Lora Staples - beginning violin and fiddle expert
Beginning Violin And Fiddle
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Lora Staples' latest beginning violin and fiddle videos
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Questions, Comments, Requests:

RENNIE on May 4, 2018 @10:06 am PST
Hi Laura,
I am 20 years old and I am from India. It has just been 3 months from the day I started my violin playing. I really don't have a Western classical violin teacher. The major problem which I am facing is that my bow is bouncing and shaking. I improved a bit by viewing some youtube videos. But, still I find my bow shaking especially when i do down stroke. So, please give me a perfect solution for this. If you had already posted videos on this please send me the link and thank you for all your videos and support.
Marguerite Chippendale on December 4, 2017 @9:50 pm PST
Dear Lora,
When do we shift from 1st position to 3rd position and back again.
Noranne on April 25, 2017 @10:46 am PST
can't seem to get the tunes that you mention when applying drones in your video
Pam on March 2, 2017 @10:59 am PST
I have been working on intonation while playing Arioso in G. No matter how hard I work, when I come back to the tune, I make the same intonation mistakes. I can "hear" what is correct, and I can correct the mistake, but I can't convince my muscles to find the correct pitch on the first try. I try to coach myself, reminding myself that on THAT D note I need to stretch my third finger a little further, or that on THAT C natural I need to tuck my 2nd finger a little further, but I can't make it "stick." Is this just a matter of practice?
margie on November 12, 2016 @7:14 am PST
how do you do a 2 octave f major arpeggio?
Lora * VSM MEMBER * 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!
Ivan on August 14, 2016 @8:31 pm PST
Lora I was wondering if you give personal violin lessons, or do you just do the online lessons? if you do teach violin one on one then I would like to know how I can sign up? I am not really interested in taking online lessons.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on December 9, 2016 @1:32 pm PST
Hi Ivan, I do teach private webcam lessons. I have a bit of a waiting list, but I am very diligent about working my way down the list! Please email me at info@reddesertviolin.com and I will get you on my waiting list and give you all the details. I appreciate the faith you place in me! Talk to you later.
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 :-)
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on December 9, 2016 @1:34 pm PST
Dave, it is a rare person who even understands what a nanometer is! Maybe I exaggerated a wee bit....perhaps it's only micrometers....but we are still talking VERY SMALL! -
Helen Robson on March 10, 2016 @3:20 am PST
Hi Lora,
I have difficulty on the G string on my violin with relaxing my hand and reaching for notes, any tips you can give me I would greatly appreciate. Grade 3 standard.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on December 9, 2016 @1:37 pm PST
Helen, I'm so sorry I did not see this comment until now! I sincerely hope you are still advancing your musical studies! I have just the video for your question. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w2fiaoUa88
Paste that into your browser. It's my youtube video about playing on the g string. You can also search my channel for "Playing violin with short arms" if you are a short person like me! You will find that helpful!
Again, SO sorry for this delayed reply!
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 * VSM MEMBER * 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 * VSM MEMBER * 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.
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