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Crash Course in how to play the Violin
This is not a small viola.. I don't care what you say...
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Ripton
Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between
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February 10, 2016 - 8:38 pm
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So I buy 3 tickets to the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival of this weekend. I figured I do OK with playing some BG tunes on the viola. How hard can it be to bring it back up a fifth... Ummm WRONG... I should have stuck with my music theory class... Not as easy as moving across a string from what I thought  I could like I've been doing all along. Changing keys and new fingering, and that treble cleft.. WHAT the hades is that?... My well rehearsed tunes now sound like cats with tails stuck in rat traps... Hopes to do some hallway jamming with KindaScratchy... Sorry Diane, At this point I make no promises. At least I'll look like a regular with the violin case across my back... lol.  Just venting folks. Thanks. There is a session on performance anxiety. (perhaps I'll sit in on that one) 

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
February 10, 2016 - 9:19 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
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No! Don't stress about it, @Ripton ! You'll have a great time at the Joe Val Festival!

You're experiencing EXACTLY what I experienced a year and a half ago when I started going to bluegrass jams. Well, maybe not exactly the same as I wasn't trying to transpose keys, but I had a tough time with improvisation. I still struggle with it but have gotten much better at it.

You have to get out there and go to jams and festivals in order to learn how to do these things and get comfortable. It won't happen if you stay home.

I'm really looking forward to jamming with you and your daughter this weekend. Don't worry! We'll find stuff to play (even if it's not strictly bluegrass) and make some good noise together.

thumbs-upcheerleader

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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Ripton
Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between
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February 10, 2016 - 9:27 pm
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I was just told, I need one more ticket... Ah this fest is really starting to cost me... lol

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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February 11, 2016 - 1:30 am
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Heyyyy @Ripton - it will all be good !   Relax, you'll have a great time there !

@KindaScratchy will keep you on-track !!!   thumbs-up

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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February 11, 2016 - 10:48 am
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Oh, I need a session on performance anxiety! I chickened out of going to an Irish session with my teacher a couple weeks ago, even though part of me really wanted to go. I just figure I get so nervous playing around people that I'd just be annoying everyone, lol

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

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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February 11, 2016 - 12:59 pm
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damfino - trust me - few people (in your audience) are looking for "perfection" - anyone who cares to join your audience will either be "fiddlers / violinists / other musical instrument players" and will TOTALLY understand "where you are at because THEY HAVE BEEN THERE" and will not mock you in any way.  Trust me on this, it is a fundamental truth.    

Other listeners, who have NEVER played an instrument will be thinking "Jeez - I wish I could do that..."  

Honestly, they came to the show for a reason...   Any "nay-sayers" - well - you know what - that's their problem, not yours...  

Rock on Mandy !

BillyG

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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February 11, 2016 - 4:55 pm
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Mandy, I don't have a lot of advice on that for you.

I am the same...probably worse.  But I will tell you this.. four years later I am 100% better than I was in the beginning.  Even the last year I have had break throughs.    And keep in mind you play much better than I  did in the first year.

Keep on believing in yourself..and maybe try a little more you tube and then a little live Street Jelly.. (even 5-10 mins)..something to think about.

I have a lot of faith in you and your videos are awesome.

However, I will say it is not easy and for those who don't have the extreme fear, they can really get how one chokes up and goes blank or the hands shakes ect.

I can only say, that is had gotten better for me and I hope for you too.

🙂

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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February 12, 2016 - 2:40 pm
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I have to find my way out of my nervousness. It's a few months off, but in July there is an old time music festival at a local living museum... a little village set up like the 1850s (it's really cute, I love it there), and it's called "Music in the Valley"... you get in free if you bring an instrument that weekend, and you can either pick a spot and play on your own, or join in with other people. That's my goal. I want to go do that this year. Even if I just pick a pretty corner in the shade and fiddle by my lonesome, I want to make myself do it, lol.

But I for sure start fumbling as soon as I even think someone can hear me playing, lol. I need to stop that, lol.

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

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Schaick
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February 13, 2016 - 8:27 am
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damfino That has been a life long issue for me!!  When I picked up the violin I decided to play in front of people right away to try and over come it.  

My thinking - I was just learning the violin for the first time as an older adult. The violin is a difficult instrument so I had a good excuse right away.

I played at a family Christmas party.  LOL!!  They have not asked me back!!

Then I jumped in at a local jam explaining that I didn't play very well because I was new to the instrument.  Everyone, except a couple have been very understanding and encouraging!!

I had a lesson with My Bluegrass Teach.  At the lesson He said that I played a ton better then I do at jam and that all I needed was confidence.  Well that right there was a boost of confidence!!!

I can play at jam now without my bow quaking!  I have memorized a bunch of tunes and am slowly adding to the number that I can get through without completely forgetting them.

You can overcome it!!

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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Schaick
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February 13, 2016 - 8:49 am
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damfino said
... It's a few months off, but in July there is an old time music festival at a local living museum... a little village set up like the 1850s (it's really cute, I love it there), and it's called "Music in the Valley"... you get in free if you bring an instrument that weekend, and you can either pick a spot and play on your own, or join in with other people. That's my goal. I want to go do that this year. Even if I just pick a pretty corner in the shade and fiddle by my lonesome, I want to make myself do it, lol.

....

Where in Ohio?  

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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damfino
oHIo, USA
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February 13, 2016 - 10:49 am
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schaick It's in Bath, Ohio (which is about a half hour or so south of Cleveland). The museum is Hale Farm and Village. Here is the event schedule page for the museum: http://www.wrhs.org/plan-your-.....our-visit/

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

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intrepidgirl
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February 13, 2016 - 11:25 pm
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Damfino, very brave to get out there, I think it is a little like toastmasters, the more you do the more comfortable it will be.  

I just signed up for a group in our city called "Fiddlin with friends" who meet once per month, and play together.  I didn't know what type of music but jumped in because a girlfriend told me she had signed up (and didn't show up at the first session!!!!).  The leader is also teaching (me more than others) and I have to say with a group of 14 of us, my squeakiness mixes in just fine.  One step at a time... I would love to get up to the level of jamming and improv.  

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Schaick
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February 14, 2016 - 8:09 am
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hmmm @damfino I have a cousin in Cleveland.  She has visited us for the past 4 years.  Maybe it is time we visit her...... in July!!  I will have to convince hubby.

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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damfino
oHIo, USA
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February 14, 2016 - 10:35 am
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schaick If you've never ventured down that way towards Bath, it really is beautiful down there. The land the museum is on is really close to both farmland and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, as well as local Metroparks hiking trails, so even though Akron isn't far, you get to be in a relaxing country setting for the day 🙂 

The last Music in the Valley day happened a couple weeks before I had settled on actually buying a fiddle, so I just did the wine tasting and listened to everyone else (it's always been one of my favorite events to go to there, the other is their Civil War reenactment). My teacher was the one that reminded me that I'd be able to go as a musician this year which was an exciting thought 🙂 It always seems like a laid back event. 

I found this video online from last year... I wish it showed the group of old-time fiddlers that I heard.

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

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Fidelestre
Texas
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February 14, 2016 - 10:37 am
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damfino ,

The Music in the Valley event sounds great! In the meantime, it won't hurt to go to the Irish session (with your fiddle) and see how it is. I've recently started going to a "slow session" here, and it is great for beginners. Once I tried going to a regular session just to listen, and they said that they always start with the easier tunes and allow beginners to pick the first tunes. Maybe they have similar etiquette rules at your local session - in any event, you do know some Irish tunes, so you can always request those particular tunes! I found the participants at the sessions to be very friendly and open to beginners.

They did publish etiquette rules on their website, so it is worth checking into that in advance. Basically things like no "noddling" (play only if you know the tune or can pick up the actual tune by ear), no more than a certain number of rhythm instruments, etc.

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damfino
oHIo, USA
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February 14, 2016 - 10:45 am
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fidelestre I'll have to make myself go to some. Part of my problem is I don't think I'm quite fast enough to join in. Since my teacher loves this kind of music, she's been good about getting me going on a good amount of songs already, so I at least know how to play several at various speeds, lol.

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

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Fidelestre
Texas
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February 14, 2016 - 10:49 am
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Yes, speed is an issue. Even the "slow" session I go to isn't really that slow!

Likely they will go slower on some of the earlier pieces chosen by relatively new players.

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