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14 Comments

  1. Larry Steiner

    Sorry about calling you Sara at the end of my last comment.

    Reply
    • Lora

      You made me smile. I do that all the time! Take care of yourself Lenny. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Larry Steiner

    Hi Lora,
    I received my Dream Tune Tutorial (Suo Gan) and wanted to let you know how happy and impressed I am by what you have created. You have made a beautiful teaching package. Thank you.
    I am enjoying the beginners course very much. I am an American transplant to Australia and at 74 I find one of my biggest challenges revolves around memory. Retaining the fingerings is a slow process and it often takes my attention off the other elements I should be observing while playing. I have to deal with this when playing the ukelele also. But…I enjoy learning and exploring the learning process so this journey does keep me off the streets and out of trouble.
    Thank’s again Sara.
    Larry

    Reply
    • Lora

      Larry,
      I’m thrilled you are enjoying your tutorial on Suo Gan. It’s a sweet lullaby!
      Yes, memory gets harder as we age, but that is all the more reason to work on it. It is benefiting more than just your music! Keep working, and enjoy the PROCESS. But also, don’t be afraid to give yourself little “aids” when you need….fingerings, sheet music, cheat sheets…..because it’s also very fun and satisfying to play from beginning to end of a song without blundering! So make sure you are getting BOTH sides!
      Keep in touch!

      Reply
  3. Peter Chandler

    Hi Lora,

    THANK YOU for your wonderful site and awesome YT videos. I am an adult intermediate fiddler, classically trained back in the 70’s. I am still fighting through instrument fit and back/shoulder pain issues. It has been a revelation to me to learn from you that ‘playing in pain’ is not just part of the deal. In obtaining the right fit, how much proper fit is ascribed to shoulder rest, and how much to chin rest? I am tall (6′-4″) with a long scrawny neck (ha). I am currently testing a Bon Musica with the screws all the way out and I still have at least an inch gap, meaning I have to scrunch up my shoulder or drop my head. Shall I now start looking at taller chin rests, or figure out a way to make the Bon Musica even higher? Just trying to shortcut some way around the time and cost of a lot of trial and error of buying different rests. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Lora

      Hi Peter
      Nice to meet you. Yes, ergonomics is an obsession of mine, and somewhat of a specialty.
      For people with your build, I recommend either the Bon Musica or the Wolf Secundo. There is a luthier online who does really cool videos showing custom set-ups for people using the Wolf Secundo, which can be bent and twisted into all kinds of crazy shapes. (they also go VERY tall, because you can expand the fat screws, plus there are little screws inside the fat screws to crank it even higher if you need, so I like that feature for tall people)
      This video demonstrates some of the adjustments, and you will get a feel for what the Secundo is like without BUYING it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtPp9EF_jys

      The one big advantage of Wolf Secundo over Bon Musica is that the Wolf is not such a TANK. It is much lighter. But plenty fiddlers I know use Bon Musica because it simply works for them, and that’s the bottom line.

      Now, a word of warning: Too often people try to lift their shoulder rests to fill the gap between jaw and chest, which can be a HUGE distance. But this creates problems when your violin is lifted so high, your left arm must also lift up high to play on it…..and after hours and years, this can wreak havok on a shoulder. The ideal thing to do is split the difference as much as you can between getting an extra tall chin rest, and then take up the slack with your shoulder rest…..I mean, chin rests can only go so high. But you will do yourself many favors by mitigating the lift of the violin by using the tallest chin rest you can possibly find.
      THere are speciaists in this area, it will cost you a pretty penny, but it will last you forever, and ensure a long life of enjoying your instrument PAIN FREE. Frisch and Denig is a company that pioneered the concept of high chin rests. Here is their link: http://chinrests.com/

      I would love love love it if you come back after exploring and share with us what you learned, and any new discoveries. This is how my knowledge base grows to include more and more body types. Good luck!

      Oh, I want to mention one more thing: If you have prominent collar bones, the Secundo is curved nicely to avoid them. I know that is a very common problem for certain body types.

      But if you look on youtube, you can learn ways to “rig something up” yourself…..it isn’t elegant, but you can at least experiment and try it in combo with your shoulder rest. Once you think you have it dialed in, then you can see about investing in a custom chin rest with Frisch and DEnig. I have students who have done it, and they LOVE them.

      Reply
  4. hossein

    Hello, I am an adult beginner. I started very late. 62, now I am 70 and I have been trying to learn vibrato for as long as I remember. Doing an egg shake to doing bye bye hand movement. I just joined your lesson to learn that. I will let you know the progress I will make. I hope your lesson is the last stop to learn vibrato for me.
    Thank you for putting it out.

    Reply
    • Lora

      Hi Hossein
      The egg shaker and “bye bye” are really good exercises. I teach an exercise similar to “bye bye” but it is more specific to get you to learn to MOVE THE VIBRATO JOINT. I call it “Thumb Swings”, I think.
      Anyway, I hope it will give you the missing piece of the puzzle!
      Keep us posted!

      Reply
  5. Børge Hu Samuelsen

    Hi Lora

    Now I’m one step closer, and looking forward to join your courses:)

    Best regards from Boerge.

    Reply
    • Lora

      Hi Borge!
      Well I will be here when you take the final step! Looking forward to you joining us!

      Reply
  6. Polina

    Hi Lora, I found your warm-up exercise video on youtube and wanted to ask you if the warm up is appropriate for children as well. My daughter has been playing violin for 2 years and LOVES to practice (yes, I know that’s a rare situation) so I am trying to impose breaks during practice, but I also thought it would be good for her to warm up before playing and stretch at the end. She just started book 3 and is almost 7 years old. I’ve heard about so many violinists with injuries that I want to make sure she develops a healthy habit of warming up and cooling down. Thank you.
    Polina

    Reply
    • Lora

      Hi Polina
      Wow, that is a GREAT problem to have!
      I have a friend whose father would take his violin away as punishment if he didn’t get his chemistry homework done. Needless to say, he is not a chemist, he is a wonderful professional violinist.
      It’s a wonderful thing when you don’t have to coax!
      Keep it up!

      Reply
  7. Tom Williams

    Lora, I am an adult fiddle student. I started 5 yrs ago and I go to a fiddle camp each year. I am an intermediate player and go to 2 jam sessions each week. I play 5 string banjo and upright bass just fine and used to teach guitar at a music store. At the bluegrass camps I attend, I see teenagers who are unbelievably strong players. Their fundamentals are way past what I can do. I need some structured help in this area. I am retired and have plenty of time to practice. Do you have suggestions for me?

    Reply
    • Lora

      Hi Tom
      Sounds like you are in a great position to make some MAJOR progress, given the right direction.
      First, I would recommend getting a good coach/teacher who can give you a monthly lesson and pile on some work. Thing is, it is hard to find “the right teacher” who really clicks with you…..but if you were able to find someone good, it would be awesome!

      Secondly, my Suzuki courses will give you ALL the basics, plus advanced techniques too. Although they are taught from a classical standpoint, they have helped hundreds of fiddlers to strengthen their technique and foundation. You already “have the music in you”….you just need the technique to help you get it out. I would recommend Suzuki Book 1 for basics, ear training, bow hold, tone production, and intonation. I would recommend Suzuki Book 2 for greater left hand development, more intonation work, and much higher bow technique.

      My fiddle course teaches fiddle tunes and HOW to develop each one, how to approach each tune from 8 different facets, and really pull the most out of it that you can. It will give you HUNDREDS of fiddle tricks and formulas to put in your toolbox to apply to ANY tune you learn in the future. But the fiddle course doesn’t dwell on “technique” of playing the instrument.

      My fiddle secrets course is very condensed, will give you all those tricks and formulas that the fiddle course gives, but it doesn’t teach the 24 tunes….only the tricks and formulas. It’s good for people who already know dozens of tunes but who don’t know what do DO with all those tunes.

      Let me know if you need further help deciding! I’m happy to help!

      Reply

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