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My Journey with My Violin Since May 1716.
A probably unusual way to learn improvising via baroque play-alongs.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
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bocaholly
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January 28, 2019 - 12:44 pm
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@Demoiselle Glad you're happy with your digital organ results. Am I the only one who can't get the audio snippet (8 sec.) to play?

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Fiddlerman
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January 28, 2019 - 1:27 pm
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bocaholly said ...............Am I the only one who can't get the audio snippet (8 sec.) to play?  

Works for me. 

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

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Demoiselle
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bocaholly said
@Demoiselle Glad you're happy with your digital organ results. Am I the only one who can't get the audio snippet (8 sec.) to play?  

Your problem seems very unusual with me. A browser not accepting mp3? Most common audio standard these days. But you should be able to listen to it offline, if you download that mp3 with a right click. I can't imagine a device not playing mp3 unless it's age-old stuff like Windows'95.

My organs work like drugs: now and then I need a bigger shot. I programmed Schnitger's 1600s organ in December which inspired me a lot at the violin. It helped me to find new ideas while improvising. This year I felt like more bass could cause more of a kick after getting used to the plain Schnitger organ sound. So I tried to edit more bass into various basic organ sounds. It never was enough to me, so I took the FM-parameter of an electric bass guitar, gave it an organ shape, made it sound more like an organ and named it my "16 foot bass pipe". Then I split the keyboard of my synthesizer so that the Schnitger sound is all over it and the bass pipe just on the left side added on like organ pedal. The effect is enormous. If I play just in the middle or treble, I have the plain Schnitger and where my left pinkie suddenly starts to involve the bass by jumping lower, it deeply rocks me. It really sounds like the deep humming of a church organs bass pipes. I'd like to take my SY22 and play in a church, not telling them it's an electronic instrument. What would they say?

Months ago it was accordion that rocked me, what's next? It always helps me to wake up and go on with more inspiration if I feel tired. It's always best to add keyboard as second instrument. It opens so many possibilities.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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bocaholly
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January 30, 2019 - 11:06 am
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Got it to run (play) today, @Demoiselle. I think my player was just frozen.

That's nice deep sound... speaking of soulful! Looking forward to hear what you do with it.

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mookje
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Beautiful sound and a beautiful mask. It seems that you really enjoy your new project, good luck and I’m looking forward to it.

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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Demoiselle
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I bought more masks. They all come from Woodworth. Carnival's everywhere right now, but I buy for all seasons of course. I can also add a creepy guy with a looong Venetian nose, hahaha! I think the Harlequin girl will kill him finally with laser beams out of her pretty eyes. LOL

Things have changed, the library around two corners has WiFi now, so I said goodbey to Telekom. No internet at home now.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Demoiselle
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Passacaille d'Armide

So I was pondering the question how to connect my A minor vocal with the F# minor CD track I will then dance to. They key is obviously G minor, but ancient music is mostly played in 415 Hz pitch, which is half a tone lower then 440 Hz. I pondered that question for weeks. Today I tried out some possible transition chords, until I realized that the note A is the third of F# minor. Which is wonderful!

Already 2015 I sang the final note of the vocal part on the first bar of the dance part. I can continue doing so and I think it going to sound very fascinating. There will be no transition chord, it will just happen abruptly. And it will not be the sunkings whole orchestra. I have this version of Passacaille d'Armide on CD (that is, I have this whole CD) and use it:

In jazz language this could be called the sunkings small club combo. I will sing to spinet plus cello and before I sing I play the violin. I already hear, that blending from my duo to this CD track will work just beautifully.

The first notes, with the cute little octave leap will be started by cello (and spinet in the background). My violin will join in with a second voice where it's repeated. So no 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, or metronome tic-tic-tic in the beginning. Second voice will be easy, so I can slowly play myself warm. Cold start is always bad for me. I can already hear the result, it's going to sound beautifully.

Well, this is about stage performance. The video I'm planing needs more light from the balcony door than I get in February. And it must be warmer outside because I need to open the balcony door to have full daylight. I'll fix a red curtain at the opposite wall and remove furniture .... and maybe add ancient Greek pillars in the background....

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Demoiselle
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I have to state, it's a long-long way to agility of 3rd and 4th finger especially on far to reach strings. I'm at it since 2016 and now can say: My 3rd finger can trill on far to reach strings almost like the 2nd finger. My big problem was a trill on D and C with 3rd and 2nd finger. This works pretty well now. As left-handed person that D is difficult to reach. It was NOT a matter of overstretching as I assumed in the first place! It is the difficulty of a longer lever while the finger reached out. Trilling with D and C# is easier than with D and C. Because I have a longer lever within the trill if I hit D and C. Training that daily was very hard in the first place, but finally it came quicker and quicker. It seems to be a typical problem in learning the violin that you are stuck with problems for a long time. People who want to vibrate probably agree.

I now decided to also learn guitar. Learning a couple chords on guitar doesn't take as much time as building a small spinettino. I bought a cheap classical guitar and my progress on it is fast. I have to press harder than on the violin but nonetheless it's easier. I already grab all the chords of LA FOLIA in A minor. Well, I feel like I have to be able to support other people with chords too and not just profit from other people playing guitar for me. Besides I can introduce pieces like LA FOLIA to other instrumentalists if I use a guitar. In a way that means more influence for me because people depend on those who play chords. I just say, "Well, let's do this now...." And I will NOT say, "These are my favorite baroque chaconnes." No, I'll be like, "This is Spanish renaissance folk dance." Where the chaconne comes from very much indeed.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Demoiselle
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My impression more an more is:

Making the 3rd finger stronger and more agile is the key to slowly mastering the violin. In my case it really takes a long time because my 3rd finger was so much weaker than the first an second finger.

As I have experienced it: It can't be achieved in one year and not in two years. Because I would hurt my 3rd finger gravely if I'd rush the poor little thing too fast.

On May 2nd I will be playing the violin for 4 years. And it looks like I can then say, that I managed to make my 3rd finger almost equal to the 1st and 2nd finger.

Where did my 3rd finger struggle most? Its biggest problem was trilling. 1st and 2nd finger learned that within month, the 3rd finger struggled for over 3 years. The halftone step is easier, whole-tone step hurt a lot. Same goes for fast legato scales up to the 3rd finger. The first finger always made the whole scale impossible. Which hindered agility on the whole.

Looking back I'm sure, my biggest problem always was lacking equality of fingers. Making the 3rd finger equal is my main goal.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Fiddlerman
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April 14, 2019 - 9:08 am
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What about your 4th finger? 😏

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

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Demoiselle
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Fiddlerman said
What about your 4th finger? 😏

  

I was asking myself the same question. That other members of the forum would wonder about exactly that. The lat time I was in this library, your forum was out of work, like it was terminated completely. That's why my answer is so late.

During my first years I had the impression, that the 3rd finger was the difficult finger and the 4th finger the most difficult finger. Weeks ago I was astonished to realize, that managing the 3rd finger wasn't the begin of a next long fight to manage the 4th finger. No, it looks to me like my 3rd finger is also the door opener to my 4th finger. I didn't expect that, but my pinkie is hardly struggling now.

In my case the pinkie is relatively inactive, since I generally go for open strings, instead of whole tone 4th fingers. I need the 4th finger just for half notes, like C#, G#, and D#. I have no problem with a too weak pinkie on these notes, I just work on accuracy in things intonation. Those 4th fingers are also more likely to provoke inaccurate bowing: Partly because my bow hand thinks it's the other string, because those half notes seem to be kind of alien to the bow hand. Partly because my pinkie misses the right point on the fingerboard. I am repeating those transitions across half notes a lot if they once fail. But they don't fail so often anymore, in the past they were riskier.

In the past my big struggle was that my fingerboard hand failed completely when I involved the 3rd finger to often. That hand lacked energy to make a complete scale, involving all fingers: Beginning with the 1st finger was easy, the 2nd was a little more painful, on the 3rd finger my hand was in agony and on the 4th finger the whole hand failed because its energy was already gone. It was just a matter of lacking physical energy generally and therefore having to work harder than other people. It was not a matter of overstretching the hand as I had assumed in the past. My hand just hurt because of exhaustion.

The E string is the big exemption, because here the 4th finger also plays whole step notes. Which work fairly well now. I more and more use the E string. Whereas in the past my rule was: Going up there once and not to stay there for too long because otherwise my hand would have been exhausted soon. While improvising over LA FOLIA for instance it could mean that I had to interrupt my solo on stage because my fingerboard hand was completely gone. The transition back across the A string then failed, it was downright impossible to play in tune because my fingers were out of control.

So if someone asks me whether it makes sense to train a physically too weak fingerboard hand, I say "Yes" it does. There is hope, although in my case it took years. Today, on May 2, I play exactly 4 years. I officially started changing positions on the E string, sliding from F to G, end the scale up to C and back, slide back to F and connect that phrase to the A string. Today that I have enough strength to move on the E string for a longer time, it's the right time to start that. There is no change of position in my technique on G, D, and A string. It's essential in my personal style, to sound different from classical technique.

Bow vibrato recently became more and more frequent. As long as playing was hard, I lacked the necessary ease to involve bow vibrato. Now I feel easy and free enough to do it. Bow vibrato sounds very interesting and is exactly right for my style. Finger or wrist vibrato is a no in my technique. Years ago I assumed I would probably use it sometimes on long notes in the future. It's not gonna happen, it doesn't match my style.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Demoiselle
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I forgot my latest YouTube upload. Had recorded that in October 2018, now again -- same pictures, new audio. That means: Same spinet play-along, with new violin improvisation. Recorded on March 28 2019. My technique improved in the meantime, but I hear more possibilities in expression than in October.

Addition, May 5 : It was no "spinet play-along", but one of my self-programmed baroque organ sounds from an FM synthesizer keyboard. I'm posting from a public library and can't listen  into my own stuff, so here I didn't know exactly what I was talking about.

The above long opus I wrote yesterday at home. So yesterday was the 4th birthday of my violin-playing. There's a big change going on. I feel like I reached my basic goal and can afford to do more than before. Like changing position on E string. Last year it would have irritated my technique and therefore have been too early.

My teacher 2017 tried to talk me into double-stopping. I said no. Many teacher want things way too early. In my view single string playing must be super accurate, before I start working on double stopping. Anyway I need more time as others do -- it always was like that. But in the end I did it more thoroughly than many others and it pays.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Fiddlerman
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May 3, 2019 - 11:38 am
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"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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MACJR
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@Demoiselle, I have not been participating much on these forum pages over the last couple years, but I have been getting notifications of your posts, and reading them all the while I was away.

You probably mentioned that you started playing the violin on my birthday, back in 2014, but I had forgotten that. I did not start playing the violin until September of 2016. You are probably well ahead of me, even beyond the two year head start, since I have taken time off of playing a few times, for extended periods, due to a situation with downstairs neighbors. The issue is far more than just my playing the violin though, and stopping my playing did not help at all, so I am back at playing the violin again now.

I have progressed quite a bit since my first year of playing, but there is still much to learn, and room for more improvement. I do like playing the violin, and my classical guitar. And soon, I will be playing the viola as well.

Anyway, even if I do not say anything for a long time, I am still around, and reading what you have to say.

MACJR

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Mark
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Very good, enjoyed that!

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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GregW
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Very creative and great playing.  I enjoyed listening to you!

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Demoiselle
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Fiddlerman said
@ Demoiselle - Good job!!!

  

Thanks!

You probably realized that my bow is bouncing back easily because it's extremely light-weight. Once it happened accidentally now and then, in the meantime I do it on purpose and use it as special effect.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Demoiselle
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MACJR said
@Demoiselle, I have not been participating much on these forum pages over the last couple years, but I have been getting notifications of your posts, and reading them all the while I was away.

You probably mentioned that you started playing the violin on my birthday, back in 2014, but I had forgotten that. I did not start playing the violin until September of 2016. You are probably well ahead of me, even beyond the two year head start, since I have taken time off of playing a few times, for extended periods, due to a situation with downstairs neighbors. The issue is far more than just my playing the violin though, and stopping my playing did not help at all, so I am back at playing the violin again now.

I have progressed quite a bit since my first year of playing, but there is still much to learn, and room for more improvement. I do like playing the violin, and my classical guitar. And soon, I will be playing the viola as well.

Anyway, even if I do not say anything for a long time, I am still around, and reading what you have to say.

MACJR

  

I play violin since May 2nd, A. D. 2015.

I don't like to compare myself to other players. Every player is different and has different ideas. My idea was buying as many CDs with 1600s solo violins as possible and listening all day, to shape the style of my ear. Secondly I mostly practiced very carefully and controlled, but sometimes I switch off my head and go wild. Here I was going wild. 😉

I also started on classical guitar a couple weeks ago, after giving up my plan to make a spinettino. Building such small keyboard instrument would take too much time from making music. So I prefer to learn to play sort of "spinet without keys", I mean the guitar. I need a chord instrument too whenever I go out this summer.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Demoiselle
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Mark said
Very good, enjoyed that!

 

Mark

  

Thanks, my bow is doing things, even other baroque bows probably don't do these days. I think it's to hear, that this bow is relatively hard to control. It certainly produces a different sound, which is less stable, but that's what I want. 

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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bocaholly
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I finally caught up with that last sound sample, Demoiselle. Lovely 🙂

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