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Uzi its been a year now, how's it going
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MrYikes
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February 11, 2015 - 2:20 pm
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Uzi, it's been a year now.  I am interested in how you feel you are progressing, what you have learned this year, etc.  Also, I know you went from concert to solo, but do you ever think of moving on up to something else?  Are you playing with the kids?
Not trying to put you on the spot, just interested.

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augustoad
Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil
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February 11, 2015 - 3:57 pm
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Hey MrYikes, I think you could have made this as a Private Message, since it's a direct question to @Uzi. xD

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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Uzi
Georgia
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February 11, 2015 - 11:24 pm
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Like sailing on the ocean, I have my ups and downs. I have days when I produce good tone and the notes flow fairly easily.  I have days when the tone sounds muddy and my fingers are tripping over each other. One of the most important things that I've learned this first year is that it takes several years to learn to play a violin well and rushing ahead too quickly pays few dividends.  Patience, Purpose, Planned Practice and Perseverance are what leads to improvement.

So, daily:

Right Hand: I work on improving my bow hold and right hand finger flexibility, trying to get a Galamian bow arm, producing a good clear tone, improving bow attack and practicing different bowing patterns.

Left Hand: I normally play some scales and etudes paying particular attention to improving intonation.  I then play some songs trying to discover the most efficient way play them. I spend some time trying to get a wider and more expressive wrist and arm vibrato. I also work on trying to develop the proper rhythm and "feel" for whatever song I might attempt to learn. I practice shifting from 1st to 3rd position, with both scales and songs.

With regard to the Soloist, it's a great fiddle and worth every penny.  It has good tone and is well mannered and beautiful. She will sing if not tortured by bad bowing and sloppy fingering.  Do I wish I had another, even better, fiddle -- sure -- who doesn't?

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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MrYikes
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February 12, 2015 - 10:12 am
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Thank you Uzi, I  appreciate your response.  I can recognize each of your steps though you are much more focused than I.  This year I will acquire a new violin which was the prompt for that question, but it will take time.
I am finding that in focused practice my bowing is adequate, but when playing a tune, the muscle memory is not yet locked in and the bowing is all over the place.
A goal of mine is the single bow of a three octave scale.  I laugh at my attempts now and sometimes growl as I can barely make one octave.

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Uzi
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February 12, 2015 - 2:49 pm
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No problem @MrYikes.   If you are considering the new FM soloist, it's a great instrument and will be a violin that you will never outgrow. Of course, if you win the lottery and decide to get a 100k instrument, we'll understand, but it won't be because the soloist wasn't doing its job.  

In all honesty, I have blamed it for some of the bad sounds that it makes from time to time, but since those come and go from day to day, I have come to the sad realization that the fiddle probably isn't at fault -- it must be the strings. smile

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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coolpinkone
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February 12, 2015 - 3:35 pm
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@Uzi  - ha ha.. yes it must be the strings.  I am going to stick with that theory. :)

My FM soloist (The discontinued one), is a lovely instrument.  It does play better than my first violin.   Even at my low level of playing I can tell the difference.  

I do love my soloist.....but yep, the Ming J calls me from time to time, I say to myself... not until my fourth finger is fully active, not until I have a decent vibrato and I can shift well. 

Maybe if I could just be a better player I will snub my nose at better violins because I am so awesome on my Soloist.... 

Practice...practice ... Practice. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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MrYikes
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February 12, 2015 - 3:50 pm
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Yes I understand, I've gone through a lot of strings trying to buy my way to a good sound.  Just doesn't work, eh.
Working my way through Warchal Amber e and Avant gard A right now, then I'll probably go with your non-whistling e (though as my wife said 'at your age you ought to be happy something IS whistling at you')

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Uzi
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February 12, 2015 - 4:41 pm
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MrYikes said
Yes I understand, I've gone through a lot of strings trying to buy my way to a good sound.  Just doesn't work, eh.
Working my way through Warchal Amber e and Avant gard A right now, then I'll probably go with your non-whistling e (though as my wife said 'at your age you ought to be happy something IS whistling at you')

Let me now how those Warchals sound.  I'm playing Dominants with the Kaplan E string and they sound good.  The last set were Obligato, but I could only hear a minor difference (slightly warmer) between the Dominants and the Obligatos on this fiddle. I have a new set of Larsen Virtuosos waiting in the wings.

The truth is, the best way to get a really good sound is to become a really good player.  Some 50+ years ago that was demonstrated to be by some door to door vacuum cleaner salesman who came to our house and took my guitar that sounded bad when I was playing it and whipped out some outstanding flat picked blue grass tunes.  Same guitar -- completely different sound. I'm fairly convinced that Pierre could make a washtub bass strung with fence wire sound awesome as well.  Most of the sound is in the bow and the fingers, the violin is just the megaphone that lets the sound escape.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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MrYikes
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February 12, 2015 - 8:38 pm
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I agree to a large extent.  There are times when I love the sound of my $30 violin, but the tone is completely different from yours, kinda like the difference between a Rickenbaker and a telecaster.  Bow and fingers can make each sound either good or bad, but the underlying tone will remain.  And I agree about FM.
The Warchal e comes looking really silly.  Has a coil in it like a ball point pen spring and has a bend that makes the string look broken.  I put it on and let it sit before taking it all the way to tune and retuned it 3 times the first day, after that it was normal.  I had been using Jargar e and liked that alot, but it was wearing out (too soon I thought) so the amber had to be good to measure up.  First impression was not favorable.  I felt that the coil was a gimmick.  Couple days later the string is sounding good, but does whistle some.  I am still in testing mode so the jury is still out.
The Avant Gard is just weird.  Its twisted and you can feel the twists under your fingers after its tightened to tune.  Doesn't bother me, just is noticeable.  I'm looking for a very smooth a string.  The d strings all sound smooth, the a strings all sound like they have too much attack.  This one has too much attack for me.  Of course, once I find a smooth a, I might miss the punch.  Gotta be careful what you wish for, kinda thing.

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Uzi
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February 13, 2015 - 11:19 am
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coolpinkone said
@Uzi  - ha ha.. yes it must be the strings.  I am going to stick with that theory. :)

My FM soloist (The discontinued one), is a lovely instrument.  It does play better than my first violin.   Even at my low level of playing I can tell the difference.  

I do love my soloist.....but yep, the Ming J calls me from time to time, I say to myself... not until my fourth finger is fully active, not until I have a decent vibrato and I can shift well. 

Maybe if I could just be a better player I will snub my nose at better violins because I am so awesome on my Soloist.... 

Practice...practice ... Practice. 

@coolpinkone, everybody loves the MJZ and for very good reason.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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