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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 (54 votes) 
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JohnG
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June 16, 2021 - 11:20 pm
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Only got in half an hour tonight playing Dawning of the Day and Song from a Secret Garden. Spent a good portion of the day getting a new Xbox Series X and setting it up, plus about an hour playing. Didn't leave much time for the viola, but thankfully this is a one time thing!

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
June 17, 2021 - 9:44 am
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Up to page 11! I am impressed. Tour last video showed your progress. Good going.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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June 18, 2021 - 12:03 am
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@Mouse - Thanks for the compliment and these 11 pages are all just MY doing! lol

An hour again today, still adjusting the shoulder rest, but the chin rest definitely helps. Dawning of the Day, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, and Improv were once again on the agenda. The more I play Dawning, the more I like it!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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June 18, 2021 - 12:21 am
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Forgot to mention, when I was digging through the viola case today trying to find the Cecilio tuner/metronome that came with it, I found a set of Cecilio strings even though the purchase page on Amazon said, "Strung with D'Addario Prelude Strings (Note: Does not include extra set of strings.)". Guess I'll use 'em if I break a string and can't wait for replacement(s) to play.

As far as the tuner/metronome, I needed the metronome function since the Peterson Strobe Tuner does not include metronome and I definitely need something to get me in time.

The old curmudgeon!

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Irv
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June 18, 2021 - 1:05 pm
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@JohnG and others.

Regarding the instant post about your recent find of a set of cecilio strings in your viola case.

I do not want to put myself in the running for the forum’s “ambassador of mirth and good cheer,” but I need to comment.  I consider the string set to be somewhat equal to discovering a flaming bag of poo on your porch.  Certainly interesting.  Perhaps not worthy of announcement.  The instrument sounds too good to be burdened with that weight.

With best regards.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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JohnG
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June 18, 2021 - 1:15 pm
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@Irv - Agreed, which is why I said, "Guess I'll use 'em if I break a string and can't wait for replacement(s) to play."

I was just surprised that they were included and didn't hold out much faith that they would be good for anything other than as an emergency replacement.

The old curmudgeon!

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Irv
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June 18, 2021 - 1:29 pm
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I assumed as much.  But I found your post humorous (in a delayed way, while driving a car) so I wanted to respond in kind.  

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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JohnG
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June 18, 2021 - 9:36 pm
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Usual hour playing Dawning of the Day, Raglan Road, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Improv,, tried "Something Stupid".

Changed the clef and key for "Something Stupid" and tried a little of it, but didn't progress too far. More tomorrow!

Went back a played Raglan Road a few times with decent results (for me).

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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June 19, 2021 - 11:55 pm
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Only half an hour tonight, since most of the day was getting ready for company tomorrow. Our son's family including kids and in-laws for a Father's Day get together with late lunch at Olive Garden and a kid's movie (Peter Rabbit 2) at the theater.

Still practiced Dawning of the Day, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Improv, just not as much on each piece.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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June 20, 2021 - 11:49 pm
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An hour tonight after all the company left playing Dawning of the Day, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Scales, and Improv.

Got a new, free phone app for use as a metronome, the Soundbrenner from Google Play on my Android phone. One of the reasons I like it is I can play it via Bluetooth directly into my hearing aids! However, I had forgotten how difficult it can be to play to a strict tempo! lol I used it for Dawning of the Day. I had also downloaded my MuseScore MP3 of Dawning to my phone and it too, I can play through my hearing aids while attempting to play along. Two different aids and both of value, methinks!

Also learned tonight how to format the score better in MuseScore. When I first added it, it was three pages. When I tried tightening up the inter-staff and inter-system distances, it "squished" them but didn't change pagination! Turns out at the end of each system on a page, there was a page break. Had to change to staff break instead and it worked just fine! (Thank you FaceBook "MuseScore Discussion and Support Group").

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
June 21, 2021 - 10:11 am
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You have been busy.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Irv
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June 21, 2021 - 10:56 am
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@JohnG and others.  I previously reported injecting a electronic metronome signal as an input to an electric violin and cello.  I never thought of using blue tooth to a hearing aid.  Clever.

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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JohnG
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June 21, 2021 - 11:18 pm
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@Mouse - I'm trying!

@Irv - It really works well. Both the metronome and the MuseScore rendering.

I practiced another hour tonight, playing Dawning of the Day, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Scales, and Improv. Once again I practiced Dawning with metronome and with backing track and with neither. It does seem to be getting better. The backing track consists of both melody line on "viola" and the accompaniment on "electronic organ". Playing into my hearing aids prevents my wife from hearing just how bad my tempo is! lol

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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June 22, 2021 - 5:34 pm
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An hour today, per usual, but added a new tune, Ashokan Farewell that I got in ABC notation from The Session and added it to MuseScore using its ABC_import function, which I described in the Making Backing Tracks post.

So my full session was Dawning of the Day, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Ashokan Farewell, and Scales.

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
June 22, 2021 - 6:02 pm
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I have been doing Ashokan Farewell on my violin.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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June 23, 2021 - 5:12 pm
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@Mouse - It's a great tune.

Another day, another hour. Played Dawning of the Day, Song from a Secret Garden, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Ashokan Farewell, Scales, Improv. Had a little problem with my posture today. I kept tipping the viola forward while playing causing cross string bowing. I'm hoping that continued practice will minimize this as I think muscle fatigue may be contributing to this problem.

Paid for the Artist edition of PreSonus Studio One as the Prime version does not support external instruments and plugins. Now to figure out how to use all of it! lol

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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June 24, 2021 - 6:16 pm
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Only 40 minutes today as other stuff has and is on the agenda, but practiced Dawning of the Day, Song from a Secret Garden, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, and Ashokan Farewell.

It went better than yesterday, and for that I can be encouraged.

Been getting better acquainted with PreSonus Studio One 5 and learned how to create a template with all of the Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra instruments. The main problem I have with all their videos is that they are NOT geared for the raw beginner, merely for first time users of Studio One. It makes it difficult for DAW neophytes like me, with all the technical terms that are assumed to be known. I would hope others will not have this difficulty.

Interesting times for old folks like me! lol laugh

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
June 24, 2021 - 6:29 pm
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Just curious, and basing it on what would happen to me, wouldn’t using the technical software, etc, to make extravagant (to me) videos with backing tracks or without, make it harder to be able to learn the instrument? I don’t think it would for everyone, but for me it would, definitely. How is it working for you? 

Other viewers, I am not asking this to start a topic on this in JohnG’s blog, so please do not start a conversation on it here. I am just wondering how it is for him, being in the learning process of the viola. I am just wondering how it is helping him, or of it is something he is doing on the side, and is not playing a part in the learning process, yet. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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June 24, 2021 - 11:51 pm
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Got my Author badge today for the article I wrote for the "Member's Articles". It not only tells how I came to be here, but also to encourage other "older folks" who are contemplating or starting to learn fretless string instruments. It is titled Re-Entering the World of Strings (and Music) After a Long Hiatus

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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June 25, 2021 - 12:07 am
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Mouse said
Just curious, and basing it on what would happen to me, wouldn’t using the technical software, etc, to make extravagant (to me) videos with backing tracks or without, make it harder to be able to learn the instrument? I don’t think it would for everyone, but for me it would, definitely. How is it working for you? ...

Much of my day needs to be spent with my wife to maintain conjugal happiness! lol Time on the computer counts, as we are in the same room and able to converse. As a result, my insatiable curiosity leads me to enjoy going down technological rabbit holes. Before retiring, I was an I.T. specialist moving from programmer to programmer/analyst, to systems analyst, and then on to project leader. So computers have been the way I've earned a living and given me access to things I once thought impossible.

I may never use a backing track created this way, but life is a journey, not a destination. I also think that if I do create extravagant backing tracks and videos, it will force me to get my skills on the viola to a point where I will be happy.

The old curmudgeon!

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