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Dynamics and Tone
Excellent thread for tips on bowing for dynamics and tones. Topic originally was called, "A question for the maestro fiddlerman"
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (10 votes) 
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stringy
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August 27, 2021 - 2:55 pm
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What in yoir opinion is the very best exercise for promoting beautiful tone, is it just a case of practice, or soft and hard inflections in playing. I have noticed a tune played softer and harder at times regardless of what it says in the music, usually sounds more interesting and better, how much scope is there in written music for putting your own feel into it without deviating so much that the music to a purist is destroyed.

I have been learning Aria Amorosa and it doesnt have any signs for soft light hard fast or anything in the written music, I have learned the first page and my timing is ok, but I them listen to a violinist on you tube and with the variance in her playing makes it sound like a different piece altogether.

I know in baroque the musician is supposed to put his own interpretation on the music.

Back to my original question, do you think there is a specific exercise that you personally like or is it as I suspect down to differences that you put into the music yourself.

I originally was happy just to play in tune, which with ornaments on fiddle music is enough, but classical seems to be a different ball game, if you have the time I would greatly value your opinion , is this something that can be developed or is a teacher required, or does it come with time.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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August 28, 2021 - 1:43 am
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Well, you asked the maestro, but I'll pretend it's an open question. My suggestion is just to spend a few minutes playing only one or two individual notes at a time instead of tunes. You probably already have a single note which you think sounds nicer than all the rest - it might be E on the D string or B on the A string or something, and just stop there and work on it. Or it may be better to choose the D on the A string or the G on the D string to use the sympathetic resonance of the string below to enrich the tone. Or if you hate your intonation on the E string, play the A there to make the A string resonate in sympathy and then stop and experiment with that one note. Play it loud, soft, experiment with it to find out how your bowing makes a difference and how vibrato enriches the note. If you always play tunes, your bowing will have too much to cope with and won't be producing good tone as well. Experiment with the distance of the bow from the bridge. Next comes scales. What do you use them for? Play them really slowly and use them for tone and intonation. 

Suzuki books have a little tune they use as part of their warm-up exercises and which is aimed at good tone, but the important thing is that it's a simple tune, not demanding any other aspect of technique other than tone.

Andrew

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stringy
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August 28, 2021 - 12:07 pm
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Thanks Andrew I will try out some of your ideas, some good thoughts and suggestions there.

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

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katie m
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August 30, 2021 - 11:57 am
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I’m going to give this a whirl too! Thanks 

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Fiddlerman
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August 31, 2021 - 7:18 am
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stringy said
What in yoir opinion is the very best exercise for promoting beautiful tone, is it just a case of practice, or soft and hard inflections in playing. I have noticed a tune played softer and harder at times regardless of what it says in the music, usually sounds more interesting and better, how much scope is there in written music for putting your own feel into it without deviating so much that the music to a purist is destroyed.

That is a great question. Yes, dynamics are super important. Like colors in a painting.
I would for sure practice playing vey softly, and practice playing from as soft as you can to as loud as you can. Slow bows, and fast bows.

To play softly, you need to play away from the bridge, even sometimes over the fingerboard. You need to have very little pressure but consistent. When playing softly, you "can" use a lot of bow, but with almost no pressure, "Flautando"....

To play loudly, you'll play closer to the bridge with more pressure. When playing loudly, you will either use a lot of bow, or slow very heavy strokes with a lot of pressure. 

Practice bowing long slow bows, as this is the most difficult to achieve.

I have been learning Aria Amorosa and it doesnt have any signs for soft light hard fast or anything in the written music, I have learned the first page and my timing is ok, but I them listen to a violinist on you tube and with the variance in her playing makes it sound like a different piece altogether.

If I were to describe dynamics as a rule, I would suggest that you grow when the notes go up in a phrase, and get softer when they go down. There are exceptions but this works most of the time.
Try singing the piece and see what you do naturally and try to imitate that on the violin.

I know in baroque the musician is supposed to put his own interpretation on the music.

Back to my original question, do you think there is a specific exercise that you personally like or is it as I suspect down to differences that you put into the music yourself.

Growing up, taking lessons from fabulous teachers, I was constantly told what to do, how to phrase.... But I've learned that "your" interpretation is the one that matters, and if you constantly do what is on the page, "someone else's" interpretation, you will grow less as a musician.

I originally was happy just to play in tune, which with ornaments on fiddle music is enough, but classical seems to be a different ball game, if you have the time I would greatly value your opinion , is this something that can be developed or is a teacher required, or does it come with time.
  

Just the fact that you are thinking about it, wondering about it, asking about it, shows that you are there. You are definitely ready to experiment....

Test your feelings out. Record yourself and give yourself critique, work on that, then record yourself again and see if its better.

I'm looking forward to getting a report. 😁

Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your questions.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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stringy
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August 31, 2021 - 8:14 am
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Thank you for taking the time to answer my lengthy question, I did upload a vid of were I am with Amorosa but after reading your reply have deleted it, I wasn’t happy with it and know I can do better. now that I have a few things that you suggested to work on, l am going to concentrate on improving and then upload the vid again when I actually am happy with it. 

Your bowing suggestions for soft and hard are just what I wanted to know, and the phrasing is especially useful. I think I have tried so hard just to play in tune , along with everything else that, I just paid no real attention to the actual sound at all, until that is I heard the same piece being played properly with feeling, and was shocked, the violinist obviously had much more experience and years playing than I have, but it is no excuse for me not trying to develope feeling. Thanks again, I will now endeavour to stop playing like a robot, and more like a piece of velvet.

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

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katie m
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August 31, 2021 - 8:52 am
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Wow I feel really motivated all of a sudden !! Thanks for the advice Fiddlerman and asking the question stringy !

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Fiddlerman
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August 31, 2021 - 4:43 pm
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stringy said
.............I think I have tried so hard just to play in tune , along with everything else that, I just paid no real attention to the actual sound at all, until that is I heard the same piece being played properly with feeling, and was shocked.........

You're not alone. Most people focus on almost everything before focussing on the actual "music". You're lucky to have realized it now. This is where the fun begins. :)

katie m said
Wow I feel really motivated all of a sudden !! Thanks for the advice Fiddlerman and asking the question stringy !

I knew that others would appreciate the question. You are very welcome Katie. 😁

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 31, 2021 - 4:48 pm
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stringy said

A question for the maestro fiddlerman
Also, no need to call me maestro......
 
 
 
 
 
 
Call me "My Lord", or "Your Lordship", "Your excellence", Majesty, Your honour..... 🤣
 
 
 
 
 
Just kidding. ROFL

  

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Mouse
August 31, 2021 - 4:50 pm
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roflol

The Bumblebee Flies!

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stringy
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August 31, 2021 - 5:15 pm
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Fiddlerman said

stringy said

A question for the maestro fiddlerman
Also, no need to call me maestro......
 
 
 
 
 
 
Call me "My Lord", or "Your Lordship", "Your excellence", Majesty, Your honour..... 🤣
 
 
 
 
 
Just kidding. ROFL

  

  

Just dont call me tonight;)

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

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ELCBK
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August 31, 2021 - 5:33 pm
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Really appreciate the wonderful advice! 

I, personally, do not conscientiously think about using dynamics enough. 

Thank you for bringing this subject up!

Confused Head Scratching Emoticons

This title stuff must be a 'guy thing'... Kevin has our Alexa calling him "Master". 😏

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JohnG
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August 31, 2021 - 6:02 pm
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Personally, I think Exalted Leader has a nice ring to it! @Fiddlerman.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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August 31, 2021 - 6:58 pm
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THAT'S THE BEST, YET!

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Mark
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I'd prefer you not call me late to supper!!!!

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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Mouse
September 1, 2021 - 8:34 am
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The topic title was changed from "A question for the maestro fiddlerman" to "Dynamics and Tone" for people searching in the "learning" for this information. "A question for the maestro fiddlerman" is in the subject area of the topic title for those who visited during the early days of the topic.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Fiddlerman
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September 1, 2021 - 12:41 pm
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ELCBK said
This title stuff must be a 'guy thing'... Kevin has our Alexa calling him "Master". 😏

I actually have Siri calling me, "My Lord".... ROFL

But obviously it's a joke too. Kind of 😉

JohnG said
Personally, I think Exalted Leader has a nice ring to it! @Fiddlerman.

🤣

Mouse said
The topic title was changed from "A question for the maestro fiddlerman" to "Dynamics and Tone" for people searching in the "learning" for this information. "A question for the maestro fiddlerman" is in the subject area of the topic title for those who visited during the early days of the topic.

But now my quote doesn't make sense. 🤣

Good idea though Cynth. Thanks!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Gordon Shumway
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September 1, 2021 - 2:32 pm
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I just finished a Third Rock from the Sun marathon, but "The Big Giant Head" is not very flattering, so I can't apply it to Pierre.

Andrew

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SharonC
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September 1, 2021 - 6:32 pm
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How about Fiddler Grand Pooh-bah!

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Fiddlerman
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September 8, 2021 - 11:34 am
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You guys call me whatever you like. I promise that I won't be offended.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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