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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
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April 25, 2015 - 2:45 pm
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Hi, I'm new to the forum and hoping to get some feedback on my playing. I've been teaching myself for just under a year now, using YouTube and a violin tutor book. I did have a few lessons from my dad when I was about ten, but never got much beyond bowing open strings.

I'm hoping you good people can check my posture, hand position etc and see if I'm doing anything seriously wrong. I know my intonation comes and goes, which I'm working on. I've recorded 2 tunes, a fast one (John Ryan's Polka) and a slower one (The Ash Grove), and video'd myself from 2 different angles.

feature=youtu.be

feature=youtu.be

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JuanFiddler
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April 25, 2015 - 3:28 pm
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Wow!!! That is amazing!! I loved your bowing! Clean and clear sound. I cant believe you did this all by yourself. Simply beyond amazing. One thing I'd suggest is to try getting your left arm a tinsy little bit more under the violin. So your fingers can reach the strings better and they keep erect for good finger action. Keep posting!

Juan.

There's nothing better than a cold beer and the warm soothing sound of a violin.

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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April 25, 2015 - 3:35 pm
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I am impressed.  I don't have any critique for you.    I like your playing.  Good job.... what a good amount of progress you have made.   Your hard work and attention to your self teaching really shows.  Bravo.1st-placethumbs-up

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
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April 25, 2015 - 3:50 pm
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Thanks for the feedback guys! 

Juan, I'll try to get my left arm under more - do you think the angle of the fiddle is OK?

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Robyn.fnq
Queensland, Australia
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April 25, 2015 - 9:47 pm
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Hi Jim!

I only have one suggestion ... from my point of view I think your right shoulder is a little tense.  If you can solve that one please let me know, as I have the same problem.  Also right wrist ... ask anyone here how flexible their right wrist is!

But I really enjoyed your playing, beautiful clear bowing and fingering is awesome for one year!

You obviously have a good musical grounding, judging by your piano playing ... I'm really envious of that too!

Cheers

Robyn

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
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April 26, 2015 - 3:57 am
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Thanks Robyn. Yeah, I've been making music most of my life! smile

I'll watch that tense right shoulder and wrist - I know it doesn't happen all the time, just when I'm nervous or tense (like I was when the video was running!) and I'm sure that's what causes my bow to bounce occasionally.

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1stimestar
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April 28, 2015 - 1:36 pm
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Wow, that's really good for only have been playing for a year.  Your bowing wrist is still a bit stiff.  While in playing position pretend that you are going to wipe your nose on the top of your wrist.  Lead with your wrist.  Yes this is a problem I often have as well.  

 

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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Mark
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April 28, 2015 - 11:37 pm
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Jim,

Well played,

 

Mark

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Schaick
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April 29, 2015 - 8:00 am
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Nice job!! @--Jim-- Dunleavy My only comment - SMILE!!!  

Two weeks ago at the jam attend I realized I was doing some kind of chewing motion - feeling every note with my mouth.  Oh My Goodness!!  No wonder every one was staring at me!!!

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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Uzi
Georgia
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April 29, 2015 - 10:58 am
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Very very nice.  I'll bet you're right about the bow bounce being caused by tension.  I understand.  As soon as I hit the record button on anything I get as stiff as a department store mannequin.  Since you seem to already be aware that stiffness anywhere is bad, I think you've done a great job of self teaching.  Keep it up. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
April 29, 2015 - 8:37 pm
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Very nice Jim @Jim Dunleavy ! And welcome to the forum. You're doing great. I'm very impressed that you've been teaching yourself. You're apparently a good teacher. 🙂

I can only echo what others have said: your bowing arm and wrist look a bit stiff and I can see that the tension is creating some bow bounce.

Other than that, your playing looks and sounds good to me.

BTW, I was happy to see that one of your videos was The Ash Grove. Did you know that we did a mini group project here for that song? Can't believe it was two years ago.

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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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
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April 30, 2015 - 3:46 am
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I wasn't aware of that project, but you did a good job of it!

Re the face - that's the first time I've video'd myself playing and I was unaware of the strange pouting movements I was doing. I guess it's just because I was concentrating hard. With a bit of luck it might go away eventually!

Although I've been teaching myself, there are so many great resources on the internet these days (e.g. Fiddlerman's videos and many others) that it's almost like having an army of teachers in your own home!

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Schaick
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April 30, 2015 - 8:53 am
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@Jim Dunleavy I think everyone in the beginning doesn't smile, but we should be because fiddling is FUN!!  

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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DanielB
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April 30, 2015 - 11:12 am
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Well, but smiles don't fit with every song, either.  Someone grinning like a loon through a tragic ballad or something is just kinda eerie.  Or could give the impression that the player neither knows nor cares what the music is actually about.

Good going though, Jim Dunleavey, that was some good playing.  I didn't see anything to facial expression that I wouldn't have just thought of as looking concentrated or focused.

Beginners don't smile much because they are focusing on their playing, not their looks.  But for those plagued by mouths that go into really weird shapes when they play, there is an accessory that can help. 

http://www.amazon.com/Fun-Expr.....s=wax+lips

If you look around, you can also find ones with handlebar moustaches, that could be handy for folks doing Old-Time fiddle music.

I'm surprised Fiddlershop doesn't carry them..

"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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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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April 30, 2015 - 11:43 am
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@DanielB  ha ha ha.. I think I need some of those lips.. LOL.. and the mustache.. LOL

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Schaick
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April 30, 2015 - 3:48 pm
Member Since: December 25, 2013
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LOL!!  Oh my goodness @DanielB

Yes I do need a pair of those lips!!!

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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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
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May 1, 2015 - 4:14 am
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Definitely the ones with the moustaches for me. laugh

Thanks to everyone who's commented on my videos - I appreciate you taking the time to offer advice. I've noted all the tips and am doing my best to incorporate them into my practice sessions.

 

Incidentally, is it just me, or are the sums at the end of the post getting harder all the time?! blink

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 6, 2015 - 7:42 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Jim Dunleavy said
Hi, I'm new to the forum and hoping to get some feedback on my playing. I've been teaching myself for just under a year now, using YouTube and a violin tutor book. I did have a few lessons from my dad when I was about ten, but never got much beyond bowing open strings.

I'm hoping you good people can check my posture, hand position etc and see if I'm doing anything seriously wrong. I know my intonation comes and goes, which I'm working on. I've recorded 2 tunes, a fast one (John Ryan's Polka) and a slower one (The Ash Grove), and video'd myself from 2 different angles.

Hey Jim, great job and I'm impressed by what you have been able to teach yourself in only one year. 🙂

I realize that it's not easy but I think you would find playing easier if you could bring your left arm under the violin just a bit more. Baby steps. Just move it closer little by little. Eventually you'll find that your fingers are so much closer to the strings, especially the lower strings.

I would like to see you use more of your right arm elbow. Not much at the shoulder. This will allow you to bow straighter which will help you produce a better sound on long drawn out notes. 

Great job, great post, thanks!

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

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Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
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May 6, 2015 - 11:03 am
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Thanks Pierre - I'll follow your suggestions. smile

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cdennyb
King for a Day, Peasant for many
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May 6, 2015 - 1:18 pm
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Wow, Mr. Jim... you will be the new "Poster Child" for the fiddlerman site, proving once and for all, old guys CAN learn to play the violin... LoL 1st-place

Awesome man... All I can add to the already posted suggestions is ... Relax. coffee1

Smile and enjoy that stuff. Fun ain't it?

I hit the big 60 this year and one of my subconcious goals was to be able to play violin by the time I was sixty... well it's been a fun 3 yrs and I can truely say I can play the violin...dancing

You will find us old guys might sacrafice a little posture and critical positioning for comfort and ease of playing to get it all to sound right. Face it, we old guys aren't going to play on the world stage... I just relax and play until it sounds smooth and pleasant like I think it should be sounding... dazed

Great job... I look forward to hearing some more and hope you jump in a play along with our many projects that come by. During Christmas time it gets really fun around here!hats_off

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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