Violin Articles

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Menuhin's left hand exercises

The third installment of Yehudi Menuhin's tutorial - invaluable left hand exercises.

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How long should a student study a piece?

A very good question. The Strad magazine has an expert panel with a variety of answers to this question- found here.

 
Why every student should keep a practise diary

We encourage all our students to keep a practise diary which has proved to be an invaluable tool, often leading to noticeable improvements.

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Menuhin's right hand exercises

The second installment of Yehudi Menuhin's guide to the violin looking at the right hand.

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Vanessa Mae- an unlikely contender for the Olympics?

Most of us have heard of Vanessa Mae as the glamorous crossover pop violinist, though how many would have pictured her as an Olympic skier?

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Hardanger Fiddle

The Hardanger Fiddle is not only an astonishing work of art but also the national instrument of Norway with its own unique sound and character. Have a look at this article (found here) from the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America to find out more- and perhaps be inspired to learn! 

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10 things to know about vibrato!

Some very useful advice on vibrato from The Strad magazine:

 

1 Vibrato has always been used

'Vibrato is such a natural thing to do, it is hard to imagine it not being used at any time – or in any culture – where people have bowed stringed instruments.'
Simon Fischer, The Strad, June 2008

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The great violinists

The wonderful American violinist Michael Rabin playing Kreisler's Caprice Viennois and Tambourin Chinois.

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Magnetic violin mute

February product of the month : The Bech magnetic violin mute

Although the Bech magnetic mute has been around for a while and it's such a brilliant addition to any violin that we had to put it as this months violin gadget! Here is a mute that provides a solution to the usual 'buzzing' noises which so often accompanies the standard mutes. It works very simply by fixing the magnetic plastic strip onto the tailpiece which will keep the mute in place and can be bought from amazon for £10.

 

Airline victory for musicians

The Telegraph has reported that small instruments will now be allowed on board airlines, no small victory! Read the full article here.

Geared pegs

January product of the month: Geared pegs

Constantly getting frustated with slipping pegs during tuning? Our new find of the month may just solve this problem- The Wittner Fine Tuned Peg.  Designed to save time and energy, once the peg is fitted it can be tuned through turning the middle section of the peg which brilliantly won't slip. Another benefit is that there is no wear on the peg box as the shaft of the peg doesn't move, thereby avoiding expensive repair bills when issues appear. 

For student violinists the geared peg is ideal and certainly gets our vote! Currently being sold by Guivier's in London.

 


Musical instruments on Eurostar

It was probably only a matter of time before Eurostar introduced costs for taking an instrument on board. After all, Ryanair has been charging ludicrous amounts to allow instruments for some years now- and in some cases requiring the passenger to spend £190 for another seat as reported here.  As far as Eurostar is concerned their policy only affects cello's and double basses for the moment.... see the full article here.

Posture

Unfortunately when beginners first pick up a violin they have a tendency to position their bodies in the most uncomfortable positions possible. For example it’s natural to grip the chin rest for a sense of security which is both unnecessary and will cause neck problems eventually. Another common problem is to hunch the shoulders even with a shoulder rest. It’s important to avoid rounded, hunched shoulders by keeping your frame. This is mainly about conditioning the brain to send the right signals to keep a relaxed body, done frequently enough and in the right manner the body will eventually adapt itself without tensing every muscle used to play the violin. For more comments on this subject please keep checking our articles section!

Lessons

Individual lessons are available in Cleeve, North Somerset.

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Testimonials

"With Liv's skilled teaching my weak bow arm was corrected, my technique greatly improved. Liv has a great way of identifying weak points and giving clear solutions in a way that makes lessons fun and worthwhile. I highly recommend Liv as a violin teacher."

Paula