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Scarier than Halloween
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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DanielB
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September 26, 2012 - 6:59 pm
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Well, not sure if the video will work or not.  I just used the preset in the software that was supposed to be best for YouTube, and we'll hope for the best.

So what's scary?  I've had a cold for several days and look like death on a microwave burrito.  Cold medicine doesn't help one's playing much either.  But more than that, this may remind some folks that the holidays are approaching, and if one wants to have a few seasonal tunes to play then it is time to be working on them.

I really don't like doing video.  I know almost nothing about it, as opposed to audio where I at least usually have a clue why something sucks.  Not real happy with the take.  The light is too low, the composition is off, and my black leather jacket on the coat-rack is way too much of  scene stealer.  Choice of location also is less than elegant.  It just happens to be out in the hallway where I usually practice on the acoustic.  The acoustical properties of that particular hallway are an intriguing version of crappy.  But at least the rain stays outdoors.  This is a long way from good video.

Not great audio, either.  It is just the teeny little mic that is on the bottom of the digital camera.  Very little awesomeness can fit through, like, a few pinholes in a plastic chassis.  Even if there was any awesomeness actually happening.

So far as the playing, I'll save people some time and say all the usual stuff.  Elbow is too high, bow wrist is too stiff, left wrist is uh.. well, ok, it's fairly straight.  Bow strokes are too short, the bow needs to move straighter.  I should keep my left elbow out of my right ear when playing, and my left thumb is too green.  I think that covers all the usual stuff.  Oh!  And I should work on my intonation, phrasing and dynamics.  (I think that's pretty safe to say about anyone in their first year of playing.)

rofl

Let's see.. Yes, I close my eyes a lot when playing.  And while I am known to smile and laugh sometimes, any sort of camera is a pretty sure guarantee I won't.  I am using the top half of the bow and the edge of the hair a lot, because I am trying to play a bit quiet so the violin doesn't overload the mic on the camera like it did on some previous attempts.  From this close, my acoustic violin tends to be very loud and a bit harsh.  20-30 feet back, it sounds nicer.  But 30 ft back, the camera would also get run over by the traffic you hear in the background.  While some here might find that an absolutely hilarious "classic video moment", I only have the one camera, so I try to keep it in one piece.

Again, I hate doing video.  Pretty sure it shows.  LOL

 

(Ok, uploading here didn't work.   I got "TFN.mpeg: Error 112 - Uploaded file no longer available"  Trying YouTube.)

feature=youtu.be

"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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Kevin M.
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September 26, 2012 - 7:18 pm
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Sounding good...I thought you were goiong to run out of bow at the end.

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KindaScratchy
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September 26, 2012 - 9:08 pm
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That's too bad that you hate doing video, Daniel. You did a nice job. Maybe you just need to do more of them!

You've inspired me to get to work on Christmas songs so that I'm ready to play a few tunes, if asked, around the holidays.

Did you hang the garland as a prop for the video or do you have the Christmas spirit year round? Just curious.

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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DanielB
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September 26, 2012 - 9:17 pm
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Thank you.

@kevin: Yeah, I thought I might run out of bow right there as well.  I'm used to playing it  bit stronger.

@KindaScratchy: Well.. The garland.. Originally it went up to cover some rather ugly electrical conduit.  And when we were taking down the xmas decorations, the logic ran something like "Well, it looks better than the conduit.. and 'evergreen' implies something that is 'in season' all year around.."  But we did take down the tree and the other stuff. 

Video is even worse for me than audio recording for messing up a lot as soon as I hit the record button.  But in audio I know more ways to fix it.  My experience with shooting video and video editing and etc is limited to the couple clips I did for the "Bile them Cabbages down" project.

"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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Fiddlestix
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September 26, 2012 - 10:05 pm
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Gee whiz Dan..... I was going to critique it, but you took care of all critisism's. Five paragraph's and one sentence of doing nothing but putting yourself down. I couldn't think of anthing else. dunno

Why all the negative's ?   Be positive about it, I thought you did a good job, Dannyboy.  clap

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Picklefish
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September 26, 2012 - 10:27 pm
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@Daniel - I have the same problem with video recording. Its a mental block sort of thing, desire for perfection, at least for me. Not wanting to show any flaws. Its impossible to live up to so just let it swing and let the big dog eat!

As far as your playing goes......1. I thought your accuracy and intonation was very good. at least as good as I can do anyways. 2. Bowing- I didnt notice your elbow or your wrist, but you know what you see when you play it so I wont argue with you about that. Ive seen much worse than yours anyways. I want to encourage you to move your bow a bit faster. The term more bow just means to use more of the hair before you change directions. this doesnt mean the tempo increases you just move the bow a bit faster. now couple this with the correct amount of pressure to create a great tone and your volume will also increase. Its definately worth playing around with. from my own experience a slower moving bow is harder to control tone with, scratches more too. (not that yours did).

The more you record, the more easier it gets. Keep it up and youll only get better.1st-place

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Picklefish
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September 26, 2012 - 10:32 pm
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ya know, I went back and watched it a couple times to take it all in so to speak and you really did a fantastic job with that. Your bow hold looks right on. some tweaking to the finger flexibility and wrist flexion, ya know, minor stuff. I dont know why you wouldnt be happy with that. unless you are like the rest of most of us and hate watching yourself. welcome to the club!jimi-hendrix

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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DanielB
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September 27, 2012 - 6:23 am
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@Fiddlestix: I've just been kind of down on my own playing lately.  Seeing things I'm doing wrong definitely didn't help that.  The song is recognizable, but not what I "meant to say" with some of the note durations and being in a bit too much of a rush to get to the next note in some parts.  It just annoys me that even such a simple melody I still can't get quite right, especially when a mic or camera is on.

@Picklefish: I'd already gotten annoyed due to some technical difficulties with the first few tries at a take.  So my hands were already more tense than they should be, and I was maybe trying to overcompensate for having gotten too many peaks in an earlier recording attempt and I was trying to play a bit too cautious. 

Some instruments can be good for working out annoyance with because playing harder/rougher can just be a bit more energy in your playing.  But for me, violin/fiddle isn't one of those instruments, at least not at this point in time.

I haven't even begun to actually work on form.  Most of my work so far has just been on trying to get the notes and bowing to sound decent.  I don't usually see it, so I am kind of annoyed to see how much of what I think I'm doing ok obviously needs more work.  Like where I went to the one high note, the F# on the E string, I was bearing in too hard with the base of the index finger against the nut, so I was clumsy and it came out a bit harsh. 

And yeah, I don't like watching myself.  That and hitting the record button just about always guarantees that I will start messing up.  May as well just re-label it as the "suck" button.

facepalm

"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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Picklefish
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September 27, 2012 - 7:16 am
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too funny! I did 31 videos last week and some had 5 takes till I had em. then I watched them back and all I could see was "more bow"! Using less bow is usually a lack of confidence thing. Once you are confident in the tune then you can tweak your form as you see it. congrats and keep it up!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Barry
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September 27, 2012 - 7:26 am
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I notice you favor the upper tip of your bow

roflroflol

 

BEWARE the bow police

serenade

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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DanielB
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September 27, 2012 - 9:27 am
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Ok, what I hear that I don't like is that my hand was a little too tight on the nut, which is part of what made those two high notes on the E string off.  They sound like a singer who is trying to sing outside of range.

Another thing is that the violin is possibly the instrument most like the human voice, and this was a vocal melody.  I didn't give any time where a singer would breathe.  It doesn't have to be an actually silent pause, one can also back off on the power a little and fade the note out more before jumping into the next note.  If one sang along with it at a normal volume, one would likely end up gasping between the phrases of the lyrics, and that somewhat spoils what should be the fairly easy flow of the piece.

Regina Carter once said something about how just because we don't *have* to pause to breathe with violin, that doesn't mean that we *shouldn't*.

I tend to agree with that, when it comes to trying to play something and make it sound like something a listener might enjoy.  If the average listener can sort of hum along with something you play, they tend to be more inclined to remember it as good.  Sticks in the head better.

 

@Barry:  Yeah, I shoulda known better.  LOL  "More bow" is kinda the "More cowbell!" of the month around here, lately.

Policeman: "Good afternoon, can I see your license and registration please? ... Are you aware that you were playing 2 centimeters over your upper bow limit back there?...  Intonation looked a little wobbly, too.  Step out of the violin, please.." 

@Picklefish: Gee, and here I would have thought my obvious cheery manner was more of a giveaway is to my self-confidence being crap.  LOL

My particular acoustic tends to sound rather bright and a bit loud.  Playing nice long fast bow strokes makes it sound even brighter and louder, which is not helpful to getting a clean recording at close range in a closed space.  It can get sorta harsh, and I try not to push it hard enough to make my own ears ring.  LOL  Light pressure, slower stroke, the top half of the bow, and using the edge of the hair (especially at the beginning of notes) is what I usually try when I want to get a more gentle sound. 

Honestly, I think that chrome wrap strings weren't a good first choice for it, but it is what I had onhand when my acoustic arrived, so it is what I used.  Being loud, my hope is that it will help the instrument to "play in" and "settle" a bit more.  So I'll suffer through until they need replaced and then try for something with a warmer and softer tone. 

"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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Fiddlestix
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September 27, 2012 - 9:46 am
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@ Daniel..... just because a song is written one way doesn't mean it has to be played that way. That's what improvisation is about, making it your own unique style.

Just think of singing the song, play it the way you would sing it. Then add some different riff's to it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
September 27, 2012 - 1:50 pm
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Good job Daniel,

Thanks for the post and don't hesitate to make videos. It's positive in so many ways for learning and advancing.

What did you notice when you listened to it the first time? Did you see anything that surprised you?

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

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DanielB
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September 27, 2012 - 3:45 pm
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Thanks, Pierre.  You mean like something positive, as opposed to what I've already mentioned?

I had an accidental "nick" on the lower strings at the phrase between 35-38 seconds.  When I was playing, I thought it was a botch.  But when I heard it, I felt it rather fit and made a mental note to go back and figure out what I did right there.  It sounds sort of like some of the things one might do on a harp as a little flourish, and with some practice it might be a neat sound/technique to use on purpose sometimes. 

I noticed that I was keeping the bow stuck on the strings like a magnet.  I think I could get the phrasing more to my liking if I actually lift the bow off and start a fresh stroke in some places.  It would make some "landmarks" for playing by memory and could add a natural slight pause that could work in the arrangement/version to make it feel a bit more natural. 

If I multi-tracked with the electric run through a pitch shifter to get it down into somewhere in the cello range doing some supporting bass notes, and also added a higher violin part imaged off to the side playing just a few notes here and there to "open up" the sound a little, it could make an easy 3 part arrangement. 

I noticed I move a bit more than I thought while playing violin.  I hadn't been aware of that.

"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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Fiddlerman
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September 27, 2012 - 3:53 pm
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Great proof of how beneficial it is to record yourself.

Thanks for sharing that information.

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

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SaraO
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September 27, 2012 - 4:40 pm
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Nice video!

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Fiddlestix
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September 28, 2012 - 6:19 am
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DanielB said
And yeah, I don't like watching myself.  That and hitting the record button just about always guarantees that I will start messing up.  May as well just re-label it as the "suck" button.

facepalm          

   So, I guess a video of you performing the "Nutcracker", is out ?

In the next video, Dan, comb your hair, change to a different shirt, and move that black jacket hanging there. Maybe thing's will get better.... Geeeeessshhhhh, lighten up on yourself a bit.

But I will critique one thing,,,, loooooooooooooooonnnnger bow stroke's.

violin-studentwrong.....frownviolin_girlright.....smile             

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DanielB
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September 28, 2012 - 8:18 am
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@SaraO: Thank you.

 

@Fiddlestix: Oh.  I must have missed seeing the dress code notice on this internet forum when I joined a few months ago.

"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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Fiddlerman
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September 28, 2012 - 9:57 am
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I think he was joking but maybe you are too. smile

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

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Fiddlestix
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September 28, 2012 - 10:42 am
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Of course i'm joking.   exactly

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