Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
The New Old Guy Re-Entering the String World
A personal view of the start of a journey into music and the viola.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (78 votes) 
Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 19, 2021 - 1:28 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Decided to start a blog to hopefully record my journey back into music. To start it off, I'm including my comments posted in my introduction. Don't expect deep philosophical commentary or insightful exploration of the art and science of stringed instruments, but more, a freeform ramble.

---------------------------------------

April 17, 2021 - 3:48 pm
Originally took Viola lessons on a student loaner in '63 when in Junior College, then life intervened.

Edited 2021/08/20 - I actually ordered and received a 16" Viola!

I am now getting a Cecilio VA 400, 15" as it was very affordable and at my age (78), makes the most economic sense. It should be delivered in the next 4 or 5 days and I'll be setting it up using ViolaMan's excellent video!

I originally chose the viola, almost 60 years ago, just because of its mellower, deeper tone.

I have done some playing on an alto recorder so alto clef is familiar, but still daunting.

---------------------------------------

April 18, 2021 - 12:22 pm
Thanks everyone who welcomed me here. It's been decades since I have been exposed to so many musical folks with varying likes, talents, and musical education. I've missed it!

@ELCBK - my musical preferences are as varied as my other interests, classical of many genres, jazz, folk, country, blues, and religious.

A brief musical bio - Started as a child on a cardboard keyboard and group piano lessons, accordion, piano, choral voice, pipe organ, viola, and alto recorder. Dabbler in all, expert in none!

My best friend growing up was from a musical family, his father taught percussion at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, his mother was our church organist and piano teacher. Through them I found myself in the world of music that ended when I entered the army in 1963.

The month before enlistment, my best friend (Jon), another friend (Paul), and I went on a long weekend to my family's cottage on a lake where Jon playing cello, Paul playing violin, and I playing viola enjoyed some wonderful moments playing and improvising (me poorly, Jon adequately, and Paul expertly) for memories that will last me forever. Paul was both a classical violin student and jazz trumpeter. Jon's forte was jazz drums, and I was the hanger on!

I am looking forward to immersing myself again through this forum and through learning the viola.

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 19, 2021 - 1:35 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

In answer to a question on my intro, I stated that my musical preferences were varied. I didn't realize how much or how extensive until I started a list of what I wanted to learn. This is no way complete, nor doable in my remaining lifetime, but it will give me a start! I have also discovered a new, favorite performer! Rhiannon Giddens is a folk singer with energy who not only sings, plays a mean banjo, but is also a fiddle player. I "found" her when searching for a performance of Wayfaring Stranger that met what I was looking for. And I found this.

Amazing Grace
Ode to Joy
Ashokan Farewell
Greenfields
Unsquare Dance
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Where Have All the Flowers Gone - Peter, Paul, and Mary
The Sound of Silence
Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor - Bach
Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prélude - Bach
Sleepers, Awake! A Voice is Calling, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 Bach
Roll over Beethoven
Für Elise
Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah
Spring - Four Seasons - Vivaldi
Fall - Four Seasons - Vivaldi
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Allegro, K. 525 - Mozart
Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 - Straus
Fantaisie Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66 - Chopin
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 35: Funeral March - Chopin
Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul, and Mary
Blowin' in the Wind - Peter, Paul, and Mary
Cruel War - Peter, Paul, and Mary
Tom Dooley - Kingston Trio
Scotch and Soda - Kingston Trio
King Of The Road - Roger Miller
Ring of Fire - June Carter Cash
I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton
The Thunder Rolls - Garth Brooks
Friends in Low Places - Garth Brooks
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky - American Outlaws
Wayfaring Stranger - American Folk Song (Rhiannon Giddens)
How Great Thou Art - Christian Hymn
St. James Infirmary Blues

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 19, 2021 - 1:49 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Latest word is that my viola is scheduled to be delivered this coming Wednesday. I am truly getting excited. I will be using the Violaman's video to check it out and to help set it up. I have already received a copy of Essential Elements for Strings: Viola Book 1 and signed up with Hal Leonard's Essential Elements Interactive. In addition, I have printed out Scherl & Roth Viola First Position Basic Fingering Chart from United Musical Instruments.

Am I too prepared? Probably not! lol

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
Mouse
April 19, 2021 - 2:10 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 3360
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The Essential Elements is good, along with the online Interactive. I used it. 👍

The Bumblebee Flies!

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
April 19, 2021 - 2:37 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2806
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

What a wonderful "MPL" (must play list)! 

I first ran across Rhiannon Giddens, last year, when her "Wayfaring Stranger" YouTube video caught my eye - LOVE her singing and banjo! 

...got a kick out of her "Louisiana Man", too. 😆 

So many sources for learning online/virtual - you chose a great time to dive back in! 

https://www.lanesboro.lib.mn.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/cat_fiddle.jpg

 

- Emily

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 19, 2021 - 11:55 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

And now, thanks to @SharonC and her post about using MuseScore, I am learning that package. I first found Forte, but when I tried to change clef from treble to alto in the free, trial version, it was not available, only several treble clefs and bass clef. Went searching here and found the MuseScore entry by Sharon. Not only is it free, it does exactly what I want it to do! Doesn't get any better than that!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 19, 2021 - 11:57 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@ELCBK - I agree that this is a great time to re-enter the string world. Between excellent videos, forums like this, and online lessons, I doubt it could have ever been this great in the past.

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 20, 2021 - 12:02 am
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Back to MuseScore, I'm currently entering a violin part of Song from a Secret Garden that I found at Kemancilar. Copying into treble clef, transposing down an octave, and converting to alto clef. Works like a charm!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 20, 2021 - 2:46 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Another day closer to V Day! My new viola is still on track for delivery tomorrow. It's somewhere between Riverside CA and the greater Chicago area. 

In the meantime learned some new things in MuseScore and so I'm not completely standing still. Use of the violin score made me aware of some of the notation for string instruments (e.g. up bow, down bow) and reacquainted some that I had forgotten.

It's always good to learn something new everyday!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 20, 2021 - 9:24 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Something even more exciting than the arrival tomorrow of my viola, our great-granddaughter, Rose Alena was born this evening just before 6:00pm CDT. A fantastic day! @ELCBK Thought I would tag you for the pic.

EtveWOx.jpgImage Enlarger

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
Mouse
April 20, 2021 - 9:29 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 3360
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Congratulations, to you and the parents, JohnG! That's fantastic. So very cute!

The Bumblebee Flies!

Avatar
ABitRusty
Members

Regulars
April 20, 2021 - 10:01 pm
Member Since: February 10, 2019
Forum Posts: 1833
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

thats great @JohnG and congratulations!  very cute baby and already smiling!  

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 20, 2021 - 10:02 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Whoo hoo! Viola has made from California to Illinois! Almost at my doorstep (kinda). Who's excited???????????!!!!!!!!!!! Me, that's who!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
April 21, 2021 - 12:13 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 2806
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@JohnG - 

giphy.gif

You're a lucky man - wonderful 1st photo! 

Thank you for sharing this precious moment.  

 

 https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/08/29/23/14/angel-913630__180.png

 

...new potential fiddler!  🥰

- Emily

Avatar
Mark
Members

Regulars
April 21, 2021 - 6:25 am
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 1303
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
15sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Grats on the new granddaughter! Special times.

Have fun with the viola when it arrives.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 21, 2021 - 8:59 am
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks for all the congrats from this new member of the community.

At 4:23 am CDT, my viola is two steps away from me. It arrived at the final destination before being put on a truck to be delivered to me!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 21, 2021 - 12:37 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

And the UPS truck is my area. After it completes the business deliveries and pickups it'll be in my neighborhood. Always takes awhile since we have the largest business/industrial park in the nation. Luckily they always do only the far north section of it before our residential is taken care of.

EXCITING!!!!

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 21, 2021 - 4:16 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
18sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

And it's HERE!!! It arrived literally two minutes after I drove away from the house to go for a VA audiology appointment! Typical timing. Now to unpack and setup, so you probably won't hear from me for at least a couple of hours.

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
Members

Regulars
April 21, 2021 - 9:29 pm
Member Since: April 16, 2021
Forum Posts: 553
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Although I don't think anyone else will appreciate this video, it my first attempt at a scale after about 58 years since I last played and that was as an extreme novice student.

The old curmudgeon!

Avatar
Mouse
April 21, 2021 - 10:07 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 3360
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@JohnG Your video is very much appreciated. Thank you. You just received a video badge for that! 

The Bumblebee Flies!

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 60
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming oceanwiser, Georganne, brewyet, Krootie, PaganinisGhost, Viking Violinist, ptrckmcconn, Octopus.Violinus, xTIDx, cashierjim, Bella86, 1 Whiz Kid, Mouse
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
ELCBK: 2806
Barry: 2680
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
damfino: 1992
Kevin M.: 1972
ABitRusty: 1833
cdennyb: 1815
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27556
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 77
Topics: 9250
Posts: 115440
Newest Members:
nfkjasfas, bethandmars, tmoreland, holstain12, radottb, RDP
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 15668, KindaScratchy: 1757, coolpinkone: 4180, BillyG: 3630, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 3360