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Retired in retirement.
Life's ups and downs.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (166 votes) 
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stringy
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November 6, 2021 - 6:24 pm
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By the way colin I have said this before on here but I never think of what the note actually is as I am playing, I associate the dots with were my fingers go, If asked I could tell you what the note is  but I honestly never think, like, 'oh thats a b I need to play, you also dont have to read music to play fiddle, but it helps a great deal when learning scales.

Others may think differently but this works for me.

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

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November 7, 2021 - 2:30 pm
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Hi,

I'm running to stand still as usual.

Many thanks Andrew; I have two electronic tuners and can only rely on these for accuracy at the moment; I can manage clear sound on both the E & A strings but I'm absolute rubbish with the D & G strings but I keep having a go; my practice sessions seem to vary such a lot; being so near the violin I haven't a clue as to what my playing sounds like further away; so much yet to learn; I'll have a go at listening though as you kindly suggest. I can play different notes using all four fingers in turn on the E & A strings but I can't yet name the notes which I'm sure will eventually come as I keep practicing. I'm not far from Bradford living in darkest Huddersfield; the problem for me buying a violin I wouldn't know a good violin from a poor violin so expert help would be a real boost; the two violins (£160 range each) I have just don't sound right whilst I play them but then I'm on top of the violins so perhaps they sound a lot different from a distance.

Thanks stringy; yes Gumtree and if the seller was further away from us he'd be in France; I've decided to politely let it go. I practice entirely on my own so I can't compare or even discuss personally with anyone; my friends don't play stringed instruments so I'm on my own apart from the generous help I receive from you and other forum members which I really do appreciate. How typical stringy for your luthier to move to another country; things somehow don't work out for the better these days; I've browsed music stores within reasonable distance but they all appear to sell very expensive kit and the one I contacted didn't even reply perhaps because I wasn't going to be spending a great deal of money; I might be unkind but time is money these days few having little time for novices. I'm still practicing using the bow and think I'd make a better Robin Hood than a violinist; as they say though practice makes perfect and I've enjoyed two short practice sessions today; I'm still struggling supporting my violins and I don't know of anyone who can assist helping me set up a shoulder rest but I'll not give in.

Thanks also stringy; yes I'm still battling on with my violin making project and making steady but very slow progress; I've just bought a tin of impact adhesive through eBay to use on the spool clamps I'm making; I don't have leather belting but I've got a long roll of rubber strip I can glue to the spools; I'll be adding full details as work commences; my head's full of violins and I think I'm trying too hard doing everything at once. My birthday was the end of August when Bron generously bought me my first violin so with hindsight I've actually come a long way in such a short time; I've every intention of making a violin but I know it won't be quick; I've even considered not buying a more expensive violin in the hope the violin I make turns out well.

I've felt a bit odd since my Covid booster jab; this morning my nose was blocked and sore also I'm prone to sneezing but now at the end of the day I've come round so am raring to crack on again.

Kind regards, Colin.

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stringy
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November 7, 2021 - 3:12 pm
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I think you are extremely wise to let the gum tree fiddle go.

I also think you should stick with the equipment you have till you have made your own violin.

Set up of the fiddle is extremely important to sound quality no matter what the price, for instance if the bridge is in the right place and at the correct angle, to set the bridge it is lined up with the f hole notches, and to gèt the angl e rightyou use a credit cardheld edge on behind the bridge and touching it, the bridge should be flat against the edge of the credit card and will look like its leaning back slightly, there are vids on you tube showing how to do both things quite simple but make a huge difference to sound. you prob already know this but just in case. The sound of your violin is also to a great extent down to the player, and as you are just startiing out a more expensive instrumemt probably wouldnt be much use to you, dont fall into the trap of buying loads of fiddles, wait till you have made your own and then find an amateur orchestra, there must be some in yorkshire, they even have one were I live, and thats saying something. Ask the lead violinist if he would try your fiddle and give an opinion, he would be only too pleased.

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

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stringy
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November 7, 2021 - 3:15 pm
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I also dont have a teacher either, this is a great place to get advice, I did have one lesson and then the plague hit, I also had another very, very good teacher lined up who then said she wouldnt take anymore at the last minute because of the plague.

I struggled with shoulder rest issues for a long time as well, a lot is to do with relaxing when you play.

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

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November 8, 2021 - 4:27 am
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Hi,

Many thanks stringy for your wise advice and I'd come to the conclusion to wait to see how my violin making project turned out; when I succeed I'll buy a set of top quality strings after all I'm going to so much effort; time and expense a bit more money won't bankrupt me; I'm taking my time with the violin build and want to spread the project over winter; I'm already finding it highly interesting and I can use my skills and experience gathered over a lifetime; I didn't think I'd be blacksmithing but just making the knives I'll really be at home doing as I enjoy metal working as much as I enjoy woodworking so this project encompasses both and I see lots of fun ahead as the project unfolds; I'm making it up as I go along with no fixed plan of action; at the moment I'm collecting tools and materials I'll need possibly going well over the top but now in retirement both Bron and I have funds to indulge in our various hobbies.

I'm aware of bridge position importance having watched lots of YouTube videos but thank for your advice and useful way of checking bridge angle; I'll check the bridge on both violins and report back; this must be unusual though because it won't cost anything.

I fully agree with you stringy; as a novice I've no experience of violins to fall back upon so I'm doing things as I usually do the hard way but I'm enjoying myself; what surprised me was that Bron generously bought me the brand new violin at £160 and a short while later I bought the second hand violin including books for £25 having to restring it costing a further £20 but both violins are much the same as I play them? I'm also aware I could spend £2K and still end up with a poor sounding violin; I'll hang back a bit and now regard the Gumtree violin I was interested in as a caution to me not to be in such a hurry otherwise I could get badly burned.

I'm being very careful indeed regarding the Covid plague; I've had three Covid jabs and Bron has her third this Wednesday but I can't understand the complacency being shown by so many not wearing face masks and I really do cringe when I see footballers hugging and kissing just because a ball has been kicked into a net but then this is much more important than Covid. I don't want to turn this into a rant it's just that Covid is still a very high risk even to those of us fully jabbed up; this is one of the reasons I'm reluctant to meeting people like violin tutors; at Rufforth Auto Jumble last Saturday I felt unsafe and exposed with so many not wearing masks and their idea of social distancing being about 2" common sense these days appears to be very rare indeed.

Well said stringy; yes this forum is the place to be for both novices and experts; access to this sheer amount of knowledge and information totally free is just wonderful; I'm still pretty new kid on the block but am amazed to see my post count top 90 and increasing; the members on here are just brilliant and I'm pleased to be a small part of it; it's impossible for me to browse everything and I feel rather guilty members like you stringy are going well out of their way to help me whilst I simply don't have time to follow all the other threads; I've bought two violin making books that I need to make time to read but something always gets in my way. I was out of bed at 6 o'clock this morning it being a supermarket shopping day; last week I was up two mornings at 6 o'clock for the shopping runs and also at 5am Saturday when I attended Rufforth; I'm supposed to be retired whatever retirement is?

Kind regards, Colin.

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November 8, 2021 - 2:05 pm
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Hi,

I've mentioned a number of times my dream of playing Lara's Theme on a violin I make myself; I'm still making steady progress with the violin project but this afternoon I got nearer to playing the theme at least the beginning.

Once again with many thanks to Emily @ELCBK for posting the Lara's Theme tutorial: I had problems in that my computer is a long way away from the studio so I found memorizing virtually impossible but I've been experimenting.

I can't read music like a professional instrument player so why not use my training to change the music video to suit me into something I can understand;

WOW; I can roughly play the beginning of Lara's Theme covering "Somewhere my love" the first four notes; this is only the start but highly encouraging and the way I've done it is this.

Laras-theme._0001.JPGImage EnlargerLaras-theme._0002-2.JPGImage Enlarger

I used "emachineshopcad" to draw sets of four parallel lines representing the violin strings as shown; then I opened the video but with lots of patience I kept pausing the video to record the notes as they played; I then added dots to the lines but nmbered the dots in correct play order; I've not seen this done before but possibly someone has already thought of this method. I've played the first four notes over and over; at first I was very poor indeed with lots of unwanted scratching etc but I found if I applied a light touch using the bow  the tune started to come alive much to my amazement.

This is just the start and now I'll redraw the lines and add better spacing with larger numbers so I can easily see the numbers whilst standing with the sheet on the bench; my plan now is to batch dots with say eight dots per four lines and keep playing over and over each batch of eight then try to combine them; it's early days for me but it appears to be working and I can understand what I'm trying to do.

Obviously the notes I play won't be exact but hopefully pretty close at least it's now starting to sound like Lara's Theme with much diminished scratching.

I'm delighted to have reached this stage and am starting to recognize the different notes.

Has any other member tried this method of learning a tune?

Kind regards, Colin.

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stringy
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November 8, 2021 - 2:09 pm
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I agree completely  with you about the masks and the virus, I have a third one coming up in a couple of months but with the rule changes I may see if I can bring it forward a bit, people are acting as though its over when it isnt at all.

Keep the fiddle updates coming.

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

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November 8, 2021 - 3:14 pm
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@Retired -

It's a shame you can't just play at your computer. 

 

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November 9, 2021 - 6:00 am
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Hi,

Good luck with your booster jab stringy; it pays to have as much protection as possible against Covid; so many won't have the vaccine but then end up in hospital occupying a hospital bed whilst putting necessary operations well down the list and how many have spread the virus. Thanks; yes I'll keep updating as to progress which as expected is slow but positive.

Thanks Emily for posting the video again; I've watched both lessons with great interest; the video I posted I found after watching the two you kindly posted and the one I posted I'm using at the moment because I understand it a bit better and can copy the details.

I made the crafting/violin studio taking Bron into consideration; when I practice in the studio Bron can't hear me at all but if I practiced in front of my computer monitor she would definitely hear it. Bron never complains about anything I do and over the last 45 years has put up with lots of mess and upheaval but knowing the work carried out would benefit us a great deal. Bron can watch a YouTube old B&W movie in peace whilst I practice playing the violin in the studio; the new studio is a nice place to be in it being heated and well lit. We've been on cable phone/TV and broadband for over 30 years and we could have a computer set up in the studio but it would occupy space. I'll keep practicing though and I feel like I'm already making progress.

I'm just enjoying a mug of tea after a nice session in the workshop where I've been cutting knife blanks out of gauge plate using the angle grinder; my violin making project like my violin playing keeps moving forward; slowly but in the right direction; I've got plenty of time during our long winter.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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November 9, 2021 - 10:52 am
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Retired said
I'm not far from Bradford living in darkest Huddersfield; the problem for me buying a violin I wouldn't know a good violin from a poor violin so expert help would be a real boost  

Yes, it's one of the reasons I recommend getting a teacher, if only for half a dozen lessons - to get you off to the right start and to help you negotiate with a luthier and choose a violin. The teacher will charge you for it, though, as though it were a lesson.

Americans complain that teachers can earn a commission from luthiers and shops, so it may be better to get the name of a luthier from my teacher first, although she and Michael Shakespeare, my luthier, clearly don't have any kind of deal going on.

Otoh, good dealers will send you violins by post and you then send back the ones you don't want. I don't know anything of the ins and outs of that kind of thing. Personally I'd hate the faff. I've been away since Saturday, and I've only just got back in, so I'll email my teacher.

Andrew

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stringy
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November 9, 2021 - 2:27 pm
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Andrew/gordon, had to reply to your post about your luthier. I was wondering are they in some kind of secret society, the name of yours is Michael shakespeare, while the name of mine is Michael phoenix, not joking, maybe when colin has çompleted his violin he will be secretely contacted and told to change his name to something like, Michael Paracelsus?

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

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November 9, 2021 - 2:48 pm
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Hi,

Many thanks Andrew it's very kind of you.

I'm quickly finding out anything to do with violins isn't cheap or easy but I think well worth the effort. Like you I wouldn't want violins to choose from through the post; it might work OK for some but as you say what a faff. I used to buy stamps for my stamp collecting hobby over 50 years ago the stamps on approval being sent through the post; I bought the ones I could afford then returned the rest but I wouldn't fancy doing this with violins also I'd be worried about transit damage.

I'm sure recommendation is better than dealing with an unknown stranger; I expect to pay although I'd just like expert help to get me set up especially sorting out a shoulder rest; if I can buy a decent violin then this will be a bonus.

We live near the worst Covid hotspot in the country so need to be very careful indeed; locals are wandering around without a care in the world not even wearing face mask and their idea of social distancing is rubbing shoulders; it's worrying. I've had my Covid booster jab and Bron has her Covid booster jab tomorrow morning.

I've just had the worst violin practice half hour session ever; nothing went right and it sounded terrible; last night was just the opposite but I know the reason why. I've spent today in the workshop doing heavy filing of the knife blanks then more arm work washing and drying our Skoda Yeti which seems to get bigger each time I do it. I always find it difficult to relax because I'm always busy not that I'm complaining; it's a lot better than being idle and bored.

Violin-knives_0003_01-1.JPGImage Enlarger

Here are the four knife blanks I've made from gauge plate today involving lots of heavy hand filing using a 10" engineers file; I'm not surprised my practice session tonight was rubbish but I'll keep practicing whatever I feel like.

Nice one stringy; I might even have to learn a funny handshake too? thanks_much_smiley_gif

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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November 9, 2021 - 4:44 pm
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My teacher knows of no-one anywhere near Huddersfield, I'm afraid, so I've asked in a couple of FB groups.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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November 9, 2021 - 6:11 pm
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Ecclesfield any good, Colin? (I still can't PM you)

Andrew

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Hi,

This is so kind of you Andrew thank you. Yes Ecclesfield is 19.2 miles and 39 minutes drive away and I'll definitely get in touch with Geoff to arrange a visit; I hope to take both my violins with me plus the two shoulder rests and will ask for Geoff to check the violins and be guided by his recommendations. I'm not bothered about taking violin lessons because I'll enjoy making all the mistakes and learning from them but it will be a huge help just to get me set up and to know my violins are in best tune they can be also the bows and rosin can be checked; I've no objection to buying a better violin so I'll post updates.

I can't arrange anything at the moment because Bron has her Covid booster jab this morning but once this is out of the way then I'm clear to contact Geoff.

I've been looking at my account settings and profile etc regarding accepting emails and PM's from members to see if these are blocked in any way but I can't see anything amiss? I've updated my time zone to London.

I've just tried to PM you Andrew but without success.

Thanks again Andrew.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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November 10, 2021 - 6:43 am
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Retired said
I'm not bothered about taking violin lessons because I'll enjoy making all the mistakes and learning from them but it will be a huge help just to get me set up  

As long as you are aware that "mistakes" can include postural problems which will not result in long-term enjoyment!

If you click the "Profile" button next to the "Log Out" button at the top of the page, then select the "Options" tab and choose "Edit Global Options" there's a box for opting out of pm'ing.

Andrew

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Hi,

Thanks Andrew for your further information. I've watched quite a few YouTube videos covering correct posture but as I progress I can look at everything in more detail and obviously correct posture is very important; I don't want to injure myeslf in any way but at the moment I'm concentrating on my violin making project although I do practice playing my violins each evening.

Thanks also for explaining PM's; I've just been looking but I think I'm naturally thick; it looks like I'm not blocking anything?

PM-problem.JPGImage Enlarger

Here's what is shown? The "Opt out" I've never ticked.

Bron's now had her booster jab so I'm free to contact Geoff which I'll do this afternoon.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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November 10, 2021 - 8:37 am
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No, you've got a couple of options missing from that screenshot.

Unfortunately I can't work out how to do a screen dump any more.

You should also have:-
"Receive an email when someone sends you a private message:"
"Opt out of Private Messaging:"

 

But under Profile Account Settings, the last option says "Note: Updating your account settings will force the profile page to reload." Whether that means, if you do something like change your password it will have a rethink, I don't know!

Andrew

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November 10, 2021 - 10:53 am
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Hi,

Thanks Andrew; my life is full of gremlins. On the other forums I'm a mmber of I've never had problems contacting members either by PM or email but it's nice to do things the hard way then I feel like I've achieved something. I've tried sending you a PM but all I that pops up is a small blank box.

Thanks to your very useful suggestion I've now been in touch with Geoff at stringed instruments and what a lovely helpful guy Geoff is. Unfortunately Geoff is unable to accept visitors into his workshop because Covid is still very active in these parts but I've arranged to visit next Wednesday pm to drop off my new Hidersine Vivente to have Geoff set it up and possibly restring with better quality strings. Geoff is also going to sort out my shoulder rest problem; I'm taking along my Wolf shoulder rest and he will mark with dots on the violin exactly where to attach the shoulder rest; I don't mind in the least buying a new shoulder rest because I can't carry on forever supporting the neck of the violin on my left thumb.

I'll collect the violin the Wednesday after and if Geoff has any suggestions for improvement he'll contact me before going ahead; he couldn't have been more helpful so I'm delighted; I've played around for a while but I keep making steady positive progress; I'm amazed to have racked up 100 posts already; I need to spend more time working than sitting?

Kind regards, Colin.

A quick update; I've been browsing my profile etc. regarding sending PM's and emails and found my "Inbox" I clicked on this and it opened up so I sent you a PM Andrew; fingers crossed it works.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Gordon Shumway
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Yes, your pm system is working now.

Geoff doesn't appear to sell violins, but I'm sure he'll be able to suggest  someone who does.

Andrew

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