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The Weakest Link
What is your weakest violin playing skill and how ya gonna fix it ?
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Oliver
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April 26, 2014 - 5:51 pm
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Actually, the topic is a little strange because my skills are "OK" for an amateur. Let's say I don't have to apologize after a gig at the Strawberry Socials :)
However (here it comes) it seems I just can't do everything at my best all at the same time! There is just too much going on with a violin for me to have flawless multitasking. How does one "practice" that ?

I wonder what others deal with? Is it the bow? How about intonation? What prevents you from making as much progress as you would like? What is the hardest part of playing the violin? What should you be doing that you avoid ?

(Do not say that everything is a problem. That's a given :)

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

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cdennyb
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April 26, 2014 - 8:31 pm
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My biggest drawback from perfection is the timing. I can play along with others (in fact it makes me sound better. ha.), play by myself for the most and sometimes just try to keep up learning a new piece but the timing is the hardest part for me.

"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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April 26, 2014 - 9:46 pm
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Do you mean keeping a consistent rhythm (a.k.a. metronome ) OR reading the rhythm off printed music ?

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

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Mad_Wed
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April 28, 2014 - 3:59 am
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"Multitasking" is a problem as it is. I usually split a task apart. Bowing/dynamics/intonation/fingerings... And work separatelly on those things. Then combine them together only when i'm ready - when they happen by themselves, automatically.

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DanielB
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April 28, 2014 - 5:13 am
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I think, Oliver, that perhaps your weakest link at present is your own attitudes about your playing.

I also think that multitasking *is* switching your attention to the various points of playing as you become aware of things you could be doing better while playing. Much like how all the parts of any activity, like driving a car for example, requires being aware of one thing at one moment and another thing the next moment. That's how it works, isn't it?

You can do a gig at the Strawberry Socials and not have to apologize.

I'd say it sounds like you're doing good enough that most listeners would say you are good. You just don't feel good enough yet to be comfortable with that idea.

blink

"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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Fiddlestix
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April 28, 2014 - 6:04 am
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Multitasking is being able to do more than one thing at the same time. Driving a car requires one's thoughts on all aspects of operating the vehicle without thinking about it. The same goes with playing violin, it requires being able to operate the instrument in all aspects without thinking about each movement.

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DanielB
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April 28, 2014 - 9:02 am
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As I am sure you are aware, Ken, there is still quite a bit of debate about what might be considered multitasking in humans, and if we even actually do it. I tend to agree with the school of thought that the brain prioritizes and switches very quickly, rather than actually doing what amounts to having two separate thoughts going at the same time.
But who knows? I'm no neuroscientist, and I changed my college major from psych to music.
jimi-hendrixviolin-student

To address the other part of your question, Oliver.. The hardest part of playing violin for me is that I still get caught up in the mechanical process of the physical motions and think in notes and timing rather than focussing on the flow of the music. Sometimes I do ok with that, other times, not so well. But it gets better with practice. Slowly, sometimes. LOL

"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
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April 28, 2014 - 9:14 am
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I have decided that the fault is with the violin. If I had a clarinet, I would have pre-drilled
holes (notes), easy to use metal keys and, I think, I could have a neck strap to help hold it. This leaves me only the challenge of the reed mouthpiece.

The violin gives me a wood box with 4 strings and a bow which is always in trouble! Nothing happens without me! No wonder I'm a wreck!

DanielB I'm very happy to read that someone shares my prejudices. That is, that the study of the violin sometimes ignores what music is about. I believe that many can rattle-up a good vibrato but only a few can make pure music from Twinkle, twinkle! I'm sure you know what I mean.
I too work at achieving meaningful expression. Sometimes I will just hum what I want and then see how that sounds. Whatever.
I would quickly lose interest if all there was were the techno-babble.

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

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StoneDog
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April 28, 2014 - 1:09 pm
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My weakest link at the present {it does change as more time is spent playing my viddle} seems to be keeping the bow parallel to the bridge. It has a tendency to float > BUT is is getting better.

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Schaick
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April 28, 2014 - 1:50 pm
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My husband says my weakest link is at my neck!!!!

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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Oliver
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April 28, 2014 - 1:58 pm
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Can I suggest a taller chin rest ?

StoneDog How do you know when the bow is crooked ?

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

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Fiddlestix
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April 28, 2014 - 6:38 pm
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@ StoneDog: Try one of these gizmo's.

http://www.amazon.com/Bow-Righ.....+bow+guide

rofl

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Fiddlerman
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April 28, 2014 - 7:27 pm
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Schaick said

My husband says my weakest link is at my neck!!!!

ROFL, that was a good one. Plus it is probably very true.

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

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Schaick
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April 28, 2014 - 9:09 pm
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@fiddlerguy HEY!! You aren't supposed to agree with him!!

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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MrYikes
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April 28, 2014 - 11:00 pm
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LOL good one.
My main problem is tension. When I finish running Fiddlerman's finger dexterity exercises, I have to stop and shake my left hand. The muscles are almost cramped from squeezing the neck, I am the same with sight-reading and the tension is partly to blame for some of my mistakes,,,,or maybe I'm just making alibis. I keep telling myself to relax, but that's like talking to a wall.

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Oliver
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April 29, 2014 - 12:31 am
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I know that there are all kinds of suggestions to understand and overcome tension. I did not have a big problem with that because I had the chance to play before an audience pretty much from the start. I wonder if you can conquer your fears by yourself (?) Oh yes, I would think that playing for a teacher might help(?)

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

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Fiddlerman
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April 30, 2014 - 3:10 pm
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Schaick said

@fiddlerguy HEY!! You aren't supposed to agree with him!!

I think everyone's weakest point is their neck, right? ROFL

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

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