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When you don't like the music
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Dan-Hur
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March 31, 2017 - 2:45 pm
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So this is just out of curiosity, but I was wondering how everyone felt about playing music they don't really like very much. I posted on another topic(damfino's It's Spring! What are you playing?) that I was working on a particular piece my instructor assigned me and that I wasn't entirely fond of it. Not that it's bad musically or anything, just that it's not really the kind of music I like to play. Obviously, if you're playing for fun and you don't like a piece you can quit it, but if you're a student or professional and you have to play the piece, how do you feel about it? How do you play passionately when the music doesn't impassion you haha

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
April 1, 2017 - 3:15 am
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Interesting thought @Dan-Hur !

Personally I fall into neither the student ( in the sense that I have no tutor ) nor the professional category, but it made me think.

The student (with a tutor) I guess is between a rock and a hard place - no option - just have to do their best, regardless of the fact that the piece doesn't move them.  Just knuckle-down and get on with it - which probably leaves them just a tad dis-heartened because they are probably fully aware they just didn't "get into it" (and didn't really WANT to)

I would imagine that the professional jobbing / working musician does it "because they have to" (and indeed, to earn their living) - and just take-it-on-the-chin and perform the pieces that don't "touch" them in an almost robotic manner, just following sheet, and being happy to get to the end of it !   Then it's just a case of another-day another-dollar, job-done, put the violin in its case and go home.....   I would hate that (with a passion LOL)!   

On the other hand, a pro player who has to take a lead part, or solo, simply MUST, find the passion - I can't envisage it any other way if it is going to sound good and reach out and touch the listener.  To move the listener, the performer must be equally moved......   And of course - in that situation they would have a certain degree of latitude to bring more of themselves, their individual techniques, interpretation, emotion and expression into the performance.

Really - I don't know of course - as I say it just made me think.

It would be interesting to hear from folks with actual experience of this and how they feel in that situation.....

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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Dan-Hur
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April 1, 2017 - 3:14 pm
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Haha I didn't mean to exclude those who are self taught or aren't professional players. Even if as a hobby player you don't absolutely have to play a particular piece, you might still need to learn it either to help learn and/or apply a technique or just for the challenge and satisfaction of playing it. I'm not a formal student or professional player, either. My instructor is very graciously giving me free lessons at the college where she plays in orchestra.

I agree, though, it's probably just a matter of biting the bullet and doing what you gotta do. That makes it sound pretty grim when you're talking about something like playing music haha

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BillyG
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April 1, 2017 - 5:28 pm
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LOL "pretty grim" - indeed it would be ( I was trying to make it sound as bad as possible roflol )

Yup - even, like myself, where music is but a hobby ( OK, at times an obsession / and possibly an addiction to be fair ) all self taught - yeah - I find some things off-putting - but not to the point of treating what I "have" to play in an "off-hand" manner - I would never do that - and would (and do) spend a lot of time "getting it to where I want it"

What I'm really talking about is the fact that I play a lot of music simply by ear.  I class it as fiddle style - where I can break-free from the original score and just "do something" that brings enjoyment to me ( and hopefully of course, to the audience!)

Now....  aha.... here's the crunch - because I play it "how I feel it" - if the piece I have to play is for instance a 2nd, 3rd, 4th violin part etc.. which can bear little obvious resemblance either in the melody (if there IS one in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th parts) or indeed the timing (relative to the to the lead-line ) - THEN for SURE - I have "nothing in my head" that even STARTS to suggest how I should go about it.   When I say I play by ear - of course - I do and can read sheet - the "ear" part really means I play from my heart.  So... to resolve these issues when they occasionally come around (usually Pierre's group projects) - I freely admit - I will work with the part as scored - but - I'll do-what-feels-good - maybe play a quarter as two eighths, slur something where it was never intended to be slurred, drop in a slide, or a trill where none was expected and so on - "minor things" like that - until I get something in my head that "works" with the lead-line and is memorable to me.   That sort of freedom ( or stupidity! ) will STILL WORK for a project like that  - it would of course not work as a member of an orchestra - no way..... you do what you are told by the score, mark-ups and the conductor - no option there I suspect

.... hmmmmm 

Dan-Hur said
...... My instructor is very graciously giving me free lessons at the college where she plays in orchestra.

  That is awesome - I'm jealous !  LOL  drummer   Yeah - nice - make the most of it!

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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damfino
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April 2, 2017 - 9:01 pm
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The etude I'm working on right now is one of those that I'm just working on to learn what it's teaching me. I hate it. Some of these are pleasant sounding or fun, or just the challenge of getting it right is fun, this one is just a bore. I've been working on it longer than normal because of my recital practice taking up most of my lessons for the past few weeks, and I can't take this one anymore, haha. I ran through maybe half of the etude today, and that's about the most I can get through it before I just move on to the rest of my practice. 

I'm excited that now my recital is over I might be able to move on to a new etude and new tunes. When I do hate something I'm working on, I don't give it the attention needed, even when I know I need to work on what it's trying to teach me. I try, but probably not as hard as I should.

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Hermes
Agrinio, Western Greece, GR
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April 3, 2017 - 8:24 pm
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I am sorry for my response, but it might sound "absolute" or "annoyingly absolute" 😛

But

If it's a piece, a concerto etc, and you don't like it...change it, and have this conversation with your teacher to find a proper substitute for this piece. I didn't do it many times, and I regret it. 

I strongly believe that motivation plays a great part, plus if it's not fun, it's not the deal, imho.

On the other hand, if it's an etude that you have to go through, scales, double stops, octaves...for many of us it's the boring part but you know...we have to do it.

Alright, I am calm hehe.

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Dan-Hur
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April 3, 2017 - 8:36 pm
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BillyG said
I'll do-what-feels-good - maybe play a quarter as two eighths, slur something where it was never intended to be slurred, drop in a slide, or a trill where none was expected and so on - "minor things" like that - until I get something in my head that "works" with the lead-line and is memorable to me.

Haha yeah that's a bad habit of mine, actually, so she'll call me out on it. I remember reading an article about uniformity vs. expression in orchestra music. It talked about the pros and cons of adhering strictly to the sheet music as written and whether it was better to let musicians do their own thing. I like the idea of people being free to play the music the way it they feel is best, but I can kind of understand why it might wreak some havoc in orchestra.

BillyG said
  That is awesome - I'm jealous !  LOL  drummer   Yeah - nice - make the most of it!  

Well, a little while back I was a student of hers at the local college, but then she told me that she was resigning from her teaching position. She was frustrated because none of her other students were practicing or showing any enthusiasm for it. But, she offered to continue giving me lessons since she was going to be there anyway for orchestra rehearsals. I love her for it, but it makes me wish I had more time to practice 🙁

damfino said
The etude I'm working on right now is one of those that I'm just working on to learn what it's teaching me. I hate it. Some of these are pleasant sounding or fun, or just the challenge of getting it right is fun, this one is just a bore. 

That reminds me of the Wohlfahrt etude. I started out liking it enough to enjoy playing it, but after the billionth bowing variation I just couldn't take it anymore haha I was soooo glad when my instructor finished with it.

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Dan-Hur
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April 3, 2017 - 8:40 pm
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Hermes said
If it's a piece, a concerto etc, and you don't like it...change it, and have this conversation with your teacher to find a proper substitute for this piece. I didn't do it many times, and I regret it. 

Haha I hear you, but she's very excited about the piece, plus she's using it as teaching tool for me. Since it's a slower piece, it provides a lot of opportunity to train my vibrato and to practice shifting, both mechanically and for expression. And I don't actually hate the piece or anything like that, it's just not really my favorite kind of music. It is nice sounding and is rewarding to get it right, though.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
April 4, 2017 - 1:10 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Two options as I see it.
Find something that you like out of it.
or
Don't play it. 🙂

There are plenty of etudes to go around.

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

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Crazymotive
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April 5, 2017 - 8:32 pm
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Since I play in an orchestra I sometimes have to play pieces of music that I don't particularly like. They are on the repertoire and I have no choice but to play them.  How do I handle it ? I focus on playing them to the best of my ability with as much intensity  and feeling and passion as I do with music that I like. I may not like a particular piece but other orchestra members might and people in our audience will also like it. So in support of my fellow orchestra members and our audience I feel obligated to give them my best. I look upon each piece of music as deserving of the best performance and effort that I can deliver whether it be a piece of music I love or a piece I don't like at all.

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BillyG
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April 6, 2017 - 2:54 am
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An excellent, supportive and positive attitude there @Crazymotive thumbs-up   Way to go !

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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Dan-Hur
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April 6, 2017 - 2:08 pm
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@Crazymotive

I can get behind that, certainly. I suppose I was thinking more along the lines of solo pieces and so forth.

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Schaick
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May 14, 2017 - 8:31 am
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After my few lessons with a Suzuki Teach I went on a search to find a teacher who taught my kind of music. 

I think I have posted this before -

Suzuki Teach - 6 lessons over the period of a year learned how to hold the fiddle. Few if any bluegrass fiddle or old time tunes.

Bluegrass Teach - 2 lessons - more about confidence - wanted me to decide what to learn and I really didn't know what I needed.

Singing Bluegrass Teach - 2 lessons - taught me what she wanted to teach me even though I told her what I wanted and needed.

Now in the end of my 4th year I have found someone I will be able to stick with for a loooonnnnngggg time!!  What shall I call him????  He studied at IU the same time Joshua Bell was there.  He decided he wanted a family and home life so instead of playing professionally and traveling he opened a fiddle/string shop.

It turns out this is the gentleman who first repaired and set up Berty!!

????? Teach - weekly lessons 6 to date - has been able to figure out what I need and want!!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Fiddlerman
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May 14, 2017 - 10:20 am
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Schaick, that is great news. A great teacher is very hard to find. Feel free to share more information about him if the two of you don't mind. 🙂

"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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May 18, 2017 - 12:57 pm
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Very interesting topic.

Nice to read thoughts on this.

My recital songs were picked for me as they were group performances.  If I had stayed with my teacher she had invited me to play in the Christmas recital. I asked if I could pick the song, she said I could, but she said, she'd have "suggestions".. she was good that way.  

I am kind of afraid to go back to lessons four years later.  I feel she might cringe. LOL

🙂

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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