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Did you ever have a day ...?
I really want to play my cello and/or violin and/or viola today, but ...
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cid
August 11, 2019 - 2:56 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1501
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Did you ever have one of those days that you just cannot get yourself motivated, or if you motivated, just can’t get yourself to concentrate? Today is one of those days.

I am so excited about the fact my cello instructor asked me if I wanted to learn vibrato. He asked, “How would you like to learn vibrato?” I got all excited like a kid in a candy store, and said, “YES!”. He laughed. The last few minutes of the lesson he showed me how it is done and we started doing it a little on the A string. For you violinists, the A is the highest string on the cello, so in lineup on your violin, it would be your E string. 

It was fun. I have been practicing but really found it easy to pay attention by using his app. Not talking about that here, I had another post about that in the Breakroom. Today, I just put my cello,away. I could not concentrate on even songs from book 2 and they are easy songs. I did manage to have pretty consistent intonation in that short session, though.

I hope I can do my cello later today. I think there is just too much going in now. Life is getting in the way. I was also going through my quilting material and batting to see what I had for the last 6 memory quilts I am making. I was seeing how much batting I had left, not much. Need to get batting for 5 of them. I did find I have enough material I can use for the back of each. I have 3 different patterned materials that are large enough to get at least the size needed for 2 quilts from each. Took photos, sent them to each of the in-laws getting the quilts, along with their finished quilt top so they can choose. One decision that I won’t have to make! The last quilts I will ever make.

I turned my spare room back into my spare room. Last night I removed my craft and music items (instrument cases) off the bed that I had covered with a protective blanket over the mattress. I made up the bed with fresh bedding, removed some items (cutting table with drop wides, ironing board, exercise mat) from the room to make more room for walking around the bed. Most moved to my sewing room. My son came out earlier and he and my husband drove about an hour away to a tractor pull. They would not be home til late. Wanted to have the bed ready in case my son was going to be too tired to drive another hour home from our house. He was good to go. But, the bed was there just in case. This morning I had to move everything back. I would do it all again. 😁 What is a mother to do?

Then, I am excited about my violin. I tracked my violin. Last night it was four driving hours away. Heck, we could have driven to the FedEx there, LOL. It has left that area. It says delivery is Wednesday, by the end of the day. Wonder if I will get it early? It was only 4 hours away, not three days. The tracking shows more distance than a 4 hour drive each day. Anyway, this is exciting and that is on my mind. Fun tracking it.

Plus, I am excited about changing my lesson format. I will be doing hour long lessons, alternating between cello and violin for the hour. Won’t get into it further here, made a post about it earlier. I have been trying to figure out what I need redone from my first disastrous go round with violin lessons. That is actually fun going over and seeing what I actually learned, and kind of sad! LOL Most I have figured on my own since they stopped. I think pretty much from scratch because some of what I figured is actually giving me bad habits. LOL

At my last lesson, I asked my instructor if he knew anyone who would want a 3/4 cello. He was pretty happy. He said he could find someone who would want it. I told him he could have it, them. It has a nice padded case (definitely shows wear but in great shape). I washed it twice. Once right side out, then inside out. Dried it in the dryer and let it air dry a week before putting the cello inside in case there was still moisture in it. I told him we are waiting on a bridge because the bridge was carved backwards. After we get it all set, I said I would bring it in for him. Told him I put a new set of Jargars on it. He said he would pay for it but I told him it was a pawnshop rescue that we purchased because the student cello itself, minus the backwards bridge, was in really good condition. We just bought it to rescue it and donate. He was pleased. So now I am excited to get that bridge fixed up so some older child can have it, and hopefully, be able to get lessons from my instructor.

Just so much going on right now and today I have been trying to tie up a few of those loose ends of the quilts, get the spare room back to being my spare room, not a bedroom, new videos of the granddaughters I am watching over and over. Just cannot concentrate. I don’t usually have so much going on, or so much to do.

Maybe later today. 

How is your day?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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GregW
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August 11, 2019 - 8:40 pm
Member Since: February 9, 2019
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Got a new deering tenor banjo!   Need to put the Irish string set on it for G D A E tuning.   Mostly work around house..not much music to be played cept the streaming type.

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cid
August 11, 2019 - 9:59 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1501
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Banjo is nice. I had one and gave it to my niece. The neck on the banjo became too much for me to handle without pain in the shoulder. I love banjo music.

Have fun with it.

Congrats! 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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GregW
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August 11, 2019 - 11:04 pm
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Thanks.  I believe I'm pressing too hard on the strings which is also what I think I do on the fiddle.  Probably a bad habit picked up from acoustic guitar.  I can really tell it on this banjer.  The short scale length doesn't help much.  Probably shouldve been a better shopper and bought the 19 fret.  I went the 17 fret route.  Feels almost like a mandolin.  

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Pete_Violin
Utah
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August 12, 2019 - 2:06 am
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@cid 

Hey... This is a very common thing that I believe all musicians run into.  In fact, because I follow Hilary Hahn on Instagram, I get to read some of her more personal insights.  She discusses some of the frustrations and difficulties even a world class musician must confront.  Everyone has those days... even professionals.

Personally, yes, I do run into discouragement.  There are many things that I draw from to combat this.  First, I have made certain personal commitments to myself regarding violin.  I never compromise quality, I never give into laziness (which I define as relaxing my level of commitment to music and to myself for the sake of making things "easier" on myself regarding the violin), and I have personal goals to which I am absolutely committed.

Nevertheless, as a human I have days when, for whatever reason, it is difficult to pick up my bow.  There are days when I literally must force myself to practice, if only to say I have practiced for that day.  It is better to play for a half hour, than not at all.

Now, having said this, I do believe in breaks, rests, giving yourself time.  My pianist friend, who has studied and played piano for all his life, tells me... it's ok, Pete, to take a day off once a week and not practice...  And, reluctantly, I have done this.  

Mentally, and emotionally, I recognize that it is important to rest.  So I do not feel I am compromising my commitments to myself to take a day and rest.  It actually is beneficial.  

The other part of finding motivation is my love for music, my violin, and playing violin... each of which are three distinct areas I use to help myself.

  1. Love of Music - My entire life, music has been a part of me.  Not just listening, but actively participating.  As much as food and water and air, I need music for my well-being.  There have been a few parts of my life when music has been absent.  Those were the worst times, in terms of happiness, fulfillment, and love of life.  Music is always a part of me and I have learned to make sure it remains that way!
  2. Love of My Violin - I love my violin!  I know every part; its history, its origin, all the materials that have gone into crafting it, its tone, its weight and balance, its potential strength and beauty, both musically and how far it can reach the human soul.  My violin is my most beautiful possession.  To play it to its fullest potential is not only my goal, but my dream.
  3. Love of Playing Violin - For years I have played music.  I played percussion in orchestra.  I have played in stage groups, bands, and with other musicians.  I have played with church groups and with schools.  But I had no idea how much fulfillment violin would be to me.  I try not to focus on this, but I do wish I had begun many years ago.  So I play now!  For myself, for others, for my happiness, soon for the orchestra!  My commitment to violin is stronger than all the years previous in percussion.

These are some of the ways I remain motivated.  I hope you find your own motivations.  It is awesome that you are progressing so well and learning more!  That, to me, is evidence that you have commitments of your own.  Stick with it!  You will do fine, even during some of these days... as we all do!

- Pete -

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HP
Trondheim, Norway
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August 12, 2019 - 3:18 am
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Yes, I definitely have those kinds of days. For me it's hard to get started and I tend to find things to do so I can delay my practice. On those days I push myself to practice for at least 5 minutes and see how it's after that. Usually that help to get me started, because it's easier to continue to work on something that you already do, than to quit what you're currently doing to start something new. Especially if that thing you're doing is entertaining or enjoyable. In Norwegian we have a term called the doorstep mile, directly translated. Usually it's referring to exercise, but it fits perfectly for practice as well. Half the struggle is gone once you step outside the door. Or in this case, once you pick up your instrument.

For the days with low motivation I work on more enjoyable aspects of playing. I love to play and practice, but doing one minute bowing isn't the most exciting part of it, even though it's highly beneficial. I work on those sort of things on the days I feel more motivated. I work more on tunes and musicality than technical stuff. If my motivation is really low, I pick out a new tune to play, even if it's just for this one practice session. Give my hand and brain new pathways, so to speak. Another thing that's motivational for me is to look up new music and watch great performances online or in real life. 

It's totally fine to take a day off if you're feeling burned out or lack motivation. Even professionals do that from time to time. Get some new inspiration or impulses and go from there.

'Armed with theory, practice becomes meaningful. Through practice, theory becomes fulfilled.' - Egon von Neindorff.

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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August 12, 2019 - 6:31 am
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cid said
Did you ever have one of those days that you just cannot get yourself motivated, or if you motivated, just can’t get yourself to concentrate? Today is one of those days.  

Every day. The violin is difficult, and I know I'm going to sound bad. I know it's going to be a long journey. I've spent the last 40 years becoming addicted to reading, and that's a habit I want to kick as well as developing this new one.

Andrew

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 12, 2019 - 4:45 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14807

I have had many of those days. I think it's normal. Just have to dust yourself off and try again 😉

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

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cid
August 12, 2019 - 4:52 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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Concentration was back today. It was weird. Really was interested in playing it, just could not concentrate, but I got everything else done! Gosh, that vibrato is hard. I need to loosen up my fingers, wrist and arm. Maybe, if I don’t think about it. That is a plan I like, no thinking.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Pete_Violin
Utah
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August 12, 2019 - 4:58 pm
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@cid 

That's how it goes sometimes...  An off day will come and the next day may be fantastic.  

I don't know why it happens, but it does.

- Pete -

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cid
August 12, 2019 - 5:07 pm
Member Since: December 26, 2018
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I actually think it may have had something to do with being intimidated by vibrato. It is something I really want to learn. It is something I absolutely know takes a long time. It is very intimidating to me. My fingers and wrist do not cooperate. I really think that was an issue that day. I didn’t try it today. We only touched on it at the end of the lesson. I made a decision about it today. If I can’t get my fingers to do what they did in the class tomorrow, I will wait until my lesson, which would be the next day. I don’t want to create issues with a bad habit. Since I have decided on that, it is better.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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