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Priorities in Learning. My thoughts
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (3 votes) 
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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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July 26, 2014 - 9:47 pm
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I was sitting around the house with little to do and started thinking. I was thinking about my approach to learning the violin and what I think are the priorities in learning.

So I though I'd share my thoughts with you all. At the outset I'd just like to point out that even though I'm expressing these thoughts, I in 'no way' believe that I have mastered these priorities.

I was thinking that without a good foundation, decorations in the house mean little.

A good way to explain the way I see the process would be to liken learning the violin to a 'Royal Court' with a King, a Queen, and their Courtiers.

The King of the court is 'Intonation'. Intonation is 'the tune'. If you don't have good intonation all else is of little use. Even if you can bow well and have mastered vibrato, no amount of bowing and vibrating is going to make up for poor intonation. Intonation 'Rules'.

The Queen of the court is 'Bowing'. It is the queen that brings life to the king's 'tunes'. Without the bow your Violin is little more than a badly designed Mandolin. It is the bow that 'lifts' the music from the violin into the air. It's skilful use is what makes it a violin.

And then come the Courtiers. These are the Slides, Slurs and the most famous courtier of them all, Vibrato. These, and other left hand techniques along with the many bowing techniques used make up the Court.

The courtiers are the ones that assist the King and Queen in fine tuning their Realm. They provide the nuances and sutubties that make the music 'whole'.

While, at their detriment, King and Queen could exist without the Courtiers, but the Courtiers are redundant without the Royals.

What do you reckon? 

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

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Panzón
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July 26, 2014 - 10:14 pm
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I think rhythm and tempo need to figure in there somewhere. A correctly intoned tune played out of rhthym still sounds bad.

Mike

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Ferret
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July 26, 2014 - 11:05 pm
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Panzón said
I think rhythm and tempo need to figure in there somewhere. A correctly intoned tune played out of rhthym still sounds bad.

Mike

I totally agree Mike. I would say more rhythm than tempo. I still have problems there myself. I seem to have a problem with waltzes. 

There are so many things to playing a musical instrument. But I have so often seen new players such as myself struggling with things like vibrato when, in fact, their intonation and bowing is not up to the task. And many times I've seen the frustration lead to giving up. 

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

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coolpinkone
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July 27, 2014 - 12:30 am
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@Ferret .. I adore this!!!

lets say Tempo / rhythm is the Kings mistress or the Queens lover! As long as we are making analogies right?  

This was great and I am so glad you wrote it.  Might be something illustrative for teaching.... ;). Good job.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Ferret
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July 27, 2014 - 1:04 am
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Toni @coolpinkone  

I think that I may have become a little 'fancyful' but I also think that the 'Royal' analogy is one that fits. But I 'did' say had plenty of time on my hands and forgot to mention the whiskey and cola. Lol

But now we have some intrigue in the Court. The King and Queen have taken lovers. This could get 'raunchy'. Can't wait to see how it turners out. ;)

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

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DanielB
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July 27, 2014 - 8:02 am
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"Cleaning the violin" can perhaps be the "scullery maid" of the castle.. Since if the dishes and kitchen don't get cleaned then the quality of the food that everybody eats, all the way up to the royalty, will suffer sooner or later.  Most likely sooner.

blink

Everything matters.

"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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BillyG
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July 27, 2014 - 11:35 am
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I like the analogy!  Cool @Ferret - the way I perceive myself as an actual performer then, would be to arrive at the Royal Court as "A Wandering Minstrel I"violin-studentwith tunes to make people happy, make them sad, make them dance and make them sing....  Music that will transport the audience to some other place.....

Performance over, there isclap but a lot ofroflas well - I believe I was mistaken for the Court Jester....  roflol ... oh well more practice then....

Ferret said
..... I also think that the 'Royal' analogy is one that fits. But I 'did' say had plenty of time on my hands and forgot to mention the whiskey and cola.....

Aha!  Sounds perfectly reasonable to me!   Now, where's my flagon of mead?

And just to introduce a bit of culture (no, I'm not talking about yogurt)  in the midst of this insanity - 

Bill - ( Wandering Minstrel and at times Knight Errant.... )

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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coolpinkone
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July 27, 2014 - 12:37 pm
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@BillyG .. ha ha.. very nice. You have the spirit. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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July 27, 2014 - 1:09 pm
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You guys crack me up. :) LOL
I can't really find anything dis-likable about your analogy, except I agree that rhythm should be higher on the list of priorities.

I actually think that rhythm is highly underrated by violinists. I've heard many discussions between the percussion sections and string players where their ideas differ quite a bit. Whenever you are part of a group, the rhythm is second to intonation. Granted, you can't play rhythm without "bowing" which you listed as a primary category. Perhaps "bowing" means "rhythm in this case.

Lastly was an extremely important category IMAO, which you call "Courtiers".
I'd like to label it, articulation, expression, or embellishments, which would include all forms of enhancements such as vibrato, slides, staccato, staccatissimo, spiccato, detache, accents, tenuto, marcato, pizzicato, harmonics, trills, mordents, turns (rolls), grace notes, tremolo, dynamics, phrasing, etc….. This list is long....

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

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Ferret
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July 27, 2014 - 11:53 pm
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@BillyG 

Bill.

Would love to see you in your 'Minstral' pants. roflol

D6D50E1D-5D63-4300-908C-9D708545E128.JPG

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

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Kiara
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I loved the Analogy @Ferret, beautifully worded, I quite enjoyed reading it. :)

However, I do agree with the others that Rhythm needs to find a place in there.

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Ferret
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Kiara said
I loved the Analogy @Ferret, beautifully worded, I quite enjoyed reading it. :)

However, I do agree with the others that Rhythm needs to find a place in there.

Hi Kiara @Kiara 

Thanks :)

Yes, you are right. Maybe, like Toni said, rhythm may be the King's mistress.

With rhythm being 'off' a tune can sound really bad. I know, Have been there. lol

But with the analogy I was thinking more of the physical aspects of learning the violin and that would make rhythm a function of bowing.

I was not trying to belittle the importance of rhythm. It's 'really' important.

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

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BillyG
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July 28, 2014 - 3:29 am
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Ferret said
@BillyG 

Bill.

Would love to see you in your 'Minstral' pants. roflol

D6D50E1D-5D63-4300-908C-9D708545E128.JPG

ROFL dude !   My preferred outfit is that of the court jester, though - 

jester.JPG

 argggghhhh !

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I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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July 28, 2014 - 7:01 am
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The royal analogy is fine where you have a 'King & Queen', but what about us here in the states? Do we say, "All the President's Men", ? Or the Presidential staff ?

roflroflroflroflroflviolin-1267 us-4240 Encore,,,clapclapclap

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Ferret
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July 28, 2014 - 7:54 am
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Fiddlestix said
The royal analogy is fine where you have a 'King & Queen', but what about us here in the states? Do we say, "All the President's Men", ? Or the Presidential staff ?

roflroflroflroflroflviolin-1267 us-4240 Encore,,,clapclapclap

@Fiddlestix 

Ken

It works there as well. On the whole, the US just loves the Brit Royals. Possibly more than we Aussies. rofl

It just doesn't seem to work as well with President Obama and his attendants. It just doesn't have the 'romance' of a a real Royal Court ;)

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

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Pelagato
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August 4, 2014 - 7:21 pm
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I am trying to get a clean sound on the stuff I try before moving on, but right now I am stuck... The bone breaker fever is getting the best of me....

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Barry
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spend less time "thinking" and more time playing. violin-1260

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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DanielB
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Hope you feel better soon, Pelegato.

"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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Ferret
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Barry said
spend less time "thinking" and more time playing. violin-1260

If we stopped thinking we'd stop posting. Myself, I play every day.

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

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Barry
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Ferret said

Barry said
spend less time "thinking" and more time playing. violin-1260

If we stopped thinking we'd stop posting. Myself, I play every day.

Im just being funny... not serious  dancing

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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