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Just a little Fiddling Fun!
Kinda feel like I'm starting over - been attempting to practice using my finger pads, instead of the tips of my fingers on the strings & of course it'll take time - so decided to have some fun while doing it, by experimented a little! Going to try to pull a couple ideas together here from discussions elsewhere on the forum. Tuning, Intervals & Learning by Ear... intonation. 🤭
• I love the low notes! In the past, I've tuned all my strings down a half step for the accepted standard Baroque tuning & sometimes I'll only tune my C string down a little if I need it. I've been enjoying Rondo strings on my 5-string Viola so much that I decided to see what it would be like to go even lower!
So, for a little practice tonight - I tuned down, what I thought was 2 Whole steps on all 5 strings, but was actually only tuned down 1 whole and a half step (3 semi tones). Tuned my C down an octave from the A string & the rest up a 5th from each other (nothing exact, hertz-wise).
• I just wanted to see if it would bother me practicing some of my tunes - or if it was too much for my viola & they'd buzz on the fingerboard. I went ahead & recorded some of my practice - just a little, didn't want to torture anyone TOO much. (lol)
The 1st is just me foolin' with part of "Je M'endor" - as low as I could play it tuned this way. Sorry, got a little long-winded with a couple variations for "Scatter The Mud", then went thru "Bang Your Frog On The Sofa" a couple times - at my comfortable 'half' speed. 😉
• I know I have a long way to go with relative pitch AND intervals by ear, but I keep making a little progress. Experimenting like this does gives me a nice sense of freedom!
I'm VERY pleased there wasn't any buzzing from the strings hitting the fingerboard! Didn't have any "unusual" issues practicing - any 'bad' noises were just my fault, so didn't seem too weird. Haven't tried any cross-tuning, yet... Edgar might shine with a particular one - many possibilities!
Next, just for the heck of it, I cranked the C string all the way down to F#2 and played a robust scale up the string! NO BUZZING, but yeah - I'm just still terrible playing up the Viola C string! 🥴
It's getting late, not sure if I'll be able to deal with play-along sheet music if I decide to stay somewhat tuned down. Don't think it will be an issue learning new music, but all my old stuff is not going to be happy if I making too many changes - but what the heck, can't be worse than learning another clef... can it? 🙄
...about thinking in terms of intervals - I'll keep working on them. I want to be able to play a tune/motif/riff anywhere else on the fingerboard, especially if I end up some place where a finger pattern I had gotten used to - doesn't work.
Btw, the mp3's attached - MUCH easier on your ears if you turn the volume down! Beware - the 1st is actually 10 minutes (and you thought Halloween was over). 😳
I agree - think it's all because of the Rondo strings.
Seem VERY stable!
I'm starting to feel pretty good about "Bang Your Frog on The Sofa". 😊
You can try to listen again, but I sent you an email.
...had fun, but like everything else - I'll have to work at this more to draw out better sound. (lol)
Thank you for even attempting to listen!
Before I put Edgar away last night, decided to try chops while still tuned down - I've started working on them, too. Think it's actually easier to get a better chop with less effort, but maybe I'm just starting to do enough to improve... could be another reason to tune down a little.
sounds good @elcbk. Did you play one version of scatter the mud and another version up high? liked that. i know we talked about the different versions out there before and pretty cool getting both in. Im liking the rondos too. Id never heard of them.
edit... before they were suggested when i bought last strings. glad i bought
I played 2 versions of "Scatter the Mud" (one from Doolin), both low & both high - mixed 'em up a bit at the end for fun - then played "Bang Your Frog on the Sofa".
Tempted to try tuning all the strings down a 4th (down a 4th/up a 5th?) - F#, C, G, D & A. Worse that could happen? ...maybe my bridge starts taking a walk. (lol)
Suppose I could just tune down the C string to F#, buy another C string (but they're kinda expensive) & move the G, D, & A over.
I'd hate to have to buy strings for anything larger!
Mikael Marin - of "Väsen"
For additional low notes, I probably should mention how much easier it might be to play tuned to F, C, G, D & A for 5-Viola, or even F, C, G & D for 4-string Viola - than tuning down each string a few half steps. It's more natural for playing string to string because we're already used to those intervals. The F is just a continuation like playing from the G string over to the C string.
I just learned Blue Gaze (The Blue Keys) the other day - trying to relearn it while tuned down (each string down 3 semi tones) was WAY TOO MUCH TROUBLE! Might be different if I knew it better, but seriously think I'd only stay tuned down if most of the tunes I play were known easier for it - like if I played a lot of Cajun & Old Time tunes (but I only play a few).
...still considering the F, C, G, D, A tuning, though. 😊
I hope it made you laugh as much as it did me. 🤣
I should've just spent more time playing the C string for both tunings - just to figure out the best way to bow it, but I changed back to regular tuning today - maybe I'll splurge on an additional C string down the road & try again.
People who might have been interested in octave strings might want to consider a tuned down Rondo as an alternative, but I haven't tried the Rondo Violin strings as of yet, just Viola.
@SharonC , @ABitRusty , @Mark -
I know my playing needs to be cleaner, no matter what, but it would help me tremendously if you could tell me, whether or not, you felt any groove - when I played "Bang Your Frog on The Sofa" (the last tune, 1st recording)? If you slowly slide the time up, it starts at 07:40. (and I have no idea why the recording looks like it's only a total of 4:26 minutes long)
I think I've listened to it too much - but seems my groove is still too weak, doesn't 'lilt'/swing enough. Pretty sure I'm still cutting the long notes off too short, so working on lengthening them - hopefully to make the groove more pronounced. I do practice it more slowly.
Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated!
i think it has a nice forward momentum to it and is steady. its easy to rock back and forth to it left and right withoit any places where it feels like it trips or stutters.. so yeah. i think its good. maybe some eee-awws with the bow on the longer notes.. but thats trying to find something to give you to add. like as you go into a roll...hold just a tad bit longer then kinda swell as you go into roll.. works good when slower but easier said than done. i shouldnt give advice to something i cant execute cleanly all the time. Its just something to work on for us.
no worries..sounds good with a nice feel!!
Thanks - that's a great idea!
I've been working on varying bow speed & doing swells within a stroke on some of the other tunes I play.
Don't know why I've been hitting a wall, hard seeing it's possible to shorten the short notes more, or lengthen the few longer ones - IT MUST BE POSSIBLE, cause I just checked out the original recording (which I haven't done in ages... it's become self-induced torture at this point).
I'm not even up to 75%, which is okay - it's not that I want to play faster, I'm just REALLY perplexed (maybe a little obsessed 🙄) by how they can play so clean & still make that groove SHINE at that speed!
Here's the original video I learned from
Couldnt get your first one to play for some reason, your second sounds OK to me but I dont know that much about viola strings to be honest. Havent gone to the dark side yet.
Still not working, tried clicking the player, and then the attatcment it just flickers briefly for a millisecond and wont work, its weird because your second one worked ok, dont get it.
Nothing, I also tried wht Greg said and down loaded it, same thing happened when I clicked on the download, just flickered and then wouldnt play, maybe its something to do with the format.
Well, that just took all the fun out of me having fun! 😖
Thanks for trying!
Guess I won't be using that recording app anymore, at least until I can figure out the problem - doesn't completely stop me, though. 😏
I had kinda wanted to share how I started out my practice & then got warmed up a bit, but I still left the middle stuff out, here.
Sorry, not spending any more time on it to make it smell any better, so only listen if you dare... I suspect watching this could be considered a health hazard. 🤭