do with any of that.
January 29, 2019, 10:44 AM · Thanks Paul...
Edited: January 29, 2019, 11:58 AM · You know, it really isn't that hard to look up a name. I googled "Dave Matthews band violinist" and in less than ten seconds I had the name Boyd Tinsley. I didn't even need to know his ethnicity, which is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

Mr. Tinsley currently has problems beyond playing the violin, but he deserves the respect of being referred to by name.

Edited: February 2, 2019, 10:56 PM · Just in case it needed be mentioned-the above poster is trolling. Do not feed.
January 29, 2019, 5:59 PM · I'm not trolling, you're trolling.
No, you are.
Am not.
Are too.
Edited: January 30, 2019, 1:29 AM · Seems like we need some pruning of the obviously fake troll-members. No racist remarks please, no mentally deranged ramblings. Bye bye, you no longer see their comments. Thanks.
Edited: January 30, 2019, 2:26 PM · Thank you Laurie: my scrolling finger can take a break!
Although now Alberto is calling Mary Ellen a troll....
Edited: February 2, 2019, 6:34 PM · David Krakovich, some words on intonation:

It is like being a guest in a house. As a guest you behave like a guest. If, in your own home, you are used to keep your shoes on and then when visiting a home where people take of there shoes in the entrée you are keeping your shoes on you are out of tune. If you take off your shoes as is the norm in that house your intonation is great. You are "tuning in" so to speak.

Intonation is a must in professional playing no matter what style or genre you are playing, classical genres, contemporary avantgarde type of music, pop, rock, jazz, folk music, fiddle music and whatever type of music you can think of. The better you are at "tuning in" the better off you are.

Intonation is something that both amateurs (hopefully) and professionals take care of. I am sure that if you ask all these violin teachers you can find on this site about their pupils and the subject of intonation the teachers will tell you that they work with all their pupils' intonation no matter whether those pupils are beginners or advanced or whether they want to enjoy playing as amateurs or professionals.

If you happen to detect inaccuracy in your own intonation then you are actually doing very good, because the ability to detect it indicates that you have the ability to do something about it.

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