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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 (37 votes) 
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stringy
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May 14, 2021 - 5:14 pm
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not surprised you are having trouble with song from a secret garden, its got three flats and goes into third position. It would be difficult for someone who has been playing a couple of years, very challenging.

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JohnG
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May 14, 2021 - 5:34 pm
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stringy said
not surprised you are having trouble with song from a secret garden, its got three flats and goes into third position. It would be difficult for someone who has been playing a couple of years, very challenging.

  

Not the version I'm playing. Transposed from a violin version using MuseScore.

View post on imgur.com

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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May 14, 2021 - 7:57 pm
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Ah...didnt know you were playing it in c. If its any use to ýou, I find counting quarter notes in eights is useful, for example, one and, for a quarter note, in the same way as one and, for two eigth notes. I also use ti,ri,ti,ri , to count 16th notes.

So a dotted quarter would be, one and two and, 3 eight notes, hope thats of some help

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JohnG
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stringy said
... hope thats of some help

  

I hear ya'! Depending on the piece, I sometimes do it that way, too. Years of accordion and keyboards has taught me "it all depends". Thanks for the tip, though!

The old curmudgeon!

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Grandpafiddle
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May 15, 2021 - 3:52 pm
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HI JohnG,

I'm really interested how the Musescore site works for you. I'm always on the hunt for sheet music, but I can never find what I'm looking for in the key I want. Then, if it's a different key, I can't find the right backing track. I'd like something where I don't have to join, be able to pay with PayPal instead of giving my credit card, and not having to download their software.

Does Musescore work good for you? Any other members have a good resource for sheet music?

(p.s. John. Accordion??? I started accordion when I was about 10 years old, had an excellent teacher, and was playing in country bands through my teens. Fun, but not a popular instrument anymore. That's why I'm fiddlin')

Grandpaviolin

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JohnG
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May 15, 2021 - 4:07 pm
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@Grandpafiddle - There are two different MuseScore which are somehow intertwined. The one I use is the computer program from MuseScore.net and the other is the MuseScore.com which has the sheet music. I tried MuseScore.com and signed up but most of it requires a subscription and being a cheapskate, have avoided it.

The MuseScore program is excellent and is what I use. It allows you to compose your own music with proper annotation (not that I use it that way), it will also allow you to import PDF files of music from other sources (through MuseScore.com!!), and it also accepts many formats of music source files (like those that can be found here and other sites).

Once the score is in MuseScore, it can be transcribed to a different key or to a different clef, which is what I use most, to transpose violin music down an octave and changed to alto clef for my viola.

There are many sites to find music, including on here. In addition, a couple are:

https://sheetmusic-free.com/

https://www.capotastomusic.com/

And if you dig around on this site, there are many more that others have suggested.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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May 15, 2021 - 4:15 pm
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Got my usual hour in again this afternoon and played Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, and Improv. and "Song" is still improving. I still have the couple of phrases in the Song from a Secret Garden that are giving me problems, but better. Also threw in a little Ode to Joy for the fun of it! I use about 1/2 hour on "Song" and 15 minutes on Sailor's Song, and the rest is scales or improv.

I'm not getting extra time in now that the viola is hanging on the wall, instead of in its case, but I appreciate how handy it is to start and end my practice session since I don't have to attach and remove the shoulder rest and tuner AND I like the way it looks on the wall!!!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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Another late night practice and only for 1/2 hour. Played Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, and a little Ode to Joy and Michael Row the Boat Ashore. Not much, but better than nothing. Still trying to keep at least once day going!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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May 17, 2021 - 5:02 pm
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An hour of practicing today, playing Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, and Ode to Joy. Plus I added a bowing exercise that @ELCBK pointed out to me here on the forum.

https://fiddlerman.com/forum/l.....ola-cello/

Lord knows I need all the help I can get!

Been practicing several of the phrases in Secret Garden separately to see if I can master them as my fingers trip over each other, while my viola slips around on my shoulder, and my bow goes wandering up and down the strings.

But, I'm still enjoying it and this blog helps keep me dedicated to practicing. Life is good!

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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May 17, 2021 - 6:38 pm
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A soloist on another forum told me to play each bar note by note very slowly, this helps intonation, fixes it in the memory and helps with timing.

Keeping a straight bow, is a combination of practice, looking in a mirror as you bow, the fore arm moving, rather than the entire arm, and the position of the violin on the shoulder. 

If the enire arm moves you saw, and the bow slides across the strings from the bridge to the edge of  the fingerboard. 

Not that I am qualified to give advice, as i suffer from the same things, but I have been told that these are the things to practice

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JohnG
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@stringy - Thanks, I believe what you say, however, I'm a very impatient, headstrong kinda guy, so I do what you suggest at times, at others I play exceedingly fast so my fingers have to react rather than have to be told what to do. If I think too much, I get confused. lol

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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On a general topic (I almost said note, but refrained), I really do appreciate any and ALL suggestions and comments here. This blog serves several purposes, such as keeping me focused and dedicated to daily practicing. But it also is a way to document HOW I have been able to progress and that most definitely includes those kinds of additions from others, not just my own thoughts and desires.

So, thank you all who continue to support my journey!

The old curmudgeon!

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Gordon Shumway
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May 18, 2021 - 10:19 am
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JohnG said
Maybe in another year or two (j/k) I'll be ready to share. 

I've been saying that for 8 years (guitar then uke). However, my 3rd anniversary of violin will be in September, so maybe I'll do an audio track to celebrate!

Andrew

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Mouse
May 18, 2021 - 2:10 pm
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Love your blog, JohnG. Keep it up. Of course, keeping it up includes your playing and learning. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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@Gordon Shumway - Gordon, I'm just glad I shared my first scale, as bad as it was, since after that almost anything is better! It's called managing expectations. lol

@Mouse - Thanks Mouse, I plan on keeping this up and pestering everyone with my blog entries!

Another hour today, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, Bowing Exercise, and Ode to Joy, per usual. Sounds boring to be doing the same things over and over, but I learn a little more each day, and that's what's important.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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May 19, 2021 - 4:08 pm
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Another day, another hour! Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, Amazing Grace, Michael Row, and Ode to Joy. 

One of the reasons to play some of the others after "Song" and "Sailor's" is that I get frustrated with continual mistakes in the main ones and need something to just kinda relax.

I have taken to doing more short phrase repetitions at slower and faster paces to mix it up which seems to have helped.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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May 19, 2021 - 8:00 pm
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@JohnG -

If you are having problems with Sailor's, just save it for later. 

Do you have any beginner books with a hornpipe? 

You'd probably want to transcribe this, but doesn't have all the string crossings that Sailor's has. 

Northumbrian Hornpipe (Last of The Twins)

https://www.folktunefinder.com.....unes/36698

If you don't want to play a hornpipe right now, you might find another Party you can join in with one of your favorite tunes. 

Or, you can start your own Party with whatever you like - I'd join in! 

Just Being Contented Smiley

- Emily

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JohnG
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May 19, 2021 - 11:18 pm
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@ELCBK - The Sailer's I'm practicing is actually pretty simple from the Hal Leonard viola book one, so you may see me soon.

The old curmudgeon!

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Gordon Shumway
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I've just bought half a dozen of this series of books.

I know them as Boosey and Hawkes, but I see from the link that maybe Hal Leonard market them in America, and you are already talking about that edition.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/pro.....#038;psc=1

psc=1

Andrew

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JohnG
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May 20, 2021 - 11:06 am
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Gordon Shumway said
I've just bought half a dozen of this series of books.

I know them as Boosey and Hawkes, but I see from the link that maybe Hal Leonard market them in America, and you are already talking about that edition.

My version is a much simpler one in a beginner's book.

Hal Leonard Essential Elements

The old curmudgeon!

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