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Canon in D
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Demoiselle
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December 12, 2016 - 3:41 pm
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Let me explain why crescendo and decrescendo: Because it's natural expression of human voice also in heartfelt speaking. And as the most popular issue in music has always been love between man and woman, love is the strongest kind of expression you find in music. Love talk, whispering between people in love comes deep from the diaphragm and the sounds tend to start soft, crescendo gently and finally end softly again. So it makes sense to play long notes with crescendo and decrescendo to add the natural feeling of human expression--unlike a primitive electrical tone generator which expresses nothing but plain, dull frequencies. We humans have the gift of feelings and can do more than that. Which is a big part of musical expression and way more essential than effects like vibrato.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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MACJR
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December 16, 2016 - 4:52 pm
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Okay, two things that come to mind. Right now, my playing skills are probably similar to Fran's, give or take a little.

And two, that group project video was awesome. Awesome is not a word I hand out like cheap candy either.

When my skills improve a bit more, I may be willing to participate in a project like that.

MACJR

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MACJR
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December 16, 2016 - 7:23 pm
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Okay, just finished my practice session for the day, and I have to re-evaluate myself. Fran is a bit ahead of me in some aspects. One, she is past needing tape to find notes. And two, she has fewer errors in her transitioning from one string to the next.

Fran started playing again about three months before I did, and that does show in some ways.

I think I may have a little more feeling in my playing, but probably with more errors, especially on a bad day. I have to wonder if a tune I was playing would lose some of my feeling if there was a video camera on though. I am a bit camera shy.

On a good day, and a simple tune, or one I have been practicing for a while, I can be error free, or nearly error free... but on other days, even with a simple tune, errors abound.

Like Fran, I am sheet music dependent. I have not memorized all of the tunes I play, and I am not at a play by ear level. However, I have observed that if I listen to a tune, done by a better player, just before I play that tune, my playing of that tune does improve. Sometime hearing it first gives me an, "Ah HA!" "So that is how it is supposed to sound."

And like BillyG, playing new tunes from sheet music can be rough. For me, it can be a pure hack job sometimes. I do pick up some new tunes faster than others though. Some are relatively easy from the get go. Others, I struggle with for several practice sessions before my fingers start moving to the right notes, in the right order, and it starts sounding right. I am getting better and better, and faster and faster, at reading notes on the staff though. This makes it easier to play new tunes better, right from the start, but I still have a long way to go and a lot more practice to do in both reading and playing music.

MACJR

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Fran
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December 16, 2016 - 8:39 pm
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My immediate goals are to play in tune and get my bowing to improve. There are times I do 2 strings at once accidentally. I try to concentrate on these areas and yes I see now that I do need to learn to play with dynamics so there's always something to learn.  That's what keeps the violin a fun challenge!  I love it!  🙂

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Demoiselle
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December 18, 2016 - 7:02 pm
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Fran said
My immediate goals are to play in tune and get my bowing to improve. There are times I do 2 strings at once accidentally. I try to concentrate on these areas and yes I see now that I do need to learn to play with dynamics so there's always something to learn.  That's what keeps the violin a fun challenge!  I love it!  🙂  

You're perfectly right, first things first. It's also my first rule.

I just referred to your sentence, "Suggestions please so I can improve. Been playing since June." But of course, after about 6 months playing, watching dynamics might easily cause a confusion like hitting two strings at one time. The brain can focus on only one thing at a time, so our bowing must work like automated before we can focus on more things. Anyway, if I listen to older recordings of my playing, it seems I was involving dynamics without thinking about it at some point.

Frankly, I've always been afraid of the long notes of the subject, because I easily hit one more string there as well. And sometimes it still happens. During my concert I accidentally plucked the E string violently with a sharp part of my bow during these long notes. For a moment it was like a shock, but I started trilling right a way and this was a great measure to confuse the confusion and then go on like nothing had happened. But I really think, this accident happened, because I'm still a bit afraid of the long notes. 😀

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Fiddlerman
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December 21, 2016 - 9:58 am
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MACJR said ........And two, that group project video was awesome. Awesome is not a word I hand out like cheap candy either.
When my skills improve a bit more, I may be willing to participate in a project like that.
MACJR  

We look forward to having you participate in a project. 🙂

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

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Demoiselle
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December 31, 2016 - 4:15 am
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MACJR said
Okay, two things that come to mind. Right now, my playing skills are probably similar to Fran's, give or take a little.
And two, that group project video was awesome. Awesome is not a word I hand out like cheap candy either.
When my skills improve a bit more, I may be willing to participate in a project like that.
MACJR  

So you can record, Canon in D is baroque style. And it's also a relatively easy chord sequence to start improvisation. I tend to see that Canon as step two and put Cavalli's dancing bear chaconne on step one. Of course I recommend C major for the start.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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MACJR
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January 1, 2017 - 1:47 am
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Demoiselle said

So you can record, Canon in D is baroque style. And it's also a relatively easy chord sequence to start improvisation. I tend to see that Canon as step two and put Cavalli's dancing bear chaconne on step one. Of course I recommend C major for the start.  

Actually, I just recently recorded a practice session for the first time. I was playing, "The Clown" in G Major. Unfortunately, I was not able to play that tune at my best level of play (I have to get used to recording myself and get comfortable playing to a recorder), so I am not willing to share the results, but I did find the recording very useful. It pointed out that my bowing skills clearly need to be worked on a bit more. Even though I know I can play better that what was recorded, I recognized a problem that I was not hearing well enough as I played. Playing that audio file made those bowing issues stand out to my ears.

Oddly, the things I thought were bigger problems were the lesser issues. Now I am working to smooth out my bowing a bit. I think a better bow would help, but I cannot budget one in just yet. I went for an electric violin first, and an mini amp with a recording feature - that should be easier than using my smartphone to record my playing. Next budget cycle, I do want to buy that Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow, and see if that helps smooth out my bowing. For now, I will just have to work with the bows I have and see if I can smooth things out with focused practice sessions.

I will be doing more recordings soon, but I will probably not post any until my skills improve a bit more.

As for the Cannon in D, I have not started working on that yet. There are several other tunes I want to get better at playing first, before I start work on that one.

So in reality, Fran is at least a few months ahead of me in playing skills. Although I do get a bit of feeling into my play, I still need to make my playing sound better.  😉

And no, I am not ready to improvise just yet... other than some small bits here and there.

MACJR

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Demoiselle
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January 1, 2017 - 3:07 pm
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I know that recording issue very well. It took at least a year to feel secure enough and not feel even more insecure just because a recorder is running. My first performances in August and October 2015 I struggled just because the light was confusing me. It's like a fly walks over your music stand and your so irritated that you have to stop playing.

The bowing issue depends on feeling safe on the fingerboard side. As soon as I was able to at least partly defocus from the fingerboard, I had the chance to work on bowing. Progress got faster then.

You had talked about keyboard and my strategy is always: build a connection between playing violin and keyboard. The keyboard is helping the violin if you improve your ear by working on chords. And here I just pointed out an easy option to start.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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