• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About CrazyManAndy

  • Rank
    New Member
  1. Incidentally, I've always tended to hold the bow too freely and without much of a grip (sometimes I would catch myself holding the bow with only two or three fingers). This is fine for "fiddlin", but I could never play things that well which required most or all of the length of the bow, such as slow pieces, classical, and what have you. The bow would bounce a lot when I got to the lower half of the bow and my tone suffered. It was just recently that I figured out what was going on, after much thought trying to understand what I was doing wrong. We live and learn. Andy
  2. Thanks for all the replies! Even if we have gotten a touch sidetracked on the stickers thing ( ), I've learned a lot. And thanks for the encouragement yuen! I may have slightly over exaggerated my problem with the stickers (sorry! ). I'm pretty good with actually hearing pitches and what not, I just think I need to play without the sticker a few days and overcome the fear of not having it there. I'm really not good enough yet to do what I am doing, in my opinion anyway, and I am more than a little afraid to not have them. I really wouldn't care though, if I knew I was doing my best to get better, but I feel I can't do that without some instruction (a teacher). On an off note, I wish I knew how to read music (competently, at least). That would make these books a mite more useful. Anyway, I'm really going to try and get a teacher, even if it cost an arm and a leg (well, maybe two legs instead, lol). If anyone has some advice as far as that goes, I am more than willing to listen. I think I may try your suggestion about advertising myself, yuen. Thanks, Andy
  3. Howdy, I'm new to the forum, so I'll start with a little background if that is all right. My name is Andy and I am a music lover. I picked up the violin around two or so years ago. For quite some time I wasn't very motivated so I didn't do too much with it until my brothers and I formed a band. My progress greatly increased and I became much more motivated. I am still trying to get better and better. Now, my problem: I've neither had access to, nor the money for a teacher. I feel this has in many ways hindered me, even though I have enjoyed the freedom to some extent. I don't have much instruction material and my practices can't even be considered practices. Since I don't really know "how" to practice, I just play around with things and eventually I get bored from the lack of structure/goals; this puts my practices at about 20 to 30 minutes a day, if I'm lucky. I've been using the "Don't Fret" thing which has helped with accurate finger placement; however, it has become a little bit of a crutch, and a very embarrassing one at that. I can play ok without it (compared to playing with it) but not really at a "performance" level, in my opinion. I think a lack of confidence/tensing up has a lot to do with that though. Popular music doesn't really require a lot of technical virtuosity; many players don't even get out of the first position that often. Generally speaking, the focus is on simplistic but distinct and catchy playing (hooks), regardless of the instrument in question. Since that is what we play (country/folk/pop/rock, I can't really decide where to put it), I've gotten by without too much trouble. But, it is still very frustrating. I lack the technical abilities to accurately and effectively portray what my mind hears. I can usually "play" it, but I can't express all the soul and "musicality" of it that I feel inside. And besides, I'd rather have the technical ability and not use it all than constantly fight an up-hill battle. All of this hasn't been that much of an issue, outside of my personal journey with playing the violin, until we started to get serious about our music and trying make something of it. It is no longer just me and my bros kickin' back and writin' some tunes. There is so much more to it now, along with a lot of added pressure. Plus, I don't want the music to suffer. The way I have been "practicing" isn't working and I've hit a plateau; I might even be getting worse, lol. It's time for a change. In order to wrap this post up, I think I'll just go ahead with some questions (while trying not to sound too ignorant ): 1. How does one practice? Is there a good basic framework? 2. What is some great practice material to get (books, tapes, dvds, etc.)? I've read about doing scales and etudes but I don't really know much about them or implementing them. 3. How does one incorporate goals into practicing such as working on left-hand technique or changing positions or getting rid of the d*mn sticker? 4. What are some of the best ways to gain progress quickly? I fully understand it is a constant journey, but I am eager to break this plateau and make up for lost time. I can't think of anything else to ask right now; besides, I already have quite a lot to answer there. I know a teacher is usually recommended but I can't get one at the moment. I will as soon as I can though, hopefully before or when I turn 18 and can drive (I'm currently 17 as of August 8th). Any comments and advice are welcome. Thanks for your patience! Andy (P.S. I don't know if it would matter, but you can hear a little of my playing here: