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The 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 (263 votes) 
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ELCBK
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August 9, 2021 - 1:20 am
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@JohnG -

So glad you're HALF WAY THRU IT! 🤗

Blink of an eye & this next week will be over, before you know it. 

Playing (and this forum) helps me a lot, too. 

giphy.gif

 

P.S.  Don't give up on Cluck Old Hen - everyone needs a critter tune. 😊 

- Emily

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JohnG
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August 9, 2021 - 5:19 pm
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@Mouse - Ya' got that right, but Cluck doesn't seem to fit me at this time, but I'll keep it in mind (and on my music stand).

So, I'm back to my Kun shoulder rest. With what I learned with the Wolf, I now find this more comfortable than before, but maybe will still experiment with the Wolf.

Today was back to a full hour and it was with great enjoyment that I played my normal repertoire of Essential Elements 119-124 Skill G Maj, D String Etudes, Annie's Song, Dawning of the Day, Raglan Rd, Danny Boy, Fiddlers Green, Skye Boat Song, Simple Gifts, Misty Mtn, Slan Le Maigh, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence AND got some simple improv on the C and G with a few notes on the D strings. Finding a pattern that I like that I may try (try being the operative word) turning into a simple composition.

The main thing I'm finding is, that after over 3 months, I'm still really enjoying this!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 9, 2021 - 9:39 pm
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Well, I couldn't resist it. I transcribed three of Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook 2020 into MuseScore as violin pieces and then transposed them to alto clef, an octave lower and then attempted to quickly learn them. The tunes were Scarborough Fair, Barbara Allen, and Blind Mary.

Twenty minutes later, I was able to play them all, not great but able to read and play. I may continue to do this in the future, using short, separate playing time for just this purpose.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 10, 2021 - 9:53 pm
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Hour and twenty minutes on usual repertoire, no need to itemize as it's the same as the last session, only it was twenty minutes longer. Also did ten minutes on the new ones, just for fun.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 13, 2021 - 9:28 pm
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Two days off, for medical and getting ready to have 4 grandkids over this weekend starting this afternoon. Managed to get 40 minutes in on current, normal repertoire and 10 on the new pieces this evening while kids are on Xbox and computer.

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
August 13, 2021 - 9:32 pm
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@JohnG Will you be getting some chairs soon so that the grandkids won’t have to be on the xbox or computer. Maybe, a couple bean bad chairs would be fun for them. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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August 13, 2021 - 10:35 pm
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Nah, chairs are for old people!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 16, 2021 - 9:37 pm
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Another two days off, for medical and having 4 grandkids over this weekend starting Friday afternoon. Managed to get 40 minutes in on current, normal repertoire and 10 on the new pieces this evening and the total of 4 days off over a 6 day period definitely shows! Lots of scratchy notes, sour notes, and sore bowing arm! Can't afford being slothful. 

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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August 17, 2021 - 10:07 am
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Done with the radiation?

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JohnG
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August 17, 2021 - 11:35 am
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ELCBK said
Done with the radiation?

Yep, yesterday was the last of eight. Treatment wasn't bad, but two hours driving total, each day wore me out!

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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August 17, 2021 - 9:11 pm
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giphy.gif

 

Glad that's behind you! 😊

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JohnG
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August 19, 2021 - 7:17 pm
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And yet another two days off, but had an excellent practice today! All the same suspects, but more improv than usual for a total of an hour and half of enjoyment. Felt good!

My improv consists of my own meandering, coupled with tune fragments that come to mind. I use that time to concentrate on position, bowing technique, and intonation. It seems to help if done at the beginning and helps me unwind at the end of a session. Both of which improve my outlook on practicing.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 20, 2021 - 7:57 pm
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Woot, had another excellent practice today! All the same suspects, but more improv than usual for a total of an hour and half of enjoyment. Because of other things going on, was broken into 4 segments, so it really didn't feel like that much time.

An interesting part of the session was getting used to my new glasses. I broke my previous pair and the older, backups, were no-line bifocals and couldn't use them while playing, so I had to take them off (I'm near sighted). The new ones are progressives like my previous ones but require my eyes getting adjusted to these. Interestingly, I can leave them on while using my computer, which is also really great!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 21, 2021 - 7:51 pm
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An hour and 20 minutes today with all the usual, plus a quicky new one, "Beyond the Sunset", an old tune I found in my sheet music. Transcribed it from E flat to D maj and from treble clef to alto in MuseScore. Fun stuff to pass the time!

I definitely don't need help in filling my days with things to do!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 22, 2021 - 5:59 pm
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An hour and twenty minutes today. Usual fare, plus added two new ones, Both Sides Now  and  Saturday Morning, although I will be dropping Barbara Allen and Beyond Sunset. The first because I don't care for version and the second because I don't care for the tune. Improvisation has become a fun and integral part of my sessions as it allows me to concentrate on tone, articulation, and bowing. Plus, I think it is improving my recognition of notes and intervals.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 24, 2021 - 12:25 am
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Abridged practice tonight, only half an hour. Tried a new piece, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and Essential Elements 119-124 Skill G Major, D String Etudes, Skye Boat Song, Improv, Simple Gifts, Misty Mtn, Slan Le Maigh, and Improv. Late night, 10:45 local after spending time at the Maker Lab at out library and then grocery shopping tonight. 

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 24, 2021 - 4:40 pm
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An hour and quarter today, with several good results. Full current repertoire, Essential Elements 119-124 Skill G Maj, D String Etudes, Annies Song, Dawning of the Day, Raglan Rd, Danny Boy, Fiddlers Green, Skye Boat Song, Simple Gifts, Misty Mtn, Slan Le Maigh, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Scarborough Fair, Barbara Allen, Blind Mary, Both Sides Now, Saturday Morning, and Improv.

I've decided to try the Marijke and @AndrewH colab "The Legend of Zelda". Participation depends on my being able accurately use the click track (a new venture for me).

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 25, 2021 - 10:27 pm
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Hour and twenty tonight with same repertoire as last night. Later start mildly degraded my playing, but still a good practice session.

Tried listening to the click track to @AndrewH and Marike's Legend of Zelda for viola 2 and don't know if I'll be ready to tackle the second and third parts of the piece. with their tempo of 128 in 4/4 and 3/4 time.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 26, 2021 - 11:19 pm
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Hour and twenty minutes today. usual repertoire, but eliminated Raglan Road and Annie's Song and then added Ducks on the Mill. Hopefully this will give me one upbeat tune and I'm trying something different in my approach to it, in that I'm taking the first two bars and practicing them to see if I can get them smooth, then doing the same with the next two until I can put together four bars smoothly. Then the next two until I can add the previous ones. Then keep on for the full sixteen, plus a repeat of the last eight.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 27, 2021 - 10:16 pm
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Short practice tonight, only 30 minutes after a late night last night. Tried a little of Legend of Zelda and Ducks On The Mill Pond. Then played through Slan Le Maigh, Fiddlers Green, Ashokan Farewell, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Amazing Grace, Sound of Silence, Scarborough Fair, Blind Mary, and Simple Gifts.

The old curmudgeon!

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