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DenisL

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  1. Because I can only schedule 1 1/2 hours of practise in my day, I am always adjusting that which I focus on. Currently, I select a "key of the day" and practise scales for 20 minutes in all modes. I dedicate another 20 minutes on studies; right and left hand exercises and arpeggia. Another 20 goes to scales in second and third positions and finally thirty minutes to repertoire practise. This is never consecutive, not always at the same time each day, and not always in that order. Because I'm trying to be as efficient as I can with the time I have, I'd be interested in reading about what others do with the precious time they have for practise. Denis
  2. This is a question for anyone who may be playing a "picked up" violin among other electrically enhanced instruments and particularly those who may have to work (compete) with a kit drummer: Short of cranking up the volume and becoming obtrusive yourself, is there a way to effectively monitor the sounds coming off the violin so that one could hear oneself over or in spite of the din? Thanks to information I received from this site, I rigged a transducer and microphone through a blender and experimented until I got the pure violin sound I'd been after (many thanks for the collective wisdom). However, the nature of the signal makes it seem to become easily overpowered by a kit drummer or an electric guitar, especially when mixed through a p.a. mixing board. The accumulated signal of many instruments that comes back through the stage monitor makes it difficult to pick out the violin and then guide your timing, intonation and presentation by that signal. If I use an amplifier myself and "pre-out" to the mixing board, I'm concerned I'll lose that pure quality I've only just achieved. Any thoughts, suggestions, methods or stories would be welcomed and appreciated. Denis
  3. : : While searching for something else on the web, : : I came across the following description of a : : video called "Violin on the Brain": : : "Further original and spectacular images, this : : documentary shows us the cerebral mechanics involved : : during a violin lesson directed by Ivry Gitlis to : : his pupil Vinh Pham. What does happen in the brain : : during an apprenticeship? Neurobiologists nowadays : : think that new fibres grow and are connected even at : : adult age..." : : I'm an adult beginner myself, and now I'm worried : : about all these new fibers clogging my brain. Does : : anyone know of anything that can be done about it?
  4. Hi, For some years, I performed with various electrical groups and used a Barcus Berry contact pick-up which was hard-glued to the back center of the bridge. I knew what it was capable of and certainly had no trouble being heard over the other amplified instruments and vocals. However, I didn't like the sound I heard and tried various amplifiers and P.A.'s, experimented with various effects and tried mufflers and mutes, all to try to attain a pure violin sound. I finally reached a compromise and "settled" for a sound I could live with, though I wasn't happy. For the past three years I worked with an acoustic group and when we perform, the instruments are miked. Depending on the system and the microphone, I usually like the sound that is produced. Recently, I have been offered some work with an active and accomplished band (casually) and am once more faced with "electrifying" my sound. Having heard the Fishman pick-up, I am leaning toward a clip-on condenser microphone I recently saw being used by a performing fiddler. But I would appreciate any advise I can get on this topic. Many thanks, Denis
  5. Hi Ann, Congratulations to both of you. I hope your "high" lasts for a good long time. Denis
  6. Hi Raymond, In retrospect, I find that you are quite right and that I seem to have participated in a "flame" of my own. Thanks for pointing this out and my apologies to all. Silence is golden. Denis
  7. Hi Scott, For me, it was when I got to the point that I was familiar with all points of the fingerboard and could "think" my way through the scales of any key that I eventually put aside the sheet music. I like what l Billings said about finding your own voice in the music. I started by listening and repeating simple melodies, then playing those melodies in as many variations as I could think of. Eventually I learned to pick out a simple melody and improvise my own version of it. As I progressed to more complicated scales and music, my bag of "improvisational" tricks enlarged to the point where I felt reasonably confident in a jam session. It is my opinion that the heart of a true musician is humble. As soon as pride, vanity and arrogance sets in, learning ceases and musical death sets in. Improvising music well, shows the world that a musician understands what it's about; that music is a product of the soul and not just charts in mathematical precision. Thanks for the opportunity. Denis
  8. Hi Michael, Those who begin "flame wars" on this BB have these firmly on their agendas when they read. They are vigilant as to what might be fertile soil in which to plant an incendiary comment then, they sit back and watch in self-gratification and self-actualization as the discussion line grows. In time you will get to know who these individuals are and realize that they seldom post questions (seldom seek knowledge) as they are firmly convinced that there is nothing for them to learn. I sympathize with your sentiment but don't be discouraged; every picnic has ants which are essential for a complete eco-system and there is still a lot to learn here. Denis
  9. Like many of you, I have come upon this passion a little later (but none too soon) in life. Because, like many of you, I must be attentive to my professional life, I sometimes find my practise schedule in conflict. A friend of mine and I were discussing periods when travel, work or injury/illness prevented a regular practise schedule. He felt that if he missed more than three days of regular practise, there was a definite struggle to recover. I found that two days is my limit. I don't want to put this to the test for clinical purposes because for me, practise is as much for therapy as it is to maintain my skill level. The greatest effect of an irregular practise schedule for me is a loss of mental disposition. The "desire" to practise is harder to come by. I would be very interested, in other's experiences in this area. What is the longest that you can go without skill deterioration? What methods have you done to combat those dreaded moments? Another "old dog", Denis
  10. Like many of you, I have come upon this passion a little later (but none too soon) in life. Because, like many of you, I must be attentive to my professional life, I sometimes find my practise schedule in conflict. A friend of mine and I were discussing periods when travel, work or injury/illness prevented a regular practise schedule. He felt that if he missed more than three days of regular practise, there was a definite struggle to recover. I found that two days is my limit. I don't want to put this to the test for clinical purposes because for me, practise is as much for therapy as it is to maintain my skill level. The greatest effect of an irregular practise schedule for me is a loss of mental disposition. The "desire" to practise is harder to come by. "anti-practise". I would be very interested, in other's experiences in this area. What is the longest that you can go without skill deterioration? What methods have you done to combat those dreaded moments? Another "old dog", Denis
  11. ADean, There is no one who will deny your right to express your opinion in the manner that you wish. And posting admonishments is anti-productive because: a) if you haven't learned social grace by now, then you will likely never find a use for it; and you are having way too much of a good time being this way. I would just like to remind you that kindness begets kindness and "tact" (manners) is the best way to earn credibility. I don't believe I have ever read heard Andy Victor bluntly demean another's efforts and the man seems to have "earned his hearing" with a great many readers of this Board. I fear that you have either accomplished your goal of isolating yourself or failed miserably at attempting to appear professional, knowledgeable and experienced. Certainly not graceful. Sorry to have to write this. - Denis
  12. I'd recommend a little window cleaner on a coarse cotton cloth (like a tea towel or a small piece of terry). A product like Windex is a butyl cellusolve and has a little ammonia added. It works like a solvent and evaporates quickly without residue, but is not too harsh should it make any contact with the instrument (so long as you wipe it away quickly) and has the extra cleaning and corrosion cutting qualities of the ammonia. Denis
  13. : : Hello David, : Like you, I consider myself a "fiddle pilgrim"; exploring all the styles and working with various groups. Isn't this the best way to satify that undefinable itch? However, I'd never consider myself a dedicated freak for any individual artist. I'd rather be referred to as a "fiddle freak". I am an avid reader of all of the posts on this excellent BB and have come to recognize the frequent participants and their various approaches to the instrument. I get value from it all. : But if we can get fiddlers to declare themselves outright, we'll find that there are more of us out here than anybody realizes. Also, that our issues are not so different from the "violinists'" (our brethren in tuxes). : "The devil is in the details" : Denis Just realized that my reference to "brethren in tuxes was P. inC. (politically incorrect). My apologies to whomever this may offend. Dang me!!!!
  14. Hello David, Like you, I consider myself a "fiddle pilgrim"; exploring all the styles and working with various groups. Isn't this the best way to satify that undefinable itch? However, I'd never consider myself a dedicated freak for any individual artist. I'd rather be referred to as a "fiddle freak". I am an avid reader of all of the posts on this excellent BB and have come to recognize the frequent participants and their various approaches to the instrument. I get value from it all. But if we can get fiddlers to declare themselves outright, we'll find that there are more of us out here than anybody realizes. Also, that our issues are not so different from the "violinists'" (our brethren in tuxes). "The devil is in the details" Denis
  15. There is the possibility that you may have an eight string (usually 4-string) plectrum banjo there. If this is true, ignore the tuning I suggested in the previous post. Denis
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