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What do you find is the easiest way to practice
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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RockingLR33
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June 23, 2017 - 2:52 pm
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After re starting my violin practice from an extended break I found my intonation and finger placement a bit off. I used to video myself to watch what I was doing but i found i would get distracted with the video so recently I bought myself a snowball mic and I've found that using the tuner and recording studio in Apples garage band i not only can hear where i'm going wrong but with almost instant feedback i can play the tuner either as i'm playing or after recording i can use the  tuneing and hear where I went wrong. It also allows me to hear much better when i'm doing everything right. 

 

I've also found that for me when i'm practicing string crossings and that dreaded fourth finger i can focus more much easier. What are your favorite ways of practicing string crossing and intonation? 

oh and I added a little sound clip from my practice. I find if i make up tunes on the spot it also seems to help cement the right finger placements then I go back to focusing on the specific song i'm working on.  this little one is just a playing around tune i made up on the spot. 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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CharlieStrings
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June 24, 2017 - 9:33 am
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Intonation is my biggest problem right now.  I sometimes practice with a drone, but I really don't care for that constant sound and I don't know how much it helps me.  I also sometimes just turn on the tuner and visually check if I am making it turn green (hitting the note).  

I like your idea of feedback from garage band, but alas, I do not have that program.  I enjoyed your playing sample, thanks for posting.thumbs-up

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
June 24, 2017 - 2:21 pm
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rockinglr33 said
After re starting my violin practice from an extended break I found my intonation and finger placement a bit off. I used to video myself to watch what I was doing but i found i would get distracted with the video so recently I bought myself a snowball mic and I've found that using the tuner and recording studio in Apples garage band i not only can hear where i'm going wrong but with almost instant feedback i can play the tuner either as i'm playing or after recording i can use the  tuneing and hear where I went wrong. It also allows me to hear much better when i'm doing everything right. 

 

I've also found that for me when i'm practicing string crossings and that dreaded fourth finger i can focus more much easier. What are your favorite ways of practicing string crossing and intonation? 

oh and I added a little sound clip from my practice. I find if i make up tunes on the spot it also seems to help cement the right finger placements then I go back to focusing on the specific song i'm working on.  this little one is just a playing around tune i made up on the spot.   

IMO ( and a simple opinion at that) you're doing a good thing - the ear is a very telling thing.... 

"Messing around" a bit, but still kind of "knowing where you are going next" and that when you hit the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or an octave, for instance - you should feel "happy" about that little improvisation....  If you are NOT happy and it doesn't quite sound right - yup, finger placement / intonation

I do that sort of thing all the time.   

It can be VERY telling....

I think you are doing great, with a clever approach to certain issues that BUG US ALL - intonation is rarely perfect on un-fretted interments - it just depends how-far-off it is as to whether or not the listener is aware !!!!!!!!  Hahahahahaha   The real issue is that - the more you play, the more you become aware of what are sometimes minor ( or passing ) discrepancies, which can even be corrected "on the fly" and almost can sound like an intentional slide into the note.  ( Oh - unless it was the wrong note entirely - that's different LOL )  

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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RockingLR33
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June 24, 2017 - 9:19 pm
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@BillyG  Thank you 😀 It's amazing how fast I was able to pick up hearing my errors this way. I still have some issues with a few notes but as I play I'm much more able to just "get it" a bit better. 

I'm so happy with each step that keeps me sounding half way decent 😀 My father wants me to record stuff for him and that was really the push I needed to stop dallying around with stuff and start to get a tad serious. I really enjoy doing it now....now if I can get good enough to learn the pieces he wants me to that it'll be a really good day!! hahaha 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 26, 2017 - 2:20 pm
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rockinglr33 said
........now if I can get good enough to learn the pieces he wants me to that it'll be a really good day!! hahaha   

The day is coming. I feel it. 🙂

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

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damfino
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June 26, 2017 - 6:31 pm
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Recording either videos or audio of whatever I'm practicing has always been a big help for me. I don't do it as much as I used to, I need to get back to it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 27, 2017 - 7:08 pm
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YES!!! It really is beneficial to record yourselves to get better. Sometimes it feels like a hassle, and it can be disappointing, but this is one of the absolute best ways to improve, hands down. 🙂

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

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RockingLR33
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June 28, 2017 - 1:50 am
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Oh I agree!! I do it when I work with my horses or the dogs at work, especially if I'm having issues so I can see what I'm doing and if I'm "triggering" a certain response. Plus with videoing you can put up for critique so the more experiences players might see something your not!! 🙂 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
June 28, 2017 - 8:48 am
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rockinglr33 said
...........Plus with videoing you can put up for critique so the more experiences players might see something your not!! 🙂   

Like free lessons. 🙂

I think some have a tough time with that but best thing in the long run is to swallow your pride and put yourself out there sometimes. Most of us take our playing personal which is probably non constructive. 🙁

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

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RCall
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June 28, 2017 - 12:45 pm
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I've also been finding video really helpfull. What I've been doing is waiting until I start feeling happy with a piece (or section) them I'll record myself and see how far I still have to go. I don't often have big chunks of time to practice so I break my practice into 15 minute chunks. I try to start with scales and etudes then work on pieces one bar at a time.

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Fiddlerman
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June 29, 2017 - 8:28 am
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Smaller chunks of time as you say, are extremely beneficial. Sometimes people play long periods but loose concentration. Short periods with good focused practice accomplish great results.

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

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Fran
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June 29, 2017 - 9:48 am
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I like to practice in 30 minute "sessions" throughout the day. That works for me 🙂

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RockingLR33
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June 29, 2017 - 2:30 pm
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I don't often have big chunks of time to practice so I break my practice into 15 minute chunks. I try to start with scales and etudes then work on pieces one bar at a time.

 As far as time frame goes I have found that while I want to practice longer it usually deteriorates if I go past the 15-20 mark. My left hand tires and then I get frustrated with my work, or my bowing starts to get sloppy. So I just set the violin down for a bit and then try again in a while after everything's had a chance to "reset"  Hopefully as I get more practice and muscle memory I can extend the sessions but I will agree that the "short and sweet" seems to be my favorite. 

 

Oh and on videos...I think its a great way to show progression too. Sometimes we forget just how far we've come. I like to go back and watch my first videos and I can cringe at myself and then give myself a pat on the back on just how far I've come from the first time I put bow to string. It's a bit less discouraging that way when I have bigger goals still to go:D 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

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coolpinkone
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June 29, 2017 - 4:34 pm
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My ideal practice is an hour.

That usually includes a scale while watching the tuner, and the bow and just trying to get long clean bows.  And that is never long enough.  I am such a rebell.

Then I play 3-4 songs.  I usually do each song, tune, piece 4-6 times and try to end with the last being my best. 

I have finally learned to settle down and work on sections that are bothering me.

I need to get a TAD (HUMONGOUS) more serious... I need to cross over.

Recording... I used to just be shy of me on the camera.  That part has went away quite a bit.  Now my pride is in the way... I should play better for my time at it.. I should have gotten rid of some bad habits and I haven't and I don't feel like the best example... I need to suck it UP...and record. When I record I hear what needs to change...

So nice to hear all the practice thoughts and ideas.

Cheers and Peace.

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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July 7, 2017 - 12:38 pm
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coolpinkone said
My ideal practice is an hour........

Wow Toni, you're doing great. How long have you been practicing an hour a day?

That gives me a great idea. I'm going to make a new main poll on the site.

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

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Ripton
Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between
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I can only practice when I'm at home alone, which sadly is not that often.. Recording is the method I use for feedback as well. I love the garage band idea, but not sure if I could set that up... I am definitely discouraged by my poor intonation (and timing, but that's not new) but that is my fault for not having more bow time...

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Fiddlerman
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July 8, 2017 - 10:32 am
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You have to be alone to play? I suggest you get a heavy practice mute. That might be acceptable. 🙂

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

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coolpinkone
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July 8, 2017 - 3:37 pm
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IMG_6456.JPGImage Enlarger@Fiddlerman
I practice an hour or more... lately unfortunately that has been 3 times a week. I used to do it five days a week. I had a slow last week or two. I am down an assistant at work and I am working WAAAY too much.. ( and training for a 1/2 marathon...casually).

And an hour is ideal for me. What I like even better though it so have a few hours... and music spread out and a cold beverage.... and just time to make a practice last a few hours.

Just me and my violin. Many times lately I record myself... (all deleted after).. but the recording doesn't lie.

Unfortunately on those practices I spend more time practicing than catching up here on the forum.

Here is my journal for practice...

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 8, 2017 - 4:58 pm
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Yup - nice post @coolpinkone

For my own part, for my first two years, without any doubt I spent 2 hours per day, every day ( OK, maybe with the occasional day - but never more than one - missing )  These 2 hours ( and often more ) were never ever done in one setting - usually no more than 20 minutes at a time - with the exception of late evenings, where it could run to almost an hour...   and depending on what I was doing during the day, I could fit in additional 15-20 minute sessions....  so 2 hours is pretty fair....

 Occasionally, some of that "practice time" was actually spent more on music theory rather than actual playing, but, IMO that also counts as practice as I was "exploring the theory" with the fiddle in my hands - listening to 3rds, 4ths, stopped 5ths and so on - and exploring stopped harmonics - so I think that counts as practice ! )

That was the first two years - the last year has been really difficult with family issues dragging me away on a regular basis - when I was away, I ALWAYS took my EV with me - and - really for the last year all I have accomplished is a sort of "consolidation" of where I was - I have scarcely learnt  a new tune - oh - well - that is not exactly true - because I'm happy to play stuff by ear - sure - I have messed around with a LOT of pieces over the last year, but I have never really felt as if I "owned them" - I feel as if I have just played for fun....    but... maybe that's OK.. dunno...

Things are getting back on an "even keel" and I'm looking forward to my new fiddle and bow....   and back to 2 hours "practice" per day - as I mentioned above - that's not just "trying to play new tunes" - to me "practice" is more than just that, it is about my desire to understand better just EXACTLY WHAT MAKES THIS INSTRUMENT SO DAMNED SPECIAL !!!!!  yeah....

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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Fred
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July 8, 2017 - 8:28 pm
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damfino said
Recording either videos or audio of whatever I'm practicing has always been a big help for me. I don't do it as much as I used to, I need to get back to it.  

I would like to try video recording my practice sessions but I'm not sure where to set the tripod.

If recording video, where do you setup the camera?   Directly in front or to either side?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you.

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