All Things Strings

Featured Blog Posts (231)

Are You Plugged In?

How many electric players are on STRINGS community page? What kind of gear do you own? What do you like about the sonic palette of electric stringed instruments? If you're not plugged in, have you ever thought about it?

Added by Greg Cahill on November 27, 2012 at 11:09am — 2 Comments

'Strings' Digital Edition Is Now Kindle Fire Friendly

'Strings' mag's interactive digital edition (already iOS ready) is now available for Kindle Fire. Learn more and download the Android app at

Added by Greg Cahill on October 30, 2012 at 4:03pm — No Comments

How the Beatles Launched a String Revolution

Read how the Beatles—who mark their 50th anniversary this month—launched the string revolution, not with 1966's "Eleanor Rigby," as was recently claimed in one prominent British music magazine (tsk, tsk), but a year earlier with "Yesterday." This fab 2005 "Strings" archive article sets the record straight.

Added by Greg Cahill on October 26, 2012 at 11:32am — No Comments

Free Violin & Viola Bowing Tips

Violin teacher and Strings contributor Laurel Thomsen offers helpful hints on how to troubleshoot your bowing problems in the Strings Guide to Improving Your Bowing. Find free violin and viola bowing tips, and other insightful instructional videos, on the AllThingsStrings YouTube channel.

Added by Greg Cahill on October 26, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments

WIN a Friedrich Gerhardt Violin Outift!

Enter the Potter Violin Co. giveaway today by visiting

Added by Greg Cahill on October 22, 2012 at 12:06pm — No Comments

The Fiddle/Sticks Project with Casey Driessen

‘Strings’ magazine is proud to sponsor the Fiddle/Sticks project with Casey Driessen. 

This multi-video series captures the creative process behind the upcoming Fiddle/Sticks album. Fiddle/Sticks is a collaborative exploration of rhythm that pairs Grammy-nominated fiddler Casey Driessen—a leading voice in percussive fiddle/violin technique (known as the chop)—with a list of the landmark drummers and percussionists of our time. Cutting across all genres and traditions, the project…


Added by Greg Cahill on October 19, 2012 at 4:30pm — No Comments

3 Ways To Improve Musicianship Outside The Practice Room

Good musicians practice.

Great musicians practice better. And they gain an extra edge by using their time wisely outside the practice room.

Shedding in the practice room is important, but you can improve during "downtime" if you apply yourself in the right ways. Although I've used these tactics as a jazz violinist and jazz violin teacher, they're relevant for any musician:

Practice on the Gig

Sometimes the gigs we play are boring and no…


Added by christian howes on September 19, 2012 at 12:52pm — No Comments

Player Tips: 3 Easy Ways to Improve Your String Crossings

The Problem

You’re not getting power in your strokes after sloppy string crossings.

The Solution

Sharpen your awareness of bowing arm dynamics. When you want to move to different strings and power your longer strokes, the shoulder is the area of the arm that does the job. “The major source of power for all string players is the big back muscles,” says Sally O’Reilly, violin professor at the…


Added by Greg Cahill on October 19, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

The Violin Geek Podcast. A Free Download

Download (for free) the latest episode of Strings magazine contributor Laurel Thomsen’s insightful, inspiring Violin Geek podcast with guest fiddler/instructor Lauren Rioux.

The violinists discuss tips for keeping students engaged, teaching harmony, how to support a student's exploration of various genres, and ultimately, how to empower students with the gift of music.

Added by Greg Cahill on October 17, 2012 at 11:04am — No Comments

Practice, Practice . . . uh, er, Practice!

Not in the mood to practice? Feeling stymied? Planning starts in the mind, but it need not stay there,” Tom Heimberg writes. “A written record of intentions and outcomes–of what succeeded and what didn’t–can be a precious source of insight and self-guidance.” Get organized. Try Tom's time-tested tips on developing a practice journal.

Added by Greg Cahill on October 12, 2012 at 9:56am — No Comments

Show Us Your Purple Violin

Click here to see 'Strings' senior editor Greg Olwell with the office purple fiddle (hand-crafted no less). In solidarity with New Mexico middle school student Camille Cruz who was told last week that her purple violin was not suitable for the orchestra class and the sixth-grader would have to rent one of the district's violins that is a more traditional color for $30.

And weigh in on the discussion: purple violins—a legitimate way…


Added by Greg Cahill on September 17, 2012 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

Song of the Untouchable

Denver-area string players, and lovers of violin and world music take note: Announcing the Chuck Fryberger Films Denver premiere of "Song of the Untouchable," chronicling Boulder Philharmonic violinist and "Strings" contributor Gregory Walker's intriguing (string-related) journey to India.
Monday, Sept 17. at 7:30pm, at Starz Theater 12. Admission is free. Watch a trailer.

Added by Greg Cahill on September 14, 2012 at 11:36am — No Comments

Emerson String Quartet’s Larry Dutton’s words of wisdom, as featured in Gramophone Magazine in September, 2012

My advice to any aspiring string quartet player, or chamber musician is to strive to be the strongest instrumentalist you can be. You should be able to play concerti, sonatas, solo Bach….you name it. If you have those skills at your fingertips, as it were, you can offer that back to your ensemble, which only strengthens the whole. An ensemble is only as strong as its weakest link.

After 34 years with the same group, I do believe that I have a pretty good insight into…


Added by Artspromo on September 14, 2012 at 8:14am — No Comments

Birth of a Notion

Pregnancy & maternity can pose special challenges to a string player. Read Nicki Payne's article:

Many women look forward their whole lives to the moment in which they become mothers. However, as professional musicians reach their late 20s and early 30s, it’s not unusual for us to be freshly embarked on our first or second jobs, or engaged in a busy freelance career. What makes a music career different from most others is the need to stay in physical shape…


Added by Greg Cahill on August 30, 2012 at 3:09pm — No Comments

Tips on Tone—Sound like a Superstar

“I find tone is like someone's voice,” says virtuoso violinist Jaime Laredo, conductor of the prestigious New York String Orchestra Seminar, “and like appearances, no two sounds are alike.”

In other words, your tone is your musical voice, as individual as you are, and you want it to speak for you as clearly and articulately as possible. Internationally known concert violinist and educator Ida Kavafian describes quite eloquently: “The first thing that is responsible for a good tone is…


Added by Greg Cahill on August 27, 2012 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Consider the Humble Rosin Cake

Ever wonder how rosin is made? Check out this informative article and photo essay.

Added by Greg Cahill on August 17, 2012 at 1:12pm — No Comments

The AAM Gold Arcus Violin Bow Giveaway

I am so excited to give one of my gold Arcus violin bows away.  I have owned many different violin bows throughout my life, and now play using Tourte and Gold Arcus carbon fiber bows. It is extremely light and spiccato can come out super-clean at lightening speed. I used to think that using a heavy stick produced a bigger…


Added by Artspromo on August 2, 2012 at 7:48am — 1 Comment

Unleash Your Inner Walrus

Cellist extraordinaire Rushad Eggleston is in a new string band (Darol Anger & the Furies). Read his thoughts on the creative process and watch a video of Tornado Rider performing "The Golden Apple Dance."

Added by Greg Cahill on August 3, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Performance Art: What a Musician Can Learn Without Playing

From Jack Lin, a violinist serving an internship at Loren Maazel's Castleton Festival in Virginia:

"There are few times in a musician’s life when they truly experience something profound in performances or rehearsals. It is simply achieving a sense of artistic satisfaction through one’s art that makes it really meaningful to what we do. 

When Maestro Maazel gave the downbeat to signal the beginning of Respighi’s awesome Pines of Rome, on opening night (Friday, June 22),…


Added by Greg Cahill on July 23, 2012 at 1:16pm — No Comments

"Soul at Bar One" by Anne Akiko Meyers

A couple of weeks ago, I adjudicated a competition at the Music Academy of the West, in Santa Barbara. Watching and listening to the contestants, I remembered what it was like to compete when I was 11 and 12 years old and won the opportunity to perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic. I was moved by the passion these kids had to win the opportunity…


Added by Artspromo on July 23, 2012 at 8:09am — No Comments

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