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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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micra
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February 21, 2015 - 7:48 pm
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mischa91 said
I do hope that in the next few lessons I can bring up the tape and suggest we remove it to better help train my ear.  I've ive only had the one lesson with her so I'm not too sure about her being able to tell if things are out of tune, she probably can.

I remember my first teacher wasn't much into scales but I had a piano teacher that was mad for them.  I do have a scale book and I honestly don't mind running through them.

thanks!  I'll let you all know how it goes.

i got the new books yesterday and I find it slightly annoying that in the suzuki book there are only 2 exercises left, I feel like I wasted money I don't really have.  I could have just worked from her book in the lesson.  Bit annoyed about that .  I did get the Wohlfahrt book finally and am looking forward to working through that myself.  

hi there!  a bit shy to post, being new myself, but on the other hand, i'm new to lessons too, and fresh in my mind is the best thing i discovered on the first one i had: cello drones!

want to train your ear and acquire muscle memory?  i both tune my violin and play scales and sometimes even difficult songs with the appropriate cello drone playing in the background.  you will hear it, when you hit a wrong note. i got the album off iTunes, you can get them probably anywhere tho', and play them on your phone or computer or thru your computer on an amp, whatever works best.

cello drones

just throwing this out there.  i'm sure lots of folks have learned using "taped-on frets", and maybe have never played a scale.  i think there's a better way- and it sounds like you may be reaching that conclusion, too.  every practice for me starts with scales, maybe like you that's just the piano player in me!

think positive!  you're on your way!  good luck   :)

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mischa91
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February 25, 2015 - 7:10 pm
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micra said

 

hi there!  a bit shy to post, being new myself, but on the other hand, i'm new to lessons too, and fresh in my mind is the best thing i discovered on the first one i had: cello drones!

want to train your ear and acquire muscle memory?  i both tune my violin and play scales and sometimes even difficult songs with the appropriate cello drone playing in the background.  you will hear it, when you hit a wrong note. i got the album off iTunes, you can get them probably anywhere tho', and play them on your phone or computer or thru your computer on an amp, whatever works best.

cello drones

just throwing this out there.  i'm sure lots of folks have learned using "taped-on frets", and maybe have never played a scale.  i think there's a better way- and it sounds like you may be reaching that conclusion, too.  every practice for me starts with scales, maybe like you that's just the piano player in me!

think positive!  you're on your way!  good luck   :)

Hi! Don't feel too shy to post, I welcome any and all advice!  I like the idea of cello drones and will look I to it this weekend when I get a bit of free time.    I too think there's a better way, I've found with the tapes this last week my eyes keep getting drawn to my fingers instead of the music and I lose my place, it's distracting.  

 

Ive vey been playing again for almost 2 years off and on (just recently getting more serious about it) and I haven't had tape that whole time, I was in tune for the most part,  my electric doesn't have tapes and won't have tapes so at least there's that.  I can practice on the untapped electric and leave the tapes on the acoustic for lessons for a while, then mention taking them off or just take them off myself.   Yes, I quite like scales, I'll be doing more arpeggios too soon as I find my scale book.

 

Good news!  The lesson tonight went about ten times better than last week.  I felt way more comfortable, there was minimal small talk, and she restricted it to when I was getting ready and then packing up at the end, much better.  I got the minuet I worked on last week ticked off and started a second one, did some third position work too . All in all much better!  She also had some helpful hints for my left hand position, and my bow hand must have improved since last week because it wasn't mentioned at all.  I was in tune!  My counting was a little off in places and she suggested I get a metronome to practice with which I've been meaning to do anyway.  

Next practice I'll video the little minuet, it's quite sweet.  Maybe also the new one for next week. 

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ElisaDalViolin

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February 26, 2015 - 5:18 pm
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Glad to hear it misha! First lessons can be a bit awkward but it's perfectly normal. I'm happy for you.

Looking forward to see more of your progress  :)

 
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mischa91
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ElisaDalViolin said
Glad to hear it misha! First lessons can be a bit awkward but it's perfectly normal. I'm happy for you.

Looking forward to see more of your progress  :)

Thanks!  I thought it might be that's why I decided to take a few so we could get used to each other a bit.

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Schaick
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That is good news mischa91!!

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.

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mischa91
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March 2, 2015 - 5:11 pm
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I haven't had much time to practice this week, school work is getting the better of me.

 

this is the minuet that was ticked off last week in the lesson

http://youtu.be/iW1TCCotz3E

 

Im working on minuet 2 but it's still a bit jumbled in the middle.  

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ElisaDalViolin

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My favourite minuet among the three :D

You seem a lot more confident! I really liked your bow arm, it moves more freely.

Good work, mischa! Thank you for sharing!

 
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mischa91
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March 4, 2015 - 7:23 am
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ElisaDalViolin said
My favourite minuet among the three :D

You seem a lot more confident! I really liked your bow arm, it moves more freely.

Good work, mischa! Thank you for sharing!

Thanks for the feedback!  I like that minuet, the second has a good tune but something about the middle is messing me up, maybe the timing.  

I've been working on the bow arm/hand for a while, those exercises from sevcik's bowing techniques really helped.

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mischa91
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Another great lesson!  I've been signed off book 1 of suzuki and she gave me books 2 and 3 to try out.  She said if I can sight read it it's not challenging enough.  So I've got to pick between book 2 and 3.  I've played through half of book 2 and having already played 4 of the tunes previously (Bouree and witches dance included) I think I'm going to opt to play book 3 in the lessons.  I'll get a copy of both books and play throught book 2 at home that if I have questions i can take it along and ask.  I'd rather be challenged in the lessons and have something to work on and improve than just play a tune each week and have it ticked off the next lesson, yes that does make me feel good but am I really learning?  

 

Bit it sad I only got to play through the happy farmer once, it's a cute little tune.  Maybe I'll do a video of it. 

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Fiddlerman
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March 5, 2015 - 1:26 pm
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You should do both. Site read and work on pieces. It's silly to say that it's not challenging enough to not site read. Perfecting pieces is extremely challenging.

The definition of site reading is to play through it one time. Next time you play through it's not site reading anymore.

"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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March 5, 2015 - 3:04 pm
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@mischa91 very nice job.  Bravo!

I love to play that song.    I love playing Bach. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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mischa91
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@fiddlerman, i find getting a piece right all the way through very tough, trying to play without making at least one mistake is so hard!  I've been playing through book 2 and the tunes in the second half of the book are pretty challenging to play all the way through so i might suggest we start half way through.  Book 3 starts with vibrato stuff and while i do need to learn it i still think i'm too tense and need a bit more loosening up and confidence before i tackle it.

 

@coolpinkone, Thanks!  I like those minuets too, they're fun to play especially playing all three in a row one after another.

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Fiddlerman
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March 9, 2015 - 10:28 am
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You really don't need to rush vibrato. When you feel more relaxed you can start working on that. Or, every day at the end of your practice session, place your fingers on their tips, erect, and pull your forearm back slowly till your fingertips flatten and back again. Do that slowly without any intent of speeding it up until it flows nicely by itself. You can also use your wrist or hand but it's easier IMAO to start with your arm/elbow at first.

"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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Fiddlerman said
You really don't need to rush vibrato. When you feel more relaxed you can start working on that. Or, every day at the end of your practice session, place your fingers on their tips, erect, and pull your forearm back slowly till your fingertips flatten and back again. Do that slowly without any intent of speeding it up until it flows nicely by itself. You can also use your wrist or hand but it's easier IMAO to start with your arm/elbow at first.

Oh i am definitely not ready to rush into it, i'd rather be much more relaxed, i feel like if i started now i'd either develop bad habits trying to force it or it just would be a mad old mess.  I might try to incorporate a few minutes at the end of a practice a few times a week if i'm feeling relaxed and have had a good session, i'll start with the elbow like you suggest, that's a good idea.  The teacher hasn't mentioned it again so i think she's realized i'm not comfortable enough for that yet.

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fiddlrgrrl

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I don't recall where I read it on here, but some comment prompted me to try playing with my eyes closed.  Very interesting. I immediately saw how much I rely on seeing where my fingers are landing on the fingerboard, and that my bow is perpendicular and in the middle.  After I got the hang of it it was better though.  So I'm going to add that to my practice routine.

Also, I was playing Ashokan Farewell today.  I've had it memorized for a long time.  I realized my vibrato has gotten much better after I quit trying to work on it so much.  In places it is coming naturally except 1st finger, and it's getting more even and less shaky.  I think changing to a shoulder pad from a KUN Shoulder rest has made it more stable for me. 

Fiddlrgrrl

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Fiddlestix
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Funny how we practice and practice hour after hour, day after day, week after week and somehow we just don't get it.

Then one day out of the blue, it come's to us and all of a sudden we GOT IT.

Fingering becomes easier and faster, bowing becomes smoother with smooth string changes, we stay straight between fingerboard and bridge, our right arm is comfortable drawing the bow across the strings.

What a good feeling that is.

clapbirthday_ballooncheerleaderdancingviolin-1267

Ken.

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mischa91
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March 11, 2015 - 9:00 am
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@fiddlrgrrl, Funnily enough i never look to see if my bow is straight, i did for a while i would watch myself in the mirror now i don't think about it much, i should but i've been working on other things.  Until the tape was put on i rarely looked at my left hand, now i find my eyes wandering to look at the tapes, it's very distracting. 

Great that your vibrato is coming more naturally!  i do think a lot of it has to do with how stable the violin feels on your shoulder, i know when mine feels less stable i tend to grip with my left hand, not very helpful to relaxed playing.

@Fiddlestix, I have a feeling that all of that practice just inches us closer and closer and we don't even notice we're improving then bam, something will sound good and we see how far we've come.  Practice creates muscle memory and strengthens fingers and you know i wish someone had told me that when i was a kid, maybe i would have actually practiced.  I'll get vibrato one day, i'm in no hurry, i'd rather go slowly and get it right that have to fix it later on.

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fiddlrgrrl

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I just realized this thread is mischa's that's been going on a long time.  I apologize for  posting about my own progress because I thought it was a "general" progress thread.  Have a lot of people started their own progress thread? It seems like such a good idea.

Fiddlrgrrl

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mischa91
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@fiddlrgrrl,  hey don't worry about it.  Hearing about other people's progress is helpful! I started the thread so I could look back and see how far I'd come.  I actually forgot about it for a while but picked it back up again recently.  

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mischa91
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It was definitely the right time for me to get a teacher, I feel like I'm improving.  I being forced to actually count the notes and get them right instead of making it up as I went along and playing by ear.  I'm also feeling a lot more confident about the whole thing now.  Scales a coming along,even third position is staring to take shape, it's going to take a while to get my head around the notes being played In a different place than I'm used to but at least it's coming.

 

im working on a gavotte from suzuki book 2, been on it a few weeks because I can't seem to get the bowing right, my hand wants to add more slurs than are written, my teacher broke it down In to parts to play slowly and really think about the bowing.  It's helping alot.

 

im also going to give playing In the next project a shot, all my video taking for practice will pay off.  

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