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Everything posted by string-along

  1. Thanks everyone for your ideas. Andrew, I hope I'll be playing for a long time. You are a great inspiration. I guess one advantage to starting from stratch at 40 is that I am still making great strides forward (I figure I play as well at a decent jr. high student now!) I may, however, have to be content not being a quick fingered person -- I probably wasn't at 14 either. Mike, I think you are absolutely right about a quicker left hand following a confident bowing arm, though I am still wishing for a miracle exercise.
  2. I'm an adult beginner (I started vioin at 40) and have been working consistently for about 9 years. I don't have the time to put in a lot of practice time but I work at it almost every day for 45min - 1hr. I am at Suzuki level 6 or 7 (though I am no longer working in the program). I thoughly enjoy every minute I get and feel it's very special 'me" time. However, I am plagued with a lack of the dexterity I need to perform fast passages cleanly. I have a very good teacher who has worked with both my bowing arm and my left hand to improve my tempos, but I am not satisfied. I don't want to blame it on age so I am looking to exercises that I can do away from the violin? (ie while I'm watching my kids at sports or driving them all over) or is my age and genetic make up going to be forever a hindrence to improving as much as I'd like
  3. My son used a book (sorry can't remember the name or publisher I'll try to remember to look it up) which had pages of 4 measure rhythms to be played 2 times . These were grouped in a logical way. They were ment to be played on a snare drum but a telephone book worked for us! ie //1/8 1/8 1/4 1/4 1/4 // 1/8 1/8 1/4 1/4 1/4 // 1/8 1/8 1/4 1/4 1/4 // 1/8 1/8 1/4 1/4 1/4 // Then// 1/4 1/4 1/8 1/8 1/4 // 1/4 1/4 1/8 1/8 1/4 // 1/4 1/4 1/8 1/8 1/4 // 1/4 1/4 1/8 1/8 1/4// There would be a whole page of 1/4 and 1/8 combo's; then an etude combining the combo's. The next page might have a 1/2 note theme, or a whole page of dotted 1/4 combo's. (very boring eh?) By the end of the book they were VERY complicated and longer exersizes. Anyway, The repetion and variations worked wonders. I suggest looking for such a book in your local music school. Perhaps his school music teacher can help you?
  4. I play in my office at night when everyone is gone.
  5. I whole heartedly suggest drum or percussion lessons. Every pre-teen wants to drum and it worked wonders for my son. He counts and reads music VERY well because of the time spent on rudiments and reading rhythm exercises!
  6. Welcome to the wonderful world of late beginners. I started playing almost 10 years ago at 40 with my 6 year old son! There are some things that may be more difficult to feel comfortable with because of my age, but there have been just as many things which I learned more quickly because of my experience. The truly important thing is that we are both still playing and still enjoying it (sometimes even together). My son also plays French horn (although he started that instrument at 11). You will find there are many things which will help your violin playing. The ability you need to have - to "hear" the note you are about to play (on the French horn) in your head - is also necessary to playing the violin. Your reading as a French horn player is probably above and beyond what most violinists need - no more transposing! My advise to you is to find a teacher who will focus on the absolute the basics of playing a stringed instrument. (Even if you feel like you are being held back) Once you get those down you will fly since you have the horn background.
  7. Okay, I'm going out on a limb here, but it was dancing and even sports that made me more musical. I think of playing my instrument as a very physical thing. Perhaps ballet lessons or jazz or even hip hop dance lessons would be a spark!
  8. How long does a good bridge last? I don't believe mine is bent but perhaps weak in the middle. It seems to staighten out fine but them bend again with the next tuning. (It's perhaps 6 or 7 years old)
  9. While you are on the subject of bridges.... Can someone tell me what to look for as to when they should be replaced. Mine is starting to appear a bit bent in the middle. The feet stay put, but as I tighten the strings the top pulls toward the pegs.
  10. FINPROF, Thanks for the info. I actually got the application last year and thought about going to SCOR but fouond it difficult to arrange around my kids' camps and activities. One of these years I'm going to JUST DO IT. I would love to hear more about adult camps peole have been to.
  11. FINPROF, I'd love to hear about SCOR. What music did you play? At what level are most are most of the musicians? Do they send you music ahead of time, or must your site reading be well developed?
  12. My husband told me that all that sawdust was part of his dehumidification system!
  13. I always thought decrescendo comes only after a crecendo who as diminuendo can happen anywhaere.
  14. I guess I'm feeling a bit blue. My motivation was always 1st to be a help to my son who is learning to play violin. This year his playing has taken off and his skill now far surpasses mine. He has may groups to play in with school and camp. I have no one. I absolutely love to play. It is one off the only time extravagances I give myself. (I work full time and have 2 kids) Anyway, after 8 years (at 48) my fingers still fell slow and my playing is absolutely destroyed by nervousness and lack of self confidence at my lessons. It kills the joy for me. This is something I always had problems with and can't seem to shake. I feel if I had friends to play with or a group to join I could work more dilegently at home, but I've become lazy and while I play and enjoy playing every day, I find I am no longer pushing my skill level. I would much appreciate any inspiration.
  15. Do you have goals as to where you want to be musically in a year or 5 years?
  16. I am interested in what keeps adult violin students going. What keeps you from saying "I won't be any good before my arthritis makes me quit all together, why do I bother?"
  17. See what our local orchestra is doing to insure that kids learn about classical music. These children heard their composition played by a professional symphony orchestra. (They sat on stage as the composers while there friends and school mates were the audience.) After you get to the web site, click on the small click here button to hear the music and read the story. Cape Symphony Orchestra
  18. What do you recommend for those of us who need to record our kids for audition tapes etc. and don't have the time or inclination to set up at home. What sort of "recording studios" does one look for. We live in Massachusetts.
  19. quote: The next version of the software should allow each pitch of a passage that's been played to be recorded and analyzed. In some cases tuning note by note can be helpful but most intonation problems arise from a sequence of notes, hopefully technology will address this in the future. That way one could play a fast scale or other rapid passage and use the device to find out which notes were out Now that would be really useful. quote: That's why fast passages can be faked. The visual equivalent of that is a movie film; one sees photos, maybe several a second, it's not continuous as in there are gaps in the exact visual record; but it doesn't need to be as it provides an illusion of being continuous So that's how it's done! and I thought I had to learn to play faster.
  20. Most people can learn to tune fairly well using their ear. The problems come (to almost everyone) when we try to play a particularly fast passage (even after playing slowly a zillion times) our fingers sometimes won't play what our ear knows it should hear. In those instances looking won't help (even though light travels faster than sound) and by time you see what you played wrong you've play 5 or 6 more notes.
  21. Of course your son should take cello AND you should take lessons along with him for a year at least AND you should consider making him a small sized cello for Christmas!
  22. Thanks for the help. I was only concerned that more varnish would chip off it I left it. I have covered the offending metal.
  23. I have scratched the varnish on my violin (3/8 x 1/16) with my shoulder rest. I feel so very stupid. It's and old violin and has many scratches and such, but they have been sealed over (or whatever is done). How quickly should I get it to my luthier for repair?
  24. You are not alone. I get so nervous I cannot even play for my teacher. Sometimes it gets so bad I can't even find the right string. I am a high strung person and without a doubt a hot shower right be fore I play does wonders. That is difficult however if you are not playing by yourself in your bedroom. Things that have helped me. 1. Playing with some one. I can play in a small group efen a duet without nearly the anxiety. Sometimes my teacher plays with me then drops out. It works like magic to get me started without fear. Can you find a friend to practice with and for? 2. Playing for someone out of sight. I find as long as my audience is on the otherside of a wall I can forget they are there. I purposely practice when my kids have friends over just to get used to playing in earshot of others. I am hoping this will help when in a blind audition some day. 3. Positive feedback helps enormously. Play for and with people who love you and have watched you improve over the years. A compliment from a family member is more valuable then they know. I wish it were easy to play for each other here!
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