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Feedback & progress thread - Reptile Smile
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Reptile Smile
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July 21, 2015 - 10:45 am
Member Since: July 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 34
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Hi everyone!

I'd like to use this thread to get feedback but also so that I can track my progress (hopefully!) and I guess in time to come it'll be nice to look back on.

 

So with that - here's my first video:

If you want to cut to the chase and miss out on my waffle, I actually get round to playing something at 3:15... 😉

One of the things I waffle about is that this is at the end of my first week of playing - I I play other instruments, and indeed, have played fiddle for maybe a couple of months, thought that was some time ago - like, twenty years.  I didn't get to any great standard in those couple of months, though it would be a bit disingenuous to portray myself as starting absolutely from scratch.

Anyhow - any thoughts very gratefully received...

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 21, 2015 - 10:56 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

That is a great start RS and for this you get your first badge as well. 🙂
My first tip to you would be to see if you can lesson the angle of your violin. Use gravity as your friend. Your bow doesn't want to connect to the violin, which I'm sure is a little bit of a choice but still, you shouldn't have to work to keep the bow on the string.
Your bow arm isn't bad but you are using your shoulder way too much. Use much more elbow and as little shoulder as necessary and your bowing will straighten out a lot.
Lot's of great things as well such as your rhythm and the level of the pieces you are already able to play after little experience and being away from the instrument for so long.
Perhaps play slow scales in the key of the pieces your will be working on for 5-10 minutes (depending on how long your practice sessions are) before working on the actual piece.
Thanks for posting your first critique video. 🙂
Keep up the great work!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Reptile Smile
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July 21, 2015 - 11:15 am
Member Since: July 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 34
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Yay!  My first badge! 🙂 Thank you, Pierre!

And thank you for the rest of the feedback, too - that's really helpful!

Yeah, the angle of the violin struck me as a bit weird.  One of the things I'm not sure about is whether the fiddle should be pointing 'out in front of me' (makes it lean in at more of an angle) or more 'out to the side (more in line with the line that connects my shoulders).  I'll go back and have another look at that article you wrote on posture!

Also, I've just bought a Stentor shoulder rest, and it seems to make the fiddle want to 'tilt in' all the time.  I'll try adjusting it, but to be honest, I'm not sure that that shoulder rest is going to stand the test of time.

It's really useful seeing it on video - the arc that my bow makes (as opposed to staying parallel to the bridge) is immediately apparent, and I can see I've got some work to dot there...

As much as I grumble about playing scales, I know they're important, and will devote some time to that in my practising.

Thanks again!

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Fidelestre
Texas
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July 21, 2015 - 9:31 pm
Member Since: June 21, 2015
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@Reptile Smile - These tunes sound great, especially considering it's only your first week back after 20 years!

@ Fiddlerman - Do you have any recommendations on shoulder rests that are less likely to send the violin towards an almost vertical position? I've tried both Everest and Wolf Forte Primo, and both seem to make my new (rental) violin shift towards the vertical, kind of like ReptileSmille demostrates here.

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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July 22, 2015 - 3:12 pm
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Hey there.. that was fun... Britches full of Stitches is a fun tune.  I like the second tune also.. (name always escapes me).. you seem to have a good sense of tempo going on!!!  Harvest Home.. nice.. job.. upbeat and moving along !!!!  YES!!  You can tell I am typing as I am listening.  🙂 You also seem to have a good sense for where your fingers go for only a week.

Bravo.. bring it on!  excellent START!!!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 22, 2015 - 5:43 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

Fidelestre, no matter which shoulder rest you have, try to raise the feet on the E string much higher than the ones on the G string side.
The wolf secondo forte is a super adjustable rest but once you get it to what you like, you're usually feeling good. The time must be devoted to get it right though.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Reptile Smile
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July 22, 2015 - 5:48 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2015
Forum Posts: 34
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@coolpinkone Thanks for the feedback! I enjoy playing so much - it's so strangely rewarding, in such a different way to other instruments I've learned.  Had loads of fun making the video...

 

@fiddlerguy I'd totally never thought about having the feet on the shoulder rest 'assymetrically' set.  Will get on that straight away!  Thanks for the advice.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 22, 2015 - 6:05 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

Imagine. obvious solutions are sometimes the hardest to see. LOL

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fidelestre
Texas
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July 22, 2015 - 9:02 pm
Member Since: June 21, 2015
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Guess I'll mess around with the Wolf Forte Primo some more to see if I can find an adjustment that works. The E foot is already higher, but there is a little spacer bar I could try adding.

Thanks for the tip!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 23, 2015 - 7:05 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Yes, that spacer could give you the height needed to get a nice flat fiddle. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Schaick
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August 2, 2015 - 11:26 am
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Nice job @Reptile Smile

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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AnnyJ
Ga
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August 2, 2015 - 6:34 pm
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@Reptile Smile  Great job hats_off, I enjoyed it, as the others already said, you do have a good sense of rythm 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

 

@Fidelestre  and @Fiddlerman     Thanks for the post about the shoulder rest. I was having the same issues, so I just took mine apart (it's a complete adjustable Dae something) and I noticed the 2 screws were a different length, so I put the longer one on the E string side instead of the other side and it's a LOT easier to hold it now. 

It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself. Johann S.Bach

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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August 4, 2015 - 7:00 pm
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As you know I'm too new to give tips, but Great work so far! And fun tunes. I have yet to be brave enough to post something 🙂 

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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August 5, 2015 - 10:12 am
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Oh, on the shoulder rest, I'm not a pro and haven't tried many out, but my teacher had me get the one she used (after I borrowed hers during my lesson to try it out), it's the Everest, and it works perfectly for me, I just have to have the part under the chin rest at the lowest point it can go, and the part under the E string at almost the highest it can go. Keeps my violin balanced and very easy to hold now. Of course the settings would be different for each person (she has both sides at the lowest point possible), but this is what worked out for me.

~ I'm not torturing cats... I'm learning to play violin! ~

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