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Five months later
Critique video at the five-month stage.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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February 15, 2020 - 12:23 pm
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With great nervousness (it shows in my playing), I offer a critique video.

In the words of Billy Connolly, "I've suffered with my music, now it's your turn..."

It was originally going to be a contest between two of my favourite tunes, "Brighton Camp" and "Linden Lea", and this lovely old Mozart piece won.

Please be thorough (but gentle) with me.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Mouse
February 15, 2020 - 12:55 pm
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My only question for everyone is, was there enough rosin on the bow? I liked the tune but it sounded like maybe there was uneven rosin or not enough. Now, I am no expert and it may be just the sound quality of my device.

I have issues with timing, but you did really good. I enjoyed it.

Thanks.

Cello and Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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February 15, 2020 - 1:09 pm
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Thanks, @Mouse - A few things were stacked against having a good sound. The A and D strings are just a few days old, the bow was re-haired recently and is still playing-in, the microphone is the internal unit on a ten-year-old laptop, the recording software is a bit 'cheap' (i.e. free with Ubuntu) and I cannot relax when recording myself (yet).

I shall experiment with my telephone as a better recording device, with my son driving it to avoid the mirror-image effect of the screen-side camera. I guess the relaxation will come in time, and the bow and middle two strings will mature in a week or so.

As you can hear, I still have many issues. I must learn to take more notes from each bow; I watched a video last night of Nicola Benedetti, and she was drawing 64 notes from a single bow, so I guess we all can, ultimately. For now, I'll just try to use more of the hair and get at least eight notes out of it.

Lots of work to do!

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Mouse
February 15, 2020 - 1:19 pm
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You re doing really good. All your time and effort will really pay off.

I was listening to my Nicola Benedetti CD this morning when I made blueberry creamcheese muffins. I love her playing.

Cello and Viola Time! 

(Former Username - cid)

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Bob
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February 15, 2020 - 4:10 pm
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Peter, that is sounding really good. 

It's hard to believe this is after only 5 months. Your're sounding good.

My one suggestion is: Use more bow! You paid for all of it so might as well use it all.

Seriously, I enjoyed the music you made.

Bob in Lone Oak, Texas

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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February 15, 2020 - 4:35 pm
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Thank you for the kind words, people.

In fairness, although I've been playing violin for just five months, I have had previous experience on guitar.

I also have a huge complex about succeeding as a musician. It's a long story, but the essence is that at the age of around seven my paternal grandmother offered to teach me to play the piano. Florrie Solomon (she remarried when my grandfather fell in WWII) was a passionate choir-leader and musician; she introduced me to classical music, and is to her memory that I work at the violin. I've left it well over fifty years too late, but I'm committed to correcting one of my life's biggest regrets. Again, thank you for the encouragement but I have a long journey ahead. Today's recording was fraught with nerves and poor preparation, and I hope my next 'update' will be more relaxed and workmanlike.

Oh, keep the criticism coming. I really want to know what I'm doing wrong. @bob, for what it's worth, I spotted the shortness of hair-use when I played the video back; I worked this evening on the problem, and I can now bow sixteen notes down, and I'm working on the up-bow.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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MoonShadows
Stroudsburg, PA
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February 15, 2020 - 5:34 pm
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@Peter I thought you did a good job with that. Does it need work? Yes? But, don't most of the songs we attempt!

And, I appreciate the story about your grandmother. She would be proud of you even today!

Jim

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Mark
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February 15, 2020 - 7:36 pm
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Peter

Peter for 5 months your doing good, like every one who plays a fretless string instrument your intonation is off just a little, and perhaps note separation could be just a tab better so the individual notes are clearer.

Thanks for posting,

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Mimi Aysha
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February 16, 2020 - 5:26 pm
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Sounded very nice to me...I can hear a touch of nerves in there  (I'm the same when a video camera goes on)...I like how you are playing with the middle of the bow, very cool bow....easier to go bigger both ways than just playing with the top...lovely job

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Sasha
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February 16, 2020 - 11:49 pm
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Nice job and playing for 5 months!

As far as recording, that is an art in itself, and gets better over time with practice, both on the recording side of things, and on the being comfortable while recording side of things. 🙂

Phone microphones usually are not great either, but they are usually not any worse than internal microphones on laptops/computers.  It will likely sound a bit better just from being in a better 'listening' position than the laptop mic was. :).

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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February 17, 2020 - 2:10 am
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Mimi Aysha said
Sounded very nice to me...I can hear a touch of nerves in there  (I'm the same when a video camera goes on)...I like how you are playing with the middle of the bow, very cool bow....easier to go bigger both ways than just playing with the top...lovely job

  

"...a touch of nerves..." - An understatement! As soon as I click the record button, I feel a sense of dread and I can't relax into the playing. I should record myself more often, to get the idea normalised and get rid of the anxiety. 

The bow is a cheap oriental device which I re-built and re-haired recently; it still hasn't played-in fully yet. The manufacturer had glued the hair-wedges in! Bowing needs a lot more work; it's one of the faults I've found from this recording exercise. I know I must use more of the bow's length, and draw more notes with each stroke.

Thank you all for your critique.

Please keep the comments and observations coming.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Mimi Aysha
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February 17, 2020 - 10:08 am
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Awe...I'm so bad at using the bottom of the bow, got the top part covered tho, and moving towards the middle!

I recorded myself last night, when I played it back my husband walked in and said "who's that!" - I pointed at my computer screen, he just laughed and asked "what happened to all the notes you know?"....crushed!

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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February 17, 2020 - 11:31 am
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Mimi Aysha said
 

I recorded myself last night, when I played it back my husband walked in and said "who's that!" - I pointed at my computer screen, he just laughed and asked "what happened to all the notes you know?"....crushed!

  

I haven't played to my wife yet, much to her disgust. I'm saving it for when I can do a worthy job of it; perhaps I'm being a bit harsh there. I played a little to our daughter back before Christmas; she seemed more impressed that I'd built an electric fiddle than with the squeaking I was making.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 26, 2020 - 6:47 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Peter said
With great nervousness (it shows in my playing), I offer a critique video.

Congratulations Peter. You get a critique badge.

Please be thorough (but gentle) with me.  

I like to take one or two things at a time.

First of all, great job. You are learning fast. 🙂

Don't perform the piece like an etude, rather listen to yourself while playing it and make it music. IOW, don't rush through it, enjoy it. I not really referring to the tempo either. You can play it fast if you like but not just going through the motions.

Others have mentioned intonation. When practicing, don't leave a note without fixing it, at least a few times through to improve on every pass. You don't have to do this every time, but at least a couple of times. Sometimes I write arrows up or down to remind myself that a note is high or low. Perhaps practice the scale relating to the piece that you are working on or performing just before doing so.

Thanks for sharing. dancing

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

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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February 26, 2020 - 7:05 am
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Thank you Pierre.

Valuable advice; I'll enjoy my music more once the nerves have eased off. It's somewhat like "white coat syndrome", as I'm OK when non-fiddle people around me hear me play; I've started practicing early in the mornings at work before my duties begin and passers-by don't faze me, they seem to enjoy listening, too.

For what it's worth, I have my first lesson with a tutor this coming Saturday, and so I'm expecting a proper beating-up. I'm hoping she'll start from the very beginning, and re-build me.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Irv
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February 26, 2020 - 7:41 am
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@Peter and others.  I found intonation easier once I tuned the instrument to perfect fifths.  It is somewhat rare to find a stand alone tuner with this feature (which is what I am using), but is readily available via cellular phone apps. 

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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February 26, 2020 - 7:53 am
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Thanks @Irv - I have a tuner (a multi-instrument one) on my telephone.

For on-the-fly tuning checks, I just pick the pairs of strings, and listen for the P5s.

The Solid only drifts if I bang a peg while transporting, but the Antique needs checking with the tuner each day because it's a thin wooden box and we have volatile humidity and temperature (British Isles). It behaves fairly well, though; the drift is always even across the strings, and just a few cents.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 26, 2020 - 10:16 am
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Good luck on your first lesson. That's also very exciting.

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

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