Monthly Archives: February 2015

Tone Angles

Technical feedback is one of the biggest things teachers have to offer that students need, of course, and like any good teacher mine metes it out in measured doses.  But in the past two lessons there’s no getting around I’ve gotten lots of it – last week it was the bow hold – bend the […]

Funereal Chanting

I was at a Greek Orthodox funeral this past week for the father of a colleague, who passed at age 86.  I’ve been inside a couple of Greek Orthodox churches, so I knew about the elaborate ornamentation common to the cathedrals, but until Wednesday I had never attended a service.  I arrived early, to an […]

Bend the Thumb

I’m back to working on my bow hold:  Bend the thumb.  Bend the thumb.  Bend the thumb.  Touch the hair with your knuckle.  Touch the hair with your knuckle.  Touch the hair with your knuckle. Playing while obsessing about bending my thumb is causing me to struggle a bit.  In the last lesson Teacher really […]

Beethoven Time

I ended up rescheduling my Wednesday no-go lesson for yesterday, so instead of the minor week I had planned I’m having a big one.  I started in on my first Beethoven, a minuet; Teacher wrote across the top of the music, “bow distribution.”  It gets complicated, with slurs of many notes constantly – I told […]

Louder, and Company

I’m playing louder lately.  I’ve been trying to bow more confidently, and to produce decisive strokes.  It’s causing my tone to improve, and it’s helping me sound better overall, for sure. But it is louder. Now, we’ve lived in this condo for over 10 years, and it’s been quite quiet the whole time.  I added […]

Another Minor Week

I won’t have a lesson on Wednesday –  instead, I’ll be attending the funeral of a friend’s father.  So that means I’ll have to wait another week to start in on the Beethoven I’ve been anticipating so wildly;  the extra week I forced myself into with Gavotte by Lully will become two.  Of course I […]

Turning Notes into Music

In yesterday’s lesson we worked on the finer bits of playing that increase musicality.  What I’m talking about is a version of the “bow boldly” theme that’s becoming prominent for me, but it goes further than that. Yesterday we focused on playing sections of the music that naturally flow together as a unit – a […]

Strings and Hard Things

Last night I was talking to my friend who has just taken up the cello.  She’s slightly north of 60 years old and she’s never played any instrument before at all.  I talked to her about the difficult nature of fretless stringed instruments –  there’s just so much that goes into playing the things.  I […]

The Razumovsky Quartets

In 1806, Beethoven wrote a series of three quartets for strings, Opus 59, nicknamed the Razumovsky quartets, after the Russian ambassador to Vienna who commissioned them.  This morning I ran across a performance of the first quartet from the work, Beethoven’s 7th String Quartet overall.  The quartet takes a place beside the Kreutzer Sonata and […]

You Gotta Have Strings

Well it’s been a terrible few days for me in violin land.  I have not played since Saturday, when I got in a quick 45 minute practice session.  The main reason is my broken A string, compounded by the blizzard – I wrote I would head to the burbs to visit the luthier on Tuesday, […]