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What is your Go To Song?
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North Carolina
May 8, 2014 - 11:56 am
Member Since: April 28, 2014
Forum Posts: 39
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Yesterday, I was practicing something new and just got plain frustrated because it did not sound good. It made me second guess if I should keep trying to play violin. I got myself together and decided to play something I know sounds pretty decent on my violin. That song was Amazing Grace. I find this to be my Go-To-Song when my practicing is not going as well or as fast as I would like.
Do you have a Go-To-Song if so, what's the name of it?

Patience is necessary to learn the violin: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.-James 1:4
When I get discouraged: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.-Philippians 4:13

Brora, North-east Scotland
May 8, 2014 - 12:34 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3589
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I don't have such an "intentional" go-to song - but what I suffer from ( because I am not sight-reading - come on Bill - get it sorted ) is when playing a tune by ear - particularly one I haven't played before - is suddenly lapsing into something totally different - probably because there's a phrase in the music that "belongs" or "is common to" something else. The horrific thing is that it just needs to be a sequence of half a dozen notes - the key, the tempo, the rhythm can be completely different from what I'm trying to play - and suddenly I'm playing "Molly Malone" or "Whiskey in the Jar" or "When Johnny comes marching home", etc etc etc (none of which I have ever practiced or intentionally played). Somewhat scary, and if it didn't make me laugh, I would cry !

Chatting with @OldOgre earlier today - I am somewhat heartened and pleased to know that I am not alone and it seems to be a shared problem, most likely associated with the passing of the years.... and following much discussion, we have no other explanation....https://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/roflol.gif


DeeLight41 said
...It made me second guess if I should keep trying to play violin....

.... no, do not let such thoughts enter your head !

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

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

Honorary tenured advisor

May 8, 2014 - 12:45 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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MadBill said
suddenly lapsing into something totally different - probably because there's a phrase in the music that "belongs" or "is common to" something else.

@Fiddlestix informs that he does that too.

It happens to me occasionally. More common for me is to start playing a tune without thinking of what the tune is. Then I have to keep playing and listening before I can say what the tune is.

Oh oh, let's be aware that this is kind of a hijacking of the thread, and promise to return to the original question.

Brora, North-east Scotland
May 8, 2014 - 1:40 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 3589
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@DeeLight41 and @RosinedUp - yes - it was not an intentional thread-hijack - and is probably a good stand-alone topic for a separate thread ( What tune do you unintentionally lapse into playing ? )

I guess I was recounting what happens to me "where I am now". To be specific to the thread - yes - Dee - in my initial fumbling with the instrument - I didn't actually have a "comfort tune" to fall back on - instead - I would go do some scales practice - ( boring, well it can be - although you can make it interesting, but nonetheless essential ) - and even then - VERY BASIC two octave scales - rooted on G, D, A - the easy ones in the earliest of days. Doing that, is what would calm me down, and after 5 or 10 minutes - yes - it feels better - like "I really *do* have some control over this instrument" - and then return to my previously failed song practice - with the last scale played 5 or so times in the key of tune I'm about to try....

Never underestimate the benefit of scales practice !

So, sure - looking back on it - in the early days, scales were my "go-to" comfort-blanket / comfort-zone - always got me "back on track" so to speak...LOL

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

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


May 9, 2014 - 5:33 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
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"Mary Hamilton" or "Red is the Rose". Maybe "Blow the Candles Out" if I want something slow, or "Whisky You're the Devil" if I want something fast. So basically, old folk songs that I've done countless times on assorted instruments are what I resort to as "Go To" when I've been tussling with something a bit tricky and I'm not 100% happy with how it has been going or if I'm showing a visitor what my violin sounds like or (rare occassions) I'm trying an instrument in a shop.

Stuff where I could do it in the middle of an apocalypse, before my first cup of coffee, while pretty much still asleep. LOL

"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


May 9, 2014 - 8:25 am
Member Since: June 30, 2011
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I guess swallowtail jig is mine. Its my warm up tune as well

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart


May 9, 2014 - 9:06 am
Member Since: December 25, 2013
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When I first started it was Will The Circle Be Unbroken and I'll Fly Away, then Simple Gifts. My violin has always sounded best on the lower three strings. As I memorized whatever Suzuki tune I was working on they became my go to tunes.

Now though it is anything I have memorized. Which is really awesome. When I played the flute in high school I could never memorize music. Now I am actually thinking in tones/sounds and not the written note!!

I think my violin sounds best with bluegrass tunes. I wonder if some violins just sound better playing one type of music over another?

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

May 9, 2014 - 1:53 pm
Member Since: January 24, 2012
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I usually play a small tune I made myself. I know the notes, but whether the notes I think I am playing are the actual notes are another thing. I was told when I first started playing my C# was a D. You know by some one who can tell the note from the noise being made, madness I know. Especially with me playing.

But I like playing Perpetual Motion from the Suzuki books, because I like the intro and need to practice playing with my little finger.

As for playing something else entirely when playing one piece, does a dozen wrong notes in a row count?

May 9, 2014 - 10:13 pm
Member Since: February 28, 2011
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My go-to is scales. Gets me moving and I can hear the mood for that day without the distraction of notes.
Next, I ramble on in some minor key to get a better feel for the day. (My teacher once said I was a minor player and now I know what she meant. I can play (something) minor all day.
@Schaick Yeah, I think a violin can have a blue grass sound. On the other hand, I've heard some bluegrass where the violin had too much pedigree

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Queensland, Australia
Honorary tenured advisor

May 10, 2014 - 1:42 am
Member Since: July 8, 2011
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Dee, I totally hear what you're saying!
I'm still working on the Thaxted project, it's getting better but some days it just doesn't! So I usually use my memorised tunes ... Ave Maria, Over the Rainbow, slow stuff like that to get me back in the mood.
Oh, and lots of coffee helps too ...

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.


May 10, 2014 - 3:41 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2013
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I start out with Ashokan Farewell, Lover's Waltz, Midnight on the Water, Scotland the Brave, Turkey in the Straw, and then whatever I'm currently working on.


Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.


Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country


May 11, 2014 - 10:52 am
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Mine Eyes have Seen The Glory, at the moment. Also Red River Valley.

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