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Well bleh.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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1stimestar
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October 1, 2013 - 1:27 am
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Sometimes I am able to get in the zone and get the most wonderful, smooth, ringing, rich sound.  It's the sound that makes your heart soar!  And sometimes I just CAN NOT!  I can't for the life of me tell what I'm doing differently.  When I am getting the good sound, I tend to play until my fingers are sore because I don't want it to stop.  But when I just can't get a good sound no matter what I do, I tend to give up in frustration.  I don't know what "that good sound is called".  I mean, even when I can't get "that sound" I am still playing in key.  But that's not it.  Does anyone know what I am talking about?  

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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October 1, 2013 - 1:31 am
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I get that way to! Sometimes I really feel the music, others, I wonder why I even picked up my violin! LOL

For me, it has to do with my mood how relaxed I am.  Sometimes, I tend to over think things and forget to feel the music.  When that happens, I simple set my violin aside for the moment, take a deep breath, maybe listen to a good song while allowing myself to be lost in it, then pick my violin up again!  It seems to help for the most part!  😉

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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October 1, 2013 - 1:51 am
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I get this feeling too.  I mean I never feel it is great... But I so hate when I practice and have a bit of dirty bowing.   Grrrh

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 1, 2013 - 7:29 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

It's all part of a process and necessitates more analysis. Whether you study privately, video tutorials or just self taught through books, forums and by watching others, you are your own teacher most of the time.

When something does not sound right or as good it's time to analyze the situation. Play a bit further from the bridge or a bit closer and ask yourself if it is better or worse? Use more bow or less bow and do the same. Play in a different part of the bow and compare. Play slower then faster.... Use dynamics.... Ask a friend or family member what sounds different now.... Did you rosin your bow, change equipment or strings lately? Is the climate the same? Are you in the same room?
I realize that you are probably referring to the difference from one practice session to another but the same thing applies. You can become an expert at finding the solution by analyzing the situations just a bit more. :-)
When this happens to me, I like to focus on music and forget technique for a while. This being said, technique is also what allows you to make better or worse music. <---- confusing, I know. Sorry :-(

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

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EJ-Kisz
Midwest, US
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October 1, 2013 - 9:48 am
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Speaking of climate, that brings up a question that I've had for a while, @Fiddlerman .

Sometimes, when practicing, it seems as though my sound gets better the longer I play.  It becomes more "warm."  Can a violin's sound quality "warm up" much like a tube amp or something??  

I've heard someplace that some violins need to be broken in, but I assumed that it was over a long period of time.  But I also know that humidity can affect the sound quality.  

Is there something to it or am I just inhaling too much rosin dust? LOL

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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screeeech
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October 1, 2013 - 3:01 pm
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EJ --- I think it is the player that "warms up"

 

Your fingers automatically adjust to input from your ears. As you are playing for a longer period your intonation is fine tuned.

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1stimestar
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October 1, 2013 - 4:52 pm
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I asked my teacher.  She said that humidity can certainly be a factor.  That does make sense since we have such a dramatic change in humidity levels.  Not saying that my playing isn't also a major factor hahaha. 

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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DanielB
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October 1, 2013 - 7:03 pm
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@1stimestar:  It is not just you.  Some of it is the instrument.  Humidity is def at least a part of it.  Having 2 violins, I note that almost always one of them is "in better voice" than the other.  My electric isn't much affected by humidity, so I've noticed that the acoustic seems to most often sound best between 40 and 60% humidity.  At least that is where my favourite sounds come out of mine.

 @EJ:  While I would agree with Screeeech that the player warming up is one of the factors (possibly the largest), I tend to also believe in the concept of instruments "getting broken in", as well as warm-up time often helping them sound their best.

It is an area where there seems to be quite a lot of debate.  Some firmly believe in such things and others think it a load of hogwash.  But the theory on "warm-up" time is that the vibration makes the wood a tiny bit more flexible after a bit of playing in a given session, and so it responds quicker to the sound vibrations from the strings. 

The instrument "getting broken in" or "playing in" over a period of weeks, months and years of regular play, you can hear.  Particularly if you have a violin that is fairly fresh from the factory, the changes in sound are pretty noticeable.

Since you can also see the changes if you make a recording and use spectrum analysis, I don't think it likely that the changes are all in the player's head.  Sure, the players bowing might have improved, but you can  also see the differences on an analysis from just the plucked strings.

In the practical sense though, if you play on the instrument every day, and give yourself maybe 15 min of basic exercises early in your daily practice session, I think that most people would agree that things will probably come out sounding better.  The only debate might be over how much of what is being improved is the instrument and how much is the player.  But as long as it helps with sounding better, who really cares? 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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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
October 1, 2013 - 8:31 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
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I know exactly what you're talking about, especially the part about not wanting to stop when you get everything sounding right. Of course, if you keep going, you eventually get so tired that you lose it anyway.

I agree with E.J. that I've had many times when I start out sounding scratchy but improve over time. I'm sure part of it is me warming up and relaxing, but I also wonder if there is also an element of the rosin, strings, bow hair or wood warming up.

dunno

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 1, 2013 - 10:15 pm
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Great point.
I think the violin warms up and sounds better but from vibrations rather than heat, allowing the wood to be more flexible. I believe that at the same time as your violin warms up, you do too which makes for a great warm up combo. :-)

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

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