An Ethereal Guitarist's Path

Monday, February 11, 2008

viola lesson 2

I really should have written in this right after my lesson. It was a small lesson but one that contained a lot of information. My teacher gave me these wrist/bowing exercises to work on, and taught me fully/properly how to hold the viola, which she complimented me on as well as my grasp on the bow. I apologize if this post seems so disorganized.

So here are some wrist exercises im doing
1. the first one is to hold the viola bow properly and rotate my wrist making a windshield wiper movement.

2. This one is to hold the viola bow vertically with both hands, and then I move me arm in a small, then medium, then large circle. My arms is supposed to make the movement but the shoulders are the primary muscles being used. That is ultimately the muscle movementI use for bowing.

3. For this one, I place my left hand at my left shoulder, in a circular shape. Then I bow back and forth through it

4. The next exercises is to hold the bow to my belly button and extend it as if i were stabbing someone.

5. Last one was to grip the viola bow and scrunch my fingers in toward my hand so that my knuckles are flat, and then put it back into position.
-Im having a lot of trouble with this one. I dont think i truly understand how to move my hand in that sort of way. The important thing is to not lose my grip which is ultimately what im having trouble on.

Now, when holding the viola, instead of having my chin on the chin rest, it is supposed to be mostly over the tail piece. My jawbone is what is supposed to "clamp" on to the edge of the chin rest. The viola rests against my left shoulder to angled slightly, making it pretty straight/flat. It will be a lot easier to move my hand up and down the neck like that. As I said in my first viola lesson post, I need to remain completely balanced and relaxed. My left arm right now serves as balancing the viola right now. I havent actually been taught about holding the neck yet, but its better this way.

When I physically bow the strings, my shoulder is what's donig the work and my forearm is what is guiding the direction. The direction of the bowing is to be parallel to the bridge. Its hard to keep the bowing so straight at first, since the viola itself is slightly angled, but with time ill get used to that.

The strings on the viola starting from the left side are titled CGDA. When playing on the A string, my elbow is mostly down, close to my body, but not super close. When i move up to the D string I pretty much move my elbow up, as with going to the G and C strings. Then the important thing is to stay completely aligned and not bow in crooked. I think thats what produces that screeching sound, which I didnt have much of.


I also just found out that the music building's rehearsal studios are open nearly all the time. I can pretty much stay there till a janitor kicks me out. I dont think its 24/7 though. I will be putting myself there for a lot of time on mondays, though not as much on tuesdays, unless its late at night. Anyway, That will be very good for me and I cant wait to start taking advantage of that. Soon I hope to get much better at viola and eventually start meeting other people just to be friends or to start collaborating musically with. Im getting more and more ideas for music in general and specifically what I want to create. Im so glad im in college and switched to music. This is the best decision ive made in my life. I just wish i knew more, and could do more on my instruments. I have so many ideas, and lots of musical knowledge coming at me from many different directions. I cant express my ideas ideally how id like to because of my skill, but I think im going to start writing simple music for now, and write within my limitations, as opposed to waiting till im really good and going all out. Simple music is just as beautiful as technical music.

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