William Fitzpatrick - violin expert
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Kozhan Wahid on January 11, 2016 @6:21 am PST
I was playing Kayser Op. 20 etude no. 5 lately, and I was noticing some tension in my triceps as I was playing the allegro vivace with spiccato. Also I was see whole lot of extra dancing of the bow when I was playing the off string spiccato. Any suggestion on how to loosen up?
Carolyn Keeler on December 7, 2015 @7:47 am PST
I am having a big problem with my violin going out of tune and the pegs poping and all strings really loose. I live in AZ and it has gone down to 18 degrees to 70 degrees in just a couple of hours and then back down. I try to practice when it is warmest but doesn't make that much difference. Sometimes it pops when it is in the case. Please help me. If I try tuning the violin to many times I break the strings or bridge or both. Is that something I can do or a process to do? I am just getting to where I can start playing real music and practice for hours until it pops. Carolyn Keeler
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on December 7, 2015 @9:32 am PST
Dear Carolyn, thank you for your question to Robert, but I think Prof. Fitzpatrick, our violin expert, can probably help you better on answering your question:


Being a professional violinist myself, I can suggest to put some Rosin on the pegs to make them more "firm". Please, let me know if that works.
William - host, on December 10, 2015 @10:00 am PST
Hi! As I come from another generation we did soap to loosen and chalk to firm. There is no more chalk so if roisin doesn't work ask your violin repairperson for a possible solution. But raisin should work!
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on December 10, 2015 @11:36 am PST
You are right William, blackboard chalks should work just fine. I didn't think about that!

Another solution instead, to loose pegs, is to use talcum powder.
Laura Vidmar * VSM MEMBER * on July 8, 2015 @3:02 pm PST
Do you have any suggestions for developing the wrist and finger motion in the right hand?
William - host, on July 9, 2015 @9:42 am PST
Hi and thanks for the question. Basically I would say that your wrist and fingers are already loose and ready to be put in motion. Putting them in motion should occur from the elbow. I know that my answer seems rather flip but its hard to go further in this limited response so ... In the future I will address the issue in more detail in a video! Again thanks for bringing it up!!!
Laura Vidmar * VSM MEMBER * on July 9, 2015 @4:12 pm PST
Thanks. I see what you mean about the elbow from your Cole video. But it assumes you already have a finger motion, and that is what I am trying to teach one of my students right now.
Heidrun Kath * VSM MEMBER * on July 3, 2015 @10:25 pm PST
Hello Professor,
Thank you for the video on staccato. A new approach may be better than another 30 tears trying to get it right. How I hate Kreutzer's Etude Nr. 4! Thank you also for your studies on one string. Very valuable exercise! Greetings from Australia.
Heidi Kath.
William - host, on July 4, 2015 @10:19 am PST
Laurie Hufford * VSM MEMBER * on June 26, 2015 @6:55 pm PST
Can a wrong bow or rosin cause squeaking and scratching sound when none was previously noticed?
William - host, on June 30, 2015 @1:25 pm PST
Possibly? The rosin I use and tell my students to use is Hill light ...
ekeleme on May 31, 2015 @9:28 am PST
request:please sir i am a violin student for 2yrs now but i find it difficult to play 3 octave notes both it fingering pattern and position so i need help
thank you
William - host, on December 10, 2015 @10:01 am PST
Hi! Am doing a video on scales shortly! That should help to clarify things!
Cheryl * VSM MEMBER * on February 22, 2015 @3:13 pm PST
Q re: one string scales, do your eyes actually look at the individual notes on pages 9 & following? (it hurts my eyes to look at all the ledger lines....) I know this sounds like a stupid question but I can hardly bring myself to "read" those notes, I think I just internalize the "pattern" or that it is a chromatic scale starting on f natural and going up 2 octaves.....that type of thing. Thanks for the chance to pick your brain on this. Cheryl
William - host, on June 30, 2015 @1:27 pm PST
Hi! I think that just doing the chromatic scale up 2 octaves is sufficient ... don't hurt your eyes!
Member * VSM MEMBER * on February 5, 2015 @8:28 am PST
Professor Fitzpatrick,
Thank you so much for your outstanding Guide to Violin Excellence!
It is concise, crystal clear and covers many topics ignored by other authors.
I have been trying to develop an arm vibrato for a year and a half. No success. My 2nd finger insists on driving the down/up motion when it should be driven by the arm. So when I speed up things fall apart.
You dreamed your way to vibrato. That is the only approach I haven't tried! Can you please provide some guidance so I can follow in your dream-steps?
Many thanks for your book and videos!
Pasadena, CA
William - host, on February 9, 2015 @9:49 am PST
I will definitely do a video on vibrato and will definitely be awake!
Member * VSM MEMBER * on February 10, 2015 @2:12 pm PST
Great! Thank you!
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on February 9, 2015 @9:58 am PST
We have already a video on vibrato by Lora Staples for anyone interested in the topic:


But I am sure Prof. Fitzpatrick could brilliantly extend the concept in a new video of his.
Member * VSM MEMBER * on February 10, 2015 @2:13 pm PST
So am I.
Many thanks.
Latchezar Dimitrov on November 25, 2014 @11:00 pm PST
Hello William,

What do you think about the places of notes in the music in general?
Do you agree that every note must have the same place every time you play it?
William - host, on February 9, 2015 @9:48 am PST
Not exactly sure about your question? Could you tell me, explain more?
Charles on September 29, 2014 @12:44 pm PST
Hi, I have been working on Vivaldi's Autumn concerto for a number years and I always have difficulty with the double stop passages of the main theme of both the 1st movement and the 3rd movement. I always used to play it 3rd position but now I am using it as a shift exercise between 2nd and 3rd. How would you suggest that it should be played. Thanks
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