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victor

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  1. Hi to those who remember me, I have been silent for several months now because I was busy with the class I was taking along with my full-time job. It was sad to hear that Al Stancel passed away, and I know many of us will miss him. Actually, it is because of his diagnosis on my violin--that it needs several hundred dollars' worth of repairs--that I have gone back to playing the classical guitar and will be putting the violin aside for the time being. I'll go back to it eventually, but for now I'd like to focus on the classical guitar, which I played a bit in high school and which I like very much. Because of time constraints and because this board doesn't have many discussions on classical guitar technique, I probably won't be posting much at all anymore. But it was good interacting with many of you, and I wish all of you well with all your endeavors, music and otherwise. Take care, Victor
  2. I am sorry to hear of Al Stancel's death. I met him on this board about a year ago and got to meet him in person this past August--he examined my violin and rehaired my bow. It was a pleasure having known him. I hope the people at Casa Del Sol are okay considering the circumstances--I will try to visit them as soon as I get a chance. Take care, Victor : I want to share with all readers on this forum the : news I received this morning. AL STANCEL, of Casa : del Sol Violins, died on Monday, Nov. 29, 1999. : I was saddened to learn of his death, as he was my : friend and I know that he was always so open and helpful : to anyone who asked him questions. Al had a big heart : and his honesty and integrity was never in doubt to : anyone that dealt with him. We've lost a wonderful : luthier and he will be greatly missed. : Marsha Folks - Center, North Dakota
  3. I found that my violin sounded much better without a shoulder rest than with it. And I was using a Kun shoulder rest back then. I think the reason for the better sound is that the violin is now in contact with my collarbone at the bottom block instead of being held at the side edges. Apparently there is more vibration at the side edges than at the bottom wood block, hence the violin vibrates more freely (and therefore sounds better) when played without a shoulder rest. Note that the violin should be held up when playing without a shoulder rest--the scroll should be as high or higher than the bridge. Otherwise the situation that Kun describes will occur, but that is definitely not the norm nor is it the way a violin should be played without a shoulder rest. Victor : The Kun rest web site claims that use of shoulder rest : improves sound quality. That seems reasonable, because : without shoulder rest the back of the violin become in : contact with shoulder and therefore the vibration of the : back of the violin might get damped. With rest, only small : area of the side of the violin becomes in contact. : How do you think?
  4. : : I've never watched a live baroque orchestra with or without period instruments, but when I have seen performances on TV, the facial expressions on the violin and viola players resemble those of people suffering road rage - and I empathize S with them. You can almost hear them thinking of the problems they will have getting out of it after the next time they leave the first position. They must need the money awfully bad. : : At least they won't be tempted to vibrato too much as is the style of the music they play. : : Many changes are not progress, but I think chin and shoulder rests and the modern bow are - even for playing early music, call me "old fashioned." : : Andy : I used shoulder rests for 25 years then suffered through a miserable ten days without one on a dare from a friend. But after that time I felt a wonderful freedom - I can play 6-8 hours a day without stiffness or pain - and my intonation and ability to play in high positions is much improved. For me shoulder rests lock the body in one position and make the violin seem inanimate - without one the violin really feels a part of me and I can play it without worrying about "positions". But basically one must find what works for oneself - great violinists use all different accessories and styles. I do have a very long neck too - in high school I was know as "Stork-neck"
  5. I forgot to mention this one in my last message, but plucking the string you want to tune is better than bowing it (for beginners, anyway) because the bow affects slightly the pitch of a note being played (even on open strings). I tune the A string on my violin by plucking the string and adjusting the peg while the reference pitch is playing. Beats will probably be harder to hear in this situation, but at least the beats will be more consistent. Victor : Hi : I'm having great troubles tuning my violin with my chromatic tuner. If I tune my A to the green light (the one in the middle of the ten or so red lights), it sounds flat. And then when I get to my lesson my teacher will always have to sharpen it a lot. Is it the tuner that is faulty or something? I've had this thing over two years and I did give up on it a while ago, but now I find that unless my fiddle is in exact tune I can't play a thing properly. It is extremely offputting, and I look forward to my lesson each week for the big reason that I know that at least for the next few days (weather being stable) I am playing with a violin which is in tune. : The tuner is a Yamaha (haven't got the model details) and I'm ready to throw it in the garbage. The strings are Dominants. : How long until I can tune this damned thing by ear? (I've been playing 3 years.) I can hear when it's wrong, and I can hear when it's right. I just can't seem to bridge the gap and make the wrongs right. (Yeah, two wrongs don't make a right, but two Wrights made an aeroplane.) Would be interested in people's experiences: at what stage did you feel it becoming easy/easier to tune your fiddle. : Any advice is more than welcome. : Wanda
  6. My teacher had never listened for beats nor knew anything about them when I first started taking lessons with her. She was amazed at how accurately I could tune a violin using them. I think some musicians out there struggle with tuning instruments all their lives because they miss out on this excellent tuning secret. Victor : 1. Can you detect the "wow-wow" (sum-and-difference frequencies) between a reference tone (sine wave from a tuner or pitch from a fork) and the string you're listening to? : 2. Can you detect perfect fifths when you draw the bow across adjacent open strings, regardless of whether either of them is at exactly the correct pitch? : If the answer to either of these questions is "no", you need to have a talk with your teacher.
  7. Hi Wanda, I'd recommend getting a metronome with a (loud) A-440 reference pitch and tuning your A with it. You can use this reference tone to see if your tuner is out of tune and then return it as defective, calibrate it, or throw it out. A metronome is very useful to have anyway. As for bridging the gap between an out-of-tune note and an in-tune reference pitch, I'd suggest going slightly flat and then tuning up to the desired pitch. You will hear a wavering tone (a wah-wah-wah sound) if the pitch is out of tune, and this wavering will get slower as you approach the correct pitch (it will stop completely when you're dead on pitch). The wavering sound (called "beats") is quite subtle and you will have to listen carefully for it, but once you hear it the whole tuning process will become fairly straightforward. Good luck, Victor : Hi : I'm having great troubles tuning my violin with my chromatic tuner. If I tune my A to the green light (the one in the middle of the ten or so red lights), it sounds flat. And then when I get to my lesson my teacher will always have to sharpen it a lot. Is it the tuner that is faulty or something? I've had this thing over two years and I did give up on it a while ago, but now I find that unless my fiddle is in exact tune I can't play a thing properly. It is extremely offputting, and I look forward to my lesson each week for the big reason that I know that at least for the next few days (weather being stable) I am playing with a violin which is in tune. : The tuner is a Yamaha (haven't got the model details) and I'm ready to throw it in the garbage. The strings are Dominants. : How long until I can tune this damned thing by ear? (I've been playing 3 years.) I can hear when it's wrong, and I can hear when it's right. I just can't seem to bridge the gap and make the wrongs right. (Yeah, two wrongs don't make a right, but two Wrights made an aeroplane.) Would be interested in people's experiences: at what stage did you feel it becoming easy/easier to tune your fiddle. : Any advice is more than welcome. : Wanda
  8. She was borrowing the ex-David for a while from the Stradivari Society (when she was 10), but a few years later she bought it. It is the Jupiter Stradivarius which she has on loan for life, from a family friend. I got this info from Sheila's Corner. Victor : I read in a recent press release that Midori is using the David del Gesu. I forget the name of the person, but in the article it was mentioned that he placed it on loan to her, as well as a pretty good Strad, for 2 years! Is this right? How come she gets such privalege? I thought that it was to remain in the museum for the use of visiting artists when playing a concert at the nearby concert hall, not carted around the world for the exclusive use of one!!! Can anyone shed light on this subject.
  9. Hi, I try out strings by putting new ones on when the old ones are ready to be changed, and then I leave the new ones on until they wear out (unless the strings are so bad that i HAVE to take them off soon and throw them out). Because of this, I don't have to worry much about storing old strings (though I always keep the previous set in case a new string breaks). I can usually get a good evaluation of the strings within the first couple of days of playing them, but I leave them on the instrument for a long time because only then will I be able to know how the strings perform under all sorts of conditions, how well they break in, how they sound and play after they have broken in, and how long they last. Keeping them on for a long time also gives me better memory of how the strings perform, which helps me compare them against other strings. I would strongly recommend against putting the same strings on and off more than a couple of times because it weakens the strings and makes them more susceptible to breakage. Good luck, Victor : Hi : I would like to know how to try out a new set of strings just to evaluate its worth. I understand that it is unadvisable to remove more than one string at a time. How long do i have to wait to change another string? Will the former set of strings deteriorate in quality? How long do i have to have a set of strings on in order to really tell how good they are? Will the new strings ,on removal and storage, deteriorate after i've tried them?
  10. I put my Tourte mute over the D string on my violin. A cellist I know uses a wire mute over the D and G strings. Anywhere around that area should be fine, just experiment and see what you like best. Victor : Okey dokey. I'm back on here after a nice long vacation of practicing my violin and (tadaa!) cello for about 2hrs. every day. Yes, my mom finally gave in and let me get a cello, and I'm thrilled. I play 1st violin in school for two pieces and cello for one. Anyway, one piece (concert piece for strings) has you put on a mute, and, this is kind of a dumb question, but what string do I put the mute on? Any (nonsexist)[that means you, adean] comments would be appriceated. Thanx, love ya bunches, : Katie
  11. by the way, it is my understanding that bass amps are more efficient than guitar amps, so comparing wattages between guitar amps and bass amps doesn't work well. -v : Hello you guys, : Are you both deaf???? Ouch!! My son't 25 watt Fender Bass amp (BXR 25) is plenty loud. : AB
  12. having a solid-state power amp means you don't have to worry about replacing expensive EL34s (as much as i may like them, they are a bit pricey), just 12AX7s for the preamp. and i do agree that 60 watts is enough for small gigs, even for metal bands! -v : i still think 50 watts is enough (or sixty-basically were talking about two output tubes here), and i'm in pretty good company here in the professional world as long as were not talking about a metal band, but lets consider the fact that 4-6 output tubes not only increases reliability problems, but means doubling the cost of tubes (6l6,el34, 6550, kt88,...). you are looking at an increase of anywhere from $30-75 more for a retube, plus bigger amps also often have more tubes in the driver/pregain stages that could add even more complexity and cost. stick with a tried and true good quality 2 output tube head or combo and you will be fine. : mike
  13. I said 60-watt minimum, not 100; 60 is loud enough. In my experience, you can't get a loud, *clean* sound over the drums under 60 watts, especially with a tube amp. But then again, the drummers I've played with have been so loud as to force me and fellow band members to wear earplugs. I agree with you for, say, a jazz band, but not a metal band. For a long time, my rule has been to never get an amp smaller than 60 watts. I currently play on a 65-watt amp, and it has just enough juice for my needs. Victor : the 100 watt neccesity just has not been my experience in over 20 years of gigs. think of all those people out there with 40watt vibroverbs, bassmen amps, bandmasters, marshall 50's, vox ac50's...were not talking cream at the royal albert hall, just normal gigs. heck i play swing dances as a bass player in large auditoriums with a 45 watt ampeg portaflex and you can definately hear me over the drummer. very few bands ever used more than 50 watts until large arena playing became the thing. anyone that can stand in front of a 50 or 60 watt 2x12 or 4x10 tube amp at high volume and tell me it's not loud enough is nuts. : mike
  14. A 65-watt or 100-watt Marshall Valve (or Valvestate) combo amp should do quite fine for small gigs. The valvestate amps have a tube preamp section and a solid state power amp section, hence the valvestate name. I think valve combo amps are just a shorter name for valvestate combo amps. A combo amp will be fine, but definitely get at least a 60-watt amp, and preferably a 100-watt amp with one or two 12-inch speakers. Anything less and you won't be able to keep up with the drummer volume-wise, but anything more will be tough to drag around from gig to gig (or rehearsal to rehearsal). Check out other brands too, Mesa Boogie, Fender, and the like; play them, and see which one you like best. Check out stores and listen to amps, then grab a Musician's Friend catalog if you don't have one (www.musiciansfriend.com) and check out their gear as well. Good luck, Victor
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