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@KindaScratchy: I totally agree with you, Diane, on the improv. style. Most of the songs I play I do a lot of improvisation, it's fun to add to a song and create one's own style. I can change the way the song sounds at will, add my own thing, experiment until I think I have it the way I want it, not what a composer jotted down.
Creativity is, (IMO) the spice of music, feeling what you create. Sticking to written sheet to me is boring. When I play a song I can hear other instruments in the back ground and I will try to play / fill in what I think it would sound like hearing their sounds.
Many of the songs I play I play with kind of a 'swing' beat. Makes it more fun to play and not quite so boring to the listener.
I'm happy that you have taken more to ear playing and not just following the sheet.
Pierre told me over a phone conversation that we had awhile back that if he can "hum or sing" the song, he can play it, (by ear).
Edit: I'm with you on some jazz, but here's one I think you may enjoy,,, kinda soft jazz.
The violin/fiddle is a wonderful instrument, capable of many sounds and that can be used in many styles and genres to excellent effect.
The "best" way to play it is any way you can and that you enjoy. You can enjoy being a fine crafts-person, delighting in perfecting your flawless performance of an elegant historical piece. You can be a creative and innovative artist, making something nobody has ever heard before, to touch listeners' spirits as only you can..
Or anything else you can think of. It's all good. It is your violin/fiddle.. It is your hands.. Your choices.
The same goes for listening. The best music in the world is.. Whatever you enjoy the most at this moment. Sharing some links or names of performers so that others can give it a listen and see if they enjoy it too is great!
Whether it is Anne-Sophie Mutter or Van Halen's first album, you can give it a listen and if you go "Wow, this is wonderful.. Ok, I want to play, now!" that's cool! And if you give it a listen and go "Well, I can respect the artistry, but it isn't my personal cup of tea", that's cool too.
"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman
Just checking back in....
Appreciate the gypsy jazz piece posted above. Lovely sound in the lower registers.
All of the recommendations have been very nice, yet I still have an inexplicable emotional attachment to Mutter's performance. Perhaps it reminds me of some of my teachers in a subconscious way. I don't really know. I just know that I enjoy it, and I enjoy listening to it more than I enjoy watching the video.
It's not as if I haven't heard solo performances before. I just haven't been captivated by most of them. Maybe it's jealousy. Maybe I find Mutter's more accessible. Have I psychoanalyzed enough here?
Anyway, it's been fun. Thanks for the input. Sharing makes life more interesting, and I value everyone's input. I have definitely moved away from considering music as a competition. Now that I'm 25 years out from my last highschool performance and have no ambitions of being a professional musician, I don't really have to assign a rank to anything. There is no "best," even though there clearly are appreciable differences.
Kind regards, -Ben