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First Fast Tune
Soldier's Joy... my first attempt at something with a faster tempo.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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JoeP
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December 18, 2012 - 8:58 pm
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Question for you fiddling experts... how do you recommend practicing to get to tempo and add ornaments?

Here's where I'm at with Soldier's Joy.  I know my bow is all over the place and there's a long ways to go!

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Fiddlestix
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December 18, 2012 - 9:04 pm
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The only suggestion I have is to keep at it, it will come. The ornament's will work their way in eventually.

You're doing great, Joe. 

Joe said:  Neighbor made me laugh the other day when he said he couldn't understand why a guy my age would take up something like the violin.

I say, why not.

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dionysia
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December 18, 2012 - 9:17 pm
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Not bad Joe! laugh

First off, let me say that as a player stuck forever in noob land, take anything I say with a grain of salt.drooling

I find that I can gain speed only after I have memorized the left hand part of the song to the point where I can let it go on autopilot while I concentrate on bowing. For me, anyway, bowing straight and bowing fast only come when I can focus attention on what my right hand is doing. For me, that means not worrying about reading notes and finding finger positions. Then I can focus on the tune in my head and get the tempo down to match.

 

Your mileage may vary...

pink-violin-girl

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Barry
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December 19, 2012 - 6:35 am
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not to bad for just getting started on it. Soldiers Joy is one of those tunes that take a long time to get down.  Your A part needs to flow more. One of the best ways to learn any fiddle tunes is to jam.

 

use this backing track ,choose guitar/slow then of course soldiers joy.

Start practicing jamming along so you have some rhythm to get in the groove with.

 

http://www.oldtimejam.com/Jam.html

 

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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December 19, 2012 - 9:21 am
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how do you recommend practicing to get to tempo and add ornaments?

-well, Im no fiddlin expert but I do have a firm grasp of the basics so I will toss in my 2 cents for what its worth.

I agree with the above so since its easier to practice the left and right hands separately, this is what you do.

1. listening along with a version of the song you like or cd, finger the notes using the left hand only as Dionysa said.

2. during separate practice time; practice the bowing specific to the song using the open strings. Very important to isolate that "marching" motion with the right shoulder. Practice bowing in front of a mirror focusing on bending and flexing the wrist and maintaining a consistent singular "hair to string" contact point. Lastly, practice bowing patterns of quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes, practice moving the bow faster while still making a beautiful tone. Practice whole bows, using everybit of the thing, watch FM videos on bowing and tone production, dynamics.

3. The things to learn all work together to improve every aspect of your playing including getting to speed. Looks like Brian Wicklunds version you are playing?

So once you are consistent in the above you then play the song slowly and gradually increase tempo until you are up to speed, maintaining the great intonation and bowing you have learned. Jamming is a great way to get into the groove and develop the feeling of a song as Barry mentioned.

Once you are up to speed, then add the fancy stuff you like.

In my opinion~Pfish

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Barry
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December 19, 2012 - 10:16 am
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Good advice Picklefish.  also #3 is a good point, there probally is as many versions to tunes as there is fiddlers

violin-student

 

 

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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JoeP
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December 19, 2012 - 10:28 am
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Thanks for the great advice!

I don't know what version this is.  It's from a photocopy that my teacher gave me.  A number of us are going to be playing it as an ensemble.

FYI part of my rhythmic difficulty and bowing issues are because I have not memorized the piece and am playing and reading at the same time.  It takes all my concentration just to hit the notes and I slow down when I get to parts that are less familiar.

 

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Picklefish
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December 19, 2012 - 12:39 pm
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JoeP said
Thanks for the great advice!

I don't know what version this is.  It's from a photocopy that my teacher gave me.  A number of us are going to be playing it as an ensemble.

FYI part of my rhythmic difficulty and bowing issues are because I have not memorized the piece and am playing and reading at the same time.  It takes all my concentration just to hit the notes and I slow down when I get to parts that are less familiar.

 

That is the argument for practicing left and right hand separately. I often feel the brain struggle. Some peoples brains dont struggle as much. It's always good idea to break it down to a simpler form and then "complicate" it as you can gradually. This includes the speed.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 21, 2012 - 2:21 pm
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You will only get so fast using your whole arm and shoulder movement like that.
Try practicing, one note or open string, so as not to confuse where the problem is to begin with and play sixteenth notes with complete concentration on your right arm.
Don't use too much bow, try to use wrist and fingers. Keep a rhythm going either with a metronome or your foot. Increase the tempo progressively.

Let me know how that works out for you and the fastest tempo you are able to achieve for a few minutes straight. Remember 16th notes, so you set the metronome for a tempo in which you can play 4 notes per beat. Give more emphasis on the first beat of every quarter note (1st of every four notes) to begin with then you can try to even it out.

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

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fiddlinsteudel
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December 22, 2012 - 11:04 pm
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Everyone has had some great advice so far. 

You mentioned that your bow is all over the place, try loosening up your wrist. Watch yourself in the mirror and take some tip to frog strokes. Put your bow on the string a particular distance from the bridge and then keep your bow parallel to the bridge. I think you'll find when you get to the ends you'll find you need to bend your wrist in order to keep it parallel. Try and add that wrist motion into your smaller strokes.

 

Does the music you are reading have bowing notated? If you are having to make up bowing on the fly that could also be hindering your speed as you may bow yourself into a corner. 

Keep it up. It'd be fun to hear another video in a month or so and hear how much it's improved.

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fiddlinsteudel
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December 23, 2012 - 3:50 pm
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I was watching this video and I thought about your bowing. Look at how the Luke Bulla's wrist is like jello, all of his bow movement comes from the elbow down. His shoulder movement is just to change which strings he's playing on.

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