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Mouse’s Violin-Viola-Cello Blog
Just a blog by someone who could not make up her mind!
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
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Mouse
December 9, 2021 - 8:53 am
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Ms Blog,

I made progress on my viola yesterday, after I put my tapes on. I just have problems knowing the general vicinity of where the fingers go. Once I get more comfortable with that I will remove the two middle strips. 

I love the sound of my a soloist Viola. It has a lot of fullness to the sound. 

I actually did White Christmas, I think I was doing Viola 1. If I have time, I will do that and record it and submit that as well. I have. few more days to brush it up a littlw. We will see. Sometimes, life just gets in the way, you know? 

Once if life's things is my trying to make a nice special holiday card for my sister, a sister card. I had an idea that I started yesterday, but this morning, I looked again, and I am not quite fond of it. I will have to think of something else, using what I already cut. I am not buying any more items, I am using what I already have. I could go on the Cricut and Scan n Cut sites and find something and cut it out, but I like to do my own ideas, that is a last option.

So, we donated the two cellos to the neighboring school district earlier this week. I have a lot more room in the room they were in! They were in my sewing/machine knitting room. I am sire the school will find a couple students who need one at home, or have in the school. I don't think the students haul their instruments back and forth. I can't imagine the students hauling a cello onto the bus. This school district buses everyone. So, I think there are orchestra instruments in the school for use, and they their instruments t hime? I have no idea. 

Back to my playing. See? Life got in the way! 

I am also loving the Fiddlerman carbon weave fiber viola bow. I opted for that bow. It has a great weight for me, and feels really nice when I hold it. I like the stability, for lack of a better term, of it. 

I use the Strad Pad on my viola chinrest. It is the same one I use on the violin. It is so comfortable and covers the hardware at the end and protects the neck. 

I got the geared pegs. They work nicely. I have to get used to using them for fine tuning, also. I usually get the fine tuners on the tail piece and geared pegs. I have a hard time reaching the pegs and playing the strings to fine tune, so the fine tuners on the tail piece help out with the fine tuning. So far, it is working just fine, no pun intended. The A string does have the fine tuner. 

I am paying more attention with my bowing: pressure, angle of the hair on the strings, placement between bridge and fingerboard, speed, etc. I believe a lot of my sound issues re bow related. It does seem to make a difference when I actually get it right, so I am concentrating on that. I am concentrating on that with my cello and viola, also. I am moving along slowly, but it suits my learning ability. When this COVID gets under control, I will think about just getting a few lessons to deal with bowing, if I am still not secure with it, then maybe some lessons just for vibrato. 

Well, Ms Blog, I have things to do. Be back another time. 

Anyone visiting, Welcome To My Home. Feel free to leave a message, ask a question, or just ramble about must about anything, My home is open to you.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 15, 2021 - 8:38 am
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Ms Blog,

Today will be a viola day. I need to figure put bowing. I think I have to learn about pressure, the amount of hair that touches the strings (angle of the bow). My lessons -pretty much just covered the reading of the music and where to find the notes on the fingerboard. Bowing, proper holding, etc was not really covered. Maybe, they would have come later? Not sure.

I have been away for a couple days. Life got in the way. One thing was that I made a special holiday card for my granddaughters. I also made an ornament that I was able to insert into the card so they could remove it to hang on their tree.

One card made it, the other one did not. I waited a few more days and it still did not arrive. I had to make another one and sent it off yesterday. Guess what? The other one was delivered yesterday, after the new one was picked up by the mailman from our mailbox. I received a video of them opening them (they waited until the other one arrived before opening any of them). What fun!

Today, I will do my viola. I am looking forward to it. Again, I need to figure out the bowing. I have a hard time paying attention to Youtube videos. I can't sit and watch Youtube videos. I am going to check Fiddlerman learning tools and see what I can find. I do find his videos helpful. I think it is the way they are done. They are to the point. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 15, 2021 - 10:34 am
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Ms Blog,

I will be using the Violaman for most of the viola and cello blog posts. I will use you for my violin blog. If there is information on all three, I will use both, or if there is something that would be informational to me on all three instruments, I will use both for easier reference for me. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Retired
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December 16, 2021 - 10:19 am
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Hi,

Interesting blog @Mouse  with lots of personal content. Happiness is a new Viola & bow; congratulations and good luck.

I'm sorry to learn of your knee problem speaking from first hand; I still have two original knees but my left knee cap is now missing. Way back in 1970 in winter I had only ridden about 100 yards from my chums home when a lunatic car driver hit me head on; I was riding my 750cc Norton Atlas; I hit his car exactly between its headlights and was thrown right over the car roof to bounce from a low brick garden wall back into the road; the car was iced up and this idiot was driving peering through nothing more than a letter box; he even had a child with him; he didn't see me until he got out of his now heavily modified car. It sure hurt as I walked into the ambulance and from the ambulance into the A&E. I didn't know my right ankle was fractured or my left knee cap was shattered.

This idiot whilst I was fully bandaged and plastered up laying in the hospital bed had the downright nastiness to pay me a visit complaining he was having to go to work on the bus and could he claim a car from my insurance; it's a good job for him I was bed bound otherwise he too would have joined me in hospital. I had the pot on my right leg for six weeks and whenever I needed to walk I had to bandage a splint onto my left leg for support. I no longer miss my knee cap and can still climb trees.

A bit of good news to cheer you up @Mouse  our best friends a married couple both had a knee replacement about three years ago they are now aged about 80.  They were soon back on their feet after the operations and in no time at all out walking their usual 6 miles or so and they still enjoy life to the full. I truly wish you all the very best.

https://www.123cards.com/get-w.....-a-fiddle/

Bron like you enjoys card making and like you has pain in her arm; with the run up to Christmas Bron's been spending hours making beautiful Christmas cards but about a week ago she was in so much pain she couldn't sleep being in agony with pain from her right hand up her arm and into her neck. Card making is Bron's main hobby so I needed to be gentle when I suggested she stop card making for a week to see if the pain eased at all; Bron uses heavy crimping scissors for cutting card and I was convinced she was now suffering from repetitive strain. Bron reluctantly agreed to stop card making for two weeks; she was convinced it was her arthritis at fault; now about a week later she's a great deal better and sleeping well also she's not using Ibuleve ointment any longer; she was going through tubes of this which worried me.

You're light years ahead of me regarding playing music @Mouse ; it seems every time I approach my violins I'm interrupted to the point yesterday I didn't plan a thing for the day and also today; typical of my luck no interruptions yesterday and so far no interruptions today; I've even quietly wandered into the studio for a few practice sessions; not planned just do it and it works.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Mouse
December 16, 2021 - 11:04 am
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Thanks for the comments, @Retired. My knee is well on its way to back to normal, now.

I did my viola for a little while early last night. I was playing around with bow pressure, speed, hair/string contact. I do believe that is one of my many problems, bowing. I could notice differences, depending on what I did.

I have issues concentrating on more than on issue at a time. If I concentrate on intonation, bowing goes out the window. If I concentrate on bowing, my fingers are all over the place. I thought I was able to multi-task until trying bowed string instruments, 😁.

Cookies today. Viola later. I think I will do bowing again and work on that. I also have to watch what I am doing with my right arm/wrist when bowing. I think that, doing Perpetual Motion and one octave G scale for a while, while I get comfortable with proper bowing, will pay for itself in the long run.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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December 16, 2021 - 1:44 pm
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Hi,

I'm pleased you're on the mend @Mouse .

There's so much to do all at once isn't there; I'm still practicing bowing on the violin and getting used to using all four fingers but now I'm gaining a bit of experience it's no longer feeling as strange as it did when I first started; it's been said many times it comes down to lots of practice but many give up finding it all too difficult. I practice at least once each day for only about 20 or 30 minutes but today I've practiced twice; if I try to practice too long I just lose the plot so little but often seems to work.

It sounds like a good plan to get good at one thing before moving on; I'm definitely a novice but agree good bowing control/technique is so important without this nothing else will fall into place; some days are better than others but stick at it.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Mouse
December 16, 2021 - 1:47 pm
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Thanks for the input.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 17, 2021 - 12:08 pm
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Well, Cookies did not happen the other day. Today I made the dough and it is chilling.

I did some work on the Violaman forum this morning. Later I will get my violin down and have a little fun with that. I think I will do the same exercises I am doing with my viola. Suzuki's Perpetual Motion and thenG scale. I will concentrate heavily on my bowing. I really need to improve that, or actually figure it out! Without good bowing, even when I am on with the intonation, it does not sound right, so I need to give myself a chance to recognize good intonation, that means proper bowing. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 17, 2021 - 2:32 pm
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Ma Blog, 

Just finished baking 54 cookies and cleaned up. After I rest a little, I will begin my violin lesson. I'll be working on the one octave G scale and Suzuki's Perpetual Motion. I do this starting on each string except the E string, of course. The book has it start on the A string. It only uses two strings, so I do it starting on strings G-A. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 22, 2021 - 1:41 pm
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Well, Ms Blog, I have been off for a few days. Busy with visitors. Will get back on track in a couple of days.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 23, 2021 - 11:34 am
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So, this morning I practiced my viola. I swayed from my lesson plans. I did a two octave C scale and D scale, s well as the G scale. I have not ventured up to tne G on the A string, yet, so the one octave is it for now. I have to get the D on the A string down pat, first. Hence, the two octave C and D scales. 

I also played a couple of songs. I did not do Perpetual Motion. I was in a mood for some older songs that I have memorized. They are not as intensive for fingering, etc, but I was working on the bowing with familiar, simpler songs. 

I tried doing the songs without looking at my fingers on the fingerboard towards the end. I am not there yet, so the tapes will be on for quite a while longer. I really don't mind. If I need the tapes to sound ok, then tapes it will be. I do not perform or play in front of anyone, so I do not see the point in rushing it. Been there, done that, a few times. Tapes are back.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 25, 2021 - 7:16 am
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Yesterday evening I did my cello. It was a, "Pay attention to bowing" session. I did a couple scales and then a couple songs that kind of make me pay attention to bowing more because they demand some dynamics. I hadn't played them in a while. I need to keep that book more to the front. I forgot about it. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 26, 2021 - 9:40 am
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Ms Blog,

Katie m created a post about goals for 2022. It got me thinking about one of the goals I have. This is one of my 2022 goals:

I would like to feel more comfortable recording myself. To me, that is the same as performing in front of people and with people. I think my thoughts on that might be good for my blog, so I will leave what I have issues with or what goes through my mind and its goofy way of thinking for my blog, in a few days. But, it takes me forever to record myself. I need to get over that. It might be that if I can achieve goal 1, this goal might be easier.

I think being able to record myself is also linked to needing more confidence in my playing. I do not play in groups. I do not feel I would actually add anything. I would feel too much pressure to not mess up. My intonation is sporadic, at best, non-existent at worst, rarely spot on or in the vicinity, without many many attempts. Playing with groups or in front of anyone is just too much pressure. 

When I record myself, that same pressure appears and I have to record it so many times. I am not talking about re-recording it because I missed a note or two. The minute the record button is hit, everything flies out the window. I can't find 1st position to start with, the bowing arm stiffens up, the music I memorized, is gone.

The locations of the parts on the actual sheet music I memorized, that I knew where to locate on the sheet music in case I need it, well, I can't find it, even though I was easily able to find the location on the sheet music I needed, without missing a beat, when I was playing without recording. That was a confusing mouthful. 😁

I associate recording myself with playing in front of an audience or with other musicians. That is not something I do. It is not something I am comfortable with. Never have been. 

I absolutely know my intonation is not great. It is true. There are not enough times when I am spot in, or in the vicinity. I am not great at reading music that is meant to be played fast, has a lot of 8th or 16th or shorter notes. I refer to this as having, "Too much black on the sheet music." That causes panic. I am not good at counting beats with too much black on the sheet music. Nothing to do with the color. I love to put a spot of black on cards I make, and quilts when I made them, because it causes quilts and cards to POP. But, on sheet music? Too much black on the paper is the trigger for panic. All of that makes me a bad candidate to be playing with a group. I will just hold them all back.

I think that the issue of recording myself, playing with other people and/or in front of an audience, all has to do with confidence. 

Ms Blog, this is a bit of a jumble mess of a post, but that is sort of the issue with recording myself. It is like playing in front of an audience, and all the above is my issue with playing with a group and/or in front if an audience. It is all linked. I posted it in my blog so that I could read it and maybe address it in the future.

When I took lessons, my instructors had to keep asking me to play louder. I did not even feel comfortable in lessons. So silly.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 26, 2021 - 5:56 pm
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Ms Blog,

Today I did bout an hour on my cello. I played some scales. I also found some songs that require position changes and one is in B flat major, a new key to work with.

Auld Lang Syne in B flat major. This is in my Cello Playing For Music Lovers With a Play-Along CD book. I love this book, but put it aside when I was going to create lessons. Today I decided that I need songs other than lesson songs to learn from. Lesson songs are great, but these songs actually use what I am learning in actual songs, not songs edited to use those learned items. Know what I mean? 

The other song I will be using is also from the above book, You'll Never Walk Alone. This is a lovely song. It has shifts and is a song where dynamics will mean a lot. I am sure you have heard of this song.

I also will be using, Berceuse by F. Schubert. This is a simple key of G. It has some 8th notes, but not too many, to where I am just flying all over the fingerboard and getting frustrated with too many notes. It is a great one for me to use to have to pay attention to my beat count. This is because of the assortment of the half, quarter and eighth It ends with a whole note the first go round and then ends with 4 measures of a whole note each of the 4mmeasures. This is good because I tend to cut whole notes short because of counting too fast so I don't run out of bow 😁. I will be paying attention to that.

The book mentioned above, also has lessons and tips. But, it is a song book and has some terrific songs. It is just not structured like weekly lessons as other lesson books that have a series of levels. I have not listened to the CD. They tend to frustrate me. They are always too well played, and that is depressing to me. The CD's that come with books also usually have flourishes that the student is not a level to be doing, and therefore the songs are not really played as written, which is what I want in a CD. That, also frustrates me. I need to hear them as written, no flourishes, no background music. Just the instrument and the notes. I have not wanted to take the chance of being disappointed with the CD, so for now, I have not listened to it.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 27, 2021 - 3:32 pm
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Ms Blog,

I did an hour on the viola this afternoon. I feel like I did pretty good. I found an old lesson book, mostly in German with English translation. I found a song in it that I can add to my lessons. I can't remember where I got this book, or when. 

I actually found a song in Book 2 of the main lesson book I am using that I have added, also. 

All in all, my session went well. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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December 27, 2021 - 5:05 pm
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I have heard of you will never walk alone, as has every single person in the north west of England, in Liverpool were I am from its sung in the kop at Anfield, its the unnoficial anthem of LFC.

I was also looking at Berceuse for violin, I have it in a romantic classical music book, looks very interesting. For learning I dont think you can go wrong learning first position by playing jigs and reels, on violin anyway, and then once you go for third learn them all again in that position, thats what I have done anyway, gOt my fingers used to placement without looking at an etude. And much more enjoyable as well.

I actually thought of getting a viola, but in the uk, what yOu get for the money isnt that great, pity fiddlerman doesnt have a shop over here.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Mouse
December 27, 2021 - 6:24 pm
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Thanks, Stringy.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
December 29, 2021 - 2:54 pm
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Ms Blog

I will be doing my cello for a few days. I have changed my hold of my viola, and had to order a new chinrest from Fiddlershop to accommodate that. Hopefully, the chinrest will do the trick. It has been shipped. Yippee!

Given the above mentioned, I did my cello, this morning for about an hour. I worked on what was mentioned in post 114. I also worked on a 3 octave G scale. This moved me up in positions on the A string. That is actually fun. I need to find some structured lessons or exercises for 3rd position. I watch videos, but I need printed hardcopy as a main source and then maybe videos to add to that. The search is on! Wow, I am on a quest. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
January 1, 2022 - 10:56 am
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Ms Blog

Yesterday evening I played my cello. I did the pieces in post #114. But I also,started positioning songs.

I am working on 4th position. I am using, Fourth Position for the Cello, by Cassia Harvey. I really like this book. It is nicely thought out and presented. I have ordered the study guid for this book. It will provide additional pieces. Since the pieces in this book are good selections, I am assuming the study guide will also be good. I have her Study guide for a Bach Suite, and it is really nice.

I feel I accomplished a lot in my trying to slide up to 4th from 1st finger in 1st position, 2nd finger in first position, 3rd finger in 1st position and 4th finger in 1st position on each string. The pieces accompanying the lesson really are appropriate and not forced to use the 4th position when tou normally would not, as a lot of books do to just use a particular song.

I will continue today by repeating these lessons.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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January 1, 2022 - 11:12 am
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@Mouse - It sounds like you ended the year on a good note (pun intended)! lol It's really great that you have found a book that not only makes sense on a personal level, but also helps you learning the technique! May your new year continue to show you progress.

The old curmudgeon!

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