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When some piece just feels different and maybe needs special arrangements - playing outside or something :)
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Ilona
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July 4, 2020 - 12:23 pm
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I play the cello, but I think violinists can also share this, if I can explain what I mean.

My family watched me like I was an alien, when I told them I want to go outside to play one piece so that I can have enough room for it.

I have a nice corner where to play in our living room, there is space for me and my cello, but I just had the feeling that this piece would sound so much better and also be easier to play if I had fresh air around me. It’s not just because of acoustics, it’s something different. I want to use very strong and long bowing and I feel I can’t when I’m sitting in the corner behind the couch. 😂 

Do you know that feeling? Have you played some pieces that doesn’t fit in the tiny room? 😝

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 4, 2020 - 2:56 pm
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I can empathise with that.   I don't play cello much at all, mostly fiddle. 

With the fiddle, even indoors, I detest sitting down to play, and I will invariably stand - it gives that extra freedom to move somewhat (because, well, I like to !) and to really "work" with the bow and interact better with the instrument ( I know, it can be frowned upon by violinists, but I'm a fiddler!) .  And as for outdoors  - I love that.   Indoors, I will play either in my music room, which, by intent is quite an echo-y room (hard flooring, no soft furnishings - so lots of local echo/reverb - which - to a point, I like).  There are times, that is "too much" and I'll specifically choose to play in the lounge - it's carpeted, has soft furnishings and heavy drape curtains.  That "calms the tone down" substantially.

But, playing outdoors is just awesome - even in the soft-furnished lounge, sure there are hard surface walls and ceilings, creating some degree of reflected sound feedback to the ear.  Outdoors - that disappears totally - and - particularly with the fiddle which has a lot of high-end harmonics in the generated sound - the "sharpness" goes completely - it's like a different instrument.  It also allows me to wander-around while playing which I also like to do. ( OK, might be a problem for a cello - maybe fit little wheels !! ).    When I hosted "The Traveler" I recorded most of my videos outside - in a car park with wonderful scenery behind, on a beach, on a pier, atop a small hill and so on - and sure - although MY concentration was clearly focussed on playing, there was just this additional simple sense of pleasure in being there, that hopefully came through in my playing !

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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AndrewH
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July 5, 2020 - 2:28 am
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Many pieces were written with a type of performance space in mind, and you can tell in the way some pieces take advantage of natural reverberation.

Lately I've been doing about half of my practice outdoors, by a nearby river. I find that unaccompanied Bach works extremely well there because it maximizes the resonance of the instrument itself, and a lot of 20th century music sounds OK because it was written for large concert halls and calls for lots of projection, but Romantic sonatas never seem to sound right outdoors because they were composed for salons rather than large spaces and require some reverberation off nearby walls.

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Gordon Shumway
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July 5, 2020 - 3:28 am
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There's a very good trumpeter who practises in a park near me.

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 5, 2020 - 4:11 am
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Gordon Shumway said
There's a very good trumpeter who practises in a park near me.  

Cool !   [ So long as not playing Reveille at sunrise   rofl]

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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Gordon Shumway
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July 5, 2020 - 4:45 am
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BillyG said

Gordon Shumway said

There's a very good trumpeter who practises in a park near me.  

Cool !   [ So long as not playing Reveille at sunrise   rofl]

  

While looking up sackbuts in Wiki I found this page: -

"Their duties varied from time to time and place to place, but included playing their instruments through the town at night, waking the townsfolk on dark winter mornings by playing under their windows"

That's the origin of throwing night soil out of the window.

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 5, 2020 - 7:10 am
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🙂  A practice now thankfully largely abandoned facepalm  

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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ELCB
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July 6, 2020 - 4:26 am
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Ilona -  I understand.

I have lived in much smaller dwellings than I do, now.  If I had been playing the violin back then I think I'd be outside all the time.

It's great to play outside in nice weather, but do you have a sheltered place to got out when the weather is not so nice?

I am lucky I was able to work with an architect to design my current family home.  I made sure we had VERY tall ceilings and an open feel - so I don't mind staying inside to play all types of music, now.  I'm also very lucky to have someone who loves me enough to put up with all my noise (the acoustics are a little too good). The only embarrassing drawback is I haven't been able to clean my ceilings!

Gordon Shumway & BillyG -

I was just about ready to say "let's revive the waits for the holidays!"

... then I had a horrible vision of a brass quartet standing out in a Winter storm, trying to play "O Holy Night" - lips frozen to mouth pieces & fingers like icicles stuck to valves and tubing. 

Ruined Christmas for me...

 

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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July 6, 2020 - 9:15 am
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When I read about lips sticking to mouthpieces, I was interested. In Germany the temperature was 10 below freezing every day until noon, and my hands used to stick to metal doorknobs.

I'd carry spare mouthpieces near my skin so they'd be warm when inserted into the instrument and hope that they'd stay warm if I kept my mouth in them. Failing that, a battery-operated mouthpiece warmer might be a good invention.

Or maybe I'd microwave two potatoes before going out and put each in a sock with a mouthpiece in my coat pockets.

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 6, 2020 - 11:03 am
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LOL - @ELCB - 

... then I had a horrible vision of a brass quartet standing out in a Winter storm, trying to play "O Holy Night" - lips frozen to mouth pieces & fingers like icicles stuck to valves and tubing. 

You paint a fine picture of how musicians are so totally dedicated to their art.

And @Gordon Shumway 

Or maybe I'd microwave two potatoes before going out and put each in a sock with a mouthpiece in my coat pockets.

 Yeah, and a snack for lunch !  Serves a dual purpose, and no waste.   Cool !!!!

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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Gordon Shumway
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July 6, 2020 - 11:27 am
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BillyG said

And @Gordon Shumway 

Or maybe I'd microwave two potatoes before going out and put each in a sock with a mouthpiece in my coat pockets.

 Yeah, and a snack for lunch !  Serves a dual purpose, and no waste.   Cool !!!!

I first saw that idea in Cider With Rosie, I think, or it might have been A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas.

Andrew

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
July 6, 2020 - 12:46 pm
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Wow, @Gordon Shumway - indeed - Cider with Rosie, that just rings a bell - oh - like close on 50 years after originally having read it ( I revisited it, oh, probably 15, 17 years back or so n film...  the one with Patrick ( or do I mean David? ) Troughton.... yup - that's the reference !!!! Man, well done !!!!  Jings, memory triggers, or what ?   Still going "wowww" 🙂  Neat.

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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Ilona
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July 6, 2020 - 4:39 pm
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ELCB said
It's great to play outside in nice weather, but do you have a sheltered place to got out when the weather is not so nice?
  

Unfortunatelly I haven’t. Or I have, but I’m too shy to do it. 😏 We have quite large terrace, but the neighbours are so close I don’t like to go play outside here at home. I drive to my mothers house where is much more space around. I hope one day I will be so skilled that I dare to play anywhere. 😊 Or maybe I just need to get over that fear and go out and enjoy. One of our neighbours was playing accordion in his yard couple of weeks ago, and it sounded very nice.

Today I tried another room in our house. It wasn't better for that one specific piece, but at least my husband got opportunity to watch tv and even hear it because I was not playing behind him. 😂 And I was able to close the door and have my own peacefull moment with my cello. 

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