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Tina Carlsen

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Everything posted by Tina Carlsen

  1. Saw Wendy's message below to the Old Dogs! I haven't haunted this bulletin board as much as I used to. I've been focusing on Irish traditional music, playing in a group, haven't been doing much classical lately. However, the vocalist in our group likes to sing in the flat keys (F, Bflat, etc), and I get a lot of opportunity to work in a least third position when I back her up, so it helps me stay of of the D and G rut (the keys Irish musicians love so well!), Nice to hear folks are doing well. Good luck Melinda, sounds like a great challenge for you in the new orchestra. Let us know how goes!! Tina
  2. If your interest is in the traditional styles of fiddling (irish, old time, etc), there are TONS of week long fiddle camps, most tayored to adults, and very welcoming to beginners. These camps can be a real motivational experience for beginning players. Most are held during the summer months. Check out Fiddler's Magazine web site (don't have the URL, but a search should find it), they usually list upcoming camps. I've personally attended the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington the past two July's, and can't say enough about it. Tina Carlsen
  3. Hi Ari, Read your posts about Kieko, and they made me curious about Iceland. I focus on primarily traditional music, primarily from Ireland, Sweden, Norway, with some old time American thrown it. What is the traditional music of Iceland like? Is it Scandinavian based, and thus similar to Norway and Sweden? Any suggested discography that I can check out? Cheers Tina Carlsen
  4. : Anyway I mailed a copy of your note to the Southwest Airlines comment site as an experiment to see if budget cuts have also beheaded their customer relations department. : Maybe someone will respond in kind. Thanks, I considered writing a lengthy letter to Southwest, but thought the BB might be more effective. Please let us know if you hear anything! Tina
  5. Well, even with all the effort to try to be prepared, I still had trouble getting my violin on Southwest airlines. The key to their carry on policy is (paraphrased), "delicate items, such as instruments, are allowed as carry ons, SPACE PERMITTING". And it is the gate attendant that makes this call, and it is VERY inconsistent! Three of us were traveling to Seattle from Oakland. The flight out was completely full, but the gate attendant did not blink an eye when we walked on board with our instruments. HOWEVER, the flight back, which was also full, the gate attendant absolutely refused to allow the instruments on, simply because they were 2 inches too long (didn't matter that they were much thinner and narrower than their carry on size, and thus actually took up much LESS space). We showed the carry on policy, talked to a supervisor, threw a tantrum, all to no avail. And the killer was, they would not guarantee safe arrival if the instruments were checked (they called it a "conditional" guarantee, meaning they were responsible for loss only, not damage). Our two options were to check the instruments, or wait for a flight that was less crowded. We checked the instruments, and were fortunate that they all arrived safely. But, I will never fly Southwest again (and I travel a lot for business), and if I have it my way, none of friends will either. Tina
  6. I had the great opportunity of meeting up with Mimi at Fiddletunes (was that a great time or what?) and got to see her new baby. She was even gracious enough to let me play it. It is a visually beautiful instrument and very pleasing to the ear. Good job Mimi. Tina
  7. Both Janieb and I read more than one board!
  8. : Tina-- : It was my understanding that the guitar is pitched an octave below how it is written. The high "E" string on the guitar is really first finger first position on the D string on the violin. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do believe it is pitched an octave below its written notes (the same way a double bass is). This of course will not affect the pitch, but you can tell the difference. : Jeff Jeff, You are probably right, now that I'm thinking about it. I played the guitar for several years, and did read notes, vs simply playing tab. I went from violin to guitar (the back to violin), and I guess it never really mentally connected that the tone was an octave lower from what I was reading! I will go home tonight and check my guitar! Tina
  9. It's been a while since I played guitar, and I'm answering this at work, but as I recall, the high octave E on the guitar (the one on the very bottom of the strum as the guitar is in playing position) is equivalent to the E on the violin. The D on the guitar is also equivalent to the D on the violin. What I can't remember is the A and G. I think the G string on the guitar is an octave higher than the G string on the violin and the A is an octave lower, but I'm not really sure. You should be able to tell by the relative positons of these strings to the D and E strings I just mentioned. Hope this helps Tina PS M. Alice really has the best way to go about tuning, but this gives you a point of reference.
  10. Thanks everyone for your kind responses, I feel a little less stressed. I do plan on printing out a copy of the web page exception policy to take with me. A few weeks ago, I spent a week traveling on business and took my fiddle with me for diversion. Neither United nor Continental batted an eye. And it fit nicely in the overhead. The strident tone of the newspaper article on Southwest is what got me concerned here. Thanks again - Tina
  11. I remember a recent discussion on this board about taking violins on Southwest airlines after their new carry on policy was instituted. I've done a search of the archives, and can't find anything. Three of us will be flying out of the Oakland airport on Southwest this Sunday to Fiddletunes up in Port Townsend, WA. A recent article in our newspaper said Southwest is being very strict about the size of carryons. I'm very concerned we will be forced to checkin our instruments. Didn't someone here mention an exception policy by Southwest for violins (instruments?)?. Thanks Tina
  12. I started with a playonair, but my instructor thought the table of my fiddle was not "horizontal" enough (it sloped down to the right), and suggested trying a Kun. While I liked the security it provided for shifting, I found that even with the left leg as short as I could get it, the combined height of my fiddle and Kun was to much for my short neck, causing me to angle my head to the right. This really concerned my instructor, and me as well. I've since gone back to the Playonair, and find it provides just enough padding and stability for shifting, without the unwanted height. Tina
  13. Wendy, Sorry for the tardy congrats, but I've been "off- board" for a while due to business travel and other commitments. I remember a discussion on this board not that long ago about adults, recitals, exams and similar topics. I've since spoken to my instructor and she is coming around to the idea of recitals for adults, although we haven't gotten as far as scheduling one. You and Elaine are my inspiration! Tina
  14. Flavio, I don't consider those who elect not to post their email address as "anonymous" in the same since as those who use various names that are clearly meant to hide behind (such as String zipper or other such silly things). You always consistently identify yourself as Flavio, we know who you are and what to expect. And you always provide thoughts and insights that are valued and respected! Like yourself, I seldom post my email address, but always identify myself consistently. To me, this is the key. Tina
  15. Hi Melinda! Sorry for the tardy response, I've been "off-board" for a while due to business travel and other commitments. I'm familiar with most of the books already mentioned and have several of them, and can recommend them. Two others not mentioned is "The Fiddlers Fake Book" by Oak Publications, and Matt Cranitch's "The Irish Fiddle Book" by Ossian Publications. The later comes with a demonstration tape, and the option to buy two very nice CDs of Matt playing tunes from the book. The nice thing about the Fiddler's Fake Book is almost every fiddler has it, so if you learn tunes out of this resource, you will most likely be able to play with just about anyone. And Celtic (Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton) tunes are well represented. Tina
  16. Will you be bringing your new baby to Fiddletunes? I'd love to check it out! Tina
  17. : About 20 years ago my father bought me a Stainer violin. I played for about 10 years, he was a great teacher, until he died. It just wasn't the same without him. I would like to pass it on to my son but would like to know a bit about the violin to give it some history and make it more enjoyable for my son to learn to play. Ever since he was three he wanted to learn to play. Now he is five and maybe old enough to play it without breaking it. Can anybody give me some information, please? Thea, I'm sorry to say, your Stainer is most likely a copy of a Stainer, not an original Stainer. However, depending on the maker and its condition, it may be a very fine violin. You can use the search function for this bulletin board on Stainer and see that this topic has been discussed. Also, the Smithsonian has a web site with info on Stainer violins (unfortunately, I don't have a URL handy). Finally, I would recommend taking it to a professional violin shop (one that specializes in violins and other stringed instruments, not just a music shop) and get it appraised. I assume this is a full sized violin? If so, you may want to read the posts below concerning proper violin size for children. A five year old probably can't play a full size violin, it would be too large. I wish you the best of luck with your son on his lessons! It is great he has taken such an early interest! You may want to save your "baby" as a lure for him to make progress on a smaller violin, with his reward being moving up to your family treasure! Tina
  18. : 4) Approximately 10,000 hours of highly focused practice is minimum for achieving a moderate skill level (defined as entry level music conservatory students). I'm so encouraged! At 20 hours a week, in 10 years I will be moderately skilled (yes, I'm dripping with sarcasm). Actually, I found this post very interesting. And I would like to learn more about "deliberate practice". I plan on tracking down the reference, but could you give us a short abstract of the paper? Tina
  19. : Dear Flavio, : I think that I would be against that as well. On time, in concert none-the-less, my g string went flat nearly a semitone while I was performing the 3rd mvt. of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. I had gotten through the other movements fine and had tuned at the beginning of the 3rd but it went out near the middle of the 3rd.....I had to play the last 2 or 3 pages on that flast g string. I got through it without too many noticable flat notes but it was absolutely awful having to adjust my fingers mentally before I played on that string. in certain spots where there were chords htat required a 1st finger on the g and a 2nd on the D and so on, I was not able to play them perfectly in tune becuase my 1st finger couldn't reach over my 2nd very well. I would think that this Scordatura tuning would take a lot of practice before hand. : Sincerely, : Preston Preston, What you are describing is not Scordatura tuning, but simply an out of tune fiddle! Scordatura (also known as cross tuning by the folk fiddling community) is when you consiously retune the strings of your fiddle to a real note or tone. An example is ADAE, in which the G string is tuned up an entire whole step to A, the other strings remain as in standard tuning. It does take practice to remember what notes your fingers are stopping, but the basic positions of your fingers don't change relative to where you are used to placing whole steps and half steps. In folk fiddling, cross tuning is often used so the retuned strings can be used as open string drones for the desired chords. It is kind of fun once you get the hang of it. However, not all strings take well to crosstuning, wanting to go back to the original standard tuning (Dominants in particular hate it). Steel strings take to it better, another reason why fiddlers often prefer steel strings. Tina
  20. As Al has already advised, finding a good teacher is essential. But next, although it is tempting to buy your own violin, as you have no experience with them, best to rent while you are picking up the basics. After a year or so, you will know the type of sound you like, and have a better idea of what you are looking for in an instrument. Most shops offer very reasonable rental rates. Tina
  21. An excellent question with excellent answers! All are obviously right for the individual involved. It is clearly what works best for you. I find that I need the musical context to keep me focused and interested. As such, I pretty much do the opposite of Elaine P., in that I do use repertoire slightly beyond my ability to help me advance, but also work on some technical exercises related to the difficult passages at the same time. I just loose my attention too quickly on the technical exercises. At the same time, I return to easier pieces often just for the joy of playing them well. Tina
  22. Yes, we are here. Many of us try our hand at both classical and fiddling styles. As for fiddling, I myself focus more on the Celtic styles (Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton). It suits my style of playing best, and I find I can improvise best in these styles. I find I need to hear the melody very clearly, which can get muddled with a lot of double stops (esp. when out of tune, like I can be!). Tina
  23. Hi Elaine P., I have seen the video tape you mentioned advertised, but have not bought it. I did just recently buy my first two video lessons (Kevin Burkes Learn to Play Irish Fiddle and Dale Russ' Basic Irish Fiddle). I got both from Elderly Instruments. They just came in the mail yesterday, so I haven't had a chance to check them out yet, I'll let you know if I like learning from a video. With respect to your above post on fiddling, I'm doing just what you are considering, that is classical during the "academic year" and fiddling during the summer. Works great, and keeps me from burning out on either genre. I'm fortunate that my instructor teaches both! Tina
  24. The title of this series reminds me of a pledge I made with several fellow "fiddlers" after we returned from Fiddle Tunes last year. Since it was the first time for all of us attending that week long camp, we found we didn't know nearly as many tunes as we needed to really participate in all of the spontaneous jamming that took place. So we promised each other to learn a tune a week so we could jam when we returned this year. Since I know you are also attending, a book you may consider is "The Fiddler's FakeBook" by David Brady, put out by Oak Publications. Lots of Irish/Scottish/Old Time and Blue Grass tunes. A great resource. Tina
  25. As a lowly community orchestra player, I hardly feel qualified to comment here, but this is a topic I have an interest in. I've played in both the first and second violin sections, both as an inside player. Our conductor indeed tries to pair us up so the inside player is the weaker player compared to the outside player. This was the case when I was in the first violin section, so I didn't mind turning the page to keep the stronger player going. However, I'm currently in the second violin section, and I find myself being the stronger player of the two. As a result, my stand partner has taken to turning the pages to keep me going. I like the idea of adjusting this "tradition" to suite the needs. As for the idea of optics, at least in the second violin section, it ususally doesn't matter, as this section is often completely internal in the orchestra, and thus not very visible. Tina
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