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Everything posted by toasty

  1. Thanks every one for offering a solution, I expect its a combination of weather and as you said soundpost. This one is set up in the correct way but it could be a wee bit loser when the humidity and conditions change the original set up. Elida this instrument is hand crafted under the Schartel label in Romania and is not Chinese, thought that said if I could own a handmade Chinese Violin I would be very happy. Mmmm Scartel offers different grades of instrument, this one is labeled by the store 'Advanced'. It's hand crafted from maple with a nice close grain top. There are a few slight imperfections to the pegbox and some markings on one bout next the 'f' but barely noticable. Now restrung with Priastro 'Piranito' instead of the tinny strings that came already on it, sounds much much better and I can at last begin to both play dance and airs with little effort. I suspect that it was setup in a different climate so here the strings and weather ain't working as they were intended. Any recommendations for strings for this instrument would be most welcome. Again thanks to everybody ...have a great St Patricks day and go easy on the green beer.
  2. Got a Scartel Violin which is brand new - except for some shop soiling on display - and discounted to $489. It has a matt fininsh and sounds gorgeous when used for Classical pieces, esp in the higher positions. However, it does not play so good on Folk music esp where rhythm is strict and uptempo; in that case its 'echo' as best I can describe it, plays havoc with my attempts to keep good time. Even in a dull dense sounding room it has the sound of a Violin being played in a vaulted catherderal with a lot of echo. Yup it always sounds like that and no it doesn't bother me on slow pieces - quite the contrary .. I absolutely love the effect. So can it be re-adjusted to soften the echo or remove it alltogether - I would not mind doing without it - OR is this common in newly made Violins?
  3. "One of the best Scottish fiddle CD's I've heard is 'Leaving Lerwick Harbour' by Willie Hunter." I too am a fan ! Definitely recommend the Hunters!
  4. Agreed - wonder if you get around much? Few years ago I heard on C House RTE, a young man, John Gallager? I think, Co Sligo - anywho it appeared to me at the time that this Box player was way way out there and heading towards the top, but since I have heard nothing Shame really, but it is not uncommon in the wee Island for people to be there one year and gone the next.
  5. Nice tunes Simon and well played - good on yer elbow. For those not well versed in the art, Simon is way out there. I doubt Highstrung if you'd find many Irish fiddlers able to keep to the same standards. Listen to Sean Mc Guire - N Ireland Fiddler, or perhaps Jim Mc Killup - (spelling?). There are many young 'broad' trad stylists out there but few if any make such a great effort to get into regional there for the learning, Simon is a fiddler who will go a long long way! I am putting me name down for the first CD!
  6. Did not read all the other replies but I bet few if any would be interested in such odd things, still a piece of nature - be it wood or anything else - behaves in ways that science and tchnology try to measure, copy, emulate etc. The painfull fact for those so misled is that nature often offends the numbered attempts at aping her enormous genius. So while a Digital Tuner may think that 440 is this or that sound, in reality a Musical sound that originaly generated the standard will be something entirely different. Your tuner is noise. So what is it about the sound of 'music' that can be standarised? The answer to that question is a book. We can approximate the best sound around the oldstyle analogue measured 440 cps but that will always vary a little between different sources. IOW the Tuner can and mostly is simply wrong for your instrument's voice, and has to be coaxed in a harmony with it so that it appears to the listener as being in tune. I would like to argue, but not here, that all sounds are in some ways very unique and cannot be 'aped', I would like to show that cleaning up the pitch of a musical sound often simply kills it. Yes you are in unison with 440 but that is a bad sound and therefore IT MUST BE WRONG! I too tune the A string then the rest off of the harmonics. To hard to explain here, and I cannot imagine why any young player would want to, since things such as the Korg make it so easy - for me though old methods seem to easy and new too hard to acquire.
  7. It is almost the same thing as sports training, exercises etc. In fact the 'fingering' hand needs more not less training. Holding down notes after or before they are needed is often simply that the same one will be used again; though in exercises eg 1324 - it would simply get in the way where as - 1234 - it wouldn't. Do they help. Sure they do. Pressure should be as light as thinking 'I am not trying too hard today' IOW lighten off or up. Fallacies in lefty exercises. One should be in tune WRONG One should do Vibrato WRONG. One should do scales like this WRONG. The whole point of the exercises is limbering and 'untangling' lazy fingers. They are also used in every Stringed instrument course I have ever encountered. Jumping ahead before one is ready - ie leaping off the 1st to the nth position is both wastefull and silly. So playing Octaves for example would be a waste of time when one would be perfecting co-ordination exercises. In effect learning a lighter touch - Andrew above gives great advice - is tied to better posture and improved Bowing. I say improved since I don't know any who are happy with their Bowing. Posture helps fingering by accomodating - though it never ever needs be lower for it - rather than hindering. IOW let the Violin lean to the left and up a little - but notice you must now work on the Bow hand ...did say Bowing needs help as well. Better hold on the Chinrest and body also helps a LOT - you should not be holding the Violin UP with your fingering hand - This is the most common barrier to better fingering. Final suggestion ... lighten up.
  8. Almost quit Fiddle and Violining these days. I would like to do more but - politics - oh well. I live in the present in the Southern US. I love listening to my favorite composers and like the Kodaly which I discovered here - thanks to all the long timers here who educate the rest of us. My first and most loved instrument is the Guitar, not classical OC since I equate that with trying to paint a house with a sowing needle. Folk folk folk. Besides I like composition and like most of that ilk - my dearie as well - have a varied appetite. Time like time itself can be a universe to the traveler but to the weaver it is just another thread. People are far far more important than Fiddles, a kind word, a kind act is a far far better thing than a well played piece no matter who or what composed it!
  9. The Mudcat for several years hosted the Digital Tradition Folksong Database, and a discussion forum like Maestronet, is now off line. The owners report a shortage of funds, and appeal for support from it's regular Netizens. If it was restricted to Folkmusic then this would not be that newsworthy, but OC it isn't. Like Maestronet all kinds of topics get aired and often to the chagrin of the purists, heated arguments occur about everything and anything from Politics to Software Engineering. It is a sign of the times, the move towards Broadband and Video almost inevitable now removes the need for the keyboard and replaces that with a Camera and Microphone. The easier it gets the quicker the change, good news for services - eg Teachers etc.
  10. I would go but it's so far away! A great festival
  11. But of course! how else can great music be?? If you have not already been, listen to lots of classical music. Some of us here are life long listeners often as a result of sharing our lives with other musicians. My favorite Composer is Haydn, and even though his pieces contain very beautiful melodies they tend to be very long with lots of longish notes, so the idea that German composers are the only source of good tunes is to me a little silly, but I still like bits of them all. For sheer catchy simplicity it is hard to beat Bocherinni, Scarlatti, Vivaldi etc in fact I would have to run away down the list to find one nothern name! Nonetheless I find some parts of Bach very catchy but not OC the tunes, arrangements only. Mozart only becuase his father was already a dabbler in the art of fine tunes, made a few nice wee pieces; contrasting the very sparse but nonetheless brilliant English composers here is a great exercise. Hats off to the southerners though they seem to have won the battle long long ago. Should we be surprised? I think not, look at Greek Sculpture, Italian Painting and then tell me they were not aritisitic! In Suzuki you'd be wise not to assume he wrote any of it, since composition mostly happens with the percussive non bowed family of instruments and the Proffessor did not play them. IOW It is very hard to write well for or on the Violin etc...
  12. Each time I find a new one the crowds seem to be shrinking and the leaders sound more and more like trained Violinists there to fill the place with Beerbuying punters. In fact I do not now know of even one laid back Barjam anywhere on the entire continent. I wonder then if, like me, fiddlers are going back to the summer folk festivals/outdoor underanytree allkindswelcomejams?
  13. Kinda late but hey, I think the traditional is more directed to supervision, to a teacher standing over the student while they do as instructed. Suzuki on the other hand seems to feed itself, what I mean is that a student when properly started on it will tend to go on ahead with little encouragement. I suspect the reason for such interest is the selection of such fine pieces for study, and I do say that not as a player but more as a listener. I also think that once a student has overcome the big hurdles, Posture, Relaxation, Bowuse, the rest is - to me at least - only a matter of wanting to, rather than looking for help to show one how to, play particular pieces. Am I saying Classical should be like Folk in this respect? Yes. That is percisely what I am saying, one should idealy be able to hear then repeat what is played. I suspect this is what the great masters are about. I think parents should be aware - esp Violin/Viola/Cello - that some children will thrive on the Bow, but put to the Keyboard wither. Just the way things are. So if your child is talented, then you should devote some effort to developing that talent with the BEST technician of the Violin you can find. The aesthetics will follow at maturity, and cannot be expected to surface in childhood.
  14. Well patience is a virtue In fact all stringed fingerboard type instruments get bad days - mine especially my new Guitar is mighty mean on occasions, but and here is the catch when it is good ...worth the wait.
  15. I bought one once, but a woman took it away from me, ouch. Instead when I can find a good one, I like to tinker with the Tenor Banjo, same fingering but longer neck, clunkier sound and it does tend to irritate BG bands a lot. These days I play a beautiful, if moody, Martin DM Jumbo and it is the best sounding Guitar I have ever played. Gorgeous Eminors and sweet new sounding Cs ohh yummmieee even better than that fiddle I used play ..... I better hush upppp...
  16. Do you have a copy of Dr Suzuki Bk 1? There are some drills there, indeed they are to be found in most books these days, which when used with a Metronome can achieve incredible progress after a few months. Very highly recommended. BTW I played stringed instruments of several kinds since childhood so I am not really an expert at learning, more like an observer. AND I too have terrible problems with my bowarm due to an industrial accident. Best of luck and do not be discouraged
  17. Reading the learned contributions makes me feel so blessed to share with such illustrious and talented musicians, that I am near impressed into silence. But I have to complain. An Open string does not allow vibrato. There are lots of stringed instruments and musics where it is neither desirable nor practical. So we are talking about a genre and not the whole ball of wax. Come to think of it, in pre Piano days, the ensemble sound was very like that we find today in folkstring bands. Perhaps the tunes were different, the arrangers much better and the musicians proffesional instead of amateur. But the embrace of the entire person is the same! Second the great age of Composition built upon this heritage, and sure enough we find in the Symphonies, Quartets etc remnants of peasant country dances. Indeed it is in the variation of these Classical music eventually lost it's way, and went from a creative youthfull outburst of genius to a macabre chorous of lamentations and requiems for lost charm, enchantment and enlightenment. From Playford to Britain, from Bocherini to Beethoven, and untimately to interpretations of Wagner that sufficed for a visit to the Dentist. IOW utter noise. From total song to total drumming, and all in the space of a few centuries. Indeed the same trend happens in popular as well as fringe cultures across the entire planet, but that OC is another topic. Reasons can be found for these changes. For one, the technology for making strings changed so much, that today our attempts at playing these pieces often fails. Our pitch is also higher by one full tone, and as I already ran past - the ensemble had, to use Stephen's term, lots of sizzle. So the use of vibrato is not realy the problem, rather it may be the hole in the image that modern tuning and instrumentation creates. Perhaps in centuries to come the Classicists will be having similar problems with our popular string pieces, ie Bluegrass and Celtic. Third, there existed even before the Violin, a bowedstringed music which did employ a lot of vibrato and this fact coupled with the lack of mention of vibrato, esp in manuscripts of the era, leads me to think that even IF one could have used it perhaps it would not have been heard by the audiences of the day. So it's not that Baroque musicains did not know about it, IMHO, rather that they found little benefit from it. Today with better acoustics, superior strings and a higher tuning - perhaps even Auer too would concur - there seems to be lots of opportunity. So go ahead, use it in noneenoh music too.
  18. Sorry I am replying to the thread, and it should be very obvious that I am not female. When first I joined the Maestro Forum, nearly every member had a profile with lots of detail on, so it was easy to know who was who, perhaps I should have said what..oh never mind! Now reading a persons profile is like opening an empty can of air. Sweet nuttin. Perhaps it says something about the kind of people you newbies think we all are, or perhaps it is the result of the internet becomming an increasingly hostile place, which ever I tend not to value a persons input who's profile = 0.
  19. Post to the net and read the news, no biggie. Eat some jello too, you should spoil yourself for being so brave!
  20. The very first Violin I bought, now I had already gone through some other given to me so I had some experience, a Stentor Student was excellent, though I did select it from a friends Music Store and chose one with a very nice top. However I soon noticed it liked a paricular type of string and with any other is sounded a little sour, the normal sound being very sweet - esp the treble end. In the end I wore a big gauge in the Fingerboard but eventually had that repaired. Overall I found it quieter but sweeter than what I had before but I still preferred it. I think if you can find a used instrument of better quality then buy that instead, but do not be afraid of playing a Stentor. I managed quite well even in a little folkband. Hope that helps
  21. You cannot have any idea of what the meaning of this thread could mean in some parts of the world! But it is almost hystericaly funny....
  22. Some things cannot be described
  23. Modesty is the mark of great genius! Indeed this one is a deceptively simple but 'enormous' tune. In one of the better books I have seen it set with an intro such as g, f#, e/ d- etc.
  24. Get a pencil holder, piece of soft foam which one slides over a pencil shaft to more easily grip it, and slide it onto the bow stick until it rests snug just north of the frog. Make a Rabbit's ears with yer pinkie and index fingers. These are the two fingers you will use the least to start bowing. The bent over fingers are the most used along with the thumb. Curl them about the softfoam cushion on the Bowstick bending slightly the thumb to make a solid if clumsy grip. The index may be later added to enable the application of pressure to the bowstrokes, but the little should be added as soon as you can to balance the hand where it is rested lightly on the top of the stick.
  25. Depends on a lot of things, like how long have you played?, do you have a teacher?, what do you most play on Violin? but I would follow the Doctor's advice directly and not mess with a serious injury.
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