Teaching Videos

The VdGSA teaching videos are a service to our members and to the broader viol community. We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions for topics and teachers. Please contact Zoe Weiss with your ideas.

Look for links to relevant materials at the bottom of this page.

Click on "Play" to see video, or RIGHT click on "Download" to save a copy on your local disk.

Finding a Comfortable Left Hand Position
Adaiha MacAdam-Somer shows how to move your hand and arm to place your left hand comfortably on the fretboard, on each size of viol: bass, tenor, and treble. (12:16)
Practicing with Both Sides of Your Brain
Brent Wissik explains how to practice effectively by using both your "left brain" (intellectual side) and your "right brain" ("feeling" or affective side), demontrating with a variety of vocalizations and breathing techniques. (12:03)
Everything You Need to Know About Frets
Tobi Szuts demonstrates the easy way to tie your own frets (including choosing the gut, what tools to use, and how to actually tie the knot); how to tie split frets; how to make a tastino; and how to tighten a loose fret. (14:44)
Sitting with the Viol
Julie Elhard shows how to sit comfortably and pain-free with all sizes of viols (bass, tenor, treble). (16:45)
No More Tears Approach to Diminution Playing
Pat Neely examines an approach to diminution playing using Schop's Lachrime Pavan and Dowland's Flow My Teares. (8:59)
Shifting on the Viola da Gamba
John Moran talks about how to make your shifting more accurate and consistent. (16:38)
Getting Comfortable With the Extremes of Your Instrument
Elisabeth Reed shares a lesson to make us more comfortable at the extremes of our instruments. (9:28)
Lisa Terry tells us what to do with thumb, forearm and hand shape so that extensions are most comfortable. (8:17)
String Replacement
John Pringle tells us how to safely and correctly put a new string on the gamba. (25:28)
Micro Memory as a Key to Effective Practicing
Jack Ashworth describes a practice technique he calls "micro-memory", with demonstrations by Gail Ann Schroeder. (7:19)
Choosing a Bow: How We Do It
Brent Wissick, Lisa Terry, and Gail Ann Schroeder discuss how they evaluate and select a bow.(16:03)
The Bow Hold and Basic Bowing Exercises
Gail Ann Schroeder shares the way she holds her bow and her manner of bowing. (8:14)
A Bow Maker Addresses Questions He's Always Wanted to Answer
Harry Grabenstein answers questions about taking care of your bow. (12:15)
Safe and Accurate String Crossing
Joanna Blendulf's step-by-step method. (8:15)
Finding Your Optimum Bow Speed & Arm Weight for Each String
Josh Lee explains how it's different for each string. (7:15)
Doing One Thing at a Time
Martha McGaughey on "Separating Your Right and Left Hands". (10:23)
Finger Exercises Away from Your Instrument
Improving Hand Strength and Flexibility with Catharina Meints. (12:15)
Slow on the String, Fast in the Air
Rosamund Morley and "Making Friends with Both Ends of Your Bow". (4:45)
Fret Tying Made Easy
Charlie Ogle demonstrates his quick and easy fret tying technique. (6:33)
Strategic Bowings - Part 1
Mary Springfels uses Dowland's "Flow My Tears" to illustrate a variety of bowing strategies. (12:30)
Strategic Bowings - Part 2
Mary uses examples from Dowland, Marais and Gibbons to address additional bowing strategies. (11:18)
Craig Trompeter gives a Feldenkrais® lesson showing how to sit. (11:52)
Basics of Continuo Part 1
Margriet Tindemans and Larry Lipnik explain and demonstrate some basics of playing continuo - supporting the soloist. (6:41)
Basics of Continuo Part 2
Margriet Tindemans and Larry Lipnik. Rhythmic patterns in the bass line. (4:03)
Exercises for Playing Continuo
David Morris gives us some practical suggestions and exercises for playing continuo. (8:30)
Expressing Song Text and Meter
Larry Lipnik talks about expressing song text and meter with your bow. (6:12)
Yukimi Kambe - Legato Playing
Yukimi Kambe demonstrates how to move the arm, crossing strings smoothly to create a singing voice. (13:36)

The following videos are of lower technical quality, reflecting the state of on-line video when they were made. Nevertheless, the content is as important today as it was when they were made.

Proper fretting
Brent Wissick explains proper fretting technique. (2:02)
Strengthening the Left Hand
Judith Davidoff demonstrates exercises for strengthening the left hand. (8:46)
No Squeeze Please
Julie Elhard gives exercises to train the left hand to NOT squeeze the fingerboard. (3:04)
Where Does Your Hand Begin?
Elisabeth Reed: paying attention to your muscles. (3:29)
Beginning with La Folia
John Mark Rozendaal uses this popular viol tune to teach bowing techniques to a young student. (5:30)
Consort Tuning
Wendy Gillespie shows you how to get your group in tune quickly and accurately; non-equal temperaments are also briefly discussed. (6:14)
Martha Bishop shows how to read tablature notation and teach yourself lyra viol technique. (5:33)
Plucking with the Bow
Julie Elhard shows you how to put a crisp edge on your bow stroke. (3:04)
The Gamba Speaks
Sarah Mead shows how to imitate consonant and vowel sounds through different bowing techniques. (6:08)
Finger Pressure
From Lisa Terry: Use the fingers of your left hand the right way, avoiding squeezing with the thumb. (3:02)
Beginning Tuning
Lucy Bardo demonstrates how beginners can put their instruments in good tune. (5:46)
Finding the Slot
Sarah Mead gives a method for "getting the feel" of where to bow on the string. (4:31)
The Airplane
Lisa Terry: A method for practicing bow control "off the string." (1:59)
Making a Beautiful Sound
Grace Feldman on treble viol. A method for holding the bow and practicing bow strokes. (4:31)
Slow Practice with Fast Motion
Brent Wissick demonstrates a method for string crossing with good sound. (3:11)
Multiple Bow Gestures
Laurie Rabut demonstrates on the treble viol a method for grouping notes into phrases. (4:08)
Beginner's Arm
Alice Robbins shows us a method for practicing relaxed and healthy bow strokes. (2:49)
Bow Lifting and Replacing
Robert Eisenstein demonstrates a method for practicing "off the string." (4:36)
Bent Out of Shape?
John Pringle gives a demonstration of how to straighten your own bridge. (6:00)
Pardessus de Viole
Tina Chancey demonstrates this small treble viol. (3:35)
The Baryton
Roland Hutchinson gives a demonstration of this viol with plucked sympathetic strings. (2:42)