Today I tried to figure out the whole “off the string” part of stringed-instrument playing.

According to a bunch of websites, flat hair=large bounce; slight angle=not so bouncey bounce. Because the bow bounces so much more at the tip than at the frog, does that mean that one should reverse the usual “flat at tip, angle at frog” advice (for max sound, anyway), and play with a more angled hair at the tip and flatten at the frog?

I can’t believe the regionals people picked Mr. Sinclair as “guest conductor.” Nothing against the man himself, but isn’t the purpose of regionals* to let kids play under someone different, so they can get used to different conducting styles? Or are they just pretending to hide in their public-school “ivory” (linoleum?) tower and ignoring how most of people in Southern Regionals play in one of two orchestras (or both) outside of school? [They=CT Music Teachers’ Assn.]

*just kidding, I’m fully aware that it’s just to get kids who know how to play their instrument to actually take “Strings” (instead of another AP) at their school and play “Chanukah, o Chanukah” in tune so the directors don’t get manically depressed. Like Marvin the Paranoid Android.

I’m really tired. It must’ve been the 320 kcal (1,338,880 joules!!! or 1.3 E6) yogurt parfait from Starbucks. Or the morning of trying to get my octaves to octave and arm to not seize up.

There’s an article in the NYT about dictionaries and word-snobbism and such. I wonder if Dr. Liberman says “nitch” or “neesh.” Probably the latter, actually, since she says everything else the proper French way (i.e. the way that make the word unrecognizable to the class, which subsequently goes “huh?”. Something like “you guys don’t know _______” ensues.).

Listening to an Italian guy say prayers in Latin into a really bad microphone can make even the hardiest Hertz sailor seasick.

Also, the AP English book from which I am correcting a classmate’s simulated exam is really simplistic in their essays. There’s no name-explain-support-conclude–the introductions aren’t even that attention-grabbing. Also, their little “this is how the poem goes, kids” sections are a whole lot like essays, and there are random sidebars about college financing.


3 thoughts on “

  1. yeah, i like your entries too.
    remember that for off the string, you use a slightly different part of the bow for each string. maybe this is wrong because i don’t have my instrument in front of me, but i think use a little lower in the bow for the lower strings and higher in the bow for the higher strings.
    i couldn’t play off the string and then i kinda worked on it over the summer but it still sucked (the situation sucked, too- the second movement of the string quartet and much of the first required off the string bowing and i couldn’t really do it well), and now with my new teacher it’s suddenly a lot better. i don’t know why. i play less tense now. that helps. try being relaxed. everywhere. not just your bow arm, but your left arm, and your jaw- smile or open your mouth really wide.
    sorry about the Sinclair thing.

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