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hi all!
introduction of micra
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micra
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February 19, 2015 - 2:58 pm
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hi all!

i'm 55, picked up a red Cecilio Electric Violin CEVN-2 from Fiddlershop last year on a whim (i do a little recording as a hobby) and quickly decided i wanted to learn how to play the instrument properly, so after a couple of months of fooling around with it, i found a teacher locally and then it was back to Fiddlershop to purchase a Fiddlerman Master outfit.  i started lessons last October, working thru Hrimaly scale studies, Suzuki Vol2 and Wohlfahrt etudes Bk1 currently, pretty slow going!  probably would've been better if i'd NOT played around with the electric for a couple of months, thus establishing some habits i'm still dealing with today!  but, all in all, i'm doing ok, have played piano all my life so at least i didn't have to learn how to read music!  however that is the only thing about playing the piano that translates ha!  well, except for just loving making music, i guess.

really loving the Master, loving the learning, and looking forward to following the goings on here, as i figure it can only help in contributing to the positive experience i want to maintain as i continue on this journey!  so, hi everyone! 

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Uzi
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February 19, 2015 - 3:06 pm
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Welcome and you've got a nice fiddle. It sounds to me like you're on the right track to learning.  I play a Wohlfahrt etude or two daily.  So far,  my favorite is #4, although they are each instructive in their own way.  #8, for example, is quite pretty if played properly.  One day I'll be able to make them sound better than they do right now using my still wobbly vibrato.

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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LyleA
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February 19, 2015 - 3:09 pm
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Hello micra!  

Same thing happened to me.  I bought a Cecilio, practiced a lot by myself, thought I was getting somewhere but really I was just creating bad habits.  When i finally started taking lessons proper, I had to 'unlearn' most of it, haha.

This is a great forum with lots of friendly people who have good advice and tips.  Don't hesitate to post a video of yourself playing either because you can get some helpful feedback as well!

Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at them.

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micra
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February 20, 2015 - 2:43 am
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Uzi said
Welcome and you've got a nice fiddle. It sounds to me like you're on the right track to learning.  I play a Wohlfahrt etude or two daily.  So far,  my favorite is #4, although they are each instructive in their own way.  #8, for example, is quite pretty if played properly.

Thanks!

I agree, I really have enjoyed the etudes I've been assigned.  My teacher hasn't given me the two you mentioned, I'll give them a try!  Presently I like playing around with #6, changing it up, etc.  It's kind of a warm up piece...  that, and #7, which I don't play as well, but that one sure gets the fingers limbered up.  The book I have came with a dvd of Rachel Barton Pine playing each of the etudes, which I try and refrain from listening to because, well after hearing her play one, it's a little hard to listen to myself attempting same!  Haha!

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micra
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February 20, 2015 - 2:51 am
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LyleA said
This is a great forum with lots of friendly people who have good advice and tips.  Don't hesitate to post a video of yourself playing either because you can get some helpful feedback as well!

Well, it might be awhile before i do that!  i do have a GoPro and got the bright idea a couple of weeks ago to start videoing practice sessions (i just use the camera's mic, which kind of stinks, but i'm not after sound here, just want to see what I'm doing).  I can spend maybe 5 minutes scanning what I've videoed and quickly see what I need to think about during the next practice session.  which is mostly the bow stroke!  But...  i can't imagine posting one of those!  omg, no way!  Teacher kept telling me to get a big mirror and watch myself play, but i just don't have anywhere to put such a thing, so i thought the GoPro the next best thing.  can't stay on sounding point if i'm looking in the mirror, can i?!  anyway, at this point i would say these vid's are not for public consumption, haha!

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BaldBeardedViolinist
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February 20, 2015 - 2:26 pm
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Hey I made 2 videos already, and just picked up my violin 3 days ago. There's not a chance yours be any worse than mine. :-D

 

Plus, it's always good to have a record of where you started, which I think you already said you have, but I'm sure people on here and youtube would like seeing anyone's progress.

:-)

"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be."

~Marcel Pagnol

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micra
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February 20, 2015 - 4:22 pm
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yea, i saw yours!  yours are excellent, as is your enthusiasm!  keep 'em coming!  

i'll try to make some that are more presentable than what i've done so far!   :)

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Daniel_Shaped_Object
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February 20, 2015 - 8:57 pm
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Hi, micra!

Since you were so kind as to pop into my introduction thread and welcome me, I thought I'd return the favor!

Totally jealous that you have a Fiddlerman Master violin! Maybe someday I'll be able to work that into the budget (like I even *have* a budget...[snicker]). Now, the Cecilio CEVN-2, however...*that* might come sooner rather than later!  

You sound like your taking a very methodical approach to your learning, working through the various etudes and such. Good for you! I'm hoping to take some lessons this Spring/Summer, as there are quite a few violin instructors in my area.

Anyway, I'm totally with you on the "loving the learning". It's great when something that is hard work actually turns out to be *fun* as well, isn't it?   :-)

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
February 20, 2015 - 9:15 pm
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Welcome, Micra!

I agree that you should start making videos right away. Video is a great way to critique yourself, get advice from others and have a record of your progress.

Hope you like it here on the Fiddlerman forum.

-- Diane

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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micra
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February 21, 2015 - 1:41 pm
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well i was reviewing yesterday's practice, and i'll post an excerpt to show the kind of "vids" i'm making- i never sit thru the whole thing, just browse them, which is usually enough to see what i need to think about the next day at practice, and i don't save them, either.  once the day is done, i move on   :)  

hopefully a .mov file is acceptable.  see ya in the Video forum!

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Uzi
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February 21, 2015 - 3:30 pm
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micra said

Uzi said
Welcome and you've got a nice fiddle. It sounds to me like you're on the right track to learning.  I play a Wohlfahrt etude or two daily.  So far,  my favorite is #4, although they are each instructive in their own way.  #8, for example, is quite pretty if played properly.

Thanks!

I agree, I really have enjoyed the etudes I've been assigned.  My teacher hasn't given me the two you mentioned, I'll give them a try!  Presently I like playing around with #6, changing it up, etc.  It's kind of a warm up piece...  that, and #7, which I don't play as well, but that one sure gets the fingers limbered up.  The book I have came with a dvd of Rachel Barton Pine playing each of the etudes, which I try and refrain from listening to because, well after hearing her play one, it's a little hard to listen to myself attempting same!  Haha!

@micra, I see you have the Pine edition.  It's not the same as the original 1905, Opus #45 and I don't think the etudes are numbered the same.  To see the original in PDF you can see it here:Wohlfahrt Opus #45.  I'm sure the version you are using is great though, and Rachel Pine plays the etudes better than anyone I've heard. 

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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micra
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February 21, 2015 - 3:51 pm
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Uzi said
@micra, I see you have the Pine edition.  It's not the same as the original 1905, Opus #45 and I don't think the etudes are numbered the same.  To see the original in PDF you can see it here:Wohlfahrt Opus #45.  I'm sure the version you are using is great though, and Rachel Pine plays the etudes better than anyone I've heard. 

ah, thank-you for that clarification!

so Pine's #6 is the original's #4, and the other finger limbering one (Pine's #7) is #18 in the original...   :)

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RedViolin
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March 8, 2015 - 6:09 am
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Hi @micra welcome! hats_off

It sounds like you're making very fast progress to me!

You mentioned

probably would've been better if i'd NOT played around with the electric for a couple of months, thus establishing some habits i'm still dealing with today!

- I was just wondering if you meant bad habits caused by the electric, or by the playing around without a teacher?

All the best!

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micra
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March 8, 2015 - 9:38 am
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RedViolin said
Hi @micra welcome! hats_off

- I was just wondering if you meant bad habits caused by the electric, or by the playing around without a teacher?

All the best!

Hey @RedViolin,

definitely, playing around without a teacher, or perhaps more to the point, playing around without taking the time to familiarize myself with the proper way to hold a violin and a bow!  i enjoy the electric, it has its own merits in the scheme of things...

cheers!

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Fiddlerman
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March 9, 2015 - 11:47 am
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Hey micra and welcome to the forum,

Sounds to me that you would recommend a beginner not to start on an electric violin. It's always fun to get insight from someone who has tried it.
I always figured it would be better in many ways though many want to be able to play and practice with less chances of being heard. That makes an acoustic violin less of a viable choice for that purpose.
Sounds like your plan is organized and disciplined and destined for success. Glad you are enjoying the journey which is exactly what it should all be about.

Look forward to hearing more about your progress. :)

Thanks for the post!!!

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

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RedViolin
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March 9, 2015 - 6:26 pm
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Thanks @micra I understand what you mean. Good to hear the EV wasn't at fault (this is what I'm using!) I had a teacher some years ago, and *think* I remember how to hold the violin properly etc. (it was drilled into us so much!) but I have been doing lots of exercises to make sure too. Hopefully I'm not leading myself too far astray!

Thanks for the reply :D

Edited to respond to @Fiddlerman's post: I have been trying to start violin again after around a 2 decade hiatus (having never progressed very far in the first place!) and have found my attempts with the electric more successful than with the acoustic in some respects. Firstly, I have finally found the confidence to tune the electric with the ability to plug it directly into a computer and see the pitch (I know you can get devices/apps to do something similar with an acoustic, so may not be an issue) and secondly, I feel less self-conscious about playing, because I can hear how terrible it sounds, but few others can (as I live in an apartment this is especially important - I don't want to get kicked out!!) It took a bit of getting used to, but I think both have their merits :)

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Fiddlerman
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March 11, 2015 - 3:25 pm
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RedViolin said
Edited to respond to @Fiddlerman's post: I have been trying to start violin again after around a 2 decade hiatus (having never progressed very far in the first place!) and have found my attempts with the electric more successful than with the acoustic in some respects. Firstly, I have finally found the confidence to tune the electric with the ability to plug it directly into a computer and see the pitch (I know you can get devices/apps to do something similar with an acoustic, so may not be an issue) and secondly, I feel less self-conscious about playing, because I can hear how terrible it sounds, but few others can (as I live in an apartment this is especially important - I don't want to get kicked out!!) It took a bit of getting used to, but I think both have their merits :)

Also, good points for playing an electric. Thanks :)

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

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Daniel_Shaped_Object
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March 11, 2015 - 4:40 pm
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@micra and @RedViolin,

I've been eyeing that Cecelio electric violin for quite some time (can't decide which of the two styles appeals to me more) but since I just bought my Mendini MV 650, I should probably show a teensy bit of, ahem, restraint. There's also a little devil on my shoulder whispering that I should really get a mandolin, but...that's another story entirely, lol.

So far, are you guys still happy with your electric violins? I've never played on one, so I'm trying to imagine what the difference is like in terms of holding it and positioning it correctly. Seems like it would be thinner than an accoustic (maybe?) so I'm imagining you'd have to have the shoulder rest a bit higher (assuming you guys use them).  Or I could be completely wrong here, lol. 

I think it would be fun to have something so quiet to practice on. I do have a rubber mute for my accoustic violin and it cuts down on some of the sound, but from what I've heard an unamped electric violin is much more quiet. Plus, I believe you can input background tracks into the violin and play along with them, hearing the result in your headphones, yes? That would be really cool, as I picked up a couple of violin books with backing tracks (music from "Lord of the RIngs" and "World of Warcraft"). 

Fair warning: I'm on the verge of possibly getting a new (and higher paying) job, so if it comes through, I will probably abandon all attempts at restraint and splurge for one. 

And maybe a mandolin.   :-P

Wish me luck!

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micra
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March 12, 2015 - 9:18 am
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Daniel_Shaped_Object said
@micra and @RedViolin,

So far, are you guys still happy with your electric violins? I've never played on one, so I'm trying to imagine what the difference is like in terms of holding it and positioning it correctly. Seems like it would be thinner than an accoustic (maybe?) so I'm imagining you'd have to have the shoulder rest a bit higher (assuming you guys use them).  Or I could be completely wrong here, lol. 

Wish me luck!

Yes, definitely.  I like it for traveling, when I don't want to worry about the conditions I may be subjecting the acoustic to, I like it for recording because I can plug it directly into my digital audio interface box, I like it for cool factor, because it is cool looking amuse and with the electric violin strings I put on it, I like it for playability- it's just fun!  Right now I am taking lessons, and so I am concentrating on the acoustic... but in answer to your question, it's a purchase I most definitely DO NOT regret, and I'm glad I have it for playing around with, when I have the time!

Fiddlerman said
Hey micra and welcome to the forum,

Sounds to me that you would recommend a beginner not to start on an electric violin. It's always fun to get insight from someone who has tried it.
I always figured it would be better in many ways though many want to be able to play and practice with less chances of being heard. That makes an acoustic violin less of a viable choice for that purpose.
Sounds like your plan is organized and disciplined and destined for success. Glad you are enjoying the journey which is exactly what it should all be about.

Look forward to hearing more about your progress. :)

Thanks for the post!!!

Thanks @Fiddlerman !

But I should clarify, I don't mean to say that a beginner should not start on an electric...  I could just as easily have picked up an acoustic and developed all those bad habits that were born from lack of knowledge.  In fact, the electric allowed me to get my feet wet at a very reasonable price, and it gave me the confidence a little later on to buy a somewhat higher end acoustic for beginning lessons with, because by then I KNEW learning how to play properly was something that I really wanted to do.  

Anyway, c'mon how can this not be a cool addition to the instrument collection???Screen-Shot-2015-03-12-at-9.06.47-AM.pngImage Enlarger

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RedViolin
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March 21, 2015 - 6:46 am
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@Daniel_Shaped_Object sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. Yes, I'm very happy with my electric so far.

As a child, I started learning with an acoustic, and owned a 3/4 acoustic for a short while, before upgrading to my fullsize EV. I think thickness etc would depend on which EV you choose - I don't think mine is any thinner than a standard 4/4 acoustic. I use a standard height shoulder rest (a Kun) which I do have set to the highest possible level, but I have a reasonably big gap between my jaw and shoulder (/long neck?) and my set up hasn't varied between acoustic and electric.

It certainly is quiet - I got my husband to test this, and he was unable to hear me playing from the next room (and we have thin walls). This is good since we live in an apartment, and if I had an acoustic, I would basically only ever be able to play with a mute, which I don't think would be so great for developing musically. violin-bang

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