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My Journey with My Violin Since May 1716.
A probably unusual way to learn improvising via baroque play-alongs.
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MACJR
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Jazz and funk are okay in moderation, but not really my thing.

As for the type of music I liked best, of the other samples you posted, I liked them progressively better going down the list, although I listed from the bottom up.  😉

They are all good though.

No, I do not see myself playing in a large orchestra either.

That Mozart sonata was very nice, but it would take years to learn to play that. It was also very long, standing there that long, without a break would be murder for my back. I have to slipped disks, the one in the middle back causes the most pain... but when the lower one pinches a nerve, it disables me more. Good think it does not act up often. But that middle back one is a constant pain I have to live with.

MACJR

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Demoiselle
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MACJR said
Jazz and funk are okay in moderation, but not really my thing.
As for the type of music I liked best, of the other samples you posted, I liked them progressively better going down the list, although I listed from the bottom up.  😉
They are all good though.
No, I do not see myself playing in a large orchestra either.
That Mozart sonata was very nice, but it would take years to learn to play that. It was also very long, standing there that long, without a break would be murder for my back. I have to slipped disks, the one in the middle back causes the most pain... but when the lower one pinches a nerve, it disables me more. Good think it does not act up often. But that middle back one is a constant pain I have to live with.
MACJR  

Well, when it comes to the question of improvisation, jazz is the best base to start from. There is so much out there to start with. Aebersold offers so many play-along tracks, this here is volume 130, and it's not his latest edition:

http://www.jazzbooks.com/mm5/m.....F5G_FMrKM8

Baroque tends more to improvisation than Mozart and is very related to the kind of folk country people played in the 1600s and 1700s. In fact country people, towns people and court people shared a lot--peasant music was even imitated at courts and you find it as motifs in baroque music. I really like to call baroque music highbrow folk. Folks tends to improvisation anyhow, but baroque does as well.

The point is, after baroque the idea of the genius came up, the ubermensch who is almost seen like a God. A view which also later lead to fascism and naziism--leader/Führer cult. That's why the concept of classical music is still: The composer (leader) gives orders by determining nothing but notes and musicians are not allowed to add own ideas. Which was not at all the concept in the 1600s and early 1700s when professional musicians where required to do both: read notes and also improvise (like in a modern jazz big band). Today professional baroque soloists do not improvise, but what they play from sheets still contains the spirit of improvised music.

As you know almost nothing about music, I'd strongly suggest to look for books in libraries. I mean books about classical music which can make you an expert. You could easily become an expert in things Mozart's period (there were way more composers at his time and I surely don't know most of them!) and know more than I know. I'm just a baroque expert--don't know anybody who knows more than me there. But how will you be able to find out what music is right for you, if you don't know about the history of music?

But in order to have stimulation and models for improvisation, you need to listen to improvisers. You need to create your world of sound, which gives you enough ideas what to improvise. And if it is Mozart or Beethoven, their orchestra works will not help you at all. What you need is sonatas for violin and piano then. I think, if I would listen to that stuff for months, I would start improvising in Mozart's or Beethoven's style. Although their style doesn't tend so much to improvisation. But why not?

But then you really-really should play piano and rather not guitar. I could theoretically unmothball my small keyboard, make a recording in a simple Mozart style and try improvising to it to load that up here. But I don't want to musically distract myself. I practice with these play-alongs 'abusing' them as play-alongs for improvisations:

https://www.muziekweb.nl/Link/ELX0779/Edition-Peters-Corelli-Violinsonaten-Bd-1

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MACJR said
No, I do not see myself playing in a large orchestra either.
That Mozart sonata was very nice, but it would take years to learn to play that. It was also very long, standing there that long, without a break would be murder for my back. ....

You can always steal a small part out of that long sonata and make something short out of it. You did not understand what I meant: You need music like this to listen to it and you need to listen a lot. You can take a simple children's song, make a simple piano accompaniment in Mozart style and  then try to improvise in the style you've heard above. If you own a pile of CDs with sonatas for violin and piano and listen to them over and over again, it is very realistic to get there some day. But I have to say, there's not so much out there for viola! You can bathe in CDs of violin sonatas, but the viola is not so very frequent. It is better than trying to find models for Mozart for didgeridoo but as violin player you can really find a lot stimulation. People love violins and soloist violin players have always been the stars in instrumental baroque and classical music. The viola was mainly meant to fill the tonal gap between violins and cellos in orchestras.

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Demoiselle
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There's the original version of Marin Marais' Sonnerie:

This was my version on Decermber 4:

The original version is over 7 minutes long, my version is under 4 minutes! So you can really think more flexibly. Monsieur Marais is not my boss and I decide how I play his stuff, how fast and whether I play his notes. Not his notes of course, they're way too difficult for me--I just took his chord sequence and bass line. I improvised on that concert. And by the way I also changed to recorder, which also made it easier at the violin. It also was my decision to add Frère Jacques as sung interlude, to have time for changing instruments and have some more variation.

I am the decider, not Handel, not Bach, not Monsieur Marais (a composer at the sun king's court). The ability to improvise makes me free and I can grow on that way.

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BillyG
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@Demoiselle wrote -

I am the decider, not Handel, not Bach, not Monsieur Marais (a composer at the sun king's court). The ability to improvise makes me free and I can grow on that way.

  LOL - so true....  it is all an "evolution" - and indeed - although often said, I don;t believe it - "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"  - no - personally I don't think it is.  What is more enlightening is to take some work, giving attribution to the original author / composer / player of course - and then "making it your own".   Which is precisely what you do !   So - keep on doing it !  thumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-up

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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MACJR
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Demoiselle said

MACJR said
No, I do not see myself playing in a large orchestra either.
That Mozart sonata was very nice, but it would take years to learn to play that. It was also very long, standing there that long, without a break would be murder for my back. ....

You can always steal a small part out of that long sonata and make something short out of it. You did not understand what I meant: You need music like this to listen to it and you need to listen a lot.

Actually, I did listen, and understand what you were saying. I was making an observation about playing the full sonata, should I ever reach something even close to that skill level.  😉

Since I have an interest in history, I do not mind looking into things now and again. History is not one of my main interest, but it is among my side interests.

As with art, I do not feel that you need to know, in detail, the history of art and artist to make art. I feel the same about music. It may be beneficial, in many ways, but not essential. Just how I see it.

As for music, I will learn more about what I like as I gather and play more and more sheet music. A lot of old folk songs are fun to play, as are some of the classics.

I do like Beethoven works, but there is always, and I mean always, at least one set of measures that throws me off every time, in every tune he did, that I have played so far. It is like, where the heck did that come from, and why?

Some like to spice up their music with things like that, but for the unsuspecting beginner, they are like traps or mine fields.  😉

MACJR

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BillyG said
@Demoiselle wrote -

I am the decider, not Handel, not Bach, not Monsieur Marais (a composer at the sun king's court). The ability to improvise makes me free and I can grow on that way.

  LOL - so true....  it is all an "evolution" - and indeed - although often said, I don;t believe it - "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"  - no - personally I don't think it is.  What is more enlightening is to take some work, giving attribution to the original author / composer / player of course - and then "making it your own".   Which is precisely what you do !   So - keep on doing it !  thumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-up  

I would do it anyway, but in the case of Marais' Sonnerie there is no other way. Whoever knows it and hears me say, I'm gonna play it, replies, "No, you cannot, it is way to difficult for you." But why shouldn't I at least profit from it's wonderful baroque 'boogie woogie' rhythm? The rest will grow.

While searching the baroque/classical music play-alongs in the store, the lady said, "Now you're looking under basson, you're not playing bassoon..." I tried to explain to her why it doesn't matter, but she obviously couldn't wrap her head around it. Finally she reminded me, I could get the music book too, and was again astonished when I explained I didn't need it.

Well, someday I might buy that sheet music to use the basic subjects and play that the first 16 bars and the rest will be improvisation. But I will probably change some phrases in there. Like a jazz musician never plays exactly Gershwin's notes.

Now I even take E major sonatas and transpose them in my wave-file editor to F major. I don't play E major yet, but having one more sonata in F is great. Which is not at all a brilliant idea, but people find it unusual because they're afraid of the old masters and that prevents them from doing things.

Handel 'stole' from Georg Muffat, changed it and made it his own very interesting work. And I like both versions.

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Two words to say and that's "Yup, exactly"....   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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MACJR said

Actually, I did listen, and understand what you were saying. I was making an observation about playing the full sonata, should I ever reach something even close to that skill level.  😉
Since I have an interest in history, I do not mind looking into things now and again. History is not one of my main interest, but it is among my side interests.
As with art, I do not feel that you need to know, in detail, the history of art and artist to make art. I feel the same about music. It may be beneficial, in many ways, but not essential. Just how I see it.
As for music, I will learn more about what I like as I gather and play more and more sheet music. A lot of old folk songs are fun to play, as are some of the classics.
I do like Beethoven works, but there is always, and I mean always, at least one set of measures that throws me off every time, in every tune he did, that I have played so far. It is like, where the heck did that come from, and why?
Some like to spice up their music with things like that, but for the unsuspecting beginner, they are like traps or mine fields.  😉
MACJR  

 

You will probably mix styles and make it all together just one personal style.

I thought about the viola question again, and came to the result, you can listen to violin players as well and also profit from them. I recently heard a viola concerto and found the player made it very violin-like when playing higher notes. In fact I was first assuming it was a violin and astonished when the radio announcer said it was a viola.

I now see again how people are really different in their ideas. The concept I use for my work at the violin would probably not help you at all.

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Demoiselle said

You will probably mix styles and make it all together just one personal style.

I thought about the viola question again, and came to the result, you can listen to violin players as well and also profit from them. I recently heard a viola concerto and found the player made it very violin-like when playing higher notes. In fact I was first assuming it was a violin and astonished when the radio announcer said it was a viola.

I now see again how people are really different in their ideas. The concept I use for my work at the violin would probably not help you at all.  

As to the viola, I do want to buy one sometime soon, but I am leaning more towards an electric violin first. Then in a month or three, go for the viola.

I still have a long way to go to find out where I found where I fit in the music world. I have much to learn and skills to build. How I go about it may indeed be different than you do it, and the path I take may be down a different way, but it is still good to listen to what you have to say, consider it, and learn from your experience.

Even if I chose to do and think differently, your way and thoughts are bound to influence mine in subtle ways over time. This is okay with me.

I do find your music interesting. As I said, I love to listen to Greensleeves, and your music is much in that same style.

And yes, it would be good to broaden my knowledge of music history as I learn more about playing music. I do not mind at all you sharing your knowledge with me, and the rest of us.

MACJR

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My final violin solo in Greensleeves is influenced by Tanya LaPerrière you already heard in the middle of above examples. That is baroque, which is pretty much what I've been listening to since I started on violin. So Greensleeves should sound very much baroque and somehow a bit like Tanya (if you ignore the fact that I'm much worse most certainly) who I really-really adore. I should have her in a gold frame....yes, I'm gonna do that after Christmas..... LOL

Here is another video with Tanya--I think this example is probably best to compare to my Greensleeves version.

My violin solo starts at 4:08

I absolutely hear that I'm coming from her. I listened to her CD "VERSO VENEZIA" a lot since I started on violin. Also to other CDs of the same style, but Tanya influenced me most. I also watch her videos carefully which causes that she at times pops up on my mind while I practice. Which is showing me exactly how to play a phrase--especially short notes, which just came without practicing. Her body language is very speaking, she's downright acting while playing.

So the good influence doesn't come from me, it's coming all from her. 😉

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Today I very much profit from the speeding up since November. I am awfully tired and slow--a year ago I had to give up then, unable to play anything. Now I can play and I really did some boring stuff which would have put me to sleep months ago. All I could rave on in early 2016 was Adagios and Lentos. Today I even did moderate Allegros and in Adagios used more phrases in eights. I do not fall asleep so easily while moving faster than just doing slow quarters and long notes. I think it boosts also blood circulation.

Yesterday I was fitter than today and really pushed speed again : with repeated sixteenths in groups à four. That's a very effective exercise to play scales with up and down! Even more difficult are the same phrases with groups à two sixteenths. I was struggling with this, but if I play groups à four and then suddenly go over to two, even that works for a moment. I did these scales while improvising on Handel sonatas. Groups à four I was then able to increase to I don't  know what--might have been 32th. But I really need the vivid time and swinginess of play-alongs. A metronome would make me awfully sleepy.

These exercises make agile and agility is very useful because it makes slower things effortless.

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Demoiselle said

So the good influence doesn't come from me, it's coming all from her. 😉  

As she was influenced by others before her, and you by her, and others from you, and the influence will continue on after, for as long as there is still anyone left to be influenced, or at least still willing to be influenced.

Sorry for the late reply, the last few days have been a bit busy. I did not have time to see the new videos until today. I have not even had time to practice playing for the last four days. I should be able to get a practice session in today though. That pleases me.  🙂

MACJR

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MACJR said

As she was influenced by others before her, and you by her, and others from you, and the influence will continue on after, for as long as there is still anyone left to be influenced, or at least still willing to be influenced.....
  

Please don't compare Tanya to me, I'm playing since 2015, she has studied for many years and then has been working as professional for years. I also listen to Helène Schmitt and other violin players, but Tanya LaPerrière works best for me. We can figure out who influenced who until we get to stone age, but this is not making my playing any better. I need to listen to people who play better than me and I better do it daily.

MACJR said

....Sorry for the late reply, the last few days have been a bit busy. I did not have time to see the new videos until today. I have not even had time to practice playing for the last four days. I should be able to get a practice session in today though. That pleases me.  🙂
MACJR  

Practicing is probably more helpful than seeing videos. Listening to music is too. If time is rare I cut it down to playing and listening. Listening should be no problem, it can be done while eating, driving, brushing teeth....

The difficult thing is to find exactly the kind of violin music which pleases me most and learn to distinguish it from standard stuff. You easily find Handel's Water Music, Messiah, and Concerti Grossi, but you need an experienced nose to find his sonatas for violin. Very few people buy them--they don't even know there also are those sonatas for just violin and basso continuo. Even many amateur violin players who like baroque music don't know that, which is a little sad. It isn't helping much to listen to a whole orchestra. Of course people can watch professional violin players on YouTube, which is a good thing. But CD is more effective, I can listen to it for hours. I have ripped all my CDs and have their wave tracks on the microSDs for MP3-players and Smartphones, which makes listening even easier.

DSC00093.JPG

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There are also good men certainly! Maybe this is better for you.

For me women work best because I can feel closer to them. In Tanyia's videos it's her female body language which helps me to also comprehend her violinistic expression.

But now let's have two great male violin players:

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Demoiselle said
There are also good men certainly! Maybe this is better for you.

For me women work best because I can feel closer to them. In Tanyia's videos it's her female body language which helps me to also comprehend her violinistic expression.

Oddly enough, I prefer to watch women violin players too.  😉

But then, I notice that I did pay better attention to fingering and bow movements when watching men play.

MACJR

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MACJR said

Demoiselle said
There are also good men certainly! Maybe this is better for you.

For me women work best because I can feel closer to them. In Tanyia's videos it's her female body language which helps me to also comprehend her violinistic expression.

Oddly enough, I prefer to watch women violin players too.  😉
But then, I notice that I did pay better attention to fingering and bow movements when watching men play.
MACJR  

Men differ in motor skills. I'm not saying women are better, they look just different. Yesterday I watched Tanya and came to the result, she must also be dancing--and she must be a very good dancer.

The action of her legs looks like she's dancing while playing. My mind can read that kind of body language easily, which hands me the key to her violin technique.

By the way, I found a man who often plays with Tanya, but then he's the lead voice. And he's really amazing!

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I've found the right teacher. She started to study violin at a music college at age 13 and she studied twice: first classical music, then jazz and composition. She's not just a musician, she's a genius. Next Thursday I go to her studio and I know it's gonna be incredible....

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Congrats on a successful search.   A good teacher than you can get along with can make a huge difference.

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Charles said
Congrats on a successful search.   A good teacher than you can get along with can make a huge difference.  

Well, the main work will remain on my side. Her job is correction, which certainly will help a lot. For the first lesson my idea is, that she improvises a piano accompaniment and carefully watches my improvisation. As soon as she feels like interrupting she will and this is going to be about blockades in my body posture, as possibly on my mind. She has carefully studied these things. I will then mind her critic during my daily work. The point is, I know, if she plays piano, this will inspire me like nothing before! I will not unlikely improvise better than ever before. In other words, I will feel like in heaven, because she's a highly professional artist and I never had such great accompanist before. I will be very relaxed, but guess she will nonetheless find points where I could relax more. I'm very optimistic.

Another option will be, she improvising a phrase and me having to repeat it. Then we can analyze why she sounds better than me. The point is, hearing her before I play, will certainly influence the quality of my tone. She will give me ideas how to sound differently and what ways to get there.

Another point will be the quality of violin and bow. Where would she invest first? I would invest in a new bridge if she told me the violin was great, because I want a bridge for left-handed people. I do play a right-handed violin left-handed, so the bridge is not curved in an ideal way: I have to reach from above over the curve to reach the E string. Which works great, but I would prefer the E string to come up a couple millimeters nonetheless. Which still shouldn't be too much headaches. There have been people doing artistic things even with their feet who have no arms at all! Reaching a bit from above for the E strings should be no to big obstacle. People cleave too much to old theory and old practice. There are many alternatives. But I'd like to change that bridge curve for I'd like that better.

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