Posted: 5/15/2022 7:40:05 PM

Joined: 4/25/2022


[size=2]Joined: 4/25/2022
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[color=#333333]Hi. I just received my theremin, and although I know there are a lot of online options to learning the basics, I don't really learn well that way. I am a violinist, and I understand all of the theory behind the scale and spaces between notes, but I also know that without a strong technique to start, one can bake in a lot of wrong stuff that will affect future playing. I will be in the DC area for a couple of months (June/July/Some August) and I have been unsuccessful thus far in finding someone that I can sit with once or twice to get started. Are you that person??????? I would so appreciate hearing from you. THANK YOU![/color]

Posted: 5/26/2022 7:36:42 PM

From: earth

Joined: 5/8/2017

rupert chappelle, rockville md. claravox duos at youtube.com
I use the easy and simple technique, easy enough to walk you through the basics and include volume dynamics and gesturals.

Pitch - angling sweep your relaxed cupped hand from your sternum (bass or lowest note) and sweep towards the antenna for the highest note, step the sweep for notes. Use vibrato after you learn to hit and hold the notes steady. Otherwise you are hiding poor pitching. Later close and extend your fingers to play notes, closed fist to extended finger should get you an octave or close to it. TWO ANGLES of MOTION - elbow and closed or open fingers. The body is built to move on angles, less to think about.

Volume - set the range tight so you can play staccato, use volume dynamics, most don't, try using tremolo instead of vibrato.

After you get familiar with the instrument:

The cheat - if you have a Claravox use the pitch wooden arm like the neck of a violin, slide your pitch hand left and right and remember where the notes are - easy peezy, it's easier to hit the notes with your hand resting on something

After the cheat, lift your hand up or down from the pitch arm and repeat the patterns to raise and lower the pitch.

Evolve that into either the staircase or switchback model, for going up and down in pitch while repeating the same pattern.

The elevator, drop your hand to the floor (close) for low bass and raise it up to antenna level for higher notes, this makes a bass note that you can always find and if you use the theremin body as a reference you can get the higher pitch as well.

Gesturals  - use hand gestures to make patterns that are impossible to play elsewhere, again raise and lower the pitch of the patterns. Useful for faking 19th century orchestral riffs.

All of these techniques are used in 100 claravox duos on youtube, easy to see and copy. I made them to share the techniques.


You have a fiddle for that and it has a neck.

With the exception of the cheat all of these are useful for any theremin instrument. I also use a flat plate theremin and that works on them too.

People will counsel you against this. Let them play an 8 octave range faster and with more pitch accuracy than those 100 claravox duos.

If all you want to do is play stuff like The Swan, forget you read this.

On youtube, the blue haired buddha icon, the other one has older stuff. On facebook as well. You might want to consider joining one or more of the theremin groups on facebook.

And for everyone else, LEVNET on FACEBOOK is no longer TOXIC. 

Happy Theremining!

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