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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 (393 votes) 
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JohnG
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October 10, 2022 - 4:18 pm
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After several days off because of getting house ready for our son's 50th birthday party on Saturday, going out to celebrate and then having his family and her folks over for the party, and followed by a day of rest, got a full hour of practice in today. Thirty minutes on Wexford Carol and the rest on Ashokan Farewell, Down by the Sally Garden, Wayfaring Stranger, and The Wellerman.

Had a devil of a time on The Wellerman until I finally realized was using the wrong sheet music! I have two versions of it!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 12, 2022 - 9:31 pm
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Totally different tonight. Only half an hour spent on Dark Island and Wild Mountain Thyme, just for the fun of it. Also tried segueing from one to the other, even though different time signatures (3/4 and C) and keys (C and G). It actually went fairly well, and I might even try to do a video of it in the future, possibly with 2-4 bar bridge. I truly love both of these tunes.

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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October 13, 2022 - 2:18 pm
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Wild mountain Thyme, is a great tune. I would love to see the vid, you should put it together.

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JohnG
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October 13, 2022 - 11:53 pm
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@stringy - Yes, I love the tune. Actually, I've recorded that twice, first on the viola as Viola Video 31 and then as Violin Video 3.

Tonight was another 30 minutes, mostly on Dark Island and Wild Mountain Thyme and the rest on Wexford Carol.

I think I have found how I'm going segue back and forth between the two and practiced continual playing of them that way for 3-6 cycles each, though I'll probably only do two each when I record it.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 14, 2022 - 4:37 pm
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Another half hour today on Dark Island and Wild Mountain Thyme. Transition is coming along better and I'm finally feeling and observing the rests in Wild Mountain Thyme properly.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 16, 2022 - 11:45 pm
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Missed practice yesterday, but resumed tonight. Another half hour today on Dark Island and Wild Mountain Thyme. Transition is still coming along better. Also played Wexford.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 18, 2022 - 10:03 pm
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Ditto the last entry, but added Simple Gifts for a couple of run throughs. And a quick look at Repeal the Union.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 20, 2022 - 6:35 pm
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Another day off, another day of 30 minutes practice on Dark Island, Wild Mountain Thyme, Wexford, and run through of Repeal the Union. I'm having trouble staying motivated! Part of the problem may be use of the tuner app as it is consistently showing correct intonation at 10-15%, close at 55-65% and poor for the rest. 

It's been a month and half since my last public YouTube release which was playing The Traveler and two and a half months since my last public viola release. I really want to record the Dark Island/Wild Mountain Thyme combination soon. I'm probably just going to turn off the tuner app except for tuning Maureen.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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October 20, 2022 - 8:09 pm
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https://static.vecteezy.com/system/resources/previews/000/676/307/original/vector-autumn-flower-bouquet-in-pumpkin.jpg@JohnG -

It's hard to stay motivated, under any circumstances, and you are doing VERY WELL - even though you aren't able to practice everyday! 

Are you only playing with sheet music and relying on the tuner?  Or, if your music is in musescore, are you playing along with the audio? 

I would just keep trying to fix what you hear to be wrong - and only periodically check with a tuner, mainly when 1st learning a tune. 

Trick Or Treat Ghost Emoticons- Emily

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Mouse
October 21, 2022 - 4:02 pm
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I would turn the tuner off. I use mine to start with just to remind or give me a kick start. Then it is off. If I sway too far off and get lost, I turn it back in temporarily.

It would be wonderful if I could go without, but I just can't go without completely.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

Please ignore any typos. My typing ability on a real typewriter did not transfer to these device key pads.

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ABitRusty
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October 21, 2022 - 6:30 pm
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@JohnG if the tuner app isnt helping or worse discouraging you then ditch it.  youve sounded good in what youve posted.   youve been doing just fine without it.

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JohnG
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October 21, 2022 - 8:53 pm
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@ELCBK - @Mouse - @ABitRusty -- Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. They are most appreciated and will take them to heart. I'll probably minimize the use of it. In some cases I've been playing along to MuseScore generated mp3 files and almost always with the sheet music.

And just to further spread myself thin, I just upgraded my PreSonus software to Studio One 6 Artist. As a result, I'll probably be asking @ABitRusty some questions as I've not yet learned the software very much! And for the first one, what db level to you normally record? I'm using a Shure SM57 through a FocusRite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen pre-amp.

The old curmudgeon!

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ABitRusty
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October 21, 2022 - 9:40 pm
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if looking at the DAW channel in presonus, around -24 to -12.its not an exact science.  turn gain on interface to 10:00 and bow something while watching level and adjust somewhere below mid level on your daw input channel.. The main Channel on the far right comes later.

On my interface the left stereo channel was hooked to a small condenser mic and 48v phantom power was on. the physical real world gain knob i can turn with fingers was about 11:00-ish.

On the interface...my right channel was hooked to another device made by se electronics and is called dynamite 🙂  THAT device was plugged straight into the bottom of my ribbon mic.   The dynamite is an inline booster.   i use it on the ribbon and dynamic mics.   This allows me to turn on phantom power and use less gain provided by that real world knob on the interface. without it my interface knkb would be around 3:00 to 4:00 and i probably would hear some shhhhh from input circuitry.   The humidifier running in background is already annoyinv enough.

one thing to remember is the signal will be there in the daw even if you record it at -30 or something.   you can always boost it INSIDE the daw software 

you cant reverse too much gain which can cause clipping.

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JohnG
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October 22, 2022 - 9:02 pm
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Got about half an hour in last night playing Wild Mountain Thyme while trying out Studio One with @ABitRusty's suggestions.

Then got 40 minutes tonight playing Dark Island, Wild Mountain Thyme, Wexford, Amazing Grace, and Wayfaring Stranger. Just a relaxing session tonight and my intonation seemed to be a bit better, thank goodness.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 23, 2022 - 10:46 pm
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Got another 40 minutes tonight playing Dark Island, Wild Mountain Thyme, Wexford, Amazing Grace, and Wayfaring Stranger. Played duets with the first 3 and MuseScore generated mp3 files as it not only helps rhythm, but also intonation.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 24, 2022 - 11:51 pm
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I think I'm finally getting back into longer, more frequent practice sessions. Fifty minutes tonight playing the current usual Dark Island, Wild Mountain Thyme, Wexford, Amazing Grace, and Wayfaring Stranger. The last two with some improv.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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October 25, 2022 - 11:23 pm
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A full hour tonight, 50 minutes on Dark Island, Wild Mountain Thyme, Wexford, and 10 minutes on The Wellerman and Down by the Sally Gardens. Intonation is continuing to improve, mostly because of playing with the MuseScore mp3's.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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October 26, 2022 - 1:11 am
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Old Clapping EmoticonsOld Clapping EmoticonsOld Clapping Emoticons

@JohnG -

Wonderful to hear! 

I think it's a great way to practice! 

Glad you found some new motivation! 

- Emily 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/97/e7/21/97e7213691acb2a5e9cb0e0ef8a844f1.jpg

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JohnG
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October 26, 2022 - 10:48 pm
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After a few good nights, tonight was terrible. Only half an hour playing Dark Island, Wild Mountain Thyme, Wexford, Amazing Grace, and Wayfaring Stranger.

Even playing along with the mp3's, my intonation was terrible on everything I played, so I just gave up for tonight. No sense in reinforcing my inability to play on pitch. 

Well as "they" say, tomorrow is another day.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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October 26, 2022 - 11:48 pm
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https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ca/12/40/ca12401aaea851b327580863b20d6182.jpg

@JohnG -

At least you picked up Maureen for a bit!  

I believe it's possible to end an evening like that on a little better note (pun intended)! 🎃

When I have a night like that, I cut everything back to a snail's pace and when I come across an off note - I stop.  I go over that note, along with the preceding note or 2, several times until it's always good - it's important to get the correct interval down when fixing intonationIf I replay over from the beginning, hoping to correct mistakes the next time thru - I find it doesn't help me.  

Hopefully, you'll at least have small wins every day & always end your practice feeling better about your playing. 

Maybe another thing to consider - Martin Hayes mentions in his Patreon Masterclasses... let your fingers get re-acquainted with the fingerboard each time you pick up your instrument.  I think it takes time to warm up, even before you play tunes you think you know really well - start slow. 

- Emily

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