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Emily's Journey Down The E/V Road!
Guess it was time to start this.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (76 votes) 
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ELCBK
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December 1, 2023 - 10:54 pm
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Boy, I need to fix my shoulder rest - so I can rock (literally 🤭) my new violin back & forth a little more comfortably. 

Having my violin position & my bowing arm work in tandem balances string crossings well for me.  Don't want my bowing elbow pointing up to the sky when I want to play on the lowest string & likewise, don't want to do some other contortion to play on the E string. 🙄 

🤔... looks like I'll be on a mission tomorrow.  Don't want to use anything like a sponge that touches the back side of the violin. 

Might get by with just wrapping the corners of my current rest with a little something (can't be slippery). 

I'll see about getting some self-adhesive velvet tape... hurts getting jabbed by my shoulder rest.  

 

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ELCBK
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December 3, 2023 - 4:17 pm
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Taken me a couple days, but getting accustomed to the wide neck & weight of my new 6-string Violin!  The wide neck was a HUGE surprise - much 'flatter' than a normal violin neck.  My thumb can be anywhere & feels GREAT!

I still have to keep an eye out so I don't accidentally end up on the wrong string! 🤭

The new rosin I'm trying from 'Lonesome Pine' helps too - more enjoyable to play, provides a little aromatherapy! 

I better come up with a name for this beast!  The thought's been gnawing away at the back of my mind - it's NOT mellow, definitely lively, alluringly blue... 🤔 

 

More of my Xmas playlist: Mistletoe - Vitamin String Quartet! 

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December 5, 2023 - 5:21 pm
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Taking a little break from my 'to-do' list, still thinking about a name for my new BLUE fiddle. (lol) 

Scoured the thesaurus, found "157+ Nicknames for Blue" (all with the word 'Blue' in them) - even watched a video about "Great Names for Blue Parrots"! 

Kinda liking 'Woebegone", as in woe be 'gone' - or Independence... not quite the feelin'.  Hyacinth, Celeste, Blue Jeans... Lana Del Rey...

Anyway, back to work! 

I did notice I feel MUCH better about playing on the pads of my fingers with this new instrument. 🤗  My other violin, 'Mortimer' - felt like I couldn't get a clear tone unless using my fingertips!  ...and CHOPS - HUA, making some better headway, now! 

The response on this fiddle makes a HUGE difference - starting to get pretty comfy!

35ecac1f34cc59fa649b2969dfc0ec22--emoticons-funny-smileys.jpg

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ELCBK
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December 7, 2023 - 2:32 pm
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Having trouble finding time for stuff I want to indulge in right now, but still testing out some new tunes. 

I first learn learn the notes acoustically (saves on batteries/charging time for my pre-amp & Mini Spark amp), then practice plugged in & adjust effects. 

This song, by Jamie Cullen, "Hang Your Lights" has some great potential as a bowed string tune! 

 

No doubt I have the 'Xmas Crazies'... still, hoping to squeeze in some time to transpose this tune, for once - think it's about time I started using Notion Mobile more often. 😉

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ELCBK
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December 10, 2023 - 2:14 am
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Hard to keep my mind on gift wrapping & Christmas cards, but it's a necessary... 

 

 

Still finding time to practice.

Yes!  Playing chops, or at least more of what sounds like chops, is easier on my new violin!  Think if I was planning on doing quite a bit, I switch to the 'Dark' Lonesome Pine rosin - it really caught every little sound I made. (lol)  The 3 rosin samples I got from Lonesome Pine are different to me, but can't really describe exactly why.  I still liking the 'Original' & still really haven't had a reason to try the 'Smooth' one. 

 

6bce51249192477bf50859322a815f98--xmas-cards-darth-vader.jpgdf504a16322ac7d51d8cc9817f0cab00.jpg

 

Nah, I better stick to trad Xmas cards... my lack of cheer IS disturbing!

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ELCBK
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December 15, 2023 - 2:24 pm
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Taking a break from Xmas prep, I was reminded today how much I truly enjoy music in high quality stereo sound. 

So, taking a quick look at what's available in PreSonus! 

Panning Modes - How To Use Them.  🤔... interesting options - but still keeps me tied to my laptop.

 

Listening time!  ...btw, "Fancy Like Christmas" (post #173) is definitely this Season's earworm! 

 

"It's Christmas Time" - Drama Dolls

Okay, gettin' in the mood. 

Jeez, I keep waffling... just WHAT sounds interesting?

🤔... so much can be done with Carol of the Bells!  

From Josh Vietti.  

 

idk... still feelin' kinda grinchy this year. 

NEED SOME SNOW!!! 

 

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ELCBK
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December 18, 2023 - 12:37 am
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Darn late for me to start workin' on some Xmas music I like, but I'm going to keep at it!  Jeez, with everything I get sidetracked on I'm going to need a year head start... and if years start flying by any faster, I may miss next Xmas all together!   

Still no name for my new Fiddle... I'm really behind. 😞

 

Needing a little more freedom in moving this fiddle around with the extra-wide neck!  Been fidgeting between using my shoulder rest vs not using one, but the finish is awful slippery... so I ordered a new shoulder rest to try.  Not going to mention more about it, unless it actually works out, though. 🤞 

I'm afraid I'll have to go to plan 'B' (which I'm sure would've saved me a lot of money if it had been my plan 'A'! 🥴) - so, going on the lookout for a thin piece of silicon material, siliconized fabric, or vinyl, to take the place of a handkerchief to drape over the end of my new fiddle. 

Too bad there isn't a 'Rain, Rain, Go Away, I have a Headache Day' Xmas tune! 

Need to find some 'Bright & Merry' with my new fiddle & little Spark amp...  

 

 

...ho, ho, ho!

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ELCBK
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December 19, 2023 - 7:21 pm
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A little 'Brighter & Merrier' today! 

My new 'Performa' Thermoplastic Shoulder Rest arrived. 

Included an extra-long-legged foot and an extra pad (thicker than the one originally on the rest).  It has 4 adjustment holes to screw one foot into - I needed the one for the 2nd widest.  I changed out the self-adhesive pad - the thicker one was more comfortable.  And, I bottomed out both shorter feet. 

My 1st impression:  I LIKE IT!!! 

Had been looking for a very low rest & this seems great!  It does change the sound a little - like just about any shoulder rest does, but will hopefully help me more than going restless. 

There is a wood version, supposedly weighs less - only time will tell if extra weight at this point is an issue. 

Of course I have to give it a week or 2 to see if I still feel the same about it. 

Might be worth checking out if you are looking for a low rest that feels like part of the instrument, but doesn't slide around. 

Performa-Violin-Shoulder-Rest.jpgImage Enlarger

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AndrewH
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December 20, 2023 - 12:57 am
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I use the wooden Performa for my violin. I like it. It's almost as low as playing without a rest, but feels much more secure.

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December 21, 2023 - 4:19 pm
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Funny_Christmas_Cat_Cartoon_hd.jpg@AndrewH -

Glad to hear that! 

I didn't want to spend the extra money to try the wood Performa for my Fiddle, but think I might splurge for the wood 'Viola' version, since my viola is only acoustic. 

Think I'm done foolin' around with set up... one 'weight off my shoulders'. 🤭 

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December 22, 2023 - 7:15 pm
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ALL I WANT FOR FOR CHRISTMAS IS TO BE DONE WRAPPING GIFTS SO I CAN PRACTICE MY VIOLIN! 

Changed things up this season.  While I sent out cards, helped with food & been wrapping a ton of little gifts - I've also listened to the misfits of Christmas Carols, in minor keys & non-traditional styles. 

It's all been fun - finding folks who obviously share some of my insanity during the Holidays... I can sooo relate! 

 

 

🤔... might have to work on the Iron Man solo after I get a chance to practice "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch"! 

 

 

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ELCBK
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December 25, 2023 - 7:18 am
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Have to say, it was great listening to AndrewH describe the wonderful "holiday music play-along party" he attended!  Jeez, I miss events with folks who share interests - wonderful opportunities to meet new people!  Makes me realize it might be time for me to start reaching out to local fiddlers/musicians this next year. 

Son-in-law brought his guitar to play a little ambient music while the Grandkids opened gifts early this year (Christmas Eve), which was really nice!  Really great that our Daughter decorated our smaller tree for us this year! 

I finally got a chance to try out playing a little of "Walking In The Air", "Once Upon A December" & "You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch" (+ more), on my new 6-string Violin while the Grandkids were busy with their plunder...  definitely not ready to record, but I DO LOVE the new 'Performa' shoulder rest!  NO MORE FIDGETING for a comfortable position before I start playing!  Received the wooden one to try on my Viola, just haven't had a chance to. 

2023-Christmas-Tree-2.jpgImage Enlarger

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ELCBK
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December 26, 2023 - 2:50 am
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I actually felt like picking up my new fiddle (still no name 😣) to play some music when my Brother & Sister-in-law called to wish us 'Merry Christmas'! 🤗

...saw their cat ran away as soon as I started playing. 

 

I don't think I deserved that. 

 

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December 27, 2023 - 3:32 am
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Got in some good practice today, while recuperating from Holiday overload.

Still in Xmas mode, though - I'm always keeping an eye out for examples of a little improv & found some!  

 

 

Pasha plays an electric NS 5-string, as well as an acoustic violin, but one thing leads to another (I'll have to learn that song) and I finally get back to business learning about another effects pedal!  Pasha & Sean Daniel try out the Empress 'Zoia'!  I've seen it mentioned before, but didn't really know much about it. 

 

So, this is pretty interesting, but wanted to know a little more about this pedal.  I'm impressed, but these pedals can be pretty pricey & I'm not so sure I'd be any better off than with my 'AKAI MPK Mini Play' - especially after I customize all my settings. 

 

Had started looking at synths before the Holidays - the Zoia uses a lot of presets & patches like my Spark amp app & Akai keyboard. 😊  Cool path to take for combined effects pedal/synth/stand alone instrument, all-in-one! 

I certainly have enough to play around with for now!

...hard to keep up any Holiday Spirit with our rainy weather - pretty bad when I have to pull out photos from last year just to get my Winter Snow 'fix'! 😪 

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December 28, 2023 - 2:40 am
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Have seen 'Loopy Pro' (ios app) used with the Akai Mini Play, but I have android - found a FREE alternative, 'LoopToGo'

Still haven't decided if I want to try it or not. 

 

 

Jeez, making progress playing on my E string, but it would be 100 times easier if I could play standing up!  There is VERY, VERY, LITTLE room to play it without hitting the A string or the edge (waist/C Bout) of my new 6-string fiddle - let alone a full bow stroke! 

I'll manage - just going to take me a little time.  Such a HUGE difference, dramatic changes in how each string is engaged!  I've gone so long without using an E string - feels like I have to treat it like a delicate thread & must be careful to barely touch it (way lighter touch than even my A string) vs. the strong contact I need for my lower strings.  It's really hard to curtail my enthusiasm on that string sometimes! 

 

Been interested in transcribing some major-key tunes to minor for some time now - love hearing what some creative folks have done with this, especially for Xmas! 

From Corey Lennox! 

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It's not that I necessarily love minor tunes (even though I do)... it's just I think it's great when a major tune is happily skipping along, then SURPRISE!, drops into a minor chorus (or even a 1-phrase switch) - to wake everyone up! 

 

Received the other Performa shoulder rest I ordered for my 5-string Viola - anxious to see how this wooden one works out for me!  Jeez, been so busy with the low F violin string, Spark mini amp & app, etc... really miss playing Edgar!

Oh well, still got lots to do, but should have more time to experiment on the electric side with my new 6-string Fiddle, Spark Mini amp, pedals & Akai MPK mini keyboard. 

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ELCBK
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December 31, 2023 - 9:26 pm
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I've been feelin' like something is missing from my EV & Spark amp/App & digital effects experience - just didn't know 'what' until I ran across this video, today!  

...got me wondering about playing LIVE IN STEREO (?) 

"Did Everything Just Change?" (Mike Cole) 

Okay, I'm a little miffed that Mike didn't go into detail with any cable/wiring diagram, but those 3 pedals are a little pricey - and still need speakers/cabinets. 

Now, looks like I've fallen into another rabbit hole, but this could be VERY exciting! 

I'D LOVE A LIVE STEREO alternative to playing/recording Mono with my Spark Mini amp - so I don't need to use Studio One to play in stereo with my laptop speakers!  My Spark Mini amp can act as a stereo bluetooth speaker, but it is only going to play/record my Violin as Mono. 

I did happen to buy the Spark 'Go' back when it came out - it's so small/cheap/convenient!  I originally thought it would come in handy, but didn't realize (at the time) all of it's potential!  I know it's beneficial as an audio interface, BT speaker, an amp for my 'Akai Play' keyboard - (now) possibly LIVE STEREO with an ABY Switcher (found as low as $36), or 'stereo amp pedal' (and some effects pedals ARE stereo). 

I do NOT know if I can use '1' Spark App with my 2 amps, or if I need to run 2 separate Apps. (*edit) Just learned the Spark 'Go' uses a completely different App than the Mini & Spark 40, so maybe more promising!  I'll still have to see if I have any BT issues using BOTH Apps on one phone!

My amps may be tiny, but I think worth experimenting with!  AND, even though both my little amps are the same make, they are NOT matching in power (the 'Go' is less) - don't know if I need to be concerned with phasing.  

I only have 2 pedals.  Unfortunately my 'Ditto Looper' is NOT the stereo version (🤔... regret?  MAYBE!), but my 'Electro-Harmonix Bass9 Bass Machine Pedal' has a 'wet' (effects) output AND a 'dry' output!  Both of my amps have custonizable digital effects to preset - so I don't really need any other external pedals, unless I want to loop (which I do).  So... I might have enough to split my Violin, play around with delay settings on one of the amps for more stereo feel - but it won't give me any live switching capability that I like in stereo. 

I still have a lot to figure out with how I want to incorporate my Akai Play keyboard & looping - can't find much info in the Positive Grid Community, may need to ask questions there 1st. 

BUT, listening to myself actually practice/play in my bedroom, in stereo, would be AWESOME - maybe just what I am missing!!! 

Why You Should Try a Stereo Amp Rig (FOR ELECTRIC VIOLIN, VIOLA, OR CELLO)! 

ABY Switcher allows switching signal from one amp to the other - or to both amps at the same time. 
Not expensive! 

aby-pedal-diagram.jpg

There are more configurations possible for musicians who use a more traditional rig with pedal board. 

60995-Another-Chance-For-Us-To-Get-It-Right.jpg

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ELCBK
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January 1, 2024 - 4:19 pm
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Info on playing electric violin is ridiculously scarce, compared to electric guitar.  So, even though I'm not interested in playing electric guitar/bass, AND I use a different type of pickup system (with a pre-amp) - I search for tips & tricks from seasoned electric guitarists. 

Has anyone used an 'electrical parts/switch cleaner spray' for jacks & electronic controls? 

Saw this mentioned several places - surprisingly hadn't occurred to me (even though I have cats, little kids, live on a dirt road, etc...) that dust & dirt on these sensitive parts can effect sound.  Bought expensive instrument cables, but I'm getting the feeling that mini amps might already be more prone to picking up unwanted noise. 

Since I have batteries for pre-amp & amp (some folks even use batteries for pedals) - I disconnect the cables to potentially save on battery life, but that usually means my cables are loosely coiled nearby - unprotected from dust, dirt and possible damage to the ends!  ...I only have a few & not very long ones, but don't think it's good to just throw them in a box either, unless maybe in individual bags (?) 

Guitar [and Violin] Cables for Stage and Studio: The Complete Guide 

Jeez, I better start labeling my cables, now!  ...didn't realize how many different cables there are!  

More about batteries - "Dying Battery Effect" - I think it's hilarious there's a plugin available that simulates this!

maxresdefault.jpg

New to EV & never used an amp?

Here's a nice guide for beginner amp set up - wish I'd seen this before I started! 

"How To Set Up a Guitar [Violin] Amp: The Complete Guide" - if you are just starting out keep in mind you won't be using the same kind of pickup for Violin, as guitar, but good info for initial control settings on an average amp! 

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ABitRusty
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January 1, 2024 - 5:13 pm
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Has anyone used an 'electrical parts/switch cleaner spray' for jacks & electronic controls? 

I wouldnt spray it into the jack.  use a cotton swab..preferably one of the longer ones made of wood if can find them.  You have to be careful with those types sprays..most probably are safe for platics and finishes but personally i wouldnt chance it.

Alcohol always seems to work just fine.  Cleaners like your speaking of id use if its more in a work environment where things have a chance to get containmenated with oil/fluid and dirt.  even then paying atttention to overspray.

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ELCBK
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January 1, 2024 - 10:41 pm
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@ABitRusty -

Yeah, I'm not keen on using ANY kind of spray in the house, even with a directional nozzle... overspray always get on/in stuff you don't notice, until later - besides alcohol is always on hand. 

You'd think, for the cost, these cables would get the 'white glove' treatment & never see any dirt... but you know how those roadies can be! 🙄🤭 

 

Relaxing to an old one, tonight - think the Moody Blues had a big influence on me, with their 'symphonic' Rock. 

150601-Happy-New-Year.jpg

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January 2, 2024 - 4:56 am
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Need a name for my new 6-string Fiddle!

Woo BLOO! 

(too much?)

 

Think I got a serious name contender  

MYSTIQUE 

 

...yeah, the Blue 'Marvel' chameleon character (too cliché?), but WAY before that

it was my 1st Blue Great Dane. 

 

Thought about 

WELKIN 

MAZARINE 

RUKA 

 

It's a start... at least going for feminine names this time. 🤗 

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