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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 (124 votes) 
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Fiddlerman
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October 29, 2021 - 3:24 pm
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JohnG said
@Fiddlerman = Hope your vacation ROCKS! Say hi to all of Papa's haunts. Whenever I hear of Key West, I think of his "The Old Man and the Sea"............

I can't think of Key West without associating Ernest Hemingway either. LOL

Thanks so much John, I'm sure we'll have a terrific time.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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JohnG
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October 30, 2021 - 5:41 pm
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Skipped another day, and only did forty minutes today. Smaller list of songs and no etudes. Nearer My God to Thee, Away in the Manger, Ode to Joy, Blackest Crow, Amazing Grace, Wayfaring Stranger, Ducks on the Mill Pond, Simple Gifts, and Improv. Wayfaring Stranger and Amazing Grace got the largest chunk of time. 

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 31, 2021 - 10:15 pm
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Back up to a full hour tonight, with the same tunes as last night, plus Blind Mary. Emphasis on Wayfaring Stranger and Blackest Crow. I'm enjoying the shorter list and able to concentrate more on the individual tunes.

Hope everyone had an enjoyable Halloween, although we only had 3 trick or treaters in 4 hours! Kind of a let down for us.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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Once again, too many days off (3!!!), but had a great hour and ten minutes today. Played the etudes and the same list as last time with most allocated to Wayfaring Stranger as I'm still hoping to record it soon.

Although I haven't really felt up to practicing, I've not been completely idle. First, I'm learning to use my Cricut cutting machine. This item includes a portion of a picture I took in Vietnam of a B model Huey that belonged to our flight platoon of the 52nd CAB (Combat Aviation Battalion) in '65-'66. It was photo-edited in Corel PaintShop Pro, removing background and turning it into a silhouette. A png file was created with the name added and uploaded to Cricut design space. It took three attempts before getting the cut and transfer correct.

Bud-IMG_20211102_211121484.jpgImage Enlarger

 

  

    

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

The other thing I've accomplished is a decent picture of my viola! Not totally sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but it needed to be done! lol

IMG_20211104_144452914-Aqua-Gradient-Cropped.jpgImage Enlarger

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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November 5, 2021 - 9:38 am
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@JohnG -

Wow!  Did you ever have to run along side your B Model & jump on as it was sliding/starting to take off? 🤣  Heard stories of Gunners having to do that, since the B's couldn't handle much load - smaller than our H Models. 

Our UH-1H's & HH-1H's were larger all the way around - cabin, engine, tail boom length, rotor blade system.  We had alcoves on either side of the transmission to seat gunners & mount M-60's - or for different medivac, stretcher configurations. 

I'm guilty of not using my Cricut, yet - got it last year, but our last minute wedding plans got in the way.  

You did a nice job! 

I spent so many years cutting vinyl resist by hand and working with 'photo resist' for super fine photographic detail for sandblasting images/design on glass (acid etching paste for glassware was not very satisfying).  It still sticks in my mind how many large boxes of offset X-Acto blades I'd go through - easily dulled with use & can't help but cringe at the cost of Cricut blades! 

Your B Model: 

https://aopa.org/-/media/images/legacy/aopa/pilot/1403p/1403p_huey_02.jpg?la=en&hash=00E536A9A9DCB96620E5C5D01A8F82B83AEC7528

My type of Army UH-1H: 

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H8GaI7RrHb8/WX_JXC_oorI/AAAAAAACGrI/G7To2OqDcfoDCh2VDAe9_muYKO9gTqNMwCLcBGAs/s1600/Kittyhawk%2BUH-1D%2BHuey%2B48th%2Bscale%2B%252845%2529.jpg

My type of AF Rescue Huey w/hoist motor on top (white dome) - HH-1H 

https://www.airhistory.net/photos/0166586.jpg?m=1568698460

 

...keep up the Viola practice - you'll benefit even with a quick run thru of your tunes.

- Emily

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JohnG
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November 5, 2021 - 12:18 pm
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@ELCBK - No, never had to run like that as we had no gunships in our platoon, only slicks. However there was one time that came close. We were tasked with picking up some ammo for a special forces camp one day at a little pad somewhere south of Pleiku, VN in one of our B's. Only flight crew on board and we started loading the ammo cans. Got a bunch on board and the pilot lifted us up tentatively. After a brief hover, he set us back down and had us offload a few. Then tried again. As the pad was on a small hill, he slowly moved over to the edge and started a downhill run to pick up speed to transitional lift. The whole time he was dodging tree stumps as we slalomed down hill! Exciting times, but we trusted those pilots with our lives!

I don't have a single picture of the D's in our platoon that we got early on. So early that they didn't have the open door restraints that soon became standard. On one of our first flights with the door open over Pleiku, the air stream pulled the door off my side and I watched it flutter to the ground! They were all put grounded status until a modification was made. Here is picture of the type of restraint used.

doorlock.jpgImage Enlarger

 

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

Here is a picture of one of the few D models I have. It was taken in an LZ southwest of Pleiku where agent orange had defoliated the area.

VNHueyChinookHiRes.jpgImage Enlarger

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JohnG
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November 5, 2021 - 4:05 pm
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Only about 40 minutes today for practice and it was only on two tunes, Wayfaring Stranger and Amazing Grace with improvisation. I am sharing them both here for my record and in the Share a Video for those who don't wade through my blog!

The first is Wayfaring Stranger. Other than a few bad notes, I'm most concerned about overall tone. I'm not overly impressed.

 

The second is Amazing Grace. I've mentioned more than a few times that I enjoy doing improvisation with this and here is an example (though not my finest attempt).

 

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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November 5, 2021 - 4:11 pm
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Very nice photo!

I have photos of all the Hueys I've worked on & flown on, but it almost makes me ill to think of uploading any because of the crappy quality.  Especially when I know the quality of point & shoot photos from my current phone would just blow them all away.  Not so sure a super high end camera would've even helped back then for so many impromptu,'shots on the fly'.

What I would give to have my phone back then , to have better photos of my life to look back on - Kids now-a-days have no clue how lucky they are. 

My memories are great, but starting a scrapbook would be depressing for me. 😔 

Back to Fiddle Hell! 🤗

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ELCBK
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November 5, 2021 - 6:56 pm
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@JohnG -

You haven't hardly been practicing, but you are still playing great! 

I don't want to encourage anymore days without practice, though - because I think you'd be so much happier if you don't skip them. 

Maybe look to your bowing hand.  Try thinking of holding a ball, if you don't have any physical problems preventing it (I don't want to assume anything).  The way you have your hand right now doesn't allow for any flexibility, so you may be very surprised if you work on this.   Long fingers - just hold much farther down the side of the frog.

Got to go... another Fiddle Hell Workshop! 😁

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JohnG
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@ELCBK - I was surprised that it went as well as it did with my lack of consistent practice over the last week. Good suggestions on the bowing hand! Have fun with Fiddler Hell!!

Playing again today felt really good and I picked up the viola two more times to practice those two tunes with improvisation on both for a total of 20 more minutes. Wayfaring Stranger lends itself to improv as much as Amazing Grace! Lovin' it!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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November 6, 2021 - 6:09 pm
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Back to an hour of practice with etudes and Nearer My God to Thee, Away in the Manger, Ode to Joy, Blackest Crow, Amazing Grace, Wayfaring Stranger, Ducks on the Mill Pond, Simple Gifts, and Improv. Once again, Wayfaring Stranger and Amazing Grace got the largest chunk of time.

Had a really interesting morning. Our local library has a Maker Lab where you can learn 3D printing, Cricut, sewing, CAD/CAM, etc. and now a newly opened A/V Lab. I attended a 2 hour intro to the A/V lab and learned about the equipment that they have and it seems really interesting and has great possibilities. Central to it all is a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (2nd gen) USB Audio Interface for analogue to digital conversion of up to 8 inputs! They have a selection of microphones (including a Shure sm57 instrument microphone), a Mac with a lot of software to process audio and video signals, a Yamaha keyboard, a Roland compact electronic drum set, a Padcaster iPad AV rig (with iPad), tripods, cables, headphones, a green screen.

Time can be reserved up to 3 hours and the librarian in charge of the lab can be scheduled for up to an hour, when available! Although I doubt all my videos will be done there, the possibility is there for special ones!

And just think, more new software to learn! Just what I need.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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November 7, 2021 - 3:45 pm
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Another day, another hour. Same tunes as yesterday, but re-added Greensleeves. Blackest Crow and Ducks on the Millpond are coming along better, but still need some work before I can record either one of them.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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November 7, 2021 - 4:32 pm
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Just got something to help with videos. Cheap, but effective tripod mount for my phone.

Phone-Mount-for-Tripid.jpgImage Enlarger

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Mouse
November 7, 2021 - 5:01 pm
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@JohnG Re post 471. Wait, 471 posts! 👍👍👏👏Okay, my blown mind has reassembled, maybe missing a few pieces. 

You have a great library! But, and this is a big but, you could have taken a Cricut or sewing course and you did an AV lab? Now, I realize that it will help your recordings. Have I not taught you anything? You need to get your priorities straight. First comes sewing, then comes Cricut. Whatever will you do when you need a new shirt? Huh? Whatever will you do when you need to send someone a bday card, huh? Really, I am very disappointed 😔. 

Please do not say you are going to go see that untuck it guy! Don’t do it, JohnG! Please don’t. March on back to your library and sign up for a sewing class and a Cricut class. Most new sewing machines a computerized you know. So it is techy. I prefer the old gear sewing machines. They have more power or oomph. Also, Cricut uses a computer, again, a techy hobby, or could be. I have one, but again, I prefer my non-techy hand crank. 

Whatever will I do about this lack of priority?

Seriously, you have a great library. We don’t have a library, here. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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November 7, 2021 - 5:18 pm
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As you say, "Seriously, you have a great library." I agree! I have taken Arduino and Raspberry Pi classes there, CNC engraving instruction, 3D modelling and 3D printing classes, all in the Maker Lab there. Admittedly sewing would be nice but though I have used a sewing machine in the past, it is not high on my list to learn more. The Cricut, however, is something I've continued to learn, but on my own. See My Drinking Cup in My Blog.

It is a pretty remarkable library for such a small community (a little over 33,000), but we have the nation's largest business and industrial park. So our personal taxes are low and we get a lot for them.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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November 8, 2021 - 4:06 pm
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Same tunes as yesterday, another hour of fun and learning. With some of the bowing suggestions, it seems to be going better without quavering. Spent a little more time on Wayfaring Stranger with some improvisation, which I'm enjoying as much as the Amazing Grace. I know I'll never be a concert violist, but I hope to one day be able to join a bluegrass or folk session and not feel like a complete outsider with no skills.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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November 8, 2021 - 7:57 pm
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@JohnG -

I can't wait for you to reach your 1 year mark, because I know you'll be so amazed when you look back on this year.  

We will ALL have to celebrate!!!  

...short term goals for right now?

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JohnG
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@ELCBK - It's hard to believe it's been a little over 6 months already. Not so much for whatever progress I've made, but for the fact that I've kept at it so diligently. As an example, a long time ago I bought a decent, plastic alto recorder and played it a little, then went and bought a very nice wooden one that, though not expensive, was not a cheapie, either. Tried learning for a few months and then it got relegated to my closet to be pulled out at intervals over the years. It's still there, and I never got much over Mary Had a Little Lamb! I've played keyboard (accordion, piano, organ) instruments for decades (on and off, mostly off), and never progressed beyond student grade playing.

This forum and this blog have kept me on course and I am blessed to have discovered it, even before I got my viola.

Thanks, everyone!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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A real "Uh, duh" moment. Been using the Kun shoulder rest and been having a lot of problems with keeping it under my chin. Turns out the end of the viola was rolling off my collar bone because the one bracket on the shoulder end was not long enough. As soon as I adjusted it better, the hold was infinitely better!!!!

In the meantime, my hour was accomplished tonight with the same tunes as last night and after I adjusted the shoulder rest, it went much better.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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I really can't believe how much adjusting the shoulder rest better has improved my practicing! Adjusted the shoulder end a little higher and narrowed the distance between the supports to move the rest a little closer to the end. I can now get through an entire tune without having to push the viola closer to my neck! Alleluia!

 Another hour today with the same tunes and a little more improv on both Amazing Grace and Wayfaring Stranger. Lovin' it!

The old curmudgeon!

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