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Progress thread
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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cdennyb
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January 14, 2015 - 12:00 am
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Great work. Stay at it, it's a lifelong endeavor you'll never forget or lose.hats_off

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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mischa91
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January 14, 2015 - 8:51 am
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coolpinkone said
@mischa91 

Okay.. works great on my iphone 6 plus. (maybe they have been reloaded?)

I can't tell on the work computer as it has no audio... (violinist nightmare)...

What a nice sounding violin.  Nice job.  You play nicely. 

I like your bow hold!!!   :)  And I like the white kitty... she was singing with you.

I am glad you resurrected the thread.  thumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-up

I uploaded to youtube, it was the only real way i could get any videos to play.  

Thanks, it is a nice sounding violin and i think once it's played a bit (it was obviously neglected with it's previous owner) it might sound even better.  I lucked out on my ebay purchase :)

Thanks for saying that, i am far from a good player but hopefully with time and practice i can be a consistent player even if i never get to being very good at it.

That's Mischa, she likes to run around and 'sing' when there's anything going on in the house, she also likes to jump on the kitty stand when the video is running just to add some drama to the performance.

I'm glad too, and i'm glad i finally posted a video, it's not as hard as i thought it would be.

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mischa91
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January 14, 2015 - 8:53 am
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cdennyb said
Great work. Stay at it, it's a lifelong endeavor you'll never forget or lose.hats_off

Thanks!  I wish i had stayed with it when i left high school, but hindsight is always better.  I'm also finding it easier to be enthusiastic about practicing when someone is not nagging me to practice.

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cdennyb
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January 14, 2015 - 11:59 am
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The cool part about learning the violin at an older age instead of a pre-teenager is that you start because you WANT to do it, not have to do it. There-in lies the difference between passion to play and requirement to play.

I never have trouble finding time to pick any one of my violins up and play even one tune before having to leave on errands or to start my work day, sometimes it's early in the morning, sometimes right before I go to bed at midnight! Don't matter when or for how long, only matters that you practice because YOU want to. That's when you know you have the passion to play it and stick with it.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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coolpinkone
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January 14, 2015 - 4:49 pm
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I rarely if ever think.. "ugh I have to practice.."  IT is a complete joy.

I wonder.  

Not for any good reason... but I have played for 3 years.  ( The first year....was a slow start). 

I wonder if I am at the level of an average kid who starts at 4 or 5 and is now 7 or 8. (especially talented or gifted excluded).  Do the students at that age hack through a book a year? (again talking normal beginning kids).

I am not extra talented with the violin. I probably was under talented if anything.  I say that because I have seen many come to this site and in four months play something amazing.  I 

I guess what I am wondering is .. are we really at that much of a disadvantage being adult?   I mean time is hard to come by with full times jobs, and a family to care for, and mental blocks.  

I continue to believe that learning violin as an adult is an honor.  I hope to be a teacher and I hope to have adult students.   I think if it were advertised... "YOU TOO CAN PLAY THE VIOLIN" many would embrace it.   I see so many adults feel they have to ask.. "is it too late to start.."    

hum.. violin thoughts for the day.. (perhaps a thread jack...forgive me please.   :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fiddlerman
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January 14, 2015 - 5:26 pm
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Keep up the great work and posts mischa91. :)

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

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mischa91
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January 15, 2015 - 2:44 pm
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@cdennyb I know what you mean; when i was in school the thought of having to play (and *gasp* have my family hear me play) was not something i enjoyed, but now i like to pick up the violin and play through a few tunes or do some actual learning and work through an exercise.  

 

@coolpinkone sometimes i think 'ugh i need to practice', but mainly because i have issues with my hands and sometimes they hurt or like now i have chilblains on my index finger and thumb of my left hand.  But i only dislike practicing when it causes me pain, but i still do it because i like to play.  Well i'm not sure about younger kids with the violin, i started when i was 13 and didn't hack though a book a year, mostly because my teacher was a bit lax about making us progress.  I had more of a 'what do you want to play now?" education and we picked and chose from song books instead of doing grades.  I too have seen newbies come to the site and seem to pick the instrument up so much quicker than i have and progress with it, i think those people either already have a musical background or are more inclined towards musical thought processes.  They also maybe have way more time on their hands for practice; i'm lucky if i can squeeze 30 minutes in what with work and school and my animals.  When may and june rolls around and i'm studying for exams i'll be lucky if i pick the violin up more than a few times a week.

 

I also think adult learner of the violin are at a slight disadvantage, by the time we are adults we tend to criticize ourselves a lot more than any kid would and i think that the first few years of learning the violin are awful, the sounds that you can produce would make most cats run away; where as instruments like the piano and guitar which are in some ways encouraged for adult learners can sound lovely with very little musical knowledge.  Okay you might get a key wrong or strum the wrong chord, but it won't physically hurt your ears.  The violin might :D  Also i think that even though adults are encouraged, especially at the new year to learn something new, a new language, a new dance, go to the gym and get a new body.... even learn the guitar to impress your buddies.  The violin seems to be an instruments geared towards the child learner, most adults will never be good enough to play the violin for a living, however, some kids will be.  okay, i think i went off on a bit of a tangent there.  Feel free to babble on my thread anytime.

 

@fiddlerman, thank you!  I am doing the 35 day practice challenge so maybe by the end one or more of these tunes will be almost perfect :)

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mischa91
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January 15, 2015 - 8:00 pm
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This morning I was searching for some documents and found my grade 3 book from 2005.  I decided at the end of tonight's praciptice session that I would do some sight reading, the piece is picked was romance (Sorry it's sidewards, i coudldnt figure out how to rotate it)

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t1/vickiwilson91/imagejpg1_zps1ab242c6.jpgImage Enlarger

I played it through twice and then videoed it.  When I was playing it sounded okay, not great but reasonable considering its a hard piece and my sight reading clearly needs work but then I listened to the recording and it sounds so off in places.  I was going to upload the video but maybe I'll work on it more before attempting another recording.  I just wanted to see how it would sound having only played it through a few times.  I was never good at sight reading so I was happy that I could read it and got then tune mostly right.

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mischa91
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I've been watching videos of better players play and noticed something, most people tend to use one finger at a time on the neck... i didn't learn like that.  I was taught to put multiple fingers down, say i wanted to do a C on the A string i was taught to put both my first and second fingers down.  I've realized that this is why i will never be able to do any vibrato, who could vibrato with 3 fingers on the neck?  maybe very accomplished players, but not me.  So i'v been trying to consciously lift my fingers and only put down the finger on the note i want, it will hopefully make changing strings easier and enable me and my new hand position to finally begin working on vibrato and loosening up my left hand.  Ugh, i feel like all my practice these days in undoing all the things i learned as a kid.

I'm using Bourree to work on that because it moves around a lot.

http://youtu.be/Zh0q6VxiWm8

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cdennyb
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In this last video you look a lot more relaxed. Keep relaxing... try to be precise but not stiff, try to be perfect in your bowing but be fluid as well. Timing between the fingers and the bow direction/speed are a key to smoothness in my opinion, among other things. but what I saw is very promising.

You're having fun! Keep it up.

Awesome.hats_off

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Ripton
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I feel your pain mischa91.

I seem to be spending more time in practice unlearning bad habits and poor form than actually progressing. But then again, improvement on technique is progression. 

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mischa91
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No videos to share but my new chin rest arrives tomorrow so I'm excited about that.  Also I was practicing tonight and playing round with my left hand pposition to get it more comfortable, and I swear on a few notes I was thinking if only I could achieve vibrato this would sound decent and my hand twitched and my wrist flexed, my hand wants to vibrato but my brain (and me forcing it) aren't cooperating.  Maybe I should stop trying to force it and just let it happen when it happens.  

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mischa91
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January 26, 2015 - 2:31 pm
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Love the new wittner chin rest, i bought the side attachable one and it fit great.  It's super comfy and i'm no longer being jabbed in the collar bone by metal.  Today i ordered the new violin a brand new case.  The one it has is pretty shoddy, no real protection for the instrument at all and the inside where the bows slot into is coming apart so i can't store a bow with it.  I'm getting a one with lots of padding and some nice big compartments to store things.  I also ordered the kreutzner book of etudes so i have new material to work through along with the bowing book i have.  

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Fiddlerman
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January 28, 2015 - 1:50 pm
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Very happy to hear this. And yes, the vibrato can just come sometimes without concentrating or working on it. Of course, this is considering that you have already put in some good practice towards learning vibrato to begin with. :)

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

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coolpinkone
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January 29, 2015 - 12:25 pm
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@mischa91 I have been taught block fingering.  I was never good at it when I was first taught, but as I progress, I notice that I do some block fingering (multiple fingers down)  Especially when I will be utilizing the same note.

I think there are two schools of thought on block fingering vs non.  

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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mischa91
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January 29, 2015 - 1:45 pm
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Hmm, i might have to look more into this one @coolpinkone; i never realized it was taught either way on purpose.  I'd like to get away from it if i can and only use it when it's necessary, without it i'm finding it easier to move to different strings and maybe speed up playing a bit.

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Uzi
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I'm not pretending to be a violin pedagogue, but I think there are times when it's better to leave fingers down and times when it's better not to do that.  As with most physical endeavors, it is almost always better to do the thing that offers the desired outcome with the least effort -- economy of movement, if you will.  For example, if one were walking up and then down the notes on a single string, then it is better to leave the fingers on the lower notes in place, because when going down they will already be located exactly where they need to be and only need to be raised a little to allow the next note to be played, rather than placed down and then raised back up, which would require more effort and hence be slower and more error prone. This becomes more important when one is trying to play a fast phrase.

 In the case of vibrato, however, having other fingers down would make it more difficult for the appropriate finger to flex and is, therefore, undesirable.  Likewise, notes that do not follow a straight up and down the neck sequence could be more difficult to play if one is lifting and placing several fingers at once. Hence, requiring more effort and introducing more opportunities to create poor intonation and slower speed. 

Each technique has its proper place and time, neither is wrong when done under the appropriate circumstance.  At least that's my take on it.  But then, I'm very lazy, so perhaps that's why I think that.  

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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mischa91
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January 29, 2015 - 2:58 pm
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@Uzi I agree with what you are saying here.  If i'm doing any kind of sequential notes i don't mind leaving fingers down.  I think where i am trying to change the way i play slightly is that no matter what note was being played i would place all the preceding fingers down too, making it slower and more cumbersome, and also made changing strings tricky especially on faster notes.  I'm trying to change that habit, but i will certainly incorporate multiple fingers down on the fingerboard when it's convenient.

I am also trying to get used to just placing one finger for when i do vibrato practice.  Too many fingers down would make it very difficult.

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mischa91
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January 29, 2015 - 5:49 pm
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http://youtu.be/e7oDOyK4e1w

 

I'm not sure I'm making any progress on this.  I think I'm getting the bowing as it's written but I havent added much in the way of dynamics  The video has witches dance played twice, the second one starting at 1:30ish I think is better.  

 

http://youtu.be/Gd7-fCv5i28

I mentioned previously tht I was working on a grade 3 piece "romance",  in the recording I was busy concentrating on adding dynamics, and so reading under the score instead of the notes and got a bit off a few times.  I'm finding dynamics difficult, when I play softly I get scratches, when I play slowly but loudly I hear scratches.  It's frustrating.  But I do like this tune and will continue to work it through.  I also played the no1 of Wohlfahrt tonight and boy it's a workout for the left hand.

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Fiddlerman
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January 29, 2015 - 9:34 pm
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Good work mischa91,

Out of curiosity, what are you listening to in ear while doing the recordings?

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

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