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Retaining Fiddle Skills While Away
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EJ-Kisz
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April 30, 2012 - 11:52 pm
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Hi all!

As much as I love to play throughout my day, I know there will be times where I won't be able to pick my fiddle up for long periods of time.  Being a beginner, I'm worried that this "down time" can be disastrous.  (If I could, both of my fiddles would never leave my side!)  

Are there any tips for skill retention without the use of a fiddle? (i.e. exercises, study, stretches, et.)

The reason I ask is that I will be going in for my 3rd back surgery in a few short days and will be confined to a recliner with back support.  I felt like I've accomplished so much of the past few weeks and I don't want to lose it!  

I'll have access to my fiddle, but I won't be able to sit on the edge of the chair or stand.  I'm hoping to do something with my fiddle as long as I'm up to it, pain wise.  

Any advice would be most welcomed!

Thanks in advance!

~EJ  cheers 

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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suresh
Tuticorin, India
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May 1, 2012 - 12:14 am
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Hi EJ!  Wish you good health.  Recuperate well.  You can play the violin in your mind.  Keep the spirit alive.  You can do it when you come back.

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it ..(William Shakespeare in Twelfth Night)

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myguitarnow
Laguna Beach
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May 1, 2012 - 12:23 am
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Try using a pencil, bic lighter or something like that and learn how to spin them around your fingers on your left hand. With your right hand just pretend you are bowing and think about getting loose with your wrist and elbow. Good luck on your surgery EJ and hope you recover well.

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Joe
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May 1, 2012 - 12:23 am
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I lost my fiddle to corrupt parts...it's broken...so I feel you.  I keep my aching head in the scales and my blistered eyes on the scores.  Read music like you would a good book, and if you are able, wiggle your fingers as though you are playing along......however, be warned, you'll tire quickly, but that's OK.  Enjoy the music in your mind as long as it's soothing. 

 

good luck....and keep music scores at your bed-side. I promise....it will aid in your recovery.

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NoirVelours
Quebec
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May 1, 2012 - 8:52 am
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EJ I hope the surgery will go well and that you will heal fast! I would say just rest, your back will need it. Maybe listening to the songs you want to practice and doing fingering exercises? I doubt you will loose anything unless you are months without being able to pick up your violin. *hug*

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 1, 2012 - 9:24 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Weird, I answered this post but must not have pressed the save button. LOL
You are probably the best equipped person to know what you can and cannot do during your rehab period. Sorry to hear that you need so many operations. Hope this is the last for you.
You can easily do finger flexibility exercises with your right hand. Can even do it with a pen or something.
When is the operation?

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

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ftufc
SoCal
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May 1, 2012 - 10:24 am
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EJ, so sorry to hear about your temporary down time; best of luck in your rapid recovery. 

When I'm traveling and don't have my violin, when I'm back at my room at night, and even on the plane, I play mp3 scales on my pocket recorder/ear bud while seeing the notes on sheet music; it's on the same line as what Suresh said, I see the note and hear the sound, endlessly.  Visualization works for all sports, why not violin; nothing beats the real thing, but this exercise actually helps lock your ear into the correct pitch so you more easily know it when you play it.

Good luck!

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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May 1, 2012 - 10:25 am
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Thanks everybody!  I like the idea of using a pencil or pen to help flexibility!  

After reading everybody's responses, my wife and I formulated a plan to sneak my backup/practice bow in to the hospital! LOL Time to cause trouble with the nurses!!  devil-violin 

I love the idea of listening to music I want to learn, but I know I'll want to try the song immediately!  During my last surgery, I was reading a Beginners Book on violin, finished it and wanted to start playing even though I couldn't.  That was torture!  

I actually go in Thursday morning for the surgery, so I'm trying to get as much playing time in as possible.  This surgery shouldn't be as bad as the last few with a much shorter recovery time!  But it will require a ton of rest time afterwards.  They don't even want me starting physical therapy until 8 weeks after!  I hate it when my body can't keep up with my mind! LOL   

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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May 1, 2012 - 10:44 am
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EJ,

When I am in the hospital I bring my electric with me.  Even if I can't sit up to play I finger the notes and practice my grip on the bow.  No hospital has ever told me I couldn't have my violin with me.

Wish you well.

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NoirVelours
Quebec
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May 1, 2012 - 11:11 am
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ya playing spiccato would probably not bother the nurses unless there is someone in the bed next to you (is it spiccato when you pluck only?)

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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May 1, 2012 - 11:25 am
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I would LOVE to bring my violin in, but they won't allow me due to everything I'll be hooked up to.  

My upper back will be immobilized and I'll have oxygen tubes, IV and the wires monitoring my Spinal Chord Stimulator all over the place. LOL  I guess they're really making sure I won't run away!  I figured I can at least have my bow (or pen/pencil) with to work on my grip!  Maybe once they allow me to sit up and take me off O2, I can sneak in "Jules." (I finally named my newer fiddle! :D)  

NV, I'll probably have a roommate like last time!  Knowing my luck, they'll complain about every little thing like before.   My last roommate actually complained that my IV machine was beeping too loud and that I turned the volume up!!!  facepalm LOL  Oh well!  Keeping my fingers crossed for a private room or cool roommate this time! crossedfingers

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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dionysia
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May 1, 2012 - 12:05 pm
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You can get a paper towel tube, or better yet a gift wrap tube cut down to size, and practice your fingering on that - with a pencil for a bow. Just think how perfectly you will play in your imagination!!!

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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May 1, 2012 - 12:17 pm
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That's a great idea!!!  We have some of those tubes around here and they're pretty thick!!  I can even print out the fingering chart from here and paste it on!!!

Thanks dionysia!!!  cheers

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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dionysia
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May 1, 2012 - 12:29 pm
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EJKiszenia said
That's a great idea!!!  We have some of those tubes around here and they're pretty thick!!  I can even print out the fingering chart from here and paste it on!!!

Thanks dionysia!!!  cheers

Just remember to post a vid!!

roflol

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EJ-Kisz
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May 1, 2012 - 12:52 pm
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I'll ask my nurse to!!  .....that is....if I don't make her mad! rofl

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Kevin M.
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May 1, 2012 - 1:35 pm
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Had a roommate that every time I turned on the TV he shut it off.  One time I had a roommate that tried to have his girlfriend stay the night in bed with him.  I know what you mean with the tubes and such. One time I had this thing around my legs squeezing them and a balloon pump for my heart with all sort of wires on me. Couldn't wait to get out of there.

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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May 1, 2012 - 3:06 pm
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When i don't have violin around or can't practice, i train vibrato movements (arm, wrist) or right hand bowing things. For example when i saw FiddlerMan's videos of He's a pirate, i tried to do those spiccato (staccato?) bowing techniques and my right hand didn't want to follow me. So i practiced it right on the work without the violin. Results were surprising =) Also i work on developing finger flexibility (both hands) and strengthening fingers to prevent double-jointness - You can do it with the cloth pin.

Wish You good luck with the operation and soonest recovery birthday_ballooncrossedfingers

 

(BTW didn't find my favourite smiley - the cow with crossed fingers drooling anybody see it?)

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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May 1, 2012 - 3:46 pm
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Okay, my wife thinks I'm absolutely crazy for this, but I think it's going to work!!  We just had a nice conversation via shoutbox about this!

 

I figured, the one thing the nurses can't take away from me is my cane, so why not measure out the size of my violin and outline it with tape on my cane???  

I thought about dionysia's idea about a cardboard tube or something similar, but was worried that the staff might throw it out or it might be crushed.  ......I still might make one for home! cool

Mad_Wed, I'll definitely be doing vibrato exercises!  The one of the newer things I learned and I don't want to lose it!  Especially after all the work I put into it! dazed

 

Take a look at my few fiddlin' tool! dancing  I used layered black tape to mark of the distance of the fingerboard and the violin has been measured to match my cane from the handle down!  I can actually place the cane handle in my neck and the simulated finger board is at the correct position, matching my violin!  clap

 

2012-05-01_14-29-03_507.jpgImage Enlarger2012-05-01_14-29-38_362.jpgImage Enlarger 

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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Kevin M.
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May 1, 2012 - 4:14 pm
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Way to go Eric,

 

Only problem, the nurses will think you lost your mind, putting your cane on yopur neck.  Can't keep a good person down.

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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May 1, 2012 - 5:05 pm
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Kevin M. said
Way to go Eric,

 

Only problem, the nurses will think you lost your mind, putting your cane on yopur neck.  Can't keep a good person down.

That might be a good thing though!  I might get a room to myself by scaring off everyone else! rofl

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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