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A Bit of a Predicament - in a good way
What to do, what to do, what to do.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Mouse
August 10, 2022 - 8:31 pm
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@RDP and all others,

So, my intonation is much improved since I had a formal challenge to myself. I also improve my bowing. Now, I want to put them together in song, I have purchased Alison Sparrow's Simply Series. Nice series of sheet music downloads of different genres that are simple, but not boringly so. I started out with her violin lessons. 

Anyway, I played through them all today put aside the ones that I liked, and could learn from without making it lose my bowing and/or intonation when playing. I need to be able to put the two together. I guess I am sort of a systematic learner, 😵‍💫. 

I have 2 from her Simply Romantic Series, 4 from the Simply Country, and believe it or not, 2 from Simply Jigs & Reels, and 2 from Simply Jazz, Blues & Rags.

My problem is that I like them all, they are all fun, they all pretty much allow me to do both bowing and intonation - while making it just challenging enough to do so, they all have something to teach me about rhythm and counting beats.

My challenge is not to go back and forth and to pick one and stick to it. I do not know which one to do. There is not one that I really want to learn before the others, that would be too easy. I want to learn them all first, 😱 .

Any suggestions on how to figure this out, please do not base it on your preferred genre to play. Between these, I truly like them all. 

Thanks,

🐭

PS, I did my violas today and I have noticed that has greatly improved in intonation and bowing. Now when I say "greatly improved", I am in now way saying I am good. I mean greatly improved from being really bad. That makes me less bad, 😂😂😂😂😂

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ABitRusty
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August 10, 2022 - 9:13 pm
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i think you will always get the most out of playing what you love or enjoy hearing.   Maybe if you like all the books, pick 1 or 2 tunes from each and concentrate on those specific tunes for a week or 2 and dont worry about moving on or what youre not learning by not flipping a page.

experiment with those only and see how it goes.  i dont think there will be a wrong book or one that should be done before the other unless she has structered some type of program within each book that she specifically spells out.

still..its about playing music and if you have some tunes in each that you really enjoy, then just practice those and see how you can develop with each of them only.  

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Mouse
August 10, 2022 - 9:29 pm
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These seem to able to be done in any order. They appear to be stressing what was learned in her 1 set of lessons, and giving you pieces to use what was taught, and build on, as far as different genres, keys, rhythms. 

It is actually really nice because they aren't boring and are preparing you to move on because there are songs with runs (like scales), songs with flats, she is just throwing everything from the lessons in her book 1. I was very surprised by the download.

EDITED IN: I think I will rule out the Blue Boogie Blues. I need to perfect the bowing a little better with the other songs first. I think it will discourage me, right now. Playing it really slow, it is neat piece, but needs to be done to speed. 

Thanks.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ABitRusty
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August 10, 2022 - 11:33 pm
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@mouse said

EDITED IN: I think I will rule out the Blue Boogie Blues. I need to perfect the bowing a little better with the other songs first. I think it will discourage me, right now. Playing it really slow, it is neat piece, but needs to be done to speed. 

maybe..but its possible that once you start experimenting with it you stumble on something you like no matter the speed.   but i get what youre saying.  when weve spent years hearing things played a certain way ..thats how we wanna hear them played for it to be correct.  But.. there could be something in there that comes out slower thats nice too.

I think sometimes overlooked in our desire to play better.. is just because something seems like a simple piece of music doesnt mean there isnt value in it from a learning standpoint.  It all builds.

Just figuring out what mood the fiddle is in every night is an adventure in itself 🤣

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Mouse
August 11, 2022 - 7:44 am
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@ABitRusty Blue Boogie Blues is a piece I want to experiment with, definitely. It is in the Simply Blues & Rags. It needs to be payed with a bouncy swing. I have a hard time changing a tune after I learned it one way. Inner stubbornness? 😏 I really want to get this correct.

I have always like that sound of the blues, although, I really don't listen to it much, specifically, and don't own any CD's full of blues. A blues song often appears in many of my CD's. When the blues song, on that CD, comes up, it always gets my attention. Therefore, I think that if I try it before I perfect my bowing a little more, I will make it impossible to play the way I know it should be, and want it to be. Does that make sense.

If I could do a piece differently, after learning it one way, no problem. I think that once I am more confident and consistent, this issue will subside more, Every piece I pulled is a challenge right now, but I am much more confident after do that challenge, that is so weird. 

The other pieces I have pulled all have things to offer, new fingering, bowing that has to be learned, etc. I can use a goal of playing that piece as a true blues piece to get me focused to persist. It is like the challenge. This will be my challenge, reach a point where I have what I need to learn that piece properly.

It is neat that these pieces are an addition to the lessons for book one, and they are interesting, fun, and a challenge. Learning them should fill the gap before I move onto her Book 2 lessons. 

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Gordon Shumway
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August 11, 2022 - 7:54 am
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Boogie woogie was definitely invented for the piano's left hand, so it may be difficult to impossible on the violin.

Andrew

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Mouse
August 11, 2022 - 7:57 am
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The video recording does not sound exactly like what the left hand is doing on he piano. But, it has that feel. I know what you are saying, though.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
August 11, 2022 - 5:29 pm
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I don't need to learn another scale right now. It is not imperative to learn that Boogie Woogie song right now. It was an option among others. I have weeded it out for now. I need to take the two things I have worked on and be able to put them together. I do have a problem keeping my intonation when being concerned about bowing, or bowing properly and being concerned about intonation. Separately, I am much better, I need to put it together, so a song that is going to make me have to pay too much attention to a specific rhythm, like the Boogie Woogie, right now, would not help me put things together. That is just the way I learn things, step-by-step. 

So, now I have to decide which one or two to focus on. I have weeded out two more today. I like them, but I was able to see where they are just not going to work for what I need right now, being comfortable with fingering and bowing. 

That was the issue with lessons, too much at one time, and not enough time allowed to actually be able to do it, before having to move on. 

I hope the others that I need to weed out are as easy to choose as the two today. When I initially selected them to include, it was more because I like the tune and would like to do it day after day, but I need another step before I do them. One was from the Simply Romantic. Not sure where the other is from. Simply Jigs and Reels, I think.

One from the Simply Jigs and Reels is in the "could be pile". The next one I try again, probably tomorrow morning, and notice has what I need right now, will be the second. Once I find the second one, I will put them all aside for next go round. I don't want to spend too much time finding another one. I would like it to be easy to memorize. The one in the "could be" is almost memorized.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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RDP
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August 11, 2022 - 10:53 pm
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My thoughts:

I'm not going to even get close to saying which one to pick.  Not my place to go  eeny, meeny, miney, moe and all that jazz.   What I will say is to close your eyes and think about what music is you.  What music is inside of you.  The music that's in your head, your heart, and the hidden places in your soul.  Pick the one that's closest to that.

For me, I'll probably never be interested in learning or playing Paganini's Caprice No. 24 or anything remotely similar.  Even the Suzuki lessons, for the most part, aren't something I want to learn.  In fact, I often just hate them because they aren't "music", they're homework designed to teach a skill.  I'm not learning to play as a skill, I'm learning to play because I want to play music.  If that means I have to learn how to play the Suzuki pieces then I'll do it, but it's not by choice or preference.

 

My soul resonates with Massenet's Meditation from Thais, Paganini's Symphony No. 1, Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman - Barcolle, Vivaldi's Spring, and others like those including works from modern composers like Barry White's Love's Theme.  In your situation, I'd lean heavily toward a piece which reflects the same tone/tenor/personal resonance as what's inside of me.  Thus, my recommendation is for you to find what drives you, and choose the one on your list which is closest to that.

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Mouse
August 12, 2022 - 7:01 am
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Thank you all for your input. I think I know the second one that I will pock. one tnat would be good to,"warm up" with. before doing Jefferson County

Jefferson County has some things that I have issues with, and I am able to do it pretty good with speed. Speed is my demon, so something that actually kind of gets me to do it with speed, is a good one to do. I usually dodge songs that would normally be played with speed. It ends with a double stop, also, which I never get, so that is also a good thing.

Jefferson County, also, has a pretty good beat and that is helping me with my timing, which is hurting.

The other one will hit in other aspects that I know I have issues with.

Yesterday, I did notice my bowing remained somewhat steady while playing Jefferson County. That is my goal, put the boqimg and intonation together, not sacrificing one for the other.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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RDP
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August 12, 2022 - 2:50 pm
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My ultimate realization after half a century of meditating on tone is that strings "only sing the heart of the one who plays them."  Strings are mindless entities, they produce sound through the physical act of vibration.  At each lesson I say "Put your heart into your tone, your spirit into your tone," because our entire personalities are revealed in the tone we produce.  To make music is to serve the string; to create a beautiful, resonant tone; to sing with one's heart and the living spirit of music.

 

Sinichi Suzuki - preface to Suzuki Violin School, volume 2

 

Zen in the art of playing violin.  Who knew?  Play to your strengths, study your weaknesses to make them strengths.

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damfino
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August 12, 2022 - 8:53 pm
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I used to play some of the tunes from her, it was when I first started so can’t remember which ones for sure, but there’s some fun ones in there.

Just pick whatever motivates you and makes you excited to play. I never made as much progress when I was forcing myself to learn a tune I didn’t fully love. 

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damfino
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August 12, 2022 - 8:57 pm
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Ok, thought the name Jefferson County sounded familiar, and that is one of the ones I used to play. violin-1267

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Mouse
August 12, 2022 - 8:58 pm
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Jefferson County is fun to do.

Thanks for the input.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Mouse
August 13, 2022 - 10:11 am
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So, I have my two songs selected for my violin and cello. I just need my viola now. No biggie, I can continue with my scales on that for now and play a couple ditties that don't have anything new to offer, for a bit.

Violin: Jefferson County and Country Stroll. Both are from Alison Sparrow's Simply Country selection. I thought the Jefferson County was from a different Simply collection.

With the two violin pieces, they will help me move my fingers more quickly and maintain accuracy (hopefully), Country stroll has some 16th notes, creating a lot of black on the page, which always scares me off and causes panic when I just see it. I am hoping this will help me conquer that. It is to be played moderate, so, I am hoping that knowing that, it will keep me from speeding up, as I always do when I see a lot of black on a page. 

Both of these songs are in the familiar key of G. Please do not get technical with me about whether it is actually G or some other key with an F# and C#. I know these songs do not start or end on a G, but the F# and C#, to me, it is a key of G, Someone pointed all of that out around one of my first posts. It just confused me and caused all sorts of issues for me when trying to figure out a kay and I just decided I was not going to do any more music theory. I am not into any more theory than I need to play so I enjoy playing my instruments. 😁. 

My cello: Chorus from "Judas Maccabacus"Suzuki Book 2. And, an andante piece on page 10  from Alwin Shcroeder, 170 Foundation Studies for Violincello, Volune 1

Chorus from "Judas Maccabacus"  has a tiny little G string 2nd position shift in measures 11-12 that always gave me an issue when I did this with my second cello instructor. I am going to conquer that. It sets me up for the D string 2nd position in measure 13.

The Andante on page 10 of the Alwin book, also gave me issues with the second cello instructor. Bowing is really a key to it, and I need that exercise, full of accidentals, and slurs. It is a nice melody and I really want to get it smoothed out, as I wanted to do when I was doing the lessons with her.

 

I was going to venture into unknown or unfamiliar key territory, but I wanted to get my confidence level up a bit more first.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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damfino
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August 13, 2022 - 4:07 pm
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If maintaining your tempo while practicing is worrying you, do you ever play along with videos to practice? That is my main way of practice, learn the notes, then go to YouTube and put the videos at about 75% speed to play along to, until I can get them to 100%, that helps me learn how it should sound. Doesn’t mean I won’t go off the rails when I play without it, but that has always helped. 

Ps For me telling me a tune is in D, G or blueberry means nothing to me, lol. I can read sheet music and know where my fingers belong as far as the key signature #’s , but don’t know what key they actually are, lol. 

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Mouse
August 13, 2022 - 6:14 pm
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damfino said
If maintaining your tempo while practicing is worrying you, do you ever play along with videos to practice? That is my main way of practice, learn the notes, then go to YouTube and put the videos at about 75% speed to play along to, until I can get them to 100%, that helps me learn how it should sound. Doesn’t mean I won’t go off the rails when I play without it, but that has always helped. 

Ps For me telling me a tune is in D, G or blueberry means nothing to me, lol. I can read sheet music and know where my fingers belong as far as the key signature #’s , but don’t know what key they actually are, lol. 

  

I should do that with videos, again. I tried it one time. The arrangement was completely different. All minds of embellishments, etc. Really messed me up and never did it again.  When I did the Essentials, I used the online tools and played with them. They were done to match the tunes. I just lost interest in the Essential Strings series after a while. Good series, but I needed different tunes.

Yep, I don't need to know all that key stuff. I play by myself, for myself, and that will always be the case. The comment about it really threw me off, although it was meant to be helpful. In school, key of G was F and C sharp, period. Since it was pointed out, I then thought it was imperative I learn all that in order to play. Bought a couple of theory books and just confused myself more, 😂😂😂😂😂. I decided that people can play without that. I needed to make sure nobody asked if it was really key of G or if they knew the sheet music they didn't say it was not the key of G and mess me up again. Does not take much to do that, actually. I always get a little nervous mentioning a key, now. LOL It is so silly. 

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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August 13, 2022 - 11:51 pm
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You don't have to be confused about keys - or even memorize them. 

Just refer to the Circle of 5ths if you want to know what the Key Signature means. 

It's that easy. 

So, F# + C# = D Major, or if it sounds minor - then it's B minor. 

Helpful to know for accompaniment - or if someone tells you what Key something is played in. 

Just refer to the chart.

https://neelmodi.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Circle-of-fifths-1200.pngImage Enlarger

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AndrewH
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There are rules of thumb you can use, too. If a key signature has sharps, look at the last sharp in the key signature. The major key it represents is a half step above the last sharp. If a key signature has more than one flat, then the second-last flat is the major key that it represents. The major key is always the third note of the minor scale represented by the same key signature.

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AndrewH
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As far as what to play: depends on what your purpose for picking music is. If you just want to enjoy playing it, pick whatever strikes your fancy. If you're trying to develop your skills, you can look through the music and see if there's anything that includes the techniques you want to focus on.

When I'm not sure what I want to work on next, I like to read through a big pile of music, without any particular plan to work on any piece in that pile, and see if there's anything that either speaks to me or fits a technical need.

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