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After estimating 700 hours in year one of my first return to fiddle playing (in this lifetime) I have recently came out of my shell and am ready to return to scheduled/methodical/deliberate and diligent practice...
...Yes, for an exception of this week : I have not played music for about 45 days. I felt the grasp I've retained - silently slipping away. Key word : silent; because my ears lost its into native pitch (yes I concocted that on the fly).
There have been a few things wrong that are now fixed!
1) electronic tuner was no longer functioning properly, and so I decided to purchase a new daddario tuner designed specifically for the violin with adjustable a-pitch calibration. (Presently tuning between 417-423 because I'm searching for a most desirable pitch for myself).
2) additionally, although not necessarily "wrong" : my aim in music making has changed - in that I am not longing for virtuosity; instead I am yearning for expression. I hope that ya'll will experience this emotion as I share my newest videos.
3) I had my bow hair changed. I obtained a new bow in January 2015 and really played all hell (and heaven) out this bow and come July 2015 it was really beginning to loose it's grasp and slipping. In conclusion, I voted once a year to fiddlerman's latest poll question ("how often do you re-hair your bow")
overall im excited to continue to fully regain confidence in my fiddle playing and begin year two of the journey with myself and my now two year old violin indubiously dubbed 'Despotes' or when circumstances permitting: 'The Despot'.
i mean, what it is that I've played this week is really inspiring and different to what some of you have heard before. i.e. Virtuosity versus Expression I am now instantly finding a melody and sticking to it! Before I would play and play (virtuously) until a melody just appeared at random... So now I get to practice "voice" and getting the violin to "sing" rather than 'coax'
also my YouTube channel is located at and in my signature below.
Good stuff my friend ! I know your approach is unique - I'll tell you what though - that is not important - whatever you do, sometimes it all comes down to the simple joy and pleasure of making music and of playing whatever comes to mind "in the moment" !
Follow whatever path moves you - and trust me - you'll do great ! Interesting to see you have a "new path" - that does not mean the previous one was in any way wrong - we all learn from sometimes walking a few miles in a different direction at a fork-in-the-path - but in saying that I don't mean that taking that other path was a mistake - exploration is NEVER wasted time....
Good luck @jaquecaviolin with your continued journey !!!!!!!!
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh -
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
This explored path is a move to Alaska so that I can work a more serious job, and start a career. The violin may prove challenging to have aboard a 300 man vessel anchored at sea, but it would be nice to have my violin climatise to that sort of weather and further mature its sound.
I felt that now would be a good time to share some of my music notes. (Up for you all to interpret for yourselves) enjoy!
Focus on intonation; eyes up when playing. That way I can hear the notes better without being bogged down by visually finger placement.
Speedily ascend and descend scales from all positions. Be fluid in the execution, colorful in the timbre, slur and tie passages together with the up most of nimbleness.
Four note arpeggiated harmonics with melodic scales.
Play double stops with full bow strokes -thus play music slower. Simultaneously, increase speed with melodic scales. Resume melody on harmonic note; do not just play arpeggiated harmonics without diversifying said harmony.
Add colorful dynamics to music by half stepping transitions between incrementing and decrementing scales. With this, also add arpeggios.
The double stopped harmony is any given arpeggio sequence. Can be stacked and alternated.
Interchange harmony between high and low strings in order to creat the sonic illusion of two fiddles playing.
Traverse arpeggio sequences in harmony. (Not random repeats, but traverse in linear fashion)
Work on finger positions for each harmonic note. That is to play scales and double stops on four strings hitting harmony for specified note; this is to exercise memory of harmonic location.
Focus on the harmonic chords when you do it.
Work the octaves! Scale up and down while working to express your way over to the lowest and highest register in order to arpeggiate the octaves with double stops to express and elude the musical line.
play/land notes regardless of position. Keep eyes closed and ear to the instrument listen for the desired half steps and stretch the fingers to control a more broad range of notes (land notes by reaching and stretching).
Arpeggios to dramatically change color or to "rewind/fast-forward" a tune
The seventh is the glue while transitioning arpeggiated harmonic and scaled melodic lines
A lot of these notes are in essence my work to simulate and ultimately improve my style which is similar to Eugene Ysaÿe's. Working a lot with double stops to make harmony and now that I am practicing again - the wheels greased and I'm really getting somewhere with well and strategically placed doublestops.
To to go into further detail to help describe some of my theory, I will arpeggiate a harmonic line. That is to say, I will play a melody while including an extra stop on the lower string in order to pronounce my harmonic line.
Presently, my struggles include:
1). Getting sound out with my bow. Sometimes my fiddle isn't being responsive or I am not applying enough bow pressure.
2). Slight intonation errors because, I must now guide two fingers onto their locations when sliding.
Gosh, there are two repeating/cyclical periods of my works in violin proficiency.
1. Experimental/ logical/ mathematical/ perpetually resolving arpeggiatic intonations of rhythm, I.E. Developing articulation routes that resolve each other, and or audibly extravagant patterns of the finger.
2. Sessions of unadulterated romanticism, bequeathed by pure emotion and fiddle.
P.s. These cycles can last anywhere from a single week into a month give or take days upon days; thus I digress in exactitude.
Today I reached a new romantic period.
In better words to describe what I'm talking about, I've reached a new 'dimension' in violin playing.
Here is a brief history of these so called "dimensions".
- First position
- Sexond/Third/Fourth/Fifth postion
Now I find myself seriously articulating those higher dimensions/positions. e.g. Sixth through eighth position! I credit a new shift/slide technique where I shift first and third or second and fourth fingers simultaneously; this way - I very accurately land on notes as much as four ahead of my targeting, and because I improvise, filling in melody is easy enough especially which such extensive shifts.
My favorite thing about this is that I can articulate much faster melodies from those high positions.
I performed for my 91 year old grandmother on thanksgiving, and I was so enveloped in the music that tears began leaking from my eyes. Now, during my practice sessions - I've had my throat choke up with feelings of emotion, but I've never wept. I can't help but consider this a major stepping stone in my hobby of music. This is why I love freestyle so much - you focus so much more on the music when it comes straight from your brain and heart.
my abilities to upload videos has been crippled, but I will try to give you all a video update to my video thread next week.
So I am now busking full time on the streets. Today I've reached new heights in fiddle playing - here is how it goes ...
for the first time, someone has tipped and then came back to listen some more. I was playing with new logic in part from @BillyG the C note is found right next to B and the same with the E and the F. Therefor with this new knowledge I concocted melodies based on the following note combinations.
E,F,G Bb, C#
E F#,G,A,B C#
The Scale of Jacques is now irrelevant to me. I mean after this refinement I've concluded I can play (3^2 + 4*2) * 3 - 5*3 + X many notes. where X is equal to notes after the third G octave on the E string.
However, Scale of Jacques can prove useful for gypsy fiddle players.
Furthermore, I practice a chromatic scale with arpeggios and Puthagorean music theory. For example, ill practice on the a string something like B, C#, E, Ab/G#, B, A, F#, E , D, C, B, C, Db/C#, Eb, Gb, Ab, C, G#, F#, D#/Eb, C#, B, A. As for the Pythagorean theory it ultimately states that the notes A, D, and G are very important, almost holy; while B,C, E, & F must be used carefully. The Three can be played very naturally and sound great while the other four lead one into a rather trifle expression. In conclusion I target resolutions on A,D, & G.
Here re is a question to ponder. Is there a tone between G# and Ab?
this post retains and refined the content of my previous post just above, and it also elaborates of my changes as a musical artist.
before now I would express a bar of music in a simple algorithm such as F,A,C. My comprehension of music scale now allows me to change the key of the given triad to something more on the scale of E,Ab,B (if I want to play the aforementioned arpeggio in a flat chord.
Hey everyone, its been a while since I've last posted, and I've came upon revelations. Epiphanies and ah hah moments. Of course, well : maybe - I've always assumed my progress is satisfactory. No, what I lack has been expression and beauty (Harmony). I had been mapping the fingerboard in my brain nearly everyday for hours without end. recently I got into practicing sharps and flats to some success, but intonation nearly always fails during times of intense music. I even came into making more very harsh semi-illogical double stops - the kind that were focused on intonation more so than music. That path of receiving strange looks and while mindfully contemplation progress in any aspect of musicianship.
During that course of soloing through tangents, unguided by knowledge, and lead wisdom I had successfully mapped the fingerboard inside my head. I am now able to utilize my talents' e.g. multitasking, logical structures, and with a sense of emotion I became able to articulate the sound I hum in my throat as I play music. It's truth that the human vocal chords comprise of significantly more tones than that of a fiddle. This revelation is to elaborate upon expression from which I use through this mind-music symbolic-instrumentals.
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