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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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Fiddlerman
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June 15, 2017 - 3:47 pm
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Very cool Demoiselle. It's hard to find a good and positive teacher. 🙂
Glad to hear it.

"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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Well, if I lived in your area I'd be supposed to choose you, because you're a lot like her. Although I don't know whether you are teaching. But you're classically trained PLUS can improvise anything PLUS you constantly sound like you don't get enough even after long decades and obviously like to encourage other people. And ya know what: Last lesson I picked LA FOLIA, she asked how it goes, so I played the chords on the harpsichord sound of her digital piano and she improvised on her violin. Then I got my spinet out of my mp3-player and we raved over LA FOLIA with two violins. That was great! Well, still have bookmarked your impro over La FOLIA and am still very impressed. So we three have LA FOLIA in common as well. Sometimes the world feels small like the coziest place. LOL

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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Charles
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Hi @Demoiselle, I would have to say that's a big improvement over the version you posted last year.  It sounds like you're effortlessly playing music, as opposed to playing individual notes and stringing them in line. Everything flows into the next part seamlessly, the tonal qualities are much improved... I'd say both your teacher and all the practice you've obviously put in has made a big difference. Many congratulations on some excellent work.

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Fiddlerman
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June 19, 2017 - 10:12 am
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Unfortunately I don't have time to teach but when I did, I loved it. Kept me in shape as well. It's amazing how much practice you can get when you need to focus on how you demonstrate.

"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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Charles said
Hi @Demoiselle, I would have to say that's a big improvement over the version you posted last year.  It sounds like you're effortlessly playing music, as opposed to playing individual notes and stringing them in line. Everything flows into the next part seamlessly, the tonal qualities are much improved... I'd say both your teacher and all the practice you've obviously put in has made a big difference. Many congratulations on some excellent work.  

Precisely, it made a big deal. I had a lesson every 2 weeks since the middle of January and the last one was number 12. As she said several times, I'm learning very fast. I think this is because I skip traditional classical etudes and practice only what I will need for my kind of music. We just started to practice playing with more than one voice and the actual focus are sixths and sixth parallels. She also wants me to practice parallel fifths chromatically, but will never ever need them. So here's again a point where I say "no". There are a few fifths which are important, but I will rather put it in-between parallel sixths. Never ever you will see me mechanically practicing just because someone put in on some curriculum. I practice only what makes sense to me.

Well, there are parallel fifths in baroque music sometimes—above all in chaconnes. But the keys I play in are just G major through Bb major. In the future D major and perhaps A major will join, but I will never ever play in B, F#, Db or Ab. So it's useless to go  there. We have discussions now and then she sometimes struggles. But she has to accept, I'm not a 7 year old beginner, don't follow orders, nor eat everything she wants me to eat.

Fiddlerman said
Unfortunately I don't have time to teach but when I did, I loved it. Kept me in shape as well. It's amazing how much practice you can get when you need to focus on how you demonstrate.  

My teacher can really learn a lot from me. She found a small piece of paper with my notes and I guessed it must have been there for at least 4 weeks. That really upset her a bit and she emphasized she had been vacuuming all the time. We hadn't used the notes for weeks but they might have fallen out of my binder. But the young lady is really highly neurotic and a lot of what she wants me to do comes from compulsive obsessions. During the first few lessons I felt highly under pressure, but I learned to handle her.

She believes absolutely in untempered fifths and sort of considers it law of nature. So she also thinks the vibration of thirds in this Pythagorean system would be kind of God-given. I explained, there are no defined intervals in nature and everything has been made up by humans. She calls that noise of those conflicting thirds just "overtones". But in fact every note has their own overtones anyway and in this case they just interact, which causes that noise. And you can as well hear it as disturbance which makes harmonies less clean. It is very difficult to understand for her, that people in the 1600s considered that noise between thirds bad and therefore made thirds wider and also adapted fifth. Her idea is, it would lead to nothing but off-key notes. My answer to that was, that the 1950 are over, rules in music are not absolutely defined, so the world has become more varied. That's true in may ways: absolute pitch, 'perfect' fifths, traditional scales ect.—all that has been challenged by modern classical and ancient music. You can't even insist on 440 Hz because it isn't common standard any longer.

Well, she said, "But we're not living in the 1600s anymore." But indeed musically I do. She really wants a uniformed world of basic rules in music because that's what they obviously taught her. And if a wrist is not a 100% straight she will grab it and use force, even if it hurts. I find it very astonishing that finally also studying jazz didn't get those ideas out of her. But I really think it's very important for her to overcome those compulsive ideas. I'm afraid some parents of small children already canceled her just because of that attitude.

For me she's great. She brings up things which are useful for me. Whenever I play something, she's like: "Now here's how you should do it." And very often it opened a door to another technique I can really use.

Two weeks ago she said I would inspire her and that's why she's recently playing Telemann. She showed me those notes and found a certain passage interesting, asking whether I could analyse the chords. In fact I found it interesting too, so I should really do it. There are parallel sixths, there are fifths or octaves now and then ect. and single notes in-between. The main rule is alternation. It isn't different from the Fats Waller jazz piano style I was interested in during the 80s and that again isn't different from a baroque harpsichord. You cannot discuss things like that with a usual violin teacher who just studied how to interpret classical music.

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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June 20, 2017 - 3:40 pm
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Sounds like you have a great match with her. I'm glad you found her.

"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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I am thinking about it might be time to go on alone without a teacher and later possibly look for another teacher.

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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August 8, 2017 - 1:04 pm
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Sounds like a plan. I know that if you are with the same teacher too long, you don't get as much new feedback. The more teachers you have, the more open you will be. There are many thoughts about different techniques and music.

"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
Sounds like a plan. I know that if you are with the same teacher too long, you don't get as much new feedback. The more teachers you have, the more open you will be. There are many thoughts about different techniques and music.  

She finally made me do double stopping, which I did for 2 weeks but then I went back to single note. In fact she even had me play triads. Which I very much appreciate and someday I really will go back to that, but what I want right now is dead sureness on single notes -- improvise hours and hours and make the techniques she taught me fluid.

Plan? Yes, my plan right now is preparing for ADVENT. I am a Catholic but came to the conclusion I should look for fellow players in protestant churches. Because they are the greater music lovers and have more brain. For musicians the advent season starts now in late summer, so it's time to socialize there and try to find someone. I would love to play in churches over the coming Advent and Christmas season -- or for example in old people's homes. You know I forced myself to play in dry acoustic but now I will really feel high if I do it in a church and surpass myself.

I feel really great now, considering myself free. Nobody is distracting me, trying to talk me in or out of something. And I don't have that focusing on the next lesson to accomplish something that justifies 40 Euros for the hour. I edited the video of my last recording with violin, spinet and hand drum again and made it look much better, but there are hardly clicks on that new upload. So what is most popular in continuo music? I came to the conclusion it's probably the Brandenburg Concertos. I'm looking for a part in there which would be great for me to cover it my way. Probably with violin, recorder and spinet. It might boost my channel a little and I'm anyway looking forward to this experiment......

With my teacher I finally had silly debates like, "But you're not living in the 1600s." I replied, "Musically I am." Which was all about me preferring open strings to 4th fingers. So she wanted to adapt me to her personal ideas and that was deeply wrong. If the music of the 1600s makes me feel like in heaven I will certainly go there. And I will certainly look up any information on that time I can find. But this teacher was a case of struggling with self-perception and reality. And those kind of people tend to mess up the you with the me. 'Why must you always be you, why can't you be just like me?'

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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Brandenburg Concertos 2, 5 and 6 have slow movements in the middle which are really nice. Let's see what's best for me to cover in my personal style.......

Anyway, I also need to get more into Bach's sacred music because protestants love that.

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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August 15, 2017 - 12:21 pm
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Bach is Bach.... Can never get too much.

"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
Bach is Bach.... Can never get too much.  

He is great. And if you see the wider Bach family, like his father and uncles ect. it's fascinating again. And if you look wider still, there are so many wonderful German composers.... dozens of them. I just bought a CD with anonymous composers of 1600s Vienna, which also is very beautiful. Well and if you look in a wider context still, you find more in Italy, France, ect./ect.  There seems to be no end to it. My goal is to get as much as possible of that into my mind's ear to develop my style.

My teacher often looked like she was trying to be boss, but in fact she was just my paid assistant. For the first 6 months I didn't show it because it was clearly to see she needed self-affirmation. If I had told her she wasn't as powerful as she assumed, she probably would have lacked motivation. Finally she tried to completely take over and didn't respect my personal goals anymore. Which was against what we had agreed on in the beginning. Well, she was very forgetful. So it had to end—I wasn't anyway learning much anymore due to extended disputes. Now I really feel very relieved and can concentrate much better while teaching myself. It was a burden, but I had to take on it because I lacked basic technique. It was hard but it was worth it. 🙂

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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BillyG
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August 19, 2017 - 2:53 pm
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Demoiselle said

...... For the first 6 months I didn't show it because it was clearly to see she needed self-affirmation. If I had told her she wasn't as powerful as she assumed, she probably would have lacked motivation. Finally she tried to completely take over and didn't respect my personal goals anymore.......

  Now, that is simply wrong - you should be given the room and the space to expand your interests !

  You made the right decision IMHO  ( and I say that from the perspective of having BEEN a tutor - not in music, which is no more than a pass-time to me ) but two other completely unrelated subjects.

  I learned, VERY quickly, that some students "were on a slightly-different-path-of-awareness" in the subjects I taught.   I ALWAYS took the time to work with them individually and, many times, I was "enlightened" to a different way of thinking about a problem scenario.

  Been on the other-side as well - as a student / recipient of tuition - (again in non-musical topics) - on several occasions I have simply walked away and found a better mentor that's prepared to deal with "what I want out of it" and not a regurgitation of stuff anyone can read from a book LOLOL...

I like your style !   hats_off

 

  

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Demoiselle
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BillyG said

Demoiselle said
...... For the first 6 months I didn't show it because it was clearly to see she needed self-affirmation. If I had told her she wasn't as powerful as she assumed, she probably would have lacked motivation. Finally she tried to completely take over and didn't respect my personal goals anymore.......

  Now, that is simply wrong - you should be given the room and the space to expand your interests !

  You made the right decision IMHO  ( and I say that from the perspective of having BEEN a tutor - not in music, which is no more than a pass-time to me ) but two other completely unrelated subjects.

  I learned, VERY quickly, that some students "were on a slightly-different-path-of-awareness" in the subjects I taught.   I ALWAYS took the time to work with them individually and, many times, I was "enlightened" to a different way of thinking about a problem scenario.

  Been on the other-side as well - as a student / recipient of tuition - (again in non-musical topics) - on several occasions I have simply walked away and found a better mentor that's prepared to deal with "what I want out of it" and not a regurgitation of stuff anyone can read from a book LOLOL...

I like your style !   hats_off

 

    

That woman obviously had mental issues. It wasn't her fault. But until the end of June I learned a lot. Even in Berlin it was very difficult to find the right teacher for me. Those who prefer jazz think I'm nuts because I love riding on ancient music, and those who prefer ancient music feel like it's wrong to not just follow the notes of ancient masters. The problem is, if I start shootn' off my mouth people are hurt pretty soon. My argumentation is like a rolling tank, they have no chance. At some point I learned I'm very gifted and powerful in that matter and decided to hold back. I'm glad I didn't use that against her.

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 needed some distance and then listen into my three choices out of the Brandenburg Concertos 2, 5, 6 again. Today I feel like the Andante in No. 2 is gonna be great for me.

t=310s

The movement starts in the middle (at 5:12), is not fast and nonetheless a little groovy. I want to start singing each time I listen to it, which shows it speaks to my heart.

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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It's D minor, my favorite key, so I probably won't transpose it. I tried to accompany the above video sound at my spinet and it was great fun: It involves several minor chords and the harmonic progression is extremely beautiful. This is exactly the kind of stuff I need: Quite dreamy, colorful and nonetheless with a steady groove. Swings like swing jazz.

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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August 22, 2017 - 9:44 am
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Demoiselle said

......Those who prefer jazz think I'm nuts because I love riding on ancient music, and those who prefer ancient music feel like it's wrong to not just follow the notes of ancient masters. The problem is, if I start shootn' off my mouth people are hurt pretty soon....... 

Imagine how boring this world would be if everyone thought and acted alike.....

"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

Demoiselle said
......Those who prefer jazz think I'm nuts because I love riding on ancient music, and those who prefer ancient music feel like it's wrong to not just follow the notes of ancient masters. The problem is, if I start shootn' off my mouth people are hurt pretty soon....... 

Imagine how boring this world would be if everyone thought and acted alike.....  

Yes, terrible idea. Actually a nightmare as I feel.

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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Now, after 2 1/2 years of playing the violin, I dared to test out playing from sheets. I used notes of 17 century hymns in my old church book. My idea was I would fail, but surprisingly was able to play the notes as if I had done it all those 2 1/2 years. Of course I had played from sheets on trumpet, trombone and recorders before, but violin is a very special challenge because you have to handle so many technical difficulties in one moment.

Now I'm fully convinced, notes are bad for violin beginners because they struggle with so many technical problems anyway and should better concentrate on that. I would possibly confront a trumpet beginner with notes but never a violin beginner. The start on violin is so incredibly tough and I'm anyhow glad I violinistically survived it.

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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October 9, 2017 - 1:05 pm
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Maybe bad if that is all they do and never try loosing the sheet music......

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

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