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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 (391 votes) 
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Katie L
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January 1, 2023 - 1:41 pm
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JohnG how you getting on with your Kun shoulder rest if you don’t mind me asking 

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JohnG
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January 1, 2023 - 6:49 pm
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@Katie L - I've not used it since I got my new viola from Fiddlershop back in March. I'm using the excellent wood shoulder rest that came with it.

After almost a week off, got an hour in today playing from two of the fiddler books that I got for Christmas. Played Blind Mary and Hewlett from Fiddling for Viola; Rakes of Mallow, Skye Boat Song, and The Girl I Left Behind Me from Basic Fiddlers Celtic Fiddle Tunes. Very enjoyable to attempt tunes I'd never tried before in addition to Blind Mary and Skye Boat Song. Hopefully will be able to play them adequately in the near future.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

new year GIF

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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January 2, 2023 - 2:02 am
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https://i.pinimg.com/originals/8c/a4/56/8ca456b66375da43a21a45f7dfe7a2b4.jpg

@JohnG - 

Glad you got back to practicing. 

I missed a couple days before Xmas -

made me feel terrible to not even warm my fingers up to feel Edgar purr a bit. 

Really hope everything goes better for you & your Wife this year! 

- Emily 

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JohnG
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January 5, 2023 - 12:37 am
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@ELCBK - I think holiday chaos tends to interfere with leisure pursuits. I'm hoping it gets better this year for everyone.

After another two days off, got a half-hour in today playing from two of the fiddler books that I got for Christmas. Played Blind Mary and Hewlett from Fiddling for Viola; Rakes of Mallow, Skye Boat Song, and The Girl I Left Behind Me from Basic Fiddlers Celtic Fiddle Tunes.

I keep trying to play every day, but tiredness, lethargy and medical visits kinda throw me off. Hopefully I can get back in the swing of things.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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January 6, 2023 - 11:32 pm
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Got a half-hour in today, again playing from two of the fiddler books that I got for Christmas. Played Blind Mary and Hewlett from Fiddling for Viola; Rakes of Mallow, Skye Boat Song, and The Girl I Left Behind Me from Basic Fiddlers Celtic Fiddle Tunes.

I keep telling myself, play EVERY day, but I'm having trouble keeping myself going.

The old curmudgeon!

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Katie L
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January 7, 2023 - 7:30 am
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Keep going johng !!! Sometimes when I don’t want to practice I just bounce my fingers up and down on the strings and don’t even pick up the bow! 

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JohnG
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January 8, 2023 - 12:52 am
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@Katie L - Imma tryin' to keep goin'! Don't think I could do what you do, though. If I Maureen up, gotta play her, if even for just a few bars.

Tonight, got a full hour in and forced myself to play each of the 5 tunes for a regimented 12 minutes each. The same 5 that I've been concentrating on, Blind Mary and Hewlett from Fiddling for Viola; Rakes of Mallow, Skye Boat Song, and The Girl I Left Behind Me from Basic Fiddlers Celtic Fiddle Tunes.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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January 8, 2023 - 11:41 pm
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Only 40 minutes tonight, but 30 were on The Girl I Left Behind Me from Basic Fiddlers Celtic Fiddle Tunes and the other 10 on Amazing Grace and Wayfaring Stranger, just for the fun of it.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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January 9, 2023 - 9:07 pm
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Only 30 minutes tonight, but all 30 were on The Girl I Left Behind Me from Basic Fiddlers Celtic Fiddle Tunes. I really want to get this good enough to record.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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January 10, 2023 - 10:57 pm
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Another 30 minutes tonight, but all on The Girl I Left Behind Me from Basic Fiddlers Philharmonic Celtic Fiddle Tunes. Tonight I concentrated on recording this and I've included the 10th attempt here. It is in Unlisted status and will remain that way, but a later version will eventually be saved as public and shared elsewhere on the forum.

Don't expect great things!

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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January 19, 2023 - 6:50 am
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https://i.pinimg.com/236x/90/23/1e/90231eebddff90b6b6b1604fab1449e1.jpg

 

@JohnG -

I apologize, have NO idea how I missed this! 

LOVE that tune! 

So nice to hear you playing again! 

I enjoyed listening!  

How you been feeling? 

- Emily

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Mouse
January 19, 2023 - 7:56 am
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@JohnG I love that piece. I was trying that on my violin quite a while ago. Never tried it on my viola. I like it on a viola. You did a great job. I couldn't get any speed out of it when I was working on it. My playing was a bit slower. I like your little faster version, better. From the title, I think it was fine for me to play it kind of melancholy-ish(?) or like a guy reminiscing, but I like your sound better, so I was probably too slow. My fingers preferred my slow playing, though. 

It is a fun piece to play. My problem? I just stumble over my fingers. No biggie. I can work on it. I might get it out again, you inspired me and reminded me of it. My fingering is better on my new Fiddlershop violin, so I should give it another try. It was pretty good with the Fiddlershop violin that it replace, but this one suits me better. I would never have thought different violins, violas or cellos make this much difference. But back then, I did not know about setups, etc. 

Oh, I really liked the sound of this on my Grandpa's American Folk Fiddle (That is how it was described). It sounds completely different on that violin than on my Fiddlershop, or my other violin. 

Anyway, back to your video. I truly liked it. It has spirit and it is fun to listen to. This is one of my favorite fiddle pieces that I have. It is not too busy, but not boring, either. Thank you for posting this.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ABitRusty
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January 19, 2023 - 11:23 am
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John I too have always liked that tune and it was good to hear you play it today and bring back up

 And played well too btw!  I very much like the way you did it!  thanks for posting.

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Katie L
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January 19, 2023 - 1:54 pm
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Loved it john g

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JohnG
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January 19, 2023 - 2:10 pm
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@ELCBK - @Mouse - @ABitRusty - @Katie L 

Thank you all for the kind comments, but more importantly for the kick in the behind that I needed to get back to playing. In the last week and a half, I only played once as I used family togetherness and my own medical issues to deflect me from playing Maureen (my viola). I think I'm now back in the mood get back to playing much more!

I think this tune can be played many different ways, from lament to reel to march.

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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January 19, 2023 - 4:52 pm
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Great playing John, amazing to see how far you have come in such a short space of time.

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

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Katie L
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January 19, 2023 - 5:23 pm
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That’s great news glad to hear it. I like it thought it had a good positive vibe to it !

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ELCBK
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January 19, 2023 - 10:17 pm
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@JohnG - 

Time to pick another new tune to learn, while polishing up the old ones? 🤗

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JohnG
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January 20, 2023 - 11:12 pm
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@Katie L - Thanks, I kinda like how it turned out though it still needs some work before I do a final recording before releasing it "to the world"!

@ELCBK - Probably going to keep working on this one, plus play some of my "golden oldies" to get back into a better form I am now.

Last Sunday I played a half hour medley just to get my fingers working again and then this afternoon, spent another half hour on The Girl I Left Behind Me, Wild Mountain Thyme, and Oh Shenandoah.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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January 22, 2023 - 6:22 pm
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A whole hour today playing tunes and exercises in Essential Elements Vol 2, The Girl I Left Behind Me, Oh Shenandoah, and Rakes of Mallow.

The old curmudgeon!

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