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In my latest Violin Geek Podcast episode we explore what it takes to create a compelling arrangement of a Pop, Rock, or Jazz tune and the factors that help determine whether a song is a good candidate for solo violin treatment or if it needs an ensemble or band to do it justice.

If, like me, your performance life has been requiring you to learn new songs in various non-Classical genres lately, or if you have a favorite song you hope to translate to your instrument, we discuss the tools within a violinist's and other bowed string player's technique that can help bring tunes originally written with vocals and lyrics to life in new ways. We also explore musical roles within an ensemble and discuss how different instrument choices can elevate an arrangement. Finally, we cover some tips on how to present performance and repertoire options to a client during the booking process to ensure that expectations are met and song requests are realized.

Many thanks to the clients who have booked me for their weddings and events over the years, and who help me stretch outside my comfort zone with new song requests. Also, thanks to the other musicians adding their musical contributions to this episode: Dan Frechette, acoustic guitar -, and Dan Robbins, doublebass -

All the violin, viola, and cello parts featured were performed by me and the two karaoke tracks came from YouTube and were the official backing tracks featured on the original recordings of those songs.

Happy Practicing!

Please email Laurel at 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
Skype: laurelthomsen

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