Edited: February 3, 2021, 12:27 PM · I've been stuck in the trenches of trying to play one string without touching the other strings, which seems impossible, so much so that I had stepped away from the instrument. Now my niece wants to learn music and violin specifically from me and my back is against the wall.
Does anyone know a local violin teacher willing to work on diagnosing and fixing this issue?
(about me: 29yr old, basic knowledge of music theory, taught in suzuki books to book 3 with Hrmaly scale studies for backup. good at piecework, anxious performer, horrid sight-reader.) stepped away about two years ago.
Looking for morning sessions as I work afternoons and evenings on a chaotic schedule.
Enquiries can be made here or to my email Robertfloyddavy@gmail.com

Replies (9)

February 3, 2021, 12:46 PM · That sounds more of a right-hand or bridge angle issue. As long as there is adequate finger pressure and the bow is touching only that string it shouldn't matter if the finger brushes against the neighboring strings
(unless a double stops of course)
Edited: February 3, 2021, 12:56 PM · Hi Robert,

I know this isn't what you are asking for, and I say this without judgment, but I think it's a bad idea for you to be trying to teach technique to your niece without a solid foundation yourself (Meaning without not only a high-level training in playing violin, but a high-level training in teaching).

Perhaps there are ways to lovingly encourage your niece's love of music if she doesn't want to take from someone else (after all, it could be quite difficult for a young child to start new lessons over Zoom).

There is much that can be done for a child, like singing together, listening to music and pointing things out, dancing, tapping rhythms, etc, that can be of great benefit for her and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, anything we are taught early on violin can be very "sticky", and by not having a solid technique yourself, she might be spending a huge amount of time later trying to undo things she was taught with tension or otherwise incorrectly, which can be a big disappointment - Believe me, I have personally had to undo a lot of incorrect early teaching and I had a lot of regret about it for a long time.

It seems like you are a very loving uncle, and I just wouldn't want you to get in over your head. Perhaps you can see this as a time to just bond over music with your niece, because trying to teach someone without the necessary background can quickly become a big frustration, and then you both might have a sour taste with the violin.

However, it's great that you are looking for a teacher to work on some things in your playing - That will be a fun adventure for you!

Edited: February 3, 2021, 1:36 PM · A +1 to the advice Christian gave above. Get her started correctly or she too will give it up.
February 3, 2021, 6:22 PM · Check the way the bridge was cut. If you can provide careful photos there may be some luthiers on here who can look at that and tell you whether there is sufficient arch in the bridge.
February 3, 2021, 10:32 PM · Greetings,
a lot of violin playing is about memorizing sensations. Before I teach a beginner detach I use a very simple exercises which I think has a lot of value. That is, simply put the bow on the d string in the middle (of the bow) . Check the bow, upper arm. wrist etc are all in alignment one on plane. Simply hold that position for ten seconds and then repeat on the other strings. Practice this three times a day . Even when starting a small detache in the mb keep doing this exercises.
February 10, 2021, 6:07 PM · Thanks so much for all the responses!
To Ben Glennon: yes I am specifically talking about double stops. I can make my way through pretty easy if its just one string at a time, or even changing pretty quickly between strings, but anything that forces me to have my left hand finger multiple strings or sound multiple strings is impossible...seeming. Closest I've gotten is a C# on the A with open E, and that was buzzy. My right hand work hadn't been an issue, at least my teacher never mentioned or corrected that side of things.
February 10, 2021, 6:07 PM · to Christian Lesniak: thank you for taking the time to make a detailed post! For the record I agree completely, which is why most of the curriculum to start would focus on the universals of music (music theory, rhythm, ear training, proper posture, flexibility in the hands, wrists, and shoulders, how to hold, tune, and care for the violin etc.) I'm just so worried that if she doesn't get some progress she'll drop music as a whole which hurts my soul to even contemplate.
February 10, 2021, 6:09 PM · To Paul Deck: I had thought it might be something about the instrument as well, whether its the action on off the nut or the bridge. I'll see what I can do, though I'm no professional photographer.
Edited: February 10, 2021, 6:14 PM · To Stephen Brivati: That's an elegant way to teach the concept. Seems like it'd be pretty powerful too, depending on how much you focus on it during the session.

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