Here are some ideas that I have had about violin playing that are helping me while playing one or two Nutcracker Ballets almost every day this past month…

  • 2nd finger 3rd position E on the A string, go slightly lower so it won’t ring too much with the open E (the sound of the sympathetic open E when exactly in tune is too loud and overbearing) For some reason this is not such a problem in 4th, 2nd and first positions.
  • Avoid old lady bow hold syndrome! Collapse the knuckles of your right hand into your bow stick. Think about it often. Think Brian Lewis bowhold.
  • Collapsing knuckles of bowhand and holding fiddle higher helps spicatto. Open left shoulder up when raising the violin.
  • Left elbow too far under the violin hinders vibrato. Pull it back a bit to the left when on the E and A string.
  • Really it is fine if your fingers are not always on the inside corners of the finger tips. For fatter and juicier vibrato, go for the pads of the fingers. (Bill Starr said it’s okay…)
  • When you want more volume, use Panda!
  • Right wrist should always be higher than the stick. Make your wrist like a hill.

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