Lora Staples - beginning violin and fiddle expert
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Beginning Violin And Fiddle
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margie on November 12, 2016 @7:14 am PST
how do you do a 2 octave f major arpeggio?
Lora - host, on November 16, 2016 @9:39 am PST
Hi Margie
Great question. In order to play a TWO octave F major arpeggio, you will have to shift out of 1st position. There are MANY fingerings you can choose, and I would refer you to the book here on Virtual Sheet Music called "Basics of Violin Playing" by F. Ferrari. It has a FANTASTIC section on scales and arpeggios with fingerings!

But, let me try to convey the fingering I would use for a 2-octave F Major arpeggio:

F-A-C this is the 1st octave, played 2 on D, 4 on D, 2 on A

F-A-C-F this is the 2nd octave, plus the top "F" For this octave, I jump all the way up to 1st finger on the A string in FIFTH POSITION!!! That's a leap from 1st position to 5th position, but it is remarkably easy with a little practice

Once you are in 5th position, you just play:
1 on A F
3 on A A
1 on E C
4 on E F

Then take the same fingering down. So here's the whole thing:

2-4-2 BIG SHIFT 1-3-1-4

Then read that backwards to come back down.

But really, if you get the book "Basics of Violin Playing", it will explain scales and arpeggios very nicely!

Good luck to you!
Dave March on April 2, 2016 @9:14 pm PST
Hi Lora,

Just watched your YouTube video on "tonalizations". Been LOVING your lessons! You impart such wisdom and warmth. BTW, I think you're being poetic when you refer to finger placement in "nanometers". Because, literally, a nanometer is a billionth of a meter - at the molecular scale of things. But it gave me a chuckle :-)
Scotia T. Nutt on January 20, 2016 @6:54 pm PST
Your video lessons are great. They're very thorough and present the material in a clearly understandable format. Would you please consider doing a series of videos covering the Bach A minor Violin Concerto BWV 1041. The only video we've been able to obtain that covers this piece is a 'master class' video by a Russian violinist. It seems to be mainly a 'brow beating' session where he's trivializing the interpretive efforts of his young female student and doesn't help us viewers in the mechanics of internalizing this beautiful masterpiece by Bach. Thank you for your lessons, and keep up the good work.
Lora - host, on January 25, 2016 @9:24 am PST
Hi Scotia,
I cringe at the description of the video you are describing. It's all too common. So sad. But times are changing.....even classical music educators are realizing that it doesn't kill the students if you use POSITIVE feedback instead of abuse and belittling!

Bach A Minor, I absolutely love that masterpiece too. (you have good taste!) I cannot predict when I"ll be able to get to it, as I have a long "wish list".....but I will definitely consider it. Thanks for the suggestion!
Mickey Teising * VSM MEMBER * on October 14, 2015 @7:09 am PST
Good morning,
I haven't played my violin in forty years. I miss it and would like to start again. I am 67. Am I too old? I used to be pretty good (turned down a position with the Toronto Symphony and even attended Congress of Strings in '66).
Thank you for your time.
Harold Teising
Lora - host, on October 20, 2015 @2:24 pm PST
Harold! Are you kidding? You are not too old, and there is no time like NOW to get back to it! I like to tell people, "Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is too late, but TODAY is the perfect time to get started!"

Just think in 5 years, you will look back and think, "Man, I am sure glad I started when I did".....whereas, in 5 years, you might also look back and think, "Man, I wish I had started 5 years ago!"

May I suggest you visit my lessons page at www.RedDesertViolin.com/onlinelessons to get started
That page will show you my whole line-up of lessons from total beginner to high intermediate.
willene botha * VSM MEMBER * on July 13, 2015 @5:14 am PST
Hi Miss Lora
could you please advise me on how to teach myself the Vivaldi concerto in a minor . I would love to know what do you recommend .
Kind regards
Diana Jarnutowski * VSM MEMBER * on February 24, 2015 @6:14 pm PST
Hi Miss Lora,
I have signed up and was setting up the log in name/password and was having trouble viewing everything on my iphone when everything did one of those disappearing acts on me. Do you suppose the powers that be could resend that information? I have to use a different email from the previous one because of payment issues. Thanks in advance for your attention to this matter.
Diana Jarnutowski on February 21, 2015 @1:41 pm PST
Hi Ms, Lora
Yesterday I was watching your video "Memorization part 3" I was trying to mark the Gavotte into sections for easy memorization and I was not fast enough to get all the two pages market is sections and now I just cannot find it anywhere. Was it taken down?
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on February 21, 2015 @7:50 pm PST
Dear Diana, Lora has released just two videos on memorization:

Memorization part 1:

Memorization part 2:

Maybe you are referring to the 3-part videos on "Playing by Ear"? Just wondering...
Linda * VSM MEMBER * on July 11, 2014 @4:44 pm PST
Thanks Lora. All good information as usual.
Linda * VSM MEMBER * on July 2, 2014 @7:56 am PST
Question 2: What are your thoughts on 5 string violas? I admit missing the E string from the Violin, while loving the C of the Viola. I would not give up my Viola but would like the flexibility of playing violin parts as well. Thanks again.
Lora - host, on July 10, 2014 @9:52 am PST
Interesting....so it has the body size of a viola? I have never seen a 5 string viola. I would imagine that the E string on a longer body size would sound way worse than a C string on a shorter body size. I do not think the E string would sound normal....but I could be wrong. Anyway, I love 5 string VIOLINS.....and if that's what you are referring to, I say GO FOR IT! They do have all the versatility you could want!
Linda * VSM MEMBER * on July 2, 2014 @7:53 am PST
Dear Lora,
I have a question about left hand thumb placement. When I changed from violin to viola my thumb changed as well and frankly I don't know where I want to place it, to the side, in the notch of my thumb and first finger or under the neck. Will one way give more freedom of movement? Is it a choice. I know if I have to change it will be an adjustment but I don't want to get to accustomed to a wrong placement. Thanks
Lora - host, on July 10, 2014 @9:56 am PST
Hi Linda
That is a very hard question to answer, because the thumb placement varies widely from player to player. Also, to be perfectly honest, I'm not SURE what the gold standard is....I have small hands, and the best place for my thumb is to rotate quite far back toward the scroll, and at times, my thumb is practically under the neck. The important "rule of thumb" (get it....rule of thumb) is to NOT SQUEEZE. The most "normal" position I see is for the pad of the thumb to contact the neck, with a portion of the thumb sticking up past the G string.

Here's an idea: figure out a professional (or famous) violinist who has a body type similar to yours.....then watch what they do with their thumb. I would use that as a guideline. And with YOuTube, it's never been easier to consult the experts!

Good luck!
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