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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 (312 votes) 
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ELCBK
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May 20, 2021 - 2:29 pm
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@Gordon Shumway , @JohnG -

Those both look like great books! 🤗

There's also another Seafaring Fiddler book -

The Seafaring Fiddler Complete Edition With CD Violin (2 Violins) Piano Guitar Ad Lib (Fiddler Collection)
by Hal Leonard Corp. and Edward Huws Jones | Aug 1, 2015 
 
You can hear samples of the Edward Huws Jones cd at amazon.
 
🤔 Somewhere here, not too long ago - Fiddlerman was asking for suggestions of books to add to the Fiddlershop site - was hoping to link these. 
 
I can't seem to find it, now. 🙄
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Mouse
May 20, 2021 - 3:46 pm
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I like that Hal Leonards Essential Elements series. I have books 1 and 2 for violin, viola and cello. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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May 20, 2021 - 4:14 pm
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@Mouse - I've been happy with it so far, plus I like the online interactive portion for logging my practice time.

Today, another hour, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, Amazing Grace, Improv. Really concentrated on the first two and used the others for a break and relaxation.

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
May 20, 2021 - 5:02 pm
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Yep, I used the online sessions, too. They are well done. I have another series, that I purchased for more songs  to play at the levels I was on, and it, too, has good online lesson access. I think it is Innovations something or something Innovations. 

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Fiddlerman
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May 21, 2021 - 3:09 pm
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Congrats on Rose Alena. That is fantastic!

"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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May 21, 2021 - 10:49 pm
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Fiddlerman said
Congrats on Rose Alena. That is fantastic!

  

@Fiddlerman - Thanks, pretty cool!

Today was another hour, played Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, Bowing, Amazing Grace, Improv, and Ode to Joy.

But last night and the night before were even more special. Wednesday, our son's youngest son "graduated" from kindergarden! And last night, our son's eldest graduated from grammar school (8th grade). Pretty emotional!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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May 22, 2021 - 6:32 pm
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Another hour of practice today, even with entertaining our son's second son (actually watching him play on the Xbox and perusing videos). Did the usual suspects, Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Scales, Bowing, Amazing Grace, and Improv.

One of the reasons for the improv is to improve my ear and musical memory (which is terrible). It seems to help a little.

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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May 25, 2021 - 4:34 pm
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Okay, and even my blog didn't help me practice! Missed two whole days and today was an hour of attempting to get a half-way decent video of "Sailor's Song" and some scales. Here are the results!

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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May 25, 2021 - 4:50 pm
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c major scale sounding good, commented on your hornpipe on the party section.

For me the best way , apart from scales for intonation , is the suzuki tonalisations, worth a look, if you havent done already.

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

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JohnG
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May 25, 2021 - 4:52 pm
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@stringy - Thanks and I'll look up the Suzuki tonalisations.

The old curmudgeon!

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Irv
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May 25, 2021 - 5:16 pm
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@JohnG and others.

And you are doing that without cheater stripes on the fingerboard.  Bravo!

I would try to make use of more hair length on the bow, particularly when doing scales. I slant the hair width in relation to the string when the hand is going toward the viola body and keep the hair more flat to the string on the return stroke.  My bow tends to oscillate on me if I do not. Mimic players on YouTube videos to get a gist of the mechanics.

You have your chin centred on the instrument, which maximises available bow arm length and I think is a good idea.  If you find that this is causing discomfort, you may want to swap your chin rest for a zitsman or flesch type (a zitsman type is pictured below).  A violin model will be cheaper, but the barrel will not provide enough adjustment for a viola unless you can switch out the barrels of your existing chin rest.1DA16029-DFE0-4DEF-84A3-4CC854836378.jpegImage Enlarger

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.

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JohnG
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May 25, 2021 - 5:29 pm
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@Irv - Thanks, you point out something I was actually thinking about today! I often only use 2-3 inches of the bow, near the frog. I've tried doing some of the bowing exercises that involve full bow strokes but obviously haven't mastered the use while actually playing!

That chin rest looks interesting and will keep it in mind. The current one with a new positioning of the shoulder rest seems to be getting more comfortable and I've been considering getting gel pad or something similar if it doesn't. If I look at new chin rests, I'll keep this in mind!

The old curmudgeon!

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Irv
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May 25, 2021 - 7:04 pm
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@JohnG and others.  I found it useful to attempt 30 seconds or so for each stroke half while doing scales, attempting to keep volume consistent throughout path.  I gets to be zen like after a few minutes.

It is common to angle bow on a diagonal while bowing.  You do not seem to have this fault.  Practice while viewing yourself in a mirror (or taking a video) will quickly detect this issue.

If loud playing limits your potential practice times, investing in a rubber mute or attaching a clothes line pin to your bridge will extend available hours.

I find it amazing what vistas an inexpensive Chinese can open.  

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.

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ELCBK
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May 25, 2021 - 7:17 pm
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@JohnG -

You look so relaxed playing your scale. 

Did you have to raise your arm to read the music for "Sailor's Song"? 

Keep that in mind if you find some unexplained aches - maybe raise your sheet music? 

Think you're doing an awesome job of playing! 

I have to be careful that my right hand doesn't apply the same pressure as my left (& vise versa), e.g., if I try to use the least amount of pressure to stop the string form fibrating, I might bow too lightly, etc... 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c0/a4/6f/c0a46f4a2d6370d2ed9512536ce19823.jpg

 

Btw, according to my calculations - you put in your $16.66 worth for the Hornpipe Party! (lol)  Your fair share, along with the other 5 (so far) of us. 😊

Thanx, again! 

- Emily

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JohnG
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May 25, 2021 - 11:32 pm
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@ELCBK - Thanks, I don't recall having to move my arm at all to see the music and looking at the video again, don't see any indication of that.  I really appreciate all the support that you and the others are giving me. 

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
May 26, 2021 - 8:57 am
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Hey, @JohnG, do you realize that your little blog is 7 pages long? Way to go and keep it up! 👏👏👏

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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May 26, 2021 - 11:02 pm
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@Mouse - Hard to believe after just over a month! Had a lot help from a great bunch of other people, though.

Today, another hour, concentrating on Song from a Secret Garden, with a little Sailor's Song and Scales. I really want to get Secret Garden good enough to share, maybe add to Critique. We'll see how long that takes. I really love the first 8 1/2 measures and the last 8 1/2 measures. It's the middle ones that I'm having trouble with. But I know if I keep working on those, it will be satisfying!

@ELCBK - went back and looked again in reference to arm and saw you were talking about the left arm raising the viola and see what you mean, but it wasn't because the music was in the way, just tension after trying so many times to get a halfway decent video. That DEFINITELY wasn't the first take!!! lol

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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May 27, 2021 - 1:34 am
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Think we all know how that goes! (lol) 

Just don't want you to get a crook in your neck or sore shoulder. 😊

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JohnG
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May 27, 2021 - 9:24 pm
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So, another hour today, even with a full day with son and family (including their 4 boys) and a former neighbor visiting from Arizona. Played Song from a Secret Garden, Sailor's Song, Ode to Joy, and Scales.

Secret Garden is coming along, but still not "Ready for Prime Time"!

The old curmudgeon!

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BillyG
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May 28, 2021 - 12:57 pm
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Great blog / thread ! Just commented elsewhere- won't repeat here- keep up the good work @JohnG - well done !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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