Avoid my wife violin strings from screeching during practice
I always think this is a "too pro" forum to post on for two beginner amateurs, still after looking every time the alternatives I return here asking my silly questions...
As from the title, since she begins learning violin end last year my wife often screech playing.
I know need years of learning before getting out a good sound, but screeching in the meantime it's not a necessity, just as example I'm screeching much much less (have the same learning time, sure I'm not a gifted talent :-).
With the teacher we are practicing the movement and she is screeching less, but practicing alone this come out again every time. She is starting getting frustrated with this and I want to help.
Wanted to ask if changing strings might improve the situation. I know it's not really fair solving (minimizing) the problem this way instead of just learning and improving the technique (teacher said "you need to be able to play with anything"), but we are adults learning for pleasure and culture, so I'm looking at the results and can cut corners a music student maybe can't.
She has tried playing with my bow and the situation improve, but not enough. Playing with my violin and my bow seems the best combination, but we didn't want to switch instruments for various reasons. Me playing with her violin and bow also screech much less.
The teacher told her to be much more direct in the movement and this seems the solution when he is teaching us, but I think this is simply against her soul, as a ballet teacher all her choreographies are gentle, even character dance, I think this is her style, and so possibly a main source of the problem.
Her violin has Larsen Aurora strings that was on that violin she rented and now become ours, not sure how much was they used, and didn't have the experience judging if it's in any case time to substitute them. We clean them every time and use regularly Melos rosin.
Was reading some strings are very reactive and play at a very soft touch, so that's why I got the idea substitute current one might be an improvement.
I would find it really difficult to practice effectively if someone was in the other room and preparing a corrective regimen for me. The violin journey is very personal, and whatever insights and great intentions you may have, you aren't the one to transmit them to her. That's really for her to figure out with her teacher.
We are having lessons together, practicing mostly together, discussing together problems and next steps. Nothing is hidden, nothing is imposed of course.
Discussion is cool, but I don't really know what it means to practice together. Screeching is fairly natural at the beginning, and getting a good sound can take time. I think of a good sound as coming from a natural weight of the elbow, without holding the shoulder or arm up.
Stephen gives an in depth answer, you can't beat practice, no getting away from the fact violin is extremely difficult and takes a long time to get away from the beginner sound.
I think this is the best thread title in v dot com history.
Yes, Mary Ellen. I clicked
I have tried using translator on my title and I have chuckled for some time. It's so strange after all this years speaking English as self-learner for my work to discover how much funny/wrong seems to native speakers the way I'm writing. I suppose I will need some formal education to improve, like with violin. I have edited the title, hopefully now a bit nearer the original intent.
It is not the strings. Like Stephen already suggested, she should practice bowing open strings, bowing as light as possible, close to the fingerboard, with long full bows, up and down. She can do the same also with shorter bow strokes, in the middle of the bow, at the tip, or at the heel. Bow as lightly as possible, almost not touching the string at all. This must be practiced first, before starting with fingerings.
I am not going to comment your strings choice, but as for the rosin, I would definitely switch to "Vienna's best".
Dear Mr. Warchal, your company strings are in my list for my own violin next change, so incredible for me finding you here in my thread. When will be time next months will ask for some advice.
The rosin choice makes a huge difference, especially if you compare the most scratchy and least scratchy one (as it is in this case). We have executed a big rosin test, you can have a look at our website. On our online shop, there is a Blog section with advice and tips on how to clean strings from a rosin buildup without shortening their lifetime. In any case, I would start with the rosin change. It is not able to substitute proper practice, but it can save you from an additional portion of frustration during practice sessions.
My cello teacher was in the habit of telling me off for not putting enough pressure on the bow. It's taken me quite some time to see just what she was getting at, but it's a matter - for me anyway - of pivoting on the thumb-second finger axis, to bring some pressure on the bow so it doesn't skitter over the string, yet not too much, so it doesn't dig in too much.
After trying most of the suggestions in today practice session - sure need to become an habit - and further exchanging and testing with our violin/bow combination, we discovered the excess of screeching seems mostly due to
A new set of strings can work wonders for sound-especially since you don't know how old those are! The hair in the bow makes a big difference too. Rosin doesn't matter if the hair is worn out-is it horse hair or something like fiberglass? But really, your teacher I'm sure, has all this covered.
Wesley Parish, yes.
Let's hope "Vienna's Best" is better than "Milwaukee's Best."
Suggest following the advice of notable teachers such as Dounis, Havas, Suzuki, and very un-notable ones like myself, to treat bow strokes not as straight lines but as the lower arcs of large circles, so that each end of the stroke is weightless. Caressing rather than scraping.
Mary Ellen, coming from a lady, that is high praise indeed - I'd have expected the feminist in you to have wanted to subsititute "husband" for "wife".
For about a year, after a shift driving cab, I'd drop by a bud's and we'd spend all night working on a motorcycle and drinking scotch. For the longest time after that, whenever I drank scotch, way in the back, I'd smell motorcycle oil.
"Your scotch-and-motorcycle odyssey followed by basement screeching practice could be the modern-day symphony of life. As the great composers would say, 'Mozart had his symphonies, Beethoven had his sonatas, and you, my friend, have your scotch-fueled nocturne by the cat box. Bravo!"
thanks for the correction Buri. beginners already tend to play too close to the fingerboard anyway, so it certainly is better to emphasize bowing in the middle lane.
Amusing lead title. I reminds me: When I would practice the dog would leave the room. After changing teachers he stayed to listen. Definite sign of progress.
When I was very young, probably about 85-90 years ago, my teacher solved my screeching by having me grip the bow at the tip rather than the frog. This prevented me from adding too much weight to the bow, and solved the problem almost immediately. I still demo this when I run into a new player who has the problem.
All my daughter's cello teachers preached extremely low force and learning to let the sound bloom from a very gentle stroke.