Todd Ehle - violin expert
Violin
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Todd Ehle's latest violin videos
About Todd Ehle
Todd EhleIf you're one of the millions of violinists who have visited Professor V on YouTube, then you already know Todd Ehle and his popular series of educational, entertaining violin videos. He has also created dozens of videos for Virtual Sheet Music, and his specialty is helping advanced violin students refine their technique and raise their playing to an even higher level.

Todd is an Associate Professor of Music at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, TX. He earned degrees in violin performance from the University of Northern Colorado, and also studied at the Eastman School of Music. He debuted at Carnegie Hall in 1995, and 2 years later in Europe at the Czech Academy of Music. NPR's "Performance Today," as well as Strad, Strings, and Chamber Music magazines, have all featured interviews with Todd. He is featured as violin soloist with the Czech Radio Symphony in a recording of "Forests of the Night," a work composed by his father, Robert C. Ehle. If you happened to take to the air on Continental Airlines in the mid-90s, you may have even heard Todd's CD with cellist Charles du Chateau as a popular selection on the airlines' In-Flight audio.
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Questions, Comments, Requests:

Julie Hatfield * VSM MEMBER * on August 2, 2020 @10:38 am PST
I have played for many years, but would like to know how to do wrist vibrato. Also how to improve my sound quality in regards to my right arm, as it seems to keep a "heavy" sound. Also I seem to hit 2 strings a lot, and get unwanted sounds.
reply
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on August 3, 2020 @8:41 am PST
Dear Julie, thank you for your inquiry.

In the meantime that Tood can answer your question, I wanted to suggest to look at the other videos we have on vibrato, I am sure you'll find them useful and maybe you'll find your answer there:

https://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/expertsearch.php?vkey=vibrato

Please, let us know if you have any further questions.

All the best,
Todd - host, on August 5, 2020 @12:53 pm PST
Hi Julie, thank you for your question. I’ll answer with a couple of links, because I think it’s easier to show you than tell you. A basic rundown of vibrato, and the way I teach it can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/zraCMnfqTso
I’ve found this trick helpful in relaxing the left hand: https://youtu.be/H-_I7ouOnbg
If you are still struggling you might try to develop a flexible first knuckle, which will all freedom of movement: https://youtu.be/wtPIsfhBoeA
Finally, I have six other videos on vibrato, which you can access here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2266F2353CEA4A34
With your tone production it sounds link you are working harder than you need to. Perhaps your shoulder or bow hold are tense? Here’s a tone production video that might help: https://youtu.be/IPpS9VQt5as
Best Wishes! I hope something here helps.
Barbara on March 24, 2020 @2:05 am PST
Hi Todd, I have a basic problem with a metronome. It may seem silly but I cannot determine what no I set it on if there is no guide at the top of the music. Also, do you set it to click on the first beat of each bar? It may seem silly but my counting in difficult passages is not good until I know the rhythm such as a predictable Beethoven piece any piece with a definite rhythm. I play 2nd violin in an orchestra and sometimes the timing is not obvious when trying to fit in with the rest of the orchestra. I have a terrible job to count difficult fast intricate bars that seem to be at odds with the tune and other musicians. Can you advise how please?

Barbara
RENNIE on May 4, 2018 @10:04 am PST
Hi Todd,
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.
reply
Todd - host, on September 5, 2018 @2:17 pm PST
Hi Rennie,
Without seeing you I can only speculate, but I'll tell you things I've observed with other students If your bow is not fairly parallel to the bridge it will tend to cause unwanted noise, and depending on how crooked it is, actually bounce. Another common cause of a bounce is when the wrist angle suddenly changes (drops), which kicks the bow off the string. Watch your wrist while you perform a down bow and see if it is a gradual motion, or a sudden one. If the bouncing begins when you first change bow directions from up to down, perhapsyour bow hold is to rigid. Remember to allow the weight of the bow to be supported by the violin. Your bow hand should cradle the stick gently, not squeeze it tightly. If the bow starts shaking, try tilting the stick slightly away from your face, or lean the wood towards the scroll (but still remain parallel to the bridge). I tell my students, "wood away," to remind them. It's hard to explain all these things in writing, but I hope something here will help! Todd
Carolyn Keeler * VSM MEMBER * on December 24, 2017 @9:58 am PST
I am trying to find a violin shoulder and chin rest that will fit correctly. I have been playing at the violin for two years but because of no shoulder rest and chin rest that fit correctly I can't seem to get anywhere. I have tried sponge, Evernett and Lun and others. There is always a big gap between the violin and my shoulder.There are no music stores within 100 miles of us in Dolan Springs, AZ. We tried going to one in Henderson and the clerk said I had to buy them to try to find one that works. How can I solve this?
Thank you in advance
Carolyn Keeler
carkee49@yahoo.com
1928-897-4675
reply
Todd - host, on September 5, 2018 @2:02 pm PST
Hi Carolyn, I'm sorry I didn't see your question earlier and do hope you've resolved this issue. If not, have you heard of the Frisch and Denig violin chinrest fitting system? If not, go to chinrests.com and check it out. It's all extremely personal and unique to each individual, but perhaps you can find the answers you are looking for with their help. best Wishes! Todd Ehle
Lina on March 7, 2014 @10:35 am PST
Can you give me a tip for studiyng the mendelssohn violin concerto´s cadenza. I have problems with my bowl. I really don´t know how to fix the clarity of the notes and sound. Sorry my english i am Colombian.
reply
Todd Ehle - host, on October 2, 2016 @12:07 pm PST
Hi Lina, I am looking through this page and I see your question is unanswered. I do hope you were able to work out your bow issues in the Mendelssohn Concerto! Best, Todd
anna funes on December 9, 2013 @1:52 pm PST
can you do a video on corelli's la folia. I'm having trouble with the runs.
reply
Todd - host, on October 2, 2016 @12:05 pm PST
Hi Anna, I see you left this for me three years ago! I do hope you were able to complete La Folia to your satisfaction. My apologies and best wishes! Todd
Jackie * VSM MEMBER * on October 9, 2013 @9:48 am PST
Occasionally I get a whistle when I play an open E string. This usually happens when I am playing something such as a scale going up on the A string into an open E string. How can I eliminate the whistle? I am an experienced player and use what I believe are very good strings.
reply
Todd Ehle - host, on October 9, 2013 @2:45 pm PST
Hi Jackie, I remember one of my teachers, Catherine Tait, addressing this very issue. She said that if a whistling E occurred on a string crossing, you could plan for it by pulling the bow slightly further in towards your body as you string cross, so that the bow is not actually parallel to the bridge when you first begin the note. You'll need to straighten it out instantly after the note begins, but this should help get rid of the whistle. Give it a try and good luck!
mariano * VSM MEMBER * on September 8, 2013 @1:53 pm PST
I wish to learn the bach prelude in E major solo violin perhaps bwv 1006 with clear and slow movement so i can follow/learn it.
reply
Todd Ehle - host, on September 11, 2013 @8:44 am PST
Hi Mariano, that's a great movement from a great work. It will probably have to be the new VSM teacher to help you through it, but it's an ideal selection for a video. Best of luck to you!
J Smith on August 7, 2013 @8:18 am PST
Sometimes my bow slips and I don't know why. I am an experienced player (20+ years). My violin teacher checked my
bow hold and says its fine. She told me sometime my vibrato will
cause my violin to move too much. But I have watched for this and
can't always blame it on my finger vibrato. any suggestions?
thanks
reply
Todd Ehle - host, on September 11, 2013 @8:48 am PST
Hi J. Smith, I have seen tremendous improvement when a student just stares at the contact point (bow to string) while playing. That monitoring of the contact point gives instant feedback to your brain and often resolves the problem. Do this every day for several minutes and you should be able to develop a "feel" that will start to carry over to all your playing. Best of luck!
Hank Schutz * VSM MEMBER * on June 12, 2013 @7:02 am PST
In the Preludio to Bach's E Major Partita III, do the note stem directions in measures 13-28 always indicate that a note with upward stem is played on the open E string? Does convention require that each pair of notes be on different strings? Suggested fingering (in general)?
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