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Regressing ???
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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August 12, 2012 - 9:07 pm
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Hi All

Just a bit of a problem that I've been experiencing for the last couple of weeks. I feel that I have hit a wall and have stopped progressing, if not even regressing a little.

Both bowing and intonation seem to have 'gone off ' a little.

Any thoughs on this would be appreciated dunno

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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Kevin M.
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August 12, 2012 - 9:21 pm
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Could it be that your are actually getting better and what used to seem good now seems bad even if it is the same or better.  Your ear may be getting better and now your playing sounds worse.  Now is the time to work on the fine tuning of your playing.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 12, 2012 - 10:04 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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It's normal to go up and down with progress and like Kevin said, you may even have gotten better but your are more aware of your difficulties.

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

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cdennyb
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August 13, 2012 - 1:24 am
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Not that this is a problem you are having but last Sunday I woke up and figured I'd devote most of the day to on and off practicing... well. from the beginning I couldn't make that dang violin sound decent if you paid me to. So I tried the next one and the next one..nothing...

I was stuck, nothing I did made them sound good. The notes were off... the bowing was off..., the whole thing was a disaster so I just packed it away and took the day off.

I Cleaned the strings on all 3 violins with alcohol and the 5 bows that I use...then applied a new fresh light rosin to each one, cause it's the middle of a hot summer here, and then on Monday started all over. It was like night and day!

I ended up working on practicing about 4-5 hours total on Monday and enjoyed every moment because they all sounded great, again. and I wasn't half bad either...cheers

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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August 13, 2012 - 7:19 am
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cdennyb said

I Cleaned the strings on all 3 violins with alcohol and the 5 bows that I use...then applied a new fresh light rosin to each one, cause it's the middle of a hot summer here, and then on Monday started all over. It was like night .cheers

What do you use to clean your bows? Mine must be due for a clean

I've decided to spend a week reviewing bowing technique and all. It could be that I'm developing bad habits along with the comments made by FM and Kevin M.

'never give up, never surrender' thumbs-up

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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August 13, 2012 - 10:53 am
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Join the club!
Sounds like you have hit a plateau. All of a sudden you will notice a stepped improvement.
Happened all the time with my students, I just tell them to stick at it coz they are about to hit a turning point

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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DanielB
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August 13, 2012 - 12:18 pm
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As others already mentioned, that sounds pretty normal and it will usually pass, Ferret.

But if you are impatient or it seems to last too long, try picking a totally different genre of music than you usually play and hit the beginner lessons for it.  It doesn't even have to be a type of music you like or would usually even listen to, since you are just using it as a "rut-buster" and to maybe pick up a few new tricks.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Oliver
NC
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August 13, 2012 - 12:35 pm
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Almost all my progress (?) has followed periods during which I got worse.

I simply stop if I have a piece that sounds the same every day.  Diminishing returns.

I let the music lay for a week, maybe two and it often improves significantly simply by doing nothing.  Maybe I forget why it was difficult in the first place dazed

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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August 13, 2012 - 1:14 pm
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as the great and wise P Abdula once pronounce 2 steps forward 1 step back! I love your comment on diminishing returns. Its actually a scientific principle of economics. (all the stuff I knowledge and nothing to do with it!) I have set the 'lin down for a weekend only to come back to it monday and have progressed through a complicated passage with no practice. Its called practicing and not focused practicing! Lemme tell you, your brain can call it quits long before you realize it! Funny huh?!

And while all the above offer great advice, nothing beats focused practice. Short practice sessions, multiple in a day but each one focusing on an area of improvement. the final session is working on the tune. I get on average 3 (20 min) practices throughout the day. The first is intonation and bowing- back to the basics sort of thing. The second is the key notes and tricky phrases of whatever I am working on and the third is the actual piece being played.

The second session I am working on etudes and studies that deal with the issue with the piece. for instance I am having difficulties with arpeggio scales in a song that skips over strings up and down the scale, so jump from d to e for instance, down to a then back to g. So I practice scales like this with different fingerings to get the bowing motion down. Then when I go back to the song, theoretically its supposed to be easier! So far, I am getting better.

 

IMHO- pfish Fiddle on!jimi-hendrix 

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

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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August 13, 2012 - 2:45 pm
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Ferret said

cdennyb said

I Cleaned the strings on all 3 violins with alcohol and the 5 bows that I use...then applied a new fresh light rosin to each one, cause it's the middle of a hot summer here, and then on Monday started all over. It was like night .cheers

What do you use to clean your bows? Mine must be due for a clean

I've decided to spend a week reviewing bowing technique and all. It could be that I'm developing bad habits along with the comments made by FM and Kevin M.

'never give up, never surrender' thumbs-up

I use some 170-180 proof ethanol to clean my stuff. You can use a lesser proof alky but it will take longer to soften and remove the rosin from in between the strings since it's watered down. I make my own ethanol so supply isn't a commercial option for me but if you can find "Everclear in 151 or 190 proof" it'll do quite nicely.

It actually took me about 5-6 applications and rubbing on each one to completely remove the rosin built up between the hairs. You know it's clean when you can drag the dry hair across the strings and they make no sound. LOL

Also clean the strings too or they make a terrible sound while cleaning the bows and testing.

A note of caution: DO NOT get any alcohol on the finish of the violin or bow. It will disolve or soften the varnish and if you wipe it while still wet, it'll smear and screw up the varnish job terribly.

It will clean the rosin off the hairs and strings though, it will just take some time. I clean about every month or so, it makes a big difference in the sound. I also notice after cleaning and reapplying the rosin that my movement of the bow required to make a nice sound goes from an inch or two to less than a 1/4 inch! Big help in string changes and the number of notes able to be gotten into the slurs. I used to go about 2-3 notes in a slur and with a nice clean fresh bow and clean strings I can make 5-7 notes easily.

Just a thought.

Be careful...

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Oliver
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August 13, 2012 - 5:18 pm
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PF

Because your practice strategy is very similar to mine, I have to figure that you are making above average progress.  I particularly like your attention to identify the real problems and address them "off-line".

I fear that many practice without really being aware of the problem.  I call that "practicing to practice" but it seems you have control of that pitfall. 

gold_stargold_star

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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August 13, 2012 - 8:18 pm
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Oliver... my instructor had a talk with me on this last lesson.   We had a lesson on how to practice.    When  to stop and do it over...not to play through mistakes.

 

I too feel at times I am  regressing.   But usually it is a stagnancy that I have that I can tell is wrong but I don't know how to fix the issue.  

 

I should  post  videos of those parts when I get them there and get feed back.

 

Good topic.... lots of us seem to encounter similar scenarios in regard to regressing.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Oliver
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August 14, 2012 - 8:42 am
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One thing that I concentrate on is deciding what it is I may be having trouble with.   Is it physical or mental (rhetorical question)?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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August 14, 2012 - 3:24 pm
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Yep! HAppens to me either. But in my case it's more like a "bad_day-good_day"... Not that much related to violin\bow condition or my increasing skills of hearing or something else.. devil-violin

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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August 15, 2012 - 6:16 pm
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Thanks for all the good advise

What I'e done so far is to revisit the beginning of learning the violin and have done a lot of revision.

One thing that I did notice about my bowing problem (bowing 2 when not wanted) is that I was only having it on my new violin. I am lucky enough to have 3 violins and my first really cheapy one I can bow fairly well. The only thing that I could see that could be causing this was the bridge. I swapped the bridges over and things immediately improved on the new violin

This was a bit of a surprise as the bridge from the old violin was cut somewhat flatter than the one it replaced. I would have thought that the flatter cut would have made the problem worse rather than better dunno

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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