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My Journey with My Violin Since May 1716.
A probably unusual way to learn improvising via baroque play-alongs.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Demoiselle
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May 6, 2017 - 6:53 pm
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Charles said

I'm mildly curious why you don't use a used electric guitar (used cheap ones can be had for a lot less than around 80 €), but...  If you want to kill the acoustic properties of a violin as much as possible, yes, take out the sound post. I'd recommend cloth rags over cotton swabs, but anything flexible that will absorb sound should work.

I don't know what you want this for, but colored rags would give you some options for visual aesthetics, as well as auditory ones.

You'll hear the strings, and that's about all. That will still be louder than an electric guitar, because the the strings are under higher tension. Electric guitar strings are thinner, and tuned to lower notes, so they're under noticeably less tension than violin strings.

Flip side, since it's a fretless instrument, the notes will die out much much faster than they would on an actual guitar except when you're playing open strings. (Your fingertips will act as dampers.)  (I'm assuming you're planning to pluck or strum it, if you're calling it a guitar.)  

I usually play my distorted guitar via bowing, which then sounds like a sustained guitar. But today I liked the muted picking sound very much, so maybe I'm gonna do that as well.

I'm not gonna learn to play the guitar--no way! I'm already playing several instruments and it would be crazy to add one more. The guitar would just keep me from practicing on the violin, at a time I'm paying for violin lessons. I find the guitaring on a violin funny, which already is a reason to try it.

My main style still is baroque. But I still have an old show from the 90s with my own soul pop compositions. I have decided to perform that again in our club. Plus I decided to use an electric guitar sound instead of trombone.

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Demoiselle
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May 7, 2017 - 6:30 pm
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Today I got my mixer out and put a 60s delay+reverb on top of the distortion. I'm generally not much of a picker but this was great fun to pick. What a crazy 60s guitar!

It is sort of musical prank. Or lets call it a jokey 60s guitar parody. And I know the audience will find it funny too if I get crazy such sound out of a violin. Who would carry the guitar for me if I bought a real one? I cannot transport so much junk, it's already almost too much.

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MACJR
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May 7, 2017 - 7:03 pm
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Unfortunately, you live a bit too far away for me to be able to help you carry your musical instruments around.  😉

I would also have a problem understanding German. Although some of my ancestors spoke German, I never learned the language myself.

MACJR

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Demoiselle
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June 12, 2017 - 5:38 pm
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Okay, since I started lessons in January I just practiced and didn't make any more recordings. Today it was time to do it again and see whether my sound and style has improved.

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BillyG
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June 13, 2017 - 6:09 am
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Sounding fine there !  Well done !

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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Demoiselle
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June 13, 2017 - 6:31 am
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Thanks!

This was the 'honest' version, but I just uploaded the wet version on Soundcloud:

Last night I listened over and over to both versions and I couldn't decide what sounds better. Wet seems nice, dry too.

An old buddy of the 90s who once was the film director of an amateur movie we made had asked for music for a new film. But frankly, his ideas have become so fascist, that I cannot work for him. It isn't peaceful and all the time he raves over Odin and Germanic heroes. So I better present it here. 😉

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Fiddlerman
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June 13, 2017 - 8:48 am
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As always Demoiselle, sounds like you are having fun. Another thing I like is that you know what you like. You have your genre and your style.

Thanks for sharing. I definitely believe that you have improved. What about you?

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

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Demoiselle
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June 14, 2017 - 5:43 am
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Yes, thanks—and now I have to praise my teacher! I sent her the mp3s of both, the dry and the wet version and she said she finds it beautiful and she's looking forward to the next lesson. I would have stagnated without her, that's why I looked for a teacher. After the December concert there was no other option for it was overdue. What would I do without martelé for example? I couldn't teach that to myself. And last year I was unable to play real legato. Between martelé and legato there are more ways to express myself and all the weeks she was like, "How about this? You can also do this." And then there's again something to enrich my style and find more ways to really express myself.

The point is, before those lessons my phrasing tended to sound all the same. That lack of variety often made me sleepy.

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Fiddlerman
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June 15, 2017 - 3:47 pm
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Very cool Demoiselle. It's hard to find a good and positive teacher. 🙂
Glad to hear it.

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

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Demoiselle
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June 15, 2017 - 5:28 pm
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Well, if I lived in your area I'd be supposed to choose you, because you're a lot like her. Although I don't know whether you are teaching. But you're classically trained PLUS can improvise anything PLUS you constantly sound like you don't get enough even after long decades and obviously like to encourage other people. And ya know what: Last lesson I picked LA FOLIA, she asked how it goes, so I played the chords on the harpsichord sound of her digital piano and she improvised on her violin. Then I got my spinet out of my mp3-player and we raved over LA FOLIA with two violins. That was great! Well, still have bookmarked your impro over La FOLIA and am still very impressed. So we three have LA FOLIA in common as well. Sometimes the world feels small like the coziest place. LOL

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Charles
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Hi @Demoiselle, I would have to say that's a big improvement over the version you posted last year.  It sounds like you're effortlessly playing music, as opposed to playing individual notes and stringing them in line. Everything flows into the next part seamlessly, the tonal qualities are much improved... I'd say both your teacher and all the practice you've obviously put in has made a big difference. Many congratulations on some excellent work.

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Fiddlerman
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June 19, 2017 - 10:12 am
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Unfortunately I don't have time to teach but when I did, I loved it. Kept me in shape as well. It's amazing how much practice you can get when you need to focus on how you demonstrate.

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

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Demoiselle
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June 20, 2017 - 6:29 am
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Charles said
Hi @Demoiselle, I would have to say that's a big improvement over the version you posted last year.  It sounds like you're effortlessly playing music, as opposed to playing individual notes and stringing them in line. Everything flows into the next part seamlessly, the tonal qualities are much improved... I'd say both your teacher and all the practice you've obviously put in has made a big difference. Many congratulations on some excellent work.  

Precisely, it made a big deal. I had a lesson every 2 weeks since the middle of January and the last one was number 12. As she said several times, I'm learning very fast. I think this is because I skip traditional classical etudes and practice only what I will need for my kind of music. We just started to practice playing with more than one voice and the actual focus are sixths and sixth parallels. She also wants me to practice parallel fifths chromatically, but will never ever need them. So here's again a point where I say "no". There are a few fifths which are important, but I will rather put it in-between parallel sixths. Never ever you will see me mechanically practicing just because someone put in on some curriculum. I practice only what makes sense to me.

Well, there are parallel fifths in baroque music sometimes—above all in chaconnes. But the keys I play in are just G major through Bb major. In the future D major and perhaps A major will join, but I will never ever play in B, F#, Db or Ab. So it's useless to go  there. We have discussions now and then she sometimes struggles. But she has to accept, I'm not a 7 year old beginner, don't follow orders, nor eat everything she wants me to eat.

Fiddlerman said
Unfortunately I don't have time to teach but when I did, I loved it. Kept me in shape as well. It's amazing how much practice you can get when you need to focus on how you demonstrate.  

My teacher can really learn a lot from me. She found a small piece of paper with my notes and I guessed it must have been there for at least 4 weeks. That really upset her a bit and she emphasized she had been vacuuming all the time. We hadn't used the notes for weeks but they might have fallen out of my binder. But the young lady is really highly neurotic and a lot of what she wants me to do comes from compulsive obsessions. During the first few lessons I felt highly under pressure, but I learned to handle her.

She believes absolutely in untempered fifths and sort of considers it law of nature. So she also thinks the vibration of thirds in this Pythagorean system would be kind of God-given. I explained, there are no defined intervals in nature and everything has been made up by humans. She calls that noise of those conflicting thirds just "overtones". But in fact every note has their own overtones anyway and in this case they just interact, which causes that noise. And you can as well hear it as disturbance which makes harmonies less clean. It is very difficult to understand for her, that people in the 1600s considered that noise between thirds bad and therefore made thirds wider and also adapted fifth. Her idea is, it would lead to nothing but off-key notes. My answer to that was, that the 1950 are over, rules in music are not absolutely defined, so the world has become more varied. That's true in may ways: absolute pitch, 'perfect' fifths, traditional scales ect.—all that has been challenged by modern classical and ancient music. You can't even insist on 440 Hz because it isn't common standard any longer.

Well, she said, "But we're not living in the 1600s anymore." But indeed musically I do. She really wants a uniformed world of basic rules in music because that's what they obviously taught her. And if a wrist is not a 100% straight she will grab it and use force, even if it hurts. I find it very astonishing that finally also studying jazz didn't get those ideas out of her. But I really think it's very important for her to overcome those compulsive ideas. I'm afraid some parents of small children already canceled her just because of that attitude.

For me she's great. She brings up things which are useful for me. Whenever I play something, she's like: "Now here's how you should do it." And very often it opened a door to another technique I can really use.

Two weeks ago she said I would inspire her and that's why she's recently playing Telemann. She showed me those notes and found a certain passage interesting, asking whether I could analyse the chords. In fact I found it interesting too, so I should really do it. There are parallel sixths, there are fifths or octaves now and then ect. and single notes in-between. The main rule is alternation. It isn't different from the Fats Waller jazz piano style I was interested in during the 80s and that again isn't different from a baroque harpsichord. You cannot discuss things like that with a usual violin teacher who just studied how to interpret classical music.

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Fiddlerman
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June 20, 2017 - 3:40 pm
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Sounds like you have a great match with her. I'm glad you found her.

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

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