Ok, I have now officially been playing violin for one whole month. It was a month and a day ago that my violin came in the mail (almost to the hour), but it took me about 24 hours of fussing with the bridge to get it trimmed down to where the fiddle was actually reasonably playable.
I think the action is still a little higher than it should be, but my left hand is strong and tough, and I didn't want to get into fussing over adjustments early on when I should be playing and getting to know the instrument well enough to be able to tell if it was at least mostly right.
I have to admit, I'm stalling a bit over putting this up, since it has been a very kak-handed day. I've been fumbling the simplest parts and I have done this piece better, but today? Bah. However, NV is brave and posts her vid progress report even if she goofs up a little, so I will try to follow her example for these instead of trying for a "perfect take". I have to say, though, that it goes against my grain a bit to let people hear these bits when there are obvious muff-ups, since I took recording in college. With recording, you always re-take or you fix the goofs. But fair is fair.
Don't say I didn't warn you, though.
The song I selected to submit to noob abuse this week as an addition to my "repertoire" is "Red is the Rose". Since I am of Scottish descent, I suppose I could say it is "Lock Lomond", but the words I usually sing it to are the Irish love song version, so that is where my phrasing for the notes comes from.
I may as well get it over with..
Wow that was great! Your violin sounds awesome too. and you are right about not going for perfect take, progression is not meant to be concert but to see where the mistakes are to correct them! Very nice song by the way.
I meant Loch Lomond, of course. Can't find an edit button at the moment. LOL
NV: Thank you, you are very kind. The violin is just my 70$ plastic funky looking thing. It is almost "stock". I did make one minor change to the circuitry to help get rid of some of the "heavy breathing" sound and reduce the little "vipppp" noise electric violins tend to have at the beginning of notes, since electrics are very prone to picking up a lot of bridge and bowing noises. Other than that I add a little "reverb" since recording it directly it would sound very dead otherwise.
I like the sound of it too, though. It sounds much better than I worried it might, considering what it cost. LOL
Well DanielB. That was a great first take after only 1 month. I'm dead impressed and I recognised the song, you almost had me singing along. If you could PDF the music sheet, next time I'm sailing up Scotland that will definitely be in my repertoire list.
Music sheet? Uhh.. LOL
I haven't done any playing on violin from sheet music yet other than some simple exercises to get an idea where the notes are on the staff, Terry. I do some simple exercises from written every day because I figure sooner or later I will run into a piece of music where it is the only way I'll be able to hear it. That has happened before, and is why I learned to sight read for piano.
But I just play from my memories of the songs, like I would when humming or whistling or singing. Part of what is taking me a bit to learn violin is my fingers learning where the notes are so my brain can shut off when I play. LOL Not quite there yet, and I have to think a bit about when to change to where and etc.
I can work you up a score for this bit, though. So long as you're not in a huge hurry to get it. I haven't written score in a while, so I'd be a bit rusty at it.
Glad you like it though!
I've just had a go at playing it. And singing to myself "you take the high road and I'll take the low road. And I'll get there a-fore yee" not sure if they are the right words, I keep getting rugby songs coming into my head lol
Thank you, Joe, for your kind words and encouragement!
I hope that you do decide to post a video or sound file, I would like to hear you! For me, at least, posting these is not about being better or worse than anyone else. When I first got here three weeks ago and saw NV's progress video, and after watching a few of FM's lessons and bits other people had put up, I almost left without even saying hello. LOL But then I considered that NV had only been playing violin a couple weeks longer than I had, and decided to tough it out and put up an audio file of about the best I could do at the time. I said to myself, "Well, at least I might encourage some others out there who couldn't spend a lot on an instrument and are trying to learn how to play it."
But everyone here was very encouraging, and some people offered advice, and so I keep working at it. We beginners that are teaching ourselves need all the encouragement and pointers we can get. LOL
So I hope you do put some of your playing up, so we can hear how that pretty violin of yours sounds, and a taste of the music you are working on.
If you are ever worried about not sounding good enough to post a vid, just take a look at mine. That should encourage anyone not to be too embarrassed about how they sound. If I sounded good or had a clue, I wouldn't have come looking for a website like this in the first place.
Here, take a listen of one of my He's a Pirate attempts:
Hmm, the file doesn't seem to be showing up. Lucky you!
Now ya see, the version I'm usually thinking of is the Irish.
"Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows
and fair are the lilies of the valley
clear is the water that flows down the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any."
Anyway, week 5 is passed. I do have one bit of progress to report. I wore off the first of the newbie tapes that I put on my instrument about the day after I got it. LOL Yeah yeah yeah, I know. FM and some other here don't approve of such gimmicks. But putting them on was one of those things I found on a list somewhere of things to do when teaching yourself violin/fiddle, so I'd put them on. I *almost* took them off after hearing FM's thoughts on such things, but they were already on. And to be honest, being far more familiar with guitar as far as stringed instruments go, there was something a bit comforting in having something that at least sorta looked like frets. LOL
So I decided to leave them on until I played enough to wear them off. When the last of them has been worn off, I figure at that point I may still consider myself a beginner, but not a complete noob anymore. Maybe they're silly, maybe not, but that turns them into a sort of "rite of passage" thing, and that's kinda fun in a weird way. One down, three to go, and the remaining three are already in pretty rough shape. If I actually pay any attention to them, I feel they actually mess me up more often than they help at this point, but I'm sticking to the plan. "Plan your work, then work your plan."
My next "weekly" will be after Memorial Day here in the states, so I'll dedicate this week's practice take to a musician who can only be with us in spirit now. My uncle, Roy Parks, played guitar for most of his life. He wasn't great by some people's standards, and he was one of the many unknown musicians that play for years in little bar bands and backyard jams that never make it onto any records or play with anyone famous, but they play on and stay unknown. He also had a little problem that would have stopped many folks. He had lost some fingers in work accidents over the years. As I recall, he was missing the first and second fingers and about half of the thumb on his left hand. So the way he had to manage some chords was a little different. Ok, it was a lot different. LOL But he wouldn't consider "funny tunings" or even using a capo. He insisted on playing "real guitar".
I could tell stories about him for quite a while probably, but I'll keep it down to one for here. One time I saw him struggling with a chord in a song I was working on, where he had to basically bring his hand over the top of the neck, stretch his remaining fingers quite a ways, and catch some of the notes by grinding down hard with what would have been a knuckle on a regular person's hand. I saw the skin was reddening up from the repeated attempts it took for him to get it to sound good enough for his liking and asked "Doesn't it hurt to do that?" He shrugged and said "Not that much. It's nothing compared to how much it would hurt if I let it stop me from playing." and laughed and just kept working at it. After that, I never complained about sore fingers ever again. LOL
But anyway, he was one of the first people to encourage my playing. Most people in my family told me there wasn't any musical talent in my family other than one grandma who had played harmonica. My uncle Roy had married into the family though, and considered that attitude to be BS. He played with me and showed me things on guitar even when I could barely do a few chords and sounded awful. He also got me into jam sessions even when I hardly knew anything. LOL I was maybe 13 or 14 back then, and might have given up if he hadn't come by the house a couple times a week to get me to play and conned me into jam sessions with folks I didn't know who had been playing for many years and etc.
So this week's practice take isn't great or anything, but it was the first song we worked on together all those years ago. He liked "old cowboy songs", and Red River Valley was one of the songs he would play on quiet evenings to entertain some of my aunts who lived in his household.
Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement.
My uncle Roy wasn't what most people would consider even a technically good player. But he was always pretty much unstoppable, and I remember him like I remember the best of my music teachers. He just loved to play and didn't give a rat's patootie if anyone actually thought he was great at it or not. LOL
Thank you for the story I really enjoyed it, and your playing was great also! Don't feel bad about the tapes, they are not a bad thing, just make starting to play smoother I guess. I'm often regretting not putting some.
Thank you, NV.
I don't worry about the tapes at all. After the first couple of days I was ignoring them anyway, since I still need to have most of my attention on the bow hand and the point where the bow touches the strings. If I lose that focus, that is when I mess up. LOL I have played enough guitar and oud over the years that my left hand mostly knows what to do with strings once I get used to the spacing, length of the neck, and the intervals between the strings.
Now, you want fun.. Violin is tuned in fifths. Guitar is mostly in fourths. The oud tuning I use is DGADGC (from low to high). Talk about some potential for the fingers to get a little confused, try switching back and forth between those instruments. LOL
The violin as fiddle has 2 or 3 tuning options, in fifths. The special tunings seem to be a regional practice among some fiddlers.
(So there )
(I've explored some special tunings only to come up with Mission Impossible.)
(I have not the slightest clue why somebody would do this.)
Most Users Ever Online: 231
Currently Online: Worldfiddler, HatefulPain
Currently Browsing this Page:
Kevin M.: 1648
Guest Posters: 1
Newest Members: BlueRosin, AmyEvers, gabrantes99, MiKe, kerryplaysviolin, dickjames
Administrators: Fiddlerman (6296)