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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 (77 votes) 
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ABitRusty
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August 5, 2023 - 12:46 am
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@elcbk I made this and played it along with the recording.  Im having to do this on a phone speaker and let the mp3 loop as i liaten to the original recording and The C min scale does seem fit better like you say!  Yeah im with you.  Id like to do this again with presonus tomorrow or sunday and double check.   from what i could hear the 'A' key sig scale B dorian was yuck... Bm wasnt much better... Cmin worked best.   now keep in mind im playing your youtube and also playing my scale video audio expoeted from notion and playing in amazing slow downer because i can use that to play audio in the background on my phone.   its an app/phone limitation thing.   just explaining because i cant match volume levels well so i may hear something yuck later in presonus...boy that happens alot these days 🤣  anyway..heres the scale in video gormat

https://youtu.be/9S-BXoic-IE

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ELCBK
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@ABitRusty -

Thanks!  Appreciate the effort! 

I can't always tell - there's been plenty of times I played what I 'thought' was supposed to be there & wasn't (😳).  Sometimes I learn a tune down a 3rd or a 5th while listening to it, because of my strings - but I'm trying not to get completely screwed up. 

 

I've had to really pay attention to these tunes - they are back & forth all over the place! Only made it up to .35 speed with "The Smokey Lum", tonight! 

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ELCBK
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August 6, 2023 - 2:11 am
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a1a99a7985b6aa8ef6efba0e40713f22.jpg

My brain must've been fried... had to edit my previous post. 😔

"Maggie's Pancakes" IS played in 'C'min (starting 1:00) in the 'Tannahill video' - NOT 'B'min!!! 

NO WONDER I WAS HAVING TROUBLE PLAYING ALONG! dazed

The 'easier-to-follow' play-along I was originally using by Benoit Volant for,  Maggie's Pancakes Reel, is in 'B'min (and refer's to The Session - also 'B'min).  I still may need to use it a little until I get the feel of it better, but I'm pretty close.

At least I know it well enough I could understand why I was having such a problem, tonight.  The Tannahill video starts off on G, down to C & bowed triplet C - that would be on the 'E' & 'A' strings (I'm playing an octave lower), then back to G, up a half step to 'Ab', etc... I soon also use the 'Bb' & 'Eb' - ALL of the 'C' MINOR SCALE & resolving on 'C'. 

I hadn't planned on learning the last 2 tunes in the set ("Dancing Feet" & "The Mason's Apron"), but I'd take a closer look if I did. (lol) 

So the gang at The Session swears this is also in 'B'min - and offered up THIS video of Stuart Morison playing HIS tune, but NO ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE HE PLAYS IT IN 'C' MINOR!  (starts at 4:48)*

(*edit) Stuart Morison DOES play in Bmin in THIS 'Ceolbeg Reels' video!  I finally sat down at the kids' keyboard to go over it. 🥴

I had to slow it down to .5 speed to play along & check, but at least it's nice to see he doesn't play it as fast LIVE as is the recording of the Set I'm using.  

 

I'm only kinda upset it took me a few days to figure this all out, because it lead me to believe these tunes were more difficult than they actually are... now I can get on with it.*

(*edit) Guess it took me longer than I thought! (lol)

f23f3ba46b96721c07983c96c2b03c07.png

- Emily

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ELCBK
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This is absolutely KILLIN' ME!!! 

I had to edit my previous post.  I am SO glad I didn't mention anything at The Session yet. facepalm

I've got a few days practice on "The Smokey Lum" & probably got it as fast as I'll ever play it (.6), but half speed is the most enjoyable for me to set the Tannahill video at - so I redirected my attention to "Maggie's Pancakes". 

I finally had to pull out the 'big guns' & settle this... the grandkids' 2 octave piano! 

To the best of my ability, this is the bottom line: Stuart Morison DOES play Maggie's Pancakes in Bmin in the "Ceol Reels" video, BUT it's played in Cmin for "The Best Ever Celtic Collection" & Tannahill's "Dancing Feet" album recordings! 

NOW, it might be because Maggie's Pancakes follows after a different tune (in the "Ceol Reels" video)... possibly a decision made for THAT particular live performance.  Only talking about a half step difference here & there IS the possibility they could have tuned lower for that live performance.  

"Maggie's Pancakes" (Cmin) - sharing where it starts, right before 1:00 in this "Dancing Feet", Tannahill Weavers album. 

VS... 

Benoit Volant playing a Bmin version from thesession.org notation. 

 

It's easier for me to hear the difference using "The Best Ever Celtic Collection" video, only because I can get more volume.  NOT all Tannahill Weaver tunes on this album, btw.

AND, I still feel "The Smokey Lum" is most definitely in Cmin in both "The Best Ever Celtic Collection" & the "Dancing Feet" albums!  It's what I have been playing, anyway.

 

...okay, so I'm back to learning "Maggie's Pancakes" - really well in Bmin FIRST, then it will be easy to learn it a half step higher (Cmin) to play along with "The Smokey Lum"! 

Of Course, I would LOVE corroboration on all this! 😁 

 

4c7d084fb5d7d4cddfa7247c5f0de3c4.png

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ABitRusty
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August 11, 2023 - 6:26 pm
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nothing wrong with using a keyboard to help.   have to ask...why didnt you from start if you had it available?  is it difficult to setup and such?   thinking it would be handy to ha e close.

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ELCBK
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It's not flat like an electronic keyboard, just awkward/heavy enough I can't use a walker and try to haul it around at the same time & can't leave it sitting on me - love the sound of it, though. 🥴  

Be nice if one of the free virtual keyboards I can quickly/easily pull up would just respond better/faster - frustrated with them. 🙄

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ABitRusty
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@ELCBK said
It's not flat like an electronic keyboard, just awkward/heavy enough I can't use a walker and try to haul it around at the same time & can't leave it sitting on me - love the sound of it, though. 🥴  

Be nice if one of the free virtual keyboards I can quickly/easily pull up would just respond better/faster - frustrated with them. 🙄

  

yeah i can understand that

 

as much as you like studying music theory and different stuff though... I could see you getting use of something like this... and being foldable and portable maybe it would help with that.

 

wonder if it would bluetooth to the spark?

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ELCBK
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August 12, 2023 - 2:13 am
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@ABitRusty -

Oh NO! 😲 I want one! 

Jeez, I can't keep the kids out of stuff - how am I ever going to convince them to try to play an instrument if one of them finds out they can play the violin just by touching a key?!! 😱 

🤔... I still want one, think it would help me straighten out some stuff in my head... trying to figure out where I can hide it. (lol) 

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Gotten away from my pedals for some time now. 😔 ...but I'm always thinking of what I'll try next. 

Twin's Birthdays done, I need to focus on Fiddle Hell replays now - availability ends the 17th, plus preparing for eldest Granddaughter's Birthday next week.  After that, we're still organizing & working out what's to be donated or sold of Kevin's & my stuff, but hope I can find some new energy to get back experimenting without sacrificing practice time.  Squeezing in about an hour & a half (total) of playing/practicing per day, doesn't go very far working on many different things.  

With all the work I've been doing to make left hand movement more natural for better use of my pinky - figured it's time I start doing more than a few random doublestops... like getting comfortable with the awkward fingering ones & move toward extended fingerings.  

Only had time to refresh my memory with a few videos for tips including: Fiddlerman's suggestion to use Ševčík etudes (Double Stops on the Violin by Fiddlerman), Simon Streuff's basics of the different types (Double Stops on the Violin), Prof. Wm Fitzpatrick's judging distance & fingering for major & minor thirds (How to Play Thirds on the Violin - Understanding Thirds) & Giora Schmidt's tips on finger pressure for octaves (How To Practice Octaves). 

...trying not to stay up all hours of the night, but going to try to squeeze a little more doublestops in along with everything else. 😊

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ELCBK
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I'm back to playing with my amp - caught up in a Halloween mood! 

...and it feels GOOD!

Still playing recent & older stuff - haven't been doing enough double stops but I felt it was time to stop playing acoustic, get back to how it feels to play electric & just have some fun! 

So, I've been working on "The Count" by Audiomachine (There's a Wicked Fiddler here - am I in the right Genre? Thread

https://search.audiomachine.co.....ks=am75-31

NO, I don't sound like this, yet. 😊  I have to say though, I'm not daunted - not after learning "The Smokey Lum" & getting it fast!

Been having a riot tuning my low F string down even LOWER!  Makes me laugh trying to play a low C2 then bow or pluck notes 2 to 3 octaves higher (going to take me time to get smooth transitions).  Just getting acquainted with this tune, working on each section, experimenting along the way (I really don't want to do a whole bunch of pizzicato).   

I don't have any notation for this track, so I decided to jump over to look at this on a virtual keyboard to see the octaves, chord/arpeggio movement I'm hearing, laid out in front of me.  I know I can play 3 octaves in 1st position - having 5 strings, but I want to consider how other positions can make playing easier, and... 

I started thinking about how I want to COLOR the notes! 

 

Then it was dinnertime, the perfect time to think - Warning: Rabbit Hole! 

Just so happens, speaking of COLOR, I've also recently been thinking about fiberart for Xmas gifts & projects for the Grandkids (yarns, decorative threads, fabrics)... yeah, may be late to get a whole lot done for this Xmas, but going to start.  Aside from synesthesia, it's nothing new to assign musical notes a color value.  

Rivera0-large.jpgImage Enlarger

I was thinking about simply making something in a patchwork style that the kids could interpret as a tune to play.  A pleasant design that also makes them think!

  • must decide what it will be & if it needs to be washable - a wall hanging, a toy, a throw blanket, or something wearable 
  • need to decide if I'd just lay out a sequence of notes as individual color blocks, or maybe subdivide larger 'blocks' that represent each beat or measure (kids like puzzles, but can't make it too difficult to understand) 
  • must decide the layout of the 'note blocks' ('blocks' could be any shape) - in rows, a spiral or a free-form path - or combination 
  • need an easily identifiable beginning point
  • need a color 'key' somewhere on the projects, or else indiscreetly identify the note name in each 'block'
  • need to assign colors & materials to notes (maybe last), natural color order vs random - decide how to distinguish accidentals and octaves - octave range
  • use physical spacing to indicate phrasing - maybe use color intensity or shape size for dynamics - more complex shapes could portray ornaments (but too advanced for kids now)
  • must choose how I want to portray note length - pick a standard eighth & use multiples, or use a different size for each note value 
  • must pick some great tunes - maybe do this 1st (will influence block shapes & layout)!  Xmas tunes, children's songs, or just tunes I like 

Just wanted to share the start of my design process - I start with little lists like this before I define details, no matter what I design.  I recently found some children's tunes in old books (embellished with vintage illustrations), while we were going through stuff - I never heard them growing up, will see if I can't print/scan one or 2 well enough to share, but this is all I have time for tonight. 

Dracula Coming Out Of Grave Emoticons

 

Glad to be back playing with my mini spark, but I'm going to finally dig out my new strings to put on. 

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Another crazy busy day, but I still got in practice time. 

I've practiced some ricochet bowing this year, but for "The Count" (still hard for me to hear exactly what's happening in the recording) I might need to be able to do some 'Saltando'. 

Took me more effort to relax than anything else - felt like I got a workout when I probably wasn't supposed to. 🙄  Got help from Dr Lynn's "Arpeggiated Ricochet/4 String Saltando" video tutorial... will be practicing this a little every day now - along with a little of EVERYTHING ELSE! 😳 

It's working out pretty well playing with two C strings next to each other - an octave apart.  I had tried lowering my C3 string last year, didn't work out so well, but it wasn't the Thomastik Vision C or low F string (I'm using now).  Can't remember what brand strings I had on before, without looking it up - not surprising, woke up this morning & thought it was Sunday! 🥴  ...think I was using a short Viola C string. 

I'm at a bit of a disadvantage with this tune.  Pitch is low enough I can't really slow any of it down to help me learn it by ear - harder for me to determine exactly what notes are being played where the tempo speeds up.  

My vibrato still sucks.

...as long as I make a little progress, I'm happy.  🤗

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This IS a crazy adventure I'm on - pretty sure everyone thinks I'm nuts by now... like talking about 'extended chords' in the same breath as 'Violin' (Seventh & Extended Chord Harmony Thread). 😄 

In all fairness, even if I only had 4 strings on my Violin & Viola... I'd still see them as capable of 'rhythm' AND 'melody' - at the same time, now (which I didn't when I started learning to play). 

Much of this may start to sound unrelated to playing Electric Violin & looping, but (to me) it IS directly related to HOW I want to record my playing of EV, looping & effects.  I just wasn't sure where I was going.

Exploring chord voicing 'color', the 'upper structure' of extended chords is new & exciting for me, now that I've had the chance to listen/hear how they can make me feel.  So, 'if' I know the key I'm going to play in, eventually it won't matter if I play the melody, or if I accompany myself (or someone else) - I'll be able to influence the overall sound (maybe by just adding or changing a few choice notes), while keeping a melody recognizable. 🤗

I want to have some kind of plan to move forward.

My attempts at comping to video recordings (that aren't even mine) has been about as basic as it gets, just relying on what I hear & more concerned with rhythm. 

  1. still need to practice more 'comping' to different recordings - including my own
  2. identify what key I'm in, the 'typical' triads & progression 
  3. listen to more altered, extended chords - in the keys I usually play
  4. loop the triads/progression 
  5. play the melody over the loop 
  6. find a few specific 'chord voicings' I like for the situation & how I want to play them by trying over the loop 
  7. record everything that sounds good & take notes (so I don't forget). 
  8. it would help if I can think more in terms of 'riffs', in relation to (or as) the upper extended chord structure 
  9. feeling a connection to blues & jazz, but I just plainly need to practice a bunch, a wide variety of riffs  - like I have the tunes. 
  10. convince myself this is all fun, not 'work'

Yep, going to take me quite awhile - there's SO MANY POSSIBILITIES! 😵 

...not much of a plan, but might keep me headed in a direction!

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Wow!  I 💖REALLY 💖 LOVE 💖 THIS FORUM! 

...just reflecting on how every thread is an adventure, to me. 🤗 

I always feel like I start by stepping into the middle (of anyone's topic), go backwards, forwards, sideways, up & down... and end up learning something wonderful about music & our bowed string instruments! 

One of my goals, from the start of playing violin, was to get a better understanding of what makes me LOVE music & bowed string instruments. 

#1 on my list - has to be emotion.  Each and every thing about music seems to be a deep well of emotional possibilities - violin/viola seem the best chance (for me) to express a wide range... will be exciting to discover just 'how wide'. 

#2 on my list - has to be variety/variation.  The last thing I want in this World (🤔 actually I NEVER want this) is to listen to, or play, music that makes me feel bored - or worse yet, nothing...  It's just like how I enjoy the path a good story takes me - the scenery & range of emotions I feel along the way.  There is such a HUGE variety of left hand & bowing techniques that can be learned on violin/viola - also, many different music theory principles can be manipulated - don't think I'll ever get bored! 

 

I'm still glad I chose an electric/acoustic 5-string bowed instrument to start with.  It was kinda just a whim, but chose it not only for the broad pitch range, also the extra added range of 'tone quality' capability.  Maybe most important, I think I'll eventually be able to channel harmonies I grew up with & love, in my playing - using lower bass lines, chord voicing options, along with playing techniques and electronic sound manipulation. 

 

giphy-downsized-large.gif  

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I really enjoy reading your blog … you have so much knowledge !!!! Thanks for all your posts . 

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8cabde08c5baaf4c1eed1db32bc64304.jpg

@Katie L -

Thank you, for helping to keep me motivated! 

I'm just slowly picking up things - more questions than knowledge, but if I don't keep talking about new things & playing new music, I'll probably fall in the hole I dug! 😄 

 

I actually tried some left hand pizzicato notes today! 🤗

Tried a few times (like a year or so ago) - only just did open strings at that time, with each of my 4 fingers.  Today, I did each string stopped, but started with open string (plucked with 1st finger, 2nd,3rd 4th), then 1st finger down on string (plucked with 2nd finger, 3rd & 4th), then 2nd finger down on string (plucked with 3rd finger & 4th), then 3rd finger down (plucked with 4th).

Went twice through on all strings, except for my 2nd highest string ('D' right now) - have NO idea why I can't seem to do it on that string! 😳  The only thing I can think of is I never did reshape my bridge & it's a pretty straight shot between my G-D-A strings. 

I can't do much - I'm trying to keep my skin from getting too hard.

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Decided my playing-by-ear exercise tonight is to play some of these chords (arpeggiated) on my 5-string fiddle... I'm in the mood, but it's getting late! 

Dark Chords 

 

306d7c485e8ff591cf748ae7d31e392a.jpg

 

@ABitRusty -

Thanks for tuning me on to Fretjam!

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I'm generally happy practicing, making some kind of improvements and learning something new everyday. 

Lately, it's taken a toll on me - taking time (when I don't really have it) cramming to get a better understanding of 'how music works'.  I don't know if I'll ever want to stop listening for new things to try to play, but I need to take a break.  I have a whole list of music stuff I want to work on and experiment with that's not included in all that.  

Everything I've done (so far) has not all been for naught, though! 

I watched/listened to "How The Beatles Got THAT Tone on Let It Be" - Friday Fretworks with Chris Buck, tonight (not really sure why, just curious).  Then I really got into it when I started to realize, HEY - I understand everything Chris is talking about! 🤗 I'm NOT a closet 'guitarist-wannabe'... it's just I can relate it to playing my EV, with my amp & patches/pedals. 

Then, the highlight of my night... 

This recent Rick Beato interview!  Dominic Miller not only does a little tutorial on his riff (I can pick up by ear), but then he talked about how he's going to arrange a tune book that takes the essence (and he's SO GOOD AT THIS) of some iconic songs, even some Bach - so the best bits of the harmony, along with the melody (instead of vocals) is arranged into something interesting (but not virtuosic) for a solo guitarist to just have fun playing! 

Listening to the way he played his examples, I'm thinking, WOW - maybe perfect for violin/viola, too! 

 

Dominic starts talking about this at 11:21 - examples he plays (like Elton John's "Your Song") are WHAT I WANT TO PLAY (bowed) on the 5-string Violin & Viola!!! 

The whole video is fabulous!  Dominic also talked about who he listened to when younger (I remember Robin Trower!) & how he sees music - really enjoyed this interview!

 

Let's face it, I grew up listening to SONGS, not much dance music - even though I hear singing in my head, I want to play the melody & not sing it. 

THIS IS SO EXCITING!  ...but I'm screwed if he notates them all in tabs. 😳 

...now I have to go ask. 🙄

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ed9bfac49727b787eeb820dec346dce0.jpg

I AM still trying to define 'what' a performance means to me. 🥴

...inching closer to 'something'.

 

I don't want to lose track of my original purpose for learning the Violin - to spontaneously play for myself and the few humans/critters in my tiny World. 

I'm going to continue to use my phone for recording video & whatever I can do with my Spark amp app, but I'm not so keen on using my current audio recording app.

I'm STILL going to have to pre-record some kind of backing to play along with... cause I still can't handle a bunch of button pushing acrobatics on my looper & controller WHILE I'M PLAYING! 

Theoretically, if I want to limit using my looper, my choices are (notice my list is getting smaller 😁):

  1. record percussion on looper & play something along with it on EV.  Then, run that recording on my laptop & record myself playing acoustic Viola over the top of it.  
  2. record my acoustic Viola & play it loud enough on my laptop - so everything I play along with it (using my amp) won't drown it out. 
  3. record a percussion track running along with me playing acoustic Viola.  Then load that backing onto my looper & record myself playing EV thru my Spark amp effects with it.   Now, my looper comes before any amp patch I choose (with it's own characteristics) - so the amp patch will also affect everything on the looper. 
  4. it's possible that backing can be replayed thru my Spark 'app' & recorded along with my playing & whatever is on my looper... along with a recording on laptop, too? 

Maybe I need to consider how I can put my Spark Amp to good use as a 'speaker' - maybe I can have better control over volume of something I've recorded, but want to play along with.  Would sound better than my laptop, unless I'm already using it...

OMG!  Forgot, I also purchased the little mini Spark 'Go' amp (intended for the Grandkids)!  I'll have to see if I can use THAT as a bluetooth speaker, while I also record playing with my Mini Spark amp!

...except I've also forgotten all about my Controller! 

Maybe later, I'm still too excited about playing on new strings & happiness is fleeting!

 

My new PRIORITY (besides Halloween): 

pick JUST ONE TUNE/SONG  
so I can narrow my focus!!! 

...easier said than done for me - going to have to make it a mission! 

...a CHALLENGE!  🎃 

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ELCBK
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I forgot about a few VERY important things! (edited my previous post) 

I'm NOT happy with the 'Music Recorder' app I installed on my phone! 

...probably because I'm not paying for the 'Pro' version. 🙄 

There's not really anything for me to adjust.   

On my current audio recording app, I have the option of selecting: 

• a 'sampling rate' (up to 96000 Hz - default 44100)

• a 'bit rate' (up to 320 kbps - default 128) 

• mono or stereo 

• microphone or 'Internal Audio' (from other apps, can only access with Pro version) 

• recordings shared as an mp3

Pulling My Hair SmileyI really need suggestions for a better audio recording app (Android)... know I've asked this in the past (sorry, can't remember). 

...desperately need tips on settings, too.

Confused Head Scratching Emoticons I HAVE been looking back over topics in the "Recording The Violin" Section.  

ff93e28d77a3915a6de65873781c1ce4.jpg

WOO HOO!  

Just remembered (duh) I can use Kevin's phone, along with mine - to record from different areas/vantage points AT THE SAME TIME!!! 

🤔... maybe better than 2 mics - both audio, both video, or one audio & one video!  Unfortunately they will BOTH still be in fairly close proximity (within reach), unless I can talk Kevin into helping me. 

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ABitRusty
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i dont know this for certain and it will depend on the device...but im thinking most phones have a stereo mic type setup...so no adavtage to using 2 stereo mic setups like youre suggesting...it could very well sound worse trying that method.

A better thing would be to play the same tune and make a recording of yourself playing along to the 1st one and mix those together.   

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