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Progress thread
A slightly off key musical journey
Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 (1 votes) 
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mischa91
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May 2, 2013 - 10:43 pm
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So i thought it would be fun to keep a thread of my progress; i've had my new violin for just under a month and it could be going better but then again it could be going a lot worse.

First off i should probably mention my violin.  I have a friend who insists everything has to have a name and she dubbed my electric violin Cas (after Castiel from supernatural).  To be honest i think giving it a name might actually make me want to play it more, sort of made it more familiar.  (apologies if the photos are huge)

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t1/vickiwilson91/photo13_zpsc765b6af.jpgImage Enlarger

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t1/vickiwilson91/photo15-1_zpsbca58298.jpgImage Enlarger

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t1/vickiwilson91/photo14-1_zpsc670eedc.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 

After about a week or so the strings settled down and i don't have to tune it so much which is great.  I also treated myself to a new shoulder rest, my old one was just awful and a new music stand.

A few things i've noticed so far about the violin, i think the strings are steal core and if i put too much bow pressure the pitch changes slightly, i remember seeing a video on the site about this and will probably aim to change out the strings during the summer for synthetic.  I'd love to get a carbon fiber bow but will have to wait until i get a bit of cash together, the bow the violin came with is okay, i'm currently using my old bow though as it seems to play smoother.

I'm trying to play a little everyday and break myself of a bad habit i fell into in high school, i have to consciously think about not letting the neck of the violin rest in the palm of my left hand, tough when i played like that for 5 years.  Trying to work on a new hand position is messing up my fingering and i'm finding that i'm hitting the notes slightly off.  It'll take time but i'm sure my hand will get there.  

I'm holding off learning vibrato until i get my left hand under control but can't wait to start.

I took some video tonight but really it's not good enough to post.  Mostly it was just me noodling around plus i was in my pjs so i'm not going to post it.  Luckily i live alone so have made my spare room into a music room, i don't have enough music stands so have sheet music taped all over one wall.  I've been practicing with ALW's Phantom music so i can work on key changes.

I'm taking the violin to work tomorrow to tighten up a screw on the battery box, not sure if it was loose when it arrived or has pulled loose since.  Something to keep an eye on.

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coolpinkone
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May 3, 2013 - 5:45 pm
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I love love love your violin...

My violin's name is Violetta.  I just happened to be listening to an Opera call La Traviota (sp?) when I got her...so the name stuck.

 

My other violin's ...no names that have stuck.. maybe Pinky for the pink VSO.

 

The Cello...well he has and always will be Mr. Jones. ;)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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StoneDog
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May 3, 2013 - 10:00 pm
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My Viddle is named Cindy > we have conversations at times. > I so much enjoy our time together. Cindy brings me much happiness.

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OldCrow
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May 3, 2013 - 10:25 pm
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Hi Mischa,

 

I'm pretty sure I have that same violin, even the same color (nice choice!).   The first thing I did was to change the strings and it makes a world of difference.   Then a few weeks later I realized the action was quite bad.    I determined that the bridge was in backwards!  (thanks to Ray!).   I'm not sure if I did this while changing strings or if it came that way.  

lumpy-2134

Even after getting the bridge in correctly, I think the action is too high, so I ordered some blank bridges and plan on experimenting with fashioning my own bridge  (if winter would ever end!)

 

I call her cilia/cecilia (she's breaking my heart)

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mischa91
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May 3, 2013 - 10:28 pm
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@coolpinkone Thanks.  I love it a bit too!  I'm glad i'm not the only one with a named violin and the name Cas makes me smile :)  I like Mr. Jones for a cello.

@StoneDog Cindy's a good name!

@OldCrow I love the colour, i love even more that it has a slight sparkle to it.  I think changing the strings out will be my after exams project so i'll have another month with these strings.  Let me know how your experiments with a new bridge go, i could consider it with a string change.  Cilia/Cecilia, nice .. i'm liking hearing everyone's violin name.

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Mad_Wed
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May 5, 2013 - 4:48 am
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mischa91 said:

I took some video tonight but really it's not good enough to post.  Mostly it was just me noodling around plus i was in my pjs so i'm not going to post it.  

Aaaa, c'mon, nobody shies pjs here =), really! laughrofl

Nice violin! Apologies, if i'm mistaken, but on the picture it looks like the bows are still tightened, when they are in the case (especially the upper one). If it's so, then check them to be kept loosen, or they can be damaged.

Glad to hear about your progress and upgrading plans! Have fun there! And will wait to hear You playing it =)

thumbs-up

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Teapot
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May 5, 2013 - 2:55 pm
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violinThat's a very pretty violin!I look forward to your sharing your learning journey with us:)

 

....how DO you find a name for your violin anyway?it seems harder for me to do so than to find names for my own -future- kids!dunno

i guess you must find out the gender first?by now i'm convinced my electric violin is a ''he'' but my acoustic...not sure.probably leaning towards a ''he'' as well.i need to get to know it better!

it's funny how we tend to ''humanize''  objects like these that are  emotionally valuable to us...but then again it always feels like your instrument has a personality of its own.

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DanielB
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May 5, 2013 - 5:10 pm
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People probably vary a bit on how they decide such things, but I usually name my instruments with female names because I'm a guy and if I'm going to spend that much time with something, I'm more comfortable with it being female. LOL  So "gender of interest" could be one way of deciding it.  Not the only way of course, and some instruments might just have a certain gender feel to them for you from the start that may or may not agree with that criteria.

Name, though, sometimes something just comes to you, or you pick a name to remind you of something or because you like the sound of it.  It may be something you'd be ok with other people knowing or is may be something you prefer to keep to yourself. 

Assuming you're one of the people who names their instruments.  I always have been.  My acoustic violin is "Amelia".  The acoustic before her ended up nicknamed "Punkin'" since the colour of the finish and the fingerboard that I'd scraped the black paint off so it ended up blonde gave it a resemblance to a pumpkin and the nickname just stuck.  My electric violin, well I don't mention her name since it has meaning for me personally, but I wouldn't care to have to explain it to anybody.  So she's always just "the electric" in any public mention.

To me, instruments always feel like they need a name, since they sort of have a personality of their own as individuals.

I don't usually name bows, speaker cabinets, amps, fx units, patch cords or strings, though. 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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Picklefish
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May 5, 2013 - 5:20 pm
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I  named mine Susan after my grandmother who owned it before me and has now passed on. Something we shared but I never ever saw her play in all my life. Its nice to know now that the instrument can live on, who knows after that.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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HatefulPain
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May 5, 2013 - 5:47 pm
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Nice hearing about your progress :)

My violins have names. My oldest one I call "kattekreket," which is a mocking word for cats, so its more a nickname then a actually name. My second violin are called Cory. The Kreisler haven't got a name yet, but I've had it for a short period of time. The violin I'm working on already have got a name, Var/Vǫr.

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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Fiddlerman
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May 5, 2013 - 7:51 pm
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"kattekreket"
Sounds like you are Swedish.... right? Maybe I should already have known that.

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

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HatefulPain
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May 5, 2013 - 7:56 pm
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No, I'm Norwegian. Lots of similarities between the two. 

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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Fiddlestix
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May 5, 2013 - 8:34 pm
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My  violin has several name's, depending what's wrong with her/him/it, but I can't repeat them.

    red_cursing

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coolpinkone
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May 5, 2013 - 9:27 pm
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@Fiddlestix 

Too darned funny.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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May 5, 2013 - 11:23 pm
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Yes of course. My memory is GREAT!!!!

However, a little too short. :-(

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

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mischa91
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May 6, 2013 - 9:01 am
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@Mad_Wed Next video i take i'll try not to be in pjs so i can feel slightly okay about posting it :)  Yeah the bows were still tightened, i usually untighten them between playing but i just threw everything in the case to get a few photos.

@Teapot Thanks!  Well i didn't find this violins name although it fits it oddly well.  It's named for a character in a tv show, a socially awkward angel so i think that pretty much sums up my playing and suits the violin well.  I usually name things (inanimate objects, pets and such) for how i'm feeling and what i'm interested in when i get said items.  

@DanielB I agree, some names i tend to keep to myself.  If my friend hadn't named this violin i would have chosen a different name, specifically the name of guy from high school who played very well and always inspired me.  I also agree that they do tend to have their own personality, they all have quirks when played.

@HatefulPain thank you.  I like the nickname kattekreket!

@Fiddlestix Yup, i know how you feel.  My horse has several names depending on how well or how badly he is behaving.. none of them can be repeated here :P

 

On the progress front, i was sitting the other morning attempting to get the wrist action right practicing vibrato motion; i know i said i wasn't going to attempt it yet but i watched the videos and did manage to get a slight vibrato-esq sound.  I think keeping my wrist loose and not letting it collapse will help in this area.  Then once i've had a go at the wrist vibrato i can tackle finger vibrato.  I also need to work on playing in different positions and can tell i'll be watching a lot of fiddlermans videos.

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mischa91
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May 8, 2013 - 1:33 pm
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The upgraded strings might be happening sooner that i thought, i was tuning to practice last night and the G string just gave, didn't snap but sort of let go.  Luckily there is a store very close to where i work so i'll pick up new string tonight, and maybe some sheet music :)

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Rattus Norvegicus
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all my guitars have names.
my first half decent Violin will be Nikki.
the current one hasn't got a 100% official name of their own as of yet, as it feels very temporary.
once I mod it up a bit, with more experience, to make it an acceptable back up, then a name will need to be found.

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mischa91
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December 23, 2014 - 4:48 pm
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I completely forgot about this thread so i'm resurrecting it :)

I'm trying very hard to practice every day, i fell out of the habit and boy can i tell.  I'm also very excited to be getting a new violin tomorrow; i still have Cas but i'm getting an acoustic.  It's an ebay purchase so it could very well be a pile of junk that needs to be sent back but i'm keeping my fingers crossed for something half playable. crossedfingers

I'll post photos when it arrives and then of course if i'm keeping it i'll need to find a name for it.  

With that out of the way i've got a few recordings to post, i've found that i'll be playing and think i sound okay so i'll go to record the piece and i fall to pieces, i think the pressure of the recording process gets to me.  So i'm trying to fix this by recording and not stopping for mistakes and such, maybe i'll get over my... stage fright?  I'm playing with my brand new FM CF bow and i love it!  I actually threw my other one away the day the new bow arrived because the difference is amazing.

First because it's christmas i've got 2 little christmas tunes.  

We've got deck the halls, which i think started out pretty okay but then went a bit to pieces after i made a mistake.  The same for joy to the world.  

After that is the carnival of venice, not christmassy i know but something i'm working on.  My goal is to get the original piece and the first variation under my belt.  The variation starts about half way through so feel free to stop the recording when it starts, it's all over the place, messy and scratchy.  The thing is it has all these half steps and for some reason i can't get it through to my hand that we're not doing the full notes.  Plus it's faster than i'd like which is why it's slow when i play it.  It's a start, when i finally get it i can look back on this recording and cringe.  

(Sorry if they've uploaded more than once, i'm not good at computer things)

 

 

 

 

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Fiddlerman
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December 23, 2014 - 5:57 pm
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Am I the only one who can't play those files without downloading them first? I recommend uploading them to youtube and linking them here please. :)

Thanks

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

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