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Greta Schmidt

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  1. I'm hoping this is the right forum for this question... I know what the dope is for, but I've got a couple of loose pegs and it's the weekend and I can't get to my luthier til later next week and I can't wait that long to fix the problem! My lower string's pegs won't stay put. What is the dope made of? I'm not certain the local music shop will have it as they don't specialize in strings' stuff. Is there any household stuff I could use in the meantime? Thanks anybody who can help! - Greta
  2. Try a Rudolf Doetsch, at least for comparison purposes on the price. Potters Violins has them and a private dealer I know (if you want to email me). I compared the Doetsch with the low-end Sofias and was glad I did. -Greta
  3. Crystal, I sometimes smell that burning too and figured a speck of rosin was incinerated by heavy or hard bowing, especially if I'm on the g string or rosined up recently. You say you clean your strings every couple of days? I wipe my down after I finish playing and even scrape with my fingernail just in case. I noticed the Helicores, when I had them on, were harder to clean off (I,m using Hill rosin, dark), but the Infelds clean quite nicely. I also wipe them down with a soft cloth along the fingerboard to catch any yucky stuff from my fingers that might adhere (like sweat or whatever). Maybe you should wipe the strings down after every time you play. (I'm not looking forward to changing these Infelds in another month already!). -Greta
  4. On those days when my fingers seem to forget where any intonation is (like today, for example!), I find that I start trying to fly through the pieces I usually play only to get more frustrated. But I've started closing my eyes when this happens and pulling in my focus and actually picture my fingers on the fingerboard. I'll start a slow scale up all the strings. This helps me stop the flight from fingers to sheet music and back and seems to quiet that sense of escaping speed. It made me think today of the movie Star Wars (Episode IV, the first one) when Luke is training with his lightsabre against that floating orb. Sort of a "feel the force" when he had to put the helmet on so he couldn't see. It's weird how fast the other senses pick up and sharpen into focus. My ears will ignore the distracting noises of husband and daughter (!) and will listen more to the violin sounds and it seems like my arms will perk up and get themselves properly aligned. I was curious if anyone else closes their eyes and plays to get back on track or what other technique you might use to stop and focus and "feel the force". - Greta
  5. Violinerrrz, Thanks for heads up call on this! I watch very little TV and never think to scout the listings for these sort of programs. I enjoyed this very much, although I've never (to my knowledge) hear her play and have no opinion on her greatness. I know there are people here who don't like her, but I just can't get into these personality things. Anyway, one thing that struck me as I watched how she plays - and I'm sure this is not the case - her posture looks so uncomfortable! Her shoulders hunch forward and her chin grip seems violent. The only reason I really looked at this is because I just started using a shoulder rest and now I wonder how I ever learned to play without one. Anyway, her posture obviously does not affect the playing, but it struck me. The camera work was great - lots of shots of her bowing hand/arm. It's also great to see the mechanics of her bare left arm too. ASM seems like a very passionate person. I'm glad I was able to catch this last night, even though I'm bleary-eyed and cranky this morning from staying up so late! -Greta
  6. I am somewhat confused on a note issue that I'm sure is basic... In piano and flute (if I'm recalling correctly), a D# is the same as an E flat, for example. Is this true of the violin? If I come across an A#, in an otherwise D major key, how do I play it (in first position) - B flat on the A string? Thanks in advance! Greta
  7. I have a Coda Aspire - it's about 4 months old and while I noticed no problems as far as rosining it, it did take a few weeks to "stretch", at least it seemed so to me. I talked to a Coda rep about it when I first got it because it seemed very taught and stiff and he suggested to play it in. I have to say that I find it a very usuable bow, although my experience with a wide variety/grade of bows is somewhat limited. The Coda Classic was lovely, but way out of my price range. Greta
  8. I subscribe to both - as painful as it is for The Strad! Strings has been arriving fine thus far. I like Strings because it is more down-to-earth and seems less UK-oriented, and as Crystal said, is wont to include fiddling. But The Strad is a gorgeous magazine and I love the middle section that profiles an instrument with wonderful photos - you could almost smell the wood. I like the historical pieces about instruments and bows, even though I'm in no position to view such for investment or ownership. The only thing I don't find useful in both - and this is just personal- is the reviews. Sometimes the writing styles irk me or the criticism is such that I might consider never playing outside my kitchen. For audiophiles and those in the circuit I can see where this is a necessary piece. (I read them anyway, because I'll learn a thing or two!). -Greta
  9. aminor, you have said it so right- a newfound love and passion - for strings! I grew up playing flute and piano, but there was no passion, just facility of playing. Having chased a nagging dream of playing violin, I have a world so rich in sound, meaning and pleasure of playing, I can't imagine how I got along without it! Oddly though, I tried to learn to guitar several times over the years and it never seemed to be easy at all - violin has been so much easier! I think guitar necks, at least the ones I had tried, were too wide, and I couldn't get used to the chords. The violin feels more like the flute to me. I do so love acoustic and Spanish guitar though. Welcome aboard! Greta
  10. OK, I'd like to add my two cents. I started out using Essentials for Strings, book 1 and because I am self-teaching, found it very easy to follow, understand, etc. etc. Book 2 leaves a lot more to be desired: I've decided, for me, that snippets of scales, tunes, mundune arpeggios with one or tune full length songs are just not doing it for me. Upon Crystal's suggestion, I got Suzuki books 1 and 2, if for no other reason than to have something else to play/warm up with. I've only looked at book 1 (this was yesterday) and am quite pleased with the songs throughout. I haven't read any of the instructions, rather I was looking for simple, tuneful warmups that had some purposeful structure underneath them, as I am trying to get comfortable with my new fiddle. There are several tunes in there written by Suzuki himself which I find to be quite lyrical. Level wise I am past this, but they seem to be a nice way to refresh and get going. As you can see from my way of learning, I mix in whatever I can. As Lydia and Theresa have more or less said, what is the point of exclusivity? We're adult learners who are either picking it new in our adulthood, or returning after having learned as a child - nothing "pure" about it, but that's what makes looking at all the options out there worthwhile. I also believe in tinkering, whether with Suzuki, Wolfhart, Essentials or Sevcik - oh, heck, it just makes a tastier soup! -Greta
  11. I'd like to get the Bach 2nd mov., Suite 3 (so-called "Air..") down - one day I can play it through, other days my fingers trip each other. For fiddle tunes, I just printed off Ashokan Farewell, plus I need to work on: The Sally Gardens Flowers of Edinburgh The Garden of Daisies (Guess I'm getting anxious for Spring!) Now that I'm getting more familiar with my new fiddle, I need to get back to some Wolfhart, nos. 1 and 2. Because the neck is narrower, I sometimes overshoot my finger placement. -Greta
  12. Thanks for the replies. As I've stated before, I don't care for the Dominants, at least under my ear anyway. But I've wondered about the professionals who play as part of an orchestra or group, yet may also have solo pieces where I would think the sound requirements would be different, i.e., less need to be as loud as the rest of the violins, or maybe a sweeter sounding movement. I hadn't realized the time frame of the newer synthetic strings - thanks Lydia - and that Dominants would have been a "standard" for so long. I have noticed in the Strad or in other pictures of old violins that the strings are more often than not Dominants. Do you suppose that when someone is recording, rather than performing, they would want a different sound projection? I guess I'm just intrigued at how different an instrument/sound can be by changing strings. The Infelds are louder, but the sound isn't going directly in my ear, like with the Dominants, rather I can hear it traveling off and out. My husband, who has been hesitant to comment too much on these matters, asked what I was doing different, he said the violin sounded better, and this was after putting the Infelds on. Since I play just for myself (and the occasional cat who will run between my legs while playing), I'm more attuned to what I'm hearing and have been completely enthralled by the sounds I've been hearing. -Greta
  13. We have all asked and responded about the kinds of strings we use, what combinations, what ones we LOVE and HATE, etc., etc. Does anyone know about what strings the big, famous violinists use(d)? Like Heifitz or Kaufman, or Perlman, Bell, Hahn, etc.? Granted, the string combined with the instrument, their instruments, puts them in a different league, but do they use Dominants with a gold-plated E or what? I believe someone else posed a similar question in another post, but I wanted to open it up to a larger audience. Incidently, I just put Infeld Reds on my new Doetsch and have been granted a true lesson in overtones (I thought I had overtones with Helicores, but not to this degree!). - Greta
  14. WOW! Oh, and welcome. As far as age and the violin (or any instrument) - when love finds you, meet it with all your heart! - Greta
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