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The Plateau Affect
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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 10:45 am
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Hello everyone.

 

I am new to this site and really new to forums altogether. So far, I can say that I really enjoy this site. 

 

I just wanted to get some thoughts on a problem that I am having that I have called the Plateau affect. 

I have been playing now for a couple of years and am not where I feel that I should be. I have plateaued and don't now how to get passed my hump. I started out with an instructor, only had him for a few lessons before moving to a new area. I was not able to find anyone after I moved so I used the basics that I learned from the instructor and begin getting books, DVDs and about anything I could find to learn to play. I have learned and I can play a few songs decently. However where I struggle is that I still have issues with things like sound quality, double stops, etc. When I hear someone good play it sounds smooth and effortless, when I play, to me, it sounds forced. 

The problem with this is that is has caused to become a little frustrated which in turn has caused me to not practice as much - and the circle continues if you know what I mean. I have recently revived my passion for wanting to learn to play and I am just looking for some advice to cure my plateau affect.

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cdennyb
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February 24, 2012 - 10:54 am
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welcome there fellow screecher. LOL To tell the truth I know exactly what you mean... for me it was trying to figure out the exact tempo and notes to play for a particular piece (I don't read yet), but I kept at it, used videos off you tube to play along with and finally I was able to re-train my fingers to what they needed to do and not what they wanted to do. In between practice different types of music too, I started out with blues because it's so easy a simple and makes you relax and not get in a hurry and then feel like you're late, and then went on to slow classical to develop a sense of accomplishment and now I'm working on the faster stuff and practicing the scales faster and faster and more accurately as well. It just takes dedication and time.

As a beginner myself, all I can say is be passionate about your music selection, want to play it well, almost become obsessed at playing it and keep practicing. Sometimes playing along with someone else either live or in a video makes you keep up, makes you pay attention to the next notes and not dwell on what you screwed up on. In time my ability came around and now I'm starting on memorizing my second piece.

Good luckthumbs-up 

"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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Kevin M.
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February 24, 2012 - 11:42 am
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If you could send a video of yourself playing something then we could give you tips on how to overcome a particular problem you may be having.

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 11:46 am
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Kevin M. said

If you could send a video of yourself playing something then we could give you tips on how to overcome a particular problem you may be having.

That is a good idea, Let me see if I can figure out how to do that. 

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 11:46 am
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Kevin M. said

If you could send a video of yourself playing something then we could give you tips on how to overcome a particular problem you may be having.

That is a good idea, Let me see if I can figure out how to do that. 

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 12:29 pm
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Ok, I have attached a file of me playing. It is amazing how much more difficult it is to play when I am videoing it. Anyway, any feedback would be much appreciated. 

Thank you all for the quick feedback I have already received.

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 12:48 pm
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Ryan said

Ok, I have attached a file of me playing. It is amazing how much more difficult it is to play when I am videoing it. Anyway, any feedback would be much appreciated. 

Thank you all for the quick feedback I have already received.

i am getting an invalid file type error. My file is a .mov file. Looks like it should be supported. Thoughts? I am on a mac don't know if that makes a difference

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 1:15 pm
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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 1:18 pm
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Don't shoot the new guyviolin-student

 

I got the video to post, the original dimensions where too big. I adjusted and sent it. I promise I will figure out all of this posting stuff soon enough smile

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Dee Major
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February 24, 2012 - 1:48 pm
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Ryan, I'm not the one to advise you about any problems, believe me, but I thought your playing was wonderful, plateau or not!exactly cheerleader

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TerryT
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February 24, 2012 - 2:04 pm
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Hey Ryan, sounds good! I wish I had half your skill!!!
If its any help, I used to teach my Karate students through Plateaus.
I told them it was my belief that their mental capacity and knowledge was a bit ahead of their physical capacity.
When I got them through this mental stage, all of a sudden their physical stage took a leap.
The secret is to keep working through the plateau, no matter how frustrating it is, keep going on the basics, all of a sudden everything will kick into place and you'll feel like you have made a major leap forwards.

I'm a newbie on the violin and also feel these frustrations, but I have learned to keep on at it!
Hope this helps!

thumbs-up

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

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 2:14 pm
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Terry said

Hey Ryan, sounds good! I wish I had half your skill!!!
If its any help, I used to teach my Karate students through Plateaus.
I told them it was my belief that their mental capacity and knowledge was a bit ahead of their physical capacity.
When I got them through this mental stage, all of a sudden their physical stage took a leap.
The secret is to keep working through the plateau, no matter how frustrating it is, keep going on the basics, all of a sudden everything will kick into place and you'll feel like you have made a major leap forwards.

I'm a newbie on the violin and also feel these frustrations, but I have learned to keep on at it!
Hope this helps!

thumbs-up

Terry,

Thank you, that makes great sense. And good practicing to you as well.

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 2:15 pm
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Dee Major said

Ryan, I'm not the one to advise you about any problems, believe me, but I thought your playing was wonderful, plateau or not!exactly cheerleader

Thank you, that is very kind

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Kevin M.
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February 24, 2012 - 2:31 pm
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The mechanics of your play is good but the dynamics seem to be lacking or not there.  It's like you play but don't feel the music. Even the end with the shave a a haircut two bits. All the notes were the same speed and volume.  Listen to others play and pick up on the small details of how the same notes sound different when played at a different part.  I hope you understand what I am saying but definitely stick with it.

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Oliver
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February 24, 2012 - 3:38 pm
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After listening to the video I think what you lack most is confidence smile

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

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TerryT
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February 24, 2012 - 4:00 pm
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Oliver said

After listening to the video I think what you lack most is confidence smile

Yeah, maybe a couple of points of Guiness and some jamming partners would make you go for it!
I saw a few 'sessions' in Ireland where guys all came together to have a go, and once caught up in the atmosphere there was no stopping them.
Do you get chance to duet or jam?

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

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 24, 2012 - 4:20 pm
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Terry said

Yeah, maybe a couple of points of Guiness and some jamming partners would make you go for it!

 

Yeah, that always works for me.  I think the real trick is, once you've got the technique down, to relax a bit and go for feeling instead of techinical perfection.  If you've practiced the technique enough then your fingers will know what to do. 

 

Sometimes it also helps to take a break and work on something simpler and then come back to it after giving your brain a bit of a rest.

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Ryan
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February 24, 2012 - 4:48 pm
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Thank you all for the great advice. I all makes sense. I agree that I do lack confidence. At lot of times I will get together with my Brother and jam some, he is a very gifted banjo player. He always say that I sound good but I tend to hear the imperfection more than the good I guess. My biggest challenge when jamming with him is hearing the tone. 

Hopefully I can learn a great deal from all of you and this site and with practice I will get to where I need to be. Maybe I will post some more videos to track my progresscrossedfingers

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TerryT
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February 24, 2012 - 5:08 pm
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Everyone is very supportive on this site, whilst also offering constructive criticism.
We'll all be cracking violin players one day talking about those good ole days when we were first learning off each other back in 2012 lol.
dancing

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

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Fiddlerman
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February 24, 2012 - 7:31 pm
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Welcome to the forum.

If I give criticism it's not cause it is not good it is just to help you improve.

First of all be critical of your intonation. That is what most people notice the most.
Secondly, use a little more bow to produce a better sound. More pressure at times as well.
Thirdly, sing this piece and play it as you would sing it. Phrase the music more. Sections and sentences.

That being said, thanks for a great post. Love having you here. You'll make a great addition.

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

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