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Multi Instrumentalists
Where to find time for it all?
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Sasha
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February 7, 2020 - 8:18 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 44
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For the first month here, I have had a lot of time to devote to violin, and I feel I have made great strides in the first month and the instrument is actually feeling comfortable. 

There is not enough time in the day (even if I did not have a job) to put the time in to everything that I play, but for most I have found that I can 'keep up' at least a basic playing level with shorter practices 2 - 3 days a week or so (but not necessarily at professional performance level), as well as keeping up at least *some* callouses on left hand for guitar and right hand for bass.

I have been asked to play the spring concert with our local orchestra (on electric guitar, not violin) so I am going to have to focus on that repertoire and getting my chops back up there, so that will certainly decrease the time I have on the violin.

So, I need to re-adjust my practice schedule there, and try to come up with something there.  Even if I don't 'progress' much over the next couple of months, I will be happy if I do not 'regress' at all.  Likely I will not work much on new repertoire, and I am not overly worried about keeping intonation since that is very natural for me (I was starting to even play in 3rd position and not having any real issues) but the area I am really going to have to focus on is keeping bowing sounding at least as good as it is currently, and more importantly for me is the left hand and arm relaxed while playing.

I am just at the point where that was starting to loosen up and left shoulder not feel tight, tired and sore, and even playing on the G string was starting to feel comfortable.

If anyone has any tips on what to do for a most effective *minimal* practice 'routine' and 'schedule' to keep up with those two things, I would appreciate it greatly!

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starise
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February 7, 2020 - 8:59 pm
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Here's my 0000000000.2 worth. Not sure if you subscribed to VL? Beth has some great videos. I can get you those recommendations but don't have it in front of me. Mainly the mental image for the right arm is to apply a "reaching motion" with the right arm when it goes toward the tip of the bow instead of a sideways motion. This is one of the most common beginner mistakes..No side to side motion or very little happens with the right upper arm. Loosening that shoulder is important. Basically just playing all of the things that are considered foundational.....yeah I know, this seems a cop out or a shallow answer, but it's really just learning and repeating the basic things properly over and over until they become a habit.

I am left handed so this is especially a difficulty for me with my right arm.

I had some other interests too and I know the feeling of having to let something "slide" in order to make something else work. I'm feeling sick tonight. Low level fever, so no practice for me. You have developed some nice chops on the guitar, That's the kind of drive and perseverance you are going to need for the violin. At some point we make a decision to let something go. In my case it was my recordings. I keep thinking I'll get back to it but after violin practice I'm usually shot. FWIW I don't especially see learning the violin as creative. It's more of a technical endeavor. A skill we learn to the point where we can apply creatvity to it......I keep asking when that will be? Probably not for some time yet for me. 

Can you just do maybe 20-30 minutes on those nights? Every day is really best. We can't always do that. We can make that a goal though...as I said tonight isn't good for me. I was beginning to think that maybe I would slide under the flu radar this year. I've been pushing all kinds of healthy compounds into my body......If anything it delayed it. That's all.

Good luck! I hope you find the time.

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Sasha
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February 7, 2020 - 10:01 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2019
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Thanks Starise.

Yeah, I think I will have to let videos slide a bit too, I have not done one for a couple of weeks now myself, they are just lower on the priority right now.

Hopefully you recover from the flu soon, I have had sketchy practice myself the last couple of weeks, I got hit with a bad chest cold/bronchitis.  I am just glad I didn't push to pneumonia.

After the last two weeks of that, I do think violin will have to be an every day thing, even if only the 15 - 20 minutes.   I've hit about 3 times a week, but that is not consistent enough.  3 times a week isn't really enough for me to maintain on guitar either, *but* it's enough that I can ramp back up really fast on it.  On violin, it makes for little to no progress, and even backsliding.

As far as learning being a creative or technical endeavor, that could be a whole discussion topic itself.  For me, it's highly creative, but a lot of that is probably my mindset that I have from how I learned other instruments.  Even though I might be working on a technical aspect, and all of the muscle training and everything that goes in to it, the overriding thought is sounding and *feeling* musical.  Which can be highly subjective.

I would be willing to bet though, that I could write and record a piece of music this weekend, playing guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and add some violin in, and no one would immediately jump out and say "That's a beginner violinist there".   But, it would absolutely be a beginner part, with maybe even just a couple of notes, but something I could focus on pure musically.

And thank you for the compliment on guitar.  I am assuming you are referring to the song on my YouTube page.  That was something I did when something finally snapped in my little blonde brain and my chops started to skyrocket in a matter of weeks.  (Largely due to the inspiration of my other post on perfect practice).

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Sasha
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February 16, 2020 - 9:45 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2019
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I just picked up the violin for the first time in almost 2 weeks (Yeah, bad me) but between work, being sick, and working on guitar, just was not enough time.   But, the cold seems to be going away finally, at least I hope so, and maybe work will slow down, just a little hopefully, so can get some violin time back in.

I don't feel like I lost too much, only a little on the latest couple of songs I was working on.   I did notice I was definitely hitting on the tips of my fingers a lot more, and it feels really different with the guitar callouses getting back up.

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GregW
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February 16, 2020 - 10:49 pm
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Ive often wondered how callouses are affecting my fiddle.  Ive even filed down that ragged edge you get right at the tip of the fingers where the nail would end.  that might be a little too pathetic looking for help but they were catching on the strings in some crossings.  one thing I will say is that playing fiddle tunes on a fiddle and not trying to flat pick someone else's version from tab has helped solidify the melodies.   Now when I try and flat pick tunes they come easier.  It's pretty darn cool how that works.  go figure huh.  kinda obvious there I suppose. Also, I made the mistake a couple weeks back and visited Gruhns.  I've pulled that guitar GAS scab off now and have some serious itch.  

I'm sure you're going to pick right back where you left off and sail right past your last milestones on violin.  Good to hear the updates!  glad you're feeling better too.

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starise
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February 17, 2020 - 5:22 pm
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Sasha said
I just picked up the violin for the first time in almost 2 weeks (Yeah, bad me) but between work, being sick, and working on guitar, just was not enough time.   But, the cold seems to be going away finally, at least I hope so, and maybe work will slow down, just a little hopefully, so can get some violin time back in.

I don't feel like I lost too much, only a little on the latest couple of songs I was working on.   I did notice I was definitely hitting on the tips of my fingers a lot more, and it feels really different with the guitar callouses getting back up.

  

Glad you feel better and you had some time to practice. 

The thing I really dislike about missing practice is when I go to a lesson and don't feel I've made much if any progress. I just as well lay the money there and leave and would be none the worse for it. A parent funding their child is one thing, me funding myself and not performing up to snuff the following week is just wasteful. Having paid for the lessons is a motive for me to keep at it. If I don't show, teacher still gets paid. If I show and my playing is where it was the week before, it's on me.

Self training seems a little more lenient however one needs to be "after themselves" to get at it. I'm not sure i would fare much better if I didn't have that little weekly push. Two days might go by and I might then decide to pick it up....or not. It's REALLY easy to quit.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 25, 2020 - 9:37 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15262

@Sasha - as per your question, just continue doing what you've been doing but try to do it regularly. Whatever time you can devote to playing the violin, do it. If your new journey lessens your time on the violin, so be it. Play just a little bit every day so that you feel that you haven't given it up and can increase later when you have time. Managing time is probably the most common problem most of us have. Good luck with the Spring Concert and enjoy it.

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

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