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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 (328 votes) 
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Mouse
August 6, 2022 - 10:12 am
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@JohnG @Fiddlerman That is too funny with the one 16th note.

Anyway, I have found the same thing, faster paces on violin are easier to do than on a viola, JohnG. It is the same between viola and cello. I think the fatter strings cause the slower action? I thought it was just me. 

I know my bowing arm is at a different level with my viola than when I play my violin. The luthier where I go, sadly retired, showed me how to bow my viola. I thought I noticed that difference when I watched him bow his viola and violin. 

I have a hard time doing anything with speed on my viola and cello, vs violin. Now, remember, with me, speed on my violin is actually kind of slow for most violinists. I have a hard time with quick fingering and bowing and have not been able to pick up the speed on the violin to equal the speed that a lot of songs should be played at. 

I can, generally, play a song on my cello that I can do on my viola, and at the same pace. But, anything from my violin, the pace needs to drop significantly for either viola or cello.

Hm, So, it is not just all me. 

JohnG, after playing that great ol' Traveller, what do you think of her as far as the difference in how it feels on your shoulder? Does it mess up your holding your viola after you have played her? Does it mess up your bowing?

Have you tried playing a song on her that you have smoothed out in the viola? Was there a different learning curve? 

If you have addressed all, or any of these questions, in other posts, so sorry for repeating. I have been very occupied with an unusual amount of outside forum issues. Most of the forum time has been searching for spam 👍 or keeping my challenge progress going by updating. I am afraid I have been laxed with your blog. I will do better. I find it quite fun to follow.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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August 6, 2022 - 10:43 pm
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@Mouse - So far I have not found playing the violin messed up my viola playing or vice versa. They both feel natural (finally), even the bowing but that may be because they both leave a lot to be desired. The violin is still taking me a little longer to get a piece formerly learned on the viola up to the same level.

I'm just grateful that people read my (often) trite ramblings. Your and other's supportive comments are probably why I have kept on with this learning effort and they are truly appreciated!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 6, 2022 - 10:51 pm
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No practice yesterday because when I got home from an oncologist appointment and lab tests, my wife didn't believe that I was her husband and that I was her father-in-law! Another trip to the ER but they didn't find evidence of another stroke or any other medical problems. Will need to schedule an appointment with a neurologist next week. She seems to be better today and accepting me for who I am.

We attended a birthday party for two of our nephews and she handled it well with lots family, including our son's family, another nephew, our sister-in-law, and the mother's family. Had a really fun, chaotic day!

I took my viola and demonstrated it to their youngest daughter, but only played a little bit. Nothing earth shattering, but fun to do.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 9, 2022 - 10:58 pm
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Finally back to practicing! Half an hour on the violin playing Gypsy Rover, Wild Mountain Thyme, Over the River, Down by the Sally Gardens, Oh Shenandoah, Scarborough Fair, and Simple Gifts. Went better than I had anticipated after four days off.

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
August 10, 2022 - 8:18 am
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.Isn't it wonderful when things go better than anticipated? It should happen more often, don't you think?

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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August 10, 2022 - 9:23 am
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@JohnG -

Hope you get some good news, soon - have enough help?

Love the tunes you've been playing!

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JohnG
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August 11, 2022 - 3:34 pm
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@ELCBK - Thanks. I can hope for better news, but the neurologist seen on Monday wants lab tests and mental acuity study done. Plus referred her to a vascular surgeon because of a 75% blockage in a carotid artery and moderate blockage in another. Good news is that after the party Saturday, she acknowledged that I'm her husband!

Forty-five minutes today. Forty minutes on the violin playing Gypsy Rover, Wild Mountain Thyme, Over the River, Down by the Sally Gardens, Oh Shenandoah, and Scarborough Fair. Concentrated on Down by the Sally Gardens.

On the viola, played Wild Mountain Thyme for the fun of it!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 13, 2022 - 4:27 pm
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Forty minutes today after missing ANOTHER day yesterday. Played Gypsy Rover, Wild Mountain Thyme, Over the River, Down by the Sally Gardens, Oh Shenandoah, Scarborough Fair, and Simple Gifts.

Interestingly enough I'm playing Simple Gifts while reading the alto clef viola sheet music. The first 3 tunes are warmups before concentrating on Down by the Sally Gardens, while the last three are cool down tunes for the fun of it.

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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August 13, 2022 - 5:40 pm
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Dont stress over missing days, you wont suddenly lose what you have gained, its like fiddlerman said, ten minutes of real practice will still gain improvement.

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

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JohnG
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August 13, 2022 - 7:44 pm
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@stringy - Yeah, I know. But there are several things I REALLY want to get good enough to record AND I don't want to hold The Traveler hostage for much longer. Having two instruments with goals means that a day lost is not helping to attain them.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 13, 2022 - 10:15 pm
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Another 20 minutes of practice. This time on the viola to work on a new tune for a party!

Whoo hoo, a whole hour total time today!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 15, 2022 - 11:57 pm
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Forty minutes on The Traveler playing Gypsy Rover, Wild Mountain Thyme, Over the River, Down by the Sally Gardens, Oh Shenandoah, Scarborough Fair, and Simple Gifts. Another 5 minutes on the viola playing a piece I will want to share in party.

Lost another day yesterday for a family birthday party and then an evening with our son and his family. Well worth the day off from practicing. 

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 19, 2022 - 6:01 pm
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Another four days without practice but how I ended it was interesting! Had a video doctor visit this afternoon and we're supposed to sign on 20 minutes early. So, I signed on and got my viola so the time wouldn't be wasted. With only talking with three different people for about 4-5 minutes each over the period of an hour and twenty minutes, I got in an hour of practice playing about 15 tunes and some improv!

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
August 19, 2022 - 6:54 pm
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I would say that was practice! 

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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August 22, 2022 - 9:51 pm
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Another gap in practice and it showed. Got in 40 minutes tonight playing the violin - Gypsy Rover, Wild Mountain Thyme, Over the River, Down by the Sally Gardens, Oh Shenandoah, Scarborough Fair and 10 minutes on the viola a piece I will want to share in a party.

I watched the video that @ELCBK shared in a post, "Excellent simple fiddle bowing vid". It seemed to cause more problems than it helped. I'm thinking I'm going to have find a teacher for a limited number of lessons for hands on training and help me break bad habits/techniques.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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August 22, 2022 - 11:11 pm
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🤔...  Stringy posted that, but you got my attention. (lol) 

Think what is important in the video, is to not lock the pinky - and practice what it takes to get each of the 3 sections of the bow to sound the same. 

You can see the pinky pressure comes into play when bowing near the frog - probably one of the reasons why I prefer a lighter bow. 

What doesn't help anyone in the video - Niall has developed a weird kink in his 1st pinky joint. 😉

Thanks for posting about this!  I still try to keep in mind that I can exploit the natural sound property differences of bowing at the tip vs. the frog area - and I need to work on bowing near the tip (rarely seem to go there). 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c2/f4/9e/c2f49e91fc1b0559c74d4d17b053550c.jpg

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JohnG
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August 24, 2022 - 9:44 pm
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First of all, apologies to @stringy for not crediting him properly on the "Excellent simple fiddle bowing vid" link.

@ELCBK - Thanks for the heads up and the comments about that video. Very helpful.

As to practice, I got in about 40 minutes on the viola last night on a new tune I hope to use in @Katie M's Beatles party. Although they didn't write it, it was on one of their albums, A Taste of Honey, probably best known as played by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. I found a version I transposed from B♭ to G and then down an octave and converted to alto clef. The ending didn't sound good to me, so I took the last three measures down an octave.

I hope to record it tomorrow or Friday. To that end, I got in an hour tonight on it plus a little improv on A Wayfaring Stranger and Amazing Grace.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 25, 2022 - 9:53 pm
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Seventy minutes of practice and attempting to record A Taste of Honey. Unsuccessfully I must admit. Well, as Scarlett said, "Tomorrow is another day".

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 30, 2022 - 2:15 pm
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Last night I finally worked up energy to play again. Been feeling a little under the weather and no energy. Docs seem to think it may be the chemo drug. But yesterday @ELCBK - posted about the TonalEnergy tuner app and it piqued my interest. Resurrected Maureen (my viola) to test it out AND to practice my Beatle tune. Ended up spending 45 minutes in practice on it. As I posted in the TonalEnergy thread, it seems to help me and I find the tuning itself is faster than with my Peterson Stroboclip tuner.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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August 30, 2022 - 3:02 pm
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@JohnG -

Really glad you picked it up - I got as far as posting about it, but I haven't even had the energy to check & see if I can load it on my laptop, instead of my phone... I'll get around to it. 

Guess it's all about 'the weather' for me, right now.  I've not only been feeling 'under the weather' for this last month, but 'the weather' caused another large power outage here yesterday - not happy it's 80°F, no A/C with the generator hooked up & struggling to keep the humidity from climbing over 60% with the dehumidifier.

...still nice to get some practice in. 😊

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