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A slightly off key musical journey
Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 Topic Rating: 4 (1 votes) 
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bfurman

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January 31, 2016 - 10:35 pm
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mischa91 said
I like it so far, the double stops will take work as I've never really sone much work on them.  My teacher and I played the second page together in my lesson and she said I did well getting through it.  

Bravo!

It really is a lovely piece, and I'm sure you're doing fine.  Just remember to relax and have fun with it. 

I still have so much to learn that I often forget that mastery is a journey without a destination.  After working your way through the book, you can even return to the old ones again and experience them with fresh eyes. :)

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mischa91
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February 7, 2016 - 9:04 am
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bfurman  I am having fun with it, it's aloveypiece and and challenging which is good. I did that with book 3, once I was near the end I went back to the first few, it was nice and relaxing to play things that I thought were challenging in the past but didn't look hard when I went back to them.  

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mischa91
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I have my lesson tonight and i was quite looking forward to it, now i'm too annoyed to really care.

 

This afternoon my mother saw me browsing on the forum and asked to see a video i've put up lately.  I wasn't going to show her one as she's been quite unsupportive in the past but she pressed and i decided to just pull one up and let her see.  She laughed half way through it at some wrong note i played and made some snide comment (i think it was a practice video i pulled up), so i turned off and wouldn't show her the end.  Now we're both annoyed at each other.  She's so negative.  I'd like to see her pick up an instrument and play.  

 

Anyway, i came home more than a little annoyed and more than a little put off, picked up my violin and recorded a practice run through of the second song in book 4.  I've been on this for a few weeks now, started the second page of it last lesson.  It's got a long way to go yet but i have to keep reminding myself that i'm making progress and that i'm playing the violin for me, because i enjoy it.   It's the first time i've recorded using my mac and the sound quality isn't great, it gives the violin a tinny sound which in other videos isn't there.  it does mean i can record longer videos easier though.  

 

https://youtu.be/VfI1IUsrvFI

 

Hopefully my teacher will have more of an encouraging tone tonight.

 

I've also decided that if i get a nice enough tax return i'm going to finally treat myself to a new violin, i like my suzuki violin, but it was cheap and i'd like something a little nicer and something new for a change that isn't scratched.

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damfino
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You're doing well! I know it's hard, but don't let your mom bring you down. You know she's going to be negative, and she probably would be no matter how perfectly you were playing. Maybe she is a little jealous? Keep your chin up, and keep up the good work!

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BillyG
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February 11, 2016 - 1:59 pm
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mischa91 said
I have my lesson tonight and i was quite looking forward to it, now i'm too annoyed to really care.....  ***CUT***

Anyway, i came home more than a little annoyed and more than a little put off, picked up my violin and recorded a practice run through of the second song in book 4.  I've been on this for a few weeks now, started the second page of it last lesson.  It's got a long way to go yet but i have to keep reminding myself that i'm making progress and that i'm playing the violin for me, because i enjoy it.   ..... *** CUT ***
 
Hopefully my teacher will have more of an encouraging tone tonight.

 

  Heyyyy - we all come to this in different ways - whether is is a family member / parent / close friend who "doesn't quite get-it or why-you-do-it" - DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU.

  Take that anger, annoyance, and difficult-feelings - and turn them to your own devices - FEED ON THEM and grow, regardless of other people's opinions...  What you do, and aspire to is YOUR choice, and yours alone....

  ^5s and keep at it, BillyG

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mischa91
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February 12, 2016 - 11:44 am
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Thanks @damfino!  Maybe she is jealous, i didn't think of that.

 

Thanks @billyg! Oh don't worry, i won't let other peoples negativity stop me.  I'll just keep going until i get better, until i get so good that i change her mind about my playing.

 

Happily it looks a lot like my estimated tax return is going to cover the purchase of a new violin, case AND bow!  So now i've got the hard task of choosing.  I've narrowed down my choices to two: (i know i want to use rosewood fittings)

The first is this beauty http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....iolin.html

 

the other is this one http://fiddlershop.com/instrum.....model.html

 

In the fiddlerman videos and reviews they both sound so different, the kreisler is light and almost playful, it's tone sounds sweet.  The cannon is loud and not harsh but powerful; it also sounds soft, not as light and fruity as the kreisler but almost melancholy when it's played quieter.  I like both of them.  When i first looked at the kreisler i thought "that's my upgrade violin right there!", then fiddlerman added the cannon to his shop and something about it struck me.  

 

The violin i have now is shouty, that's the best way i can describe it; it has almost no quiet and soft, trying to play lightly results in screeches or not a great sound to be honest.  It doesn't sound loud in the videos but i always feel like it's yelling at me, i quite like that about it almost like it won't be quieted.  When i play with my teacher mines the one that overpowers the whole thing.  Sometimes not a good thing.  This is mostly a decision i have to make but with so much cash being spent on it i don't want to make the wrong choice for me.  

 

 Ugh, decisions decisions!  Luckily i have a little while to mull it over, i haven't put my tax return in yet and probably won't for a few weeks then i'll have to wait on the money coming back to me.  Although, once i know a definite amount my credit card will probably try to get me to but ahead of the cash return coming and then just pay off the card.  Credit cards are sneaky like that!

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Fiddlerman
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February 16, 2016 - 10:51 pm
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It makes me angry to hear about your mom. Shame on her. And yes, you are right, we would all like to see her play the violin :)

You are doing great. You have nothing to be ashamed of in the least. You should be very proud of yourself. It's quite an achievement.

Make sure to give us a call at Fiddlershop and whomever you speak to, tell them that you are a valued member here at the forum. Tell them that I said I would hand pick a special instrument for you.

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

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Jols
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@mischa91 thank you for sharing your video!  It saddens me to hear that such negative comments would come from your mom, but I am glad that you do not let that stop you from doing something that you love to do. Your cats enjoyed listening to you, they kept sneaking into the room while you were playing! Hopefully, your mom will too some day :).

Good luck with upgrading your violin!

My neighbors probably want to strangle me for all the noise I've been making.  But hey, "no pain, no gain" right? Except, they feel the pain and I get the gain (I'm really sorry, neighbors :-S)

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mischa91
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Fiddlerman said
It makes me angry to hear about your mom. Shame on her. And yes, you are right, we would all like to see her play the violin :)
You are doing great. You have nothing to be ashamed of in the least. You should be very proud of yourself. It's quite an achievement.
Make sure to give us a call at Fiddlershop and whomever you speak to, tell them that you are a valued member here at the forum. Tell them that I said I would hand pick a special instrument for you.

Thank you!  I'm sure it would be an awful video if she agreed, so it's best to just get better and convince her to appreciate music from a learners point of view.  

 

Im sure I'll be calling in the next week or so to arrange to purchase my new instrument!  Now ive decided to do it I'm excited and can't wait for my tax money.  

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mischa91
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Jols said
@mischa91 thank you for sharing your video!  It saddens me to hear that such negative comments would come from your mom, but I am glad that you do not let that stop you from doing something that you love to do. Your cats enjoyed listening to you, they kept sneaking into the room while you were playing! Hopefully, your mom will too some day :).

Good luck with upgrading your violin!

Thanks!  I think my cats do like to listen to me practice, the little white one usually comes and sits by me when I play, probably so she can get scritches but maybe also to hear the music.  

 

Hopefuly the upgrade will happen in the next few weeks.   :)

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mischa91
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Still waiting on my tax return so i still haven't arranged my new violin yet, who would think the IRS had anything other to do than process my tax return?  Oh well.  I'm being patient, unfortunately all this waiting means there might be another contender, the holstein amati: http://fiddlershop.com/fiddler.....-1649.html

I'm still plugging away at the second piece in book 4, I've been trying to practice with a metronome, mostly because they are so off putting but i really should get used to playing with one.  I've been struggling with a section of the piece and in my lesson we went over it and over it, i figured out that how i'm playing it and how it's meant to be played aren't matching up, which is why i'm struggling using the metronome while playing.  Honestly i don't tend to read the note values, i sort of make it up as i go along, i learned to play the piano by ear when i was 7 and never really did much music theory while playing piano or later violin.  I can read the notes, no issue there, but the value of the notes isn't something that is super familiar to me and it's starting to show up and show holes in my 'musical education'.  I'm working on it and think now i've got a better feel of how the piece is supposed to be played i'll get better at figuring out the value of the notes and such as i go.  

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damfino
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I feel you... I have a really hard time playing with a metronome, I can read the notes, have an idea of how long each one should be, but do better if I hear the song first, and then play the notes off the page. Trying to count clicks... I start to forget if I heard a click already... am I going to fast, or too slow... ack, just let me hear the song and then let me play it, lol. 

 
And... ooo... that's a pretty violin :) I'm trying not to look at all those pretty Holstein violins so I don't spend my tax return on another one, lol. I keep reminding myself that my computer, phone and ipad are all old as dirt right now, and a miracle that they all still work, lol. 

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Fiddlerman
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Our Amati copy is one of my favorite models. Unfortunately, we do run out of models and must wait. I can look into the availability for you and set a good one aside. We have 4 workshops that make instruments exclusively for us in China. Small workshops can only produce a certain amount of instruments but it's the way we like it. We've also had experience with bigger workshops that do everything in their power to keep up but the quality suffers greatly.

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mischa91
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March 17, 2016 - 11:57 am
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Fiddlerman said
Our Amati copy is one of my favorite models. Unfortunately, we do run out of models and must wait. I can look into the availability for you and set a good one aside. We have 4 workshops that make instruments exclusively for us in China. Small workshops can only produce a certain amount of instruments but it's the way we like it. We've also had experience with bigger workshops that do everything in their power to keep up but the quality suffers greatly.

I heard a video you played and the sound is so rich, just lovely.  I was wondering if at some point you wouldn't mind doing a comparison video of the 3 i can't decide between?  I an looking at the gcv kreisler, gcv cannon and the amati.   Luckily i've got time to wait, i'm still waiting on my tax return, i sent it a month ago but it could be another month before the money comes along.

 

@damfino yes! the clicks really put me off.  I've tried counting with my foot but seem to either speed up or slow down, how annoying!!  I've waited since i was 18ish to get a lovely new violin, my first 1 was a sad pathetic skylark and i quite like the suzuki i have now, but a new one, a better quality one would be lovely and will be mine!

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BillyG
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March 17, 2016 - 2:02 pm
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LOL - sorry - @mischa91 - I just couldn't resist - three words brought back so many memories of my early venture into fiddle playing -

sad pathetic skylark

lol - that's the very instrument ( tail-gut on the tailpiece-to-button on the one I had - well still have - was indeed actual GUT - but I have now changed the TP for a modern one ) and for many reasons the instrument was close to unplayable - it drifted incessantly, pretty much dead beyond G5 on the E - not that I often went "that far up" - but the "notes were there/should have been there", and I wanted to hear it., and all it sounded like was - well - "sludge" - no "ring", no "sing" etc.....)

I got it MANY years ago - spent a few weeks ( well, over a period of a few months ) trying to come to terms with it - and simply gave up - but - as it happens I kept the devil-beast...  LOL   It IS a musical instrument after all....  I didn't have the heart to throw it out...  and at the time didn't realize the tailpiece-gut WAS gut.... LOL ( I didn't know any better at the time ) 

When I joined here, about 2 yrs back - I had just decided "it wasn't all my fault" (my issues with the SkyLark) and I got a cheapo EV - and discovered it was ROCK SOLID (not a great sound, but, I could actually start to play it).....   THEN I started reading all the posts in this forum, relating to "what affects the violin sound" and so on - YUP - made a decision - the SkyLark will either be chopped up for firewood - OR - I'll mess with a few things - sound-post  - strings - bridge location - other subtle things - tailpiece - string after-length  - etc etc - but -  nahhhh - the few things that made it sound (half) good - was -

(1) dumping the gut-strung-tailpiece (biggest contributor to the drifting I had seen, I guess),  

(2) the SP re-positioning (which did make a significant difference - even had to cut a marginally taller SP to get the best response ) - and finally -

(3) restringing the devil-beast as a viola.... LOL  - it was never a happy instrument in the higher registers ( well, of course, now the E is an A, it's not at all good "wayyyyy up" on the string - but - I don't need that here and now for what I do)... LOL 

Of course - it does not sound like a real viola - but it does sound "more like a viola" than it ever did as a violin... that's for sure....

LOL - I just HAD to comment on the "sad pathetic skylark"  !  - Yeah - the one I have is around 1980 ( well, that's when I got it, second hand - could have been manufactured a bit earlier I suppose - don't know for sure ) but that was LONG before the specialist Chinese workshops of today.   Out of interest - do you still have it ?  

My "SkyLark Fiddleola" is now-fitted with normal G,D,A violin strings (shifted one notch up), and following various experiments, ended up using a D'Addario C string intended for EV - it works fine... and the overall instrument now sounds "passable" ( to my ear ) up to around C5/D5, but not much beyond that - at least it brought what was the "dead E" string area on the SkyLark into something that can make a passable sound when dropped to A up to 3rd/4th finger - so - it will be kept (unless I become a violist - which I doubt - LOL ) 

Cool - I just loved the reference to the "sad pathetic skylark" - and yes - in many ways, let's just say - "it does seem to have some intrinsic limitations" - but not quite worthy of either firewood or a canoe paddle!!!    

P.S. Also awaiting a tax refund here - but in UK we don't "get our money back" for at least 6 months after the financial year-end ( i.e 6 months after April 6th here ) - and NO  - although the treasury/government "owe me money" - do I get any interest on it ?     Even the 0.25% bank rate these days ?   Nope....   ( LOL  - just a grumble from Bill ! )

I too am thinking about a more advanced instrument - but I am now torn between a 5-string EV and a fine acoustic....  at least I'll have a few months to think about it...  I really want both.. grrrrrrrr - never happy !

Best wishes with your planned upgrade !!!!  Yeahhhh - Go For It !

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mischa91
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@billyg,  I played my skylark for 5 YEARS!!!  Paid 35 british pounds for it when i was 13 and just starting to learn.  I do still have it, after high school it lived in my parents attic while i was at uni, and my brothers friends got to it and messed it up, broke the tail piece, the SP is down and floating, the strings all snapped.  Mine is a 3/4 and when i decided to get back into the violin i figured anything was better than that thing.  It has sentimental value if no real value, i played in an orchestra on that piece of junk.  I can't fault the skylark for it's longevity though, i dropped mine several times, it skittered down a concrete road and still managed to survive (no matter how hard i tried to kill it)

 

Right now it's in my wardrobe, at some point i'll fix it up enough to hang on a wall as art and to remind me that everyone starts somewhere.  After 5 years on that and over a year on my suzuki i think i've earned that new violin.  

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BillyG
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March 17, 2016 - 3:34 pm
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Oops - sorry - I originally mentioned @Schaick in this post - my mistake - LOL - I actually meant it as a response to @mischa91 if anyone has read it before I corrected it....  LOL - sorry folks - dinner-time got in the way... lost the plot...
 
LMAO (got it right this time! ) @mischa91 - ABSOLUTELY - I know what you mean - I am still annoyed many. many years later that I no longer have my very original instrument ( a surprise present from my father - a (very basic) piano accordion ) - unexpectedly received at about the age of 7 or so...  It had been "relegated to a garden shed" when I went to Uni at the age of 17 (by which time I was into guitar as well), and, 4 years later after the Uni course was completed - when I came home again - with dampness - it had fallen apart.....    still gutted to this day - even a simple, basic instrument "has its own sentimental value" ... it really has...
I love this (in a strange sort of way)  - 

and still managed to survive (no matter how hard i tried to kill it)

...but - no need to be so hard !!!! LOL - "piece of art" - aye - not a bad plan at all !!!  My SkyLark is called Hermano ( must have mentioned before - Hermano del Diablo ) - well - before I converted him to a viola....  right now - well - still searching for a new name... LOL - any ideas ? )

Hahahaha ! 

BillyG

 
 

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mischa91
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I understand about wanting to keep your first instrument, mine was a stupid little keyboard, very basic but i learned the notes on it.  I don't have it, have no idea what happened to it, but i'm glad my first violin made the journey across the pond with me, even if it's unplayable now.  

 

Naming an instrument is personal, i don't have any ideas for you sorry :)  My electric is Cas and my suzuki is Nicolo.  I hope when the new one comes along i'll be able to give it a nice strong name.  

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mischa91
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My tax return came in!!! I'm at work so can't get too excited but i'm a little excited.  Now i get to properly shop for my perfect violin.  I think i've mostly made up my mind, have a few questions into fiddlershop and once i hear back will be able to make my order. dancing-irish-smiley

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damfino
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Yay! How exciting!

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