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Everything posted by deb

  1. They don't put the pictures online, but the article IS in the online edition: http://www.fresnobee.com/columnists/barber...p-1755869c.html This is *the* major newspaper for several counties, and while the article might sort of gloss over details, I think it is wonderful coverage.
  2. Hank: Yes, in my little off-the-rack musician's earplugs from the music store, there is a hole that leads into a channel that holds some sort of metal baffling thing. The metal chamber comes out of the plastic sleeve so that the earpiece can be cleaned when needed and not damage the metal baffling chamber thingie. -deb
  3. I use some $15 earplugs from the local guitar shop when I play in our church band. They moved the keyboard right next to the drums about 6 months ago. :shudder: There are more expensive, and likely more effective earplugs, but these cut 15-25 db out, and you CAN still hear without getting that 'all plugged up' sound where your pulse is louder than anything. You can put them in just for the portions you need, and then remove them. Anyway, call your local guitar or music stores. Not everyone in those loud bands likes losing their hearing... -deb
  4. Elderly used to have a pretty good price on the Yamaha Silent violin. I'm thinking about selling mine because I just barely use it. But I'm just not quite ready to make that decision yet. I have fits with the shoulder rest, too. -deb
  5. There's some great advice before this. All I can add is this: Love the music, and as you play your violin, become one with the music itself. Practice often in front of people -- go find some fiddle sessions, for instance. See if you can help out from time to time with the music at your church, either as a soloist or as part of the accompianment. Nerves, the jitters, whatever you want to call it, takes PRACTICE to work through, just like a new song or technique does. The good thing is that unlike a new song or a new technique, this skill stays with you no matter what sort of performance or presentation you need to make to one degree or another. It's about confidence, which I can see you have, and that's thrilling -- now you need to learn to trust yourself and give that confidence over to the music. Your fingers, arms, and your ears know the music -- your heart does, too. Give them your confidence and trust. It will come slowly with every performance. It took me TWO MONTHS to get over playing violin for my TEACHER -- and I perform every week at church (keyboardist, not violin). deb
  6. I sing difficult passages to learn them. Usually as an afterthought, though. I discovered this quite by accident during a lesson one day, my teacher and I kept going over a 4 measure passage. I wasn't playing it correctly. I knew exactly how it needed to go. I was frustrated, and in exasperation I sang it while I tried it. Without even realizing it. He said, "There, you've got it. You played what you were singing!" "I was singing? Hmmm!" So after a few go-arounds with something difficult now, I'll sing it. Don't ask me why it works, I think it's just part of the 'trusting the music' thing in me. I *know* I cannot sing something different than what I'm playing. Not even harmony. Can't do it, no matter how well I know the song. I can sing just fine while I play piano -- most any part I like. Words or no words. So, I surmise that *I* treat playing violin the same way I approach singing. I wonder if this is usual or other people might have learned to do it differently. -deb
  7. I just tried my intellitouch with my Yamaha Silent Violin ... works fine. This should also let you turn all the volume off and re-tune even plugged in, should you need to. Some pre-amps and stuff also come with tuners built in, too, don't forget. So, tell us what you'll be playing for! -deb
  8. Thanks, Ray. Very interesting stuff!
  9. It is an excellent article. I think I read it twice! Not that I was shopping for one, I have an instrument, but it was that interesting! Here's the page with the links to the relevant pages in the online issue from last year: http://www.stringsmagazine.com/issues/strings96/toc.html
  10. Ray: Are the changes while using the shoulder horn audible to close and distant listeners as well as the violinist? Or have you experimented with that yet? Inquiring minds...and all that. -deb
  11. I'm with Oldbear, too. I'm righthanded, and only been playing about a year. My fingerings are *never* an issue, it's my bowing that 'falls behind' I have a left handed daughter -- she tried to play guitar the 'regular' way, then restrung the guitar backwards and switched. It was more comfortable for her ... ... but really difficult for her to learn because lesson books, videos, even tablature, is all set up for it to be the 'regular' way. In the end, she decided it was more difficult to LEARN, and put my guitar back the 'regular' way. As she puts it, "Left handed people have already learned to automatically deal with reversing stuff ALL the time -- or give up and use their right hand. I'll be my right hand is probably more coordinated than most right handed people's left hand." From my own experience in violin studies the past year, I can tell a *big* difference in the working of my left hand for other things. I grabbed an old technique book for piano the other day and was stunned at what my left hand was able to do. So maybe the motto should be: "Learn Violin and become ambi-dextrous!" -deb P.S. There is a topic or two on the Pegboard right now about left handed violins -- a couple people have come inquiring about them for their children who have physical challenges that will prevent fingering with the left hand.
  12. Wow, Roman, that's terrific! Live the music, breathe the music, dream the music between now and then. They'll be lucky to have you. -deb
  13. Thanks, Michael, I will look it up my next trip to the Library. I go all the time, we have a history room that I'm doing some research in. -deb
  14. I can see it now... This rare example in the "Crazy Quilt" style of fine old Italian masters just fell into my hands at a large estate sale of a wealthy old Attorney's wife...
  15. deb

    Dress Code

    Aaron: I don't know where you live, but I'm in California, and I find that the East Coast, specifically NY and DC -- are FAR more 'dressy' and 'formal' than most things here. From the office to the theatre. So, I'd 'dress up' if it were me. Your aunt, since she lives on the east coast already, may actually be a good resource on this issue. -deb
  16. When I was pregnant ... oh, so many years ago ... I played guitar a few times a week. Nothing specific, just held the guitar up against my tummy. I practiced my piano as usual, and sang to the radio or albums -- and music was pretty much always 'on' at my place. At least when my hubby isn't here. I don't know if all this helped, but it made me feel better. And then I filled their young lives with all manner of the same sort of music. Popular, Folk, and Classical -- they grew up listening to it all. The piano was never "off-limits" -- you should see what the poor thing looks like now. I sang to them, I sang with them. I wrote a lullabye the second week my first daughter was born, and we have sang it for them for years. When the second daughter was born, my first was 3. She helped me sing TO the baby, in fact. (No, it wouldn't win any awards, she was not a musical prodigy -- but I will never forget her little face lighting up to sing that lullabye with me for her baby sister.) I think both their faces still light up if they hear the song. When they have grandchildren, I guess I'll add new verses for each one, too. Just fill their lives with the love of music -- by example. Don't fret the small stuff. -deb
  17. And take your child along with you to the shops and let them help pick out the instrument. Imagine the joy for both of you as their eyes light up after playing one of them and they say, "Oh, this one sounds so good! I like it!" -deb
  18. deb

    the end?

    All I can add to all the excellent advice above is: Find a physical therapist and make them part of your plan to pick up your violin again. Literally. The PT might know nothing about playing a violin, but they can help you with the exercises you need to be able to do it. And they'll know when, and how 'much' it'll take to play again. My daughter had foot surgery a couple years ago -- one of her hobbies is ballet (and other dance.) Most everyone told her she'd never dance on pointe again. Her Doctor sent her to a very good PT, and guess what? 1 year later, she was dancing on pointe. There's a pin in her foot, it and the bone all healed up just fine. Violin playing doesn't have to bear nearly that much stress. Do everything your ortho and your PT tell you to do. But never over do it. Find out how to know the difference between good pain and bad pain in therapy. You are young, and it will heal up faster than you know, and everything will be fine. I offer you a very gentle virtual hug. -deb [This message has been edited by deb (edited 01-30-2002).]
  19. I weep over music routinely. Even in the melancholy, there is joy, frankly. The first time I heard the soundtrack to Phantom Of The Opera, I sat, spellbound and in tears in front of my stereo. For the entire two discs. I'm especially touched by Gabriel's Oboe, from The Mission, by Ennio Morricone. I melted when I first heard my daughter listening to Enrique Iglesias doing "Let me be your hero" Albinoni's Adagio in G minor usually brings me to tears. Nat King Cole, "Unforgettable" reminds me so much of my Dad I cry just typing it. Chopin has always touched me deeply. There's an Itzhak Perlman recording of the Love theme from Cinema Paradiso that just pulls my heartstrings every time. More so than the piano version. Popular songs from today and yesterday of various sorts ... but I'll spare you that list. And of course, the heart-wrenching music from The Piano ... -deb
  20. Fiddlechic: Learn to hum/sing/whistle the song, first with a recording of it, then be able to do it without a recording. It doesn't feel like memorizing music -- but that's exactly what you're doing. deb
  21. I picked up a violin last year, and er, I suppose I'll admit to being in my 40's, too. I'd played guitar and bass, and read music from treble/bass clef for them, (and the piano.) I *did* have to get over tieing the notes to a particular string. And I hadn't picked up a guitar in 20 years, and a bass longer than that. Notes on the G string have been the worst for me to get over. Like others have said, they're two different instruments and your head just has to realize it. It will. Probably more than scales, melodic practice and playing by ear helped me to become on better terms with my violin. When I say playing by ear, I mean picking a key and then figuring out how to play a song I knew, Christmas carols, folks songs, whatever. "Ode To Joy's" basic melody was the first thing I learned like this. Then I played it in a different key. I was amazed I could even do it. It'll pass, but it takes time. Third position practice and scales might help you, too. They aren't hard, but they help you make that shift away from tieing a note to a string. Although I'd try the melodies I already knew first. -deb
  22. I think I wrote this briefly yesterday, my daughter is musically adept, but hasn't ever developed an ear for exact pitch. Perhaps I should have insisted she sing in groups more or something. She can sing in the cracks and never know it. She can't tune a guitar for the life of her, but she plays a mean piano. Maybe your fiddler just never had to learn to do the tuning himself? I still maintain it is a learned skill and ears can be trained. deb
  23. deb

    Electric Tuners

    I have an intellitouch. I find it quick and easy in noisy settings, and I only paid around $20 for it. The real boon with it is that it enables my daughter to tune guitar -- and for as musical as that girl is, she can't hear worth beans. It used to take her 20-30 minutes to tune a guitar. That's pretty devastating for a first year player. She knows when something it OUT of tune, but she's yet to develop the ear to match tones. I suppose her piano playing gave her the background to know the difference, and I'm hoping that her ear will pick up and 'grow' into being able to tune. She's 21, played piano since she was 10 -- and just picked up the guitar last year. After watching her struggle with tuning (this suprised me!) I think I'd reccomend a tuner to any new string student. -deb
  24. deb

    Bass Question

    Zoey: I started to play Bass in the 6th grade, on a slightly smaller than 'regular' sized instrument. I was tall for my age, so someone short for their age might have difficulty. I played until the year after I graduated from high school. And the height issue isn't as much that you can't reach up to finger the notes, the issue is that you must reach up to finger the notes AND reach down to bow (in the right place, even.) I'd say that a kid could pluck while they learned if they weren't quite grown enough to pull off bowing and fingering at the same time. But ... I'm no expert. -deb
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