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Category: technique tips

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As the account goes, someone once asked child prodigy and virtuoso violinist Jascha Heifetz: “How are you able to play so well in tune?” To that, Heifetz replied something to the effect of: “I don’t. I adjust before anyone notices.” Although playing ...

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The age old story goes - you set up your bow hold, perfectly, just as your teacher showed you, but as soon as you start playing, the pinkie finger stiffens, or worse a joint fails and it buckles. Your tone starts to suffer. Your hold feels tense, and ...

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It would be hard to argue that rhythm is the foundation of all music. In it's simplest form, we find a steady beat, or not so steady as the case may be... Sometimes problems with rhythm aren't caused by what we thought they were. Whether you’re just ...

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Not all shifts are created equal. And no, we’re not talking nightgowns!

Learn how to refine your violin or string family shifting technique for optimal expression! Did you know that the finger you “travel” on during a shift makes a subtle but ...

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Whether you've been playing for months or years, the cause of jitters, sputters, and tremor type sounds in your sustained bow strokes can be so elusive they're ranked among the most annoying and frustrating issues a string player will ever encounter. ...

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Learn to adjust your fingerings to harmonize perfectly with open string drones, be they in fiddle tunes or presented as "easy" double stops in classical pieces. Sounds simple? Not so much! In this episode if the Violin Geek Podcast, find ...

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Did you know that our violin family instruments are constantly giving us clues about how to be in perfect tune? We just have to learn to listen to the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle natural resonances. In this episode if the Violin Geek Podcast, ...

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An excerpt from my Improve Your Bowing Technique online course is featured in the January 2012 edition of Strings magazine. If your bow strokes sound better on some strings than others, it could be that you need to adjust your bow’s contact point. ...

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Another excerpt from my Improve Your Bowing Technique online course is featured in the December 2011 edition of Strings magazine! Want to move your bow from G to D? Or perhaps E to G? Or...A to E? No matter where you’re rocking your bow, your upper ...

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An excerpt from my Improve Your Bowing Technique online course is featured in the November 2011 edition of Strings magazine. As the foundation of your bowing technique, how you hold your bow can mean the difference between beautiful tones and perpetual ...

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In these very first episodes of the Violin Geek Podcast you'll learn to train your ears for excellent intonation on your violin or viola. String teacher Laurel Thomsen helps you tune the nine basic finger patterns found in all our major and minor scales ...

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If you’re a string player, have you ever thought about left and right side independence? Perhaps not. The violin family instruments require such asymmetrical positions and motions, I suspect that many string players have never considered how interconnected ...

Please email Laurel at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, have a story or insight to share, or if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with Laurel, in-person or via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.

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Laurel Thomsen

Violin, Viola, Vocals
Performance, Instruction, Recording

Based in Santa Cruz, California

Site by Laurel Thomsen
Photography by Michelle Magdalena

laurel@laurelthomsen.com
831-224-0913
Skype: laurelthomsen

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