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Rehearsals versus Solo Practice
Topic Rating: 3 Topic Rating: 3 Topic Rating: 3 Topic Rating: 3 Topic Rating: 3 Topic Rating: 3 (2 votes) 
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Crazymotive
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August 22, 2012 - 2:52 pm
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Okay, so last night was my third time rehearsing with the orchestra. We led off with playing parts from Handel;'s "Water Music" (one of the pieces in our repertoire).  I discovered that even though I practiced the parts quite a bit at home, to the point where I can play them reasonably well I still have a lot of trouble following along with the orchestra.  All too often I found myself playing the first few measures and then suddenly getting lost and  having a hard time finding my place before the excerpt was finished. So it was sort of like playing the first 3 or 4 measures, getting lost for most of the excerpt and then playing the last measure or two.; What I am finding is that there is quite a difference between practicing at home versus playing the same music along with the orchestra and following along keeping synch. 

 

One problem might be that as I play I am focusing too much attention on what the other instruments are playing thus distracting myself and falling out of touch with the music on my stand and with what my fellow string players are doing.  One thing that seems to support this theory is that when the conductor tells just the 1st and 2nd violins to play I seem to have less trouble following and keeping in synch than when all the instruments are playing .

The other problem might be that I am expecting too much of myself too soon. It could be that I am merely experiencing the growing pains of playing with an orchestra and with time and patience I will eventually get better and better at it. Being that this is a new experience for me I may just have to accept that, at least for a while I am not going to play every note, or even most of the notes.

On the good news is that I was able to follow along with the orchestra a bit better than the last two times we reheared.  So I seem to be making some slow progress but heading in the right direction.

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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August 22, 2012 - 3:03 pm
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Ask for a practice recording of the music you are playing and play along with that at home. or just pirate your own recording during rehearsals.

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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August 22, 2012 - 4:43 pm
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If you are finding yourself losing your place, when you begin the song, learn to count.

Example: 4/4 time, count the beat's to each measure, mentally or by tapping your foot. This work's well if you are at rest for a period of time, say for  4 or 5 measure's, you can look away and then return to the sheet and start right back playing in time. When you practice at home there's no problem if you get lost, you can stop and begin again, nothing lost, no one care's.

When I was a little kid playing in the school orchestra and I would lose my place, the rest of the group didn't stop and wait till I caught up so I had to be more attentive. You see musician's tapping their feet, they don't do it to be cool or because they see someong else do it, they do it for keeping time, keeping up with the music. You may find it hard at first to tap and play in sync., you'll catch on quickly. Tapping of the foot / feet is like a built in Click-track. Just don't get in the habit of stomping your foot.

Just pay more attention, don't worry about the other's, they're not going to get up and walk out on you. LOL

 

              crossedfingers      

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Crazymotive
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August 26, 2012 - 3:39 am
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Thanks for the helpful advice.  Yeah, I need to be more focused and not let myself become distracted by the other instruments. It may tahe me a few more rehearsals but I am sure I'll get it.  Some of the stuff we are playing is difficult. But not everything is hard and I am sure that as time goes on I'll get it right.  I am already playing along on some of the pieces so I am sure its just a matter of time.

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TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
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August 26, 2012 - 5:14 am
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Can't say anything to help, I just enjoy listening to your orchestra playing experiences

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

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Oliver
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August 26, 2012 - 8:26 am
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There is a device made for curing concentration problems.  It provides an annoying distraction which the new player must learn to overcome.  It is perhaps more distracting than another instrument. 

It is called a metronome and FM has a very good one.  Try it.  You'll hate it drooling

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

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Crazymotive
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August 26, 2012 - 1:50 pm
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Oliver said
There is a device made for curing concentration problems.  It provides an annoying distraction which the new player must learn to overcome.  It is perhaps more distracting than another instrument. 

It is called a metronome and FM has a very good one.  Try it.  You'll hate it drooling

Yes !!! That is one reason I tend to avoid using it. laugh But in my case it may be a good idea to start torturing myself with the metronome for a while.

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Oliver
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August 26, 2012 - 4:12 pm
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No pain, no gain.

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

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Crazymotive
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August 29, 2012 - 2:49 pm
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Just an update, we had another rehearsal last night and I was able to follow along a little better than in the past.  A few times I lost my place but I managed a few time to look ahead a measure or two and pick up from there.  So, I am following along better and playing considerably more notes than my last several rehearsals.  Where I am having some difficulty is that some parts of some pieces have passages that are still difficult for me to play. But time, effort and practice will cure that.  Next week I am going to talk to one of our member finding a teacher and taking some lessons so I can improve my skills.

We also had several new members join us last night. At least 3 new violin players and a new trumpet player. So the orchestra is growing in size.  They also shot some video footage of our rehearsal last night. I'll post a link as soon as the video is up online.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 29, 2012 - 3:21 pm
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Sounds great.

Look forward to seeing it.

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

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