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Violin: Interview and demonstration with concertmaster David Kim

Created by All Star Orchestra.

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  • female robot grace style avatar for user Isabel Belém
    Do you have any tips to make vibrato with the 1st and 4th fingers in the violin?
    (14 votes)
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    • starky sapling style avatar for user annabel
      Don't use a metronome. I am learning how to do vibrato right now, and this is one of the exercises my teacher told me to do first:

      - Sit in a chair with an armrest
      - Rest your elbow and rock your wrist/hand , back and then straight up again. DON'T go forward. Vibrato is when you FLAT the note, not SHARP it.
      - Do it slowly at first, then gradually speed up, counting in your head

      If you don't understand this, then you can always ask your teacher if you have one!
      (5 votes)
  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user asianeer2014
    Do you have to count the time in an orchestra or can you just wing it?
    (4 votes)
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  • starky ultimate style avatar for user mr.matteo.reccia
    I'm a singer and student of psychology really interested in emotions :) one of the biggest question i would like to ask to everyone(musician or not), is:
    How do you face "on stage" stress?
    Whatever the "stage" is, real or abstract.
    (8 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Jaden Doe
      When I perform music before an audience, I always sit quietly for a few long moments before starting to calm down and to get myself into the right mood. I do my best to forget the audience, and play for my own enjoyment, I tend to lose myself in the music. This is the only way I can put my feelings into what I am playing.
      (10 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Al V.
    At about , he mentions that modern items are put onto the violin. Are there any orchestras that use only original instruments/authentic replicas (no modern things on the instrument)? Such as using only violins that Mozart would have had in his time?
    (8 votes)
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    • leafers tree style avatar for user Duncan McGough
      Yes! Many orchestras will only use what are known as "period instruments," or instruments from that musical period. For instance, in the Baroque period, strings were traditionally made from a material known as "gut," created from the intestine from sheep. It has a richer, more complex sound, but needs more care and tuning and doesn't last as long. The bows have a different shape and are shorter so the players can articulate the sound differently. Baroque Orchestras are usually comprised of a lesser amount of people (or "ensemble") and are known as chamber orchestras. These can also include instruments specific from the time period they wish to convey. Some instruments, such as the lute or Viola de Gamba, are specific to a time period and will usually only be used in a Baroque chamber orchestra. Different instruments, such as the piano, timpani, and tuba, consist in larger symphonic orchestras only (usually). Some instruments weren't even invented yet at the time of the conception of the piece, so ensembles have to take that into consideration when they decide what pieces to play so all the parts are covered in the orchestra.
      (10 votes)
  • mr pink red style avatar for user Angelina2Cantu
    how many strings does a violin have
    (4 votes)
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    • primosaur ultimate style avatar for user booboo
      The violin, viola, cello, and bass all have four strings.
      The strings on a violin are G, D, A, E from lowest to highest.
      The strings on a viola are C, G, D, A from lowest to highest.
      The strings on a cello have the same intervals as a viola, but an octave lower.
      The strings on a bass are E, A, D, G from lowest to highest.
      (15 votes)
  • hopper cool style avatar for user Brooks Wang
    Who's the best violinist in the world?
    (1 vote)
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    • leaf blue style avatar for user CTG
      In my opinion it is Jascha Heifetz because of his high technical percussion and musicality, but there are other greats such as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Hilary Han, Fritz Kreisler, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Maxim Vengerov, and Pinchas Zukerman.
      (6 votes)
  • hopper cool style avatar for user davidyip2001
    When do I need to polish my violin? Every half a month? Am I right?
    (2 votes)
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  • starky sapling style avatar for user 599553wzje
    how do i keep my violin in a good condition just like the violin in the video
    (2 votes)
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    • starky sapling style avatar for user annabel
      Here are some tips, in no particular order:
      1. Take good care of it when playing. Try not to bang it against other things or scratch the paint off.
      2. When you are done practicing, loosen the bow so it doesn't straighten up completely, because that would be bad for the bow.
      3. Don't leave the violin out in the sun or in really cold temps.
      4. Also, after practicing, wipe the rosin off the fingerboard, strings, and under the fingerboard. This prevents the violin from having a muddy sound.
      Hope this helped,
      (8 votes)
  • duskpin sapling style avatar for user Anisha
    My friend plays the violin but it doesn't look at all like the one David Kim showed, is there a reason for that
    (2 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user theapprentice
      There are various woods for making violins, as a luthier i've repaired some violins, enough to know that each violin maker has their preferences and style to their work, as well as the color of varnish that they place on their violins, also you should consider the age of some which might alter their look making them look vintage, but if you may also consider all the different sizes of violins which produce different ranges of sounds.
      (7 votes)
  • hopper cool style avatar for user Cole Wyeth
    There's not any reason for the integral sign on violins, is there? Had to ask.
    (3 votes)
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    • leaf blue style avatar for user CTG
      The integral sign on the violin is actually called to f holes. They are the part of the violin where vibrating sound is released from the strings, which vibrates the sound-post while vibrating the wood, and out the f holes.
      (4 votes)

Video transcript

(violin music) - If you look at a violin, it's very much like a human body. It has shoulders and we call this the neck and this, it's not the head but we call it the scroll, it's like a rolled piece of paper scroll. And these are the ribs and the back and a violin is made from kind of the same trees you might see in your backyard as spruce and maple. This one was made in 1757 in Milan, Italy by a man named Guananini and all the men in the Guananini family made violins. And so it's really a work of art. It's amazing that it's so old and yet it's in really good condition. Real healthy and these things are, these are all modern things that we put on here, this is called the tailpiece, that kinda holds the strings in place. This is well, it looks like a bridge and that's what we call it, the bridge. This is a board where we put our fingers so it's called the fingerboard and this where I rest my chin, so we call it a chinrest. (violin music) In violin, we have different positions. The one that's furthest away from me is first position. And then I have second position, third position, fourth position, fifth, sixth, seventh, I go up to about eighth position or so. Now, when I go from one position to the next, I like to think of it like I'm taking an elevator to a different floor. Like at first position, I'm going to the third position, I'll just kinda open the elevator door and go up to third floor and close the door and now I'm in the third floor and then I do whatever I need to do there. Now sometimes, going from the first to the third floor, I wanna be very clean (violin playing) but sometimes, I wanna give it a little style and a little bit of, something a little spicy then I might do what's called a slide in which case, I don't hide anything that's going on as my elevator is going from the first to the third floor. I actually show it to my audience. (violin playing) And so that slide is a very personal thing that violinist's can use to bring the music to life. (orchestra playing) Concertmaster is basically the quarterback of the team. The Head Coach is the same thing as the conductor. They really control everything that's going on but my job as Concertmaster is to kind of read the mind of the conductor, what their wishes are musically and try to transmit that to my colleagues through facial expressions, body motions, maybe the tilt of my head, maybe the way I move the bow. Having a momentary solo passage in a symphony is, well, let me put it you this way. I read an article in a paper recently where they put heart monitors on firemen. And apparently when the time when there is no fire, when they're sitting around playing checkers at the firehouse and eating chili, their heart rate is very low. They're very healthy and strong people. But when they enter the burning house, their heart rate goes dangerously high, bobobobabababababa, and it stays up there until they leave the danger. That's me. I feel that when I see it coming up, I can usually see, I usually circle the place that says solo, my solo in red pencil. So we turn the page in the middle of the piece and I could see it coming up, I can just feel my heart rate start to go faster and faster. And, I basically say three words to myself, Go for it. Go for it, go for it, go for it! And then at that moment when I start playing, I almost screaming it out, I'm screaming it out in my head, go for it! (violin playing)