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About lauragigs

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 08/07/1967
  1. "It's much more rewarding and enjoyable to work on things with which you can develop technique and make music at the same time. The main benefit is that you can then be artistically stimulated and therefore genuinely motivated." Exactly! Yes, I like Mazas, but I've played them for a while and felt as if I'd been "coasting" on them lately. Thank you everyone for your replies! I will try a few of these books you suggest. And keep the suggestions coming! (Especially since I have next to no classical rep under my fingers on violin as opposed to viola. IT ALL HELPS!)
  2. Hi all, I've played violin & viola on & off most of my life. (Mostly classical viola, but had a back injury that made that painful.) So now, at age 38, I'm back playing violin for the first time since I was 12. Interestingly, it's mostly non-classical stuff that my friends ask me to play with them: Celtic, some Bluegrass, some Jazz, and even Kansas! I'm interested in exploring Klezmer too. Problem is, I need other things to practice to keep my chops and technique in shape, and to help me master some of these styles. I'm BORED as HE** with Kreutzer, Kayser, etc. It kills my spirit. Can anyone help with some suggestions on fun books? And also Klezmer music? Thanks!!
  3. I'm sorry, but when I found out what that piece was about (ritual gang-rape + murder) I just couldn't experience it the same way again. As a woman, I find it hard to think of the piece anymore without the willies. The next time I had to play it, I was just all the time thinking, "Is this the part where they're *****ing her?" ICK. Sorry for the downer...
  4. Gotta be the Egmont! Not that I'm qualified to say it's a finer piece from a scholastic point of view... It's just that it is so much fun for the low strings!!! (I played viola on it) Just RRRHOCKS!!!! (Does anyone else have a hard time giving an opinion (as a listener) on a piece that you've played? I do, obviously...)
  5. Thank you all for the advice, everybody -- I will heed the suggestion to stick with my old strings for this gig. For yall who were wondering, it was Quinn Violins whose string delivery is A.W.O.L. I'd checked Maestronet for which online string place is best, and like many of you I was impressed with their site. But not anymore at this point! I called their customer service # and their outgoing message was something like, "This is Chris. I'm out of town until March 24..." (I always thought Priority Delivery means 2 - 5 working days, not whenever Chris makes it back into town!!!!) </rant> I will press Quinn for some proper restitution as yall suggested. Will let you know the results! -Laura
  6. What are all your opinions of Infeld Reds for this purpose? Will they break in quickly, do you think? And do any of you know how the tension compares with Helicores?
  7. Hi all, I have a St. Patrick's gig Monday night. I ordered new strings (light tension Helicores) that should have come last week at the latest, but they have yet to arrive!!! The strings on my fiddle now are medium-tension helicores that are getting older and therefore sounding gritty and really screaming under my ears. (I'll be playing through a good preamp and can possibly dampen that though.) Also, I would like a lighter tension to make the cuts and other celtic ornaments easier to play. A knowlegable luthier/shop in my area (Boulder CO) has medium-tension Tomastik Dominants that he says are still much lighter-tension than the medium-tension Helicores. Problem is, I've never played this fiddle with that brand. (I used them on my viola all the time but it took a good week & 1/2 to break them in, intonation-wise.) So my choices seem to be: 1) Keep the old strings despite the grittiness and try to mellow them best I can with the preamp 2) Get Dominants for the newness and lesser tension, at the risk of them going out of tune periodically at the gig 3) Get a new set of medium Helocores (no shop has the light-tension in stock) and deal with the higher tension. 4) Get another brand of string that yall may know of that are relatively lower-tension then medium Helicores, that can also break in quickly!!! Thanks for listening. Advice, please!! color>
  8. Also, try the Mazas etude book. Very tasty & musical compared to Kreutzer.
  9. Hi all, I'm looking to get another violin (~$1200-$3500 range) and was wondering if there are good places to look either in the Denver area or in Memphis, where my family is & where I'll be visiting in a month. (I know of bow rehairers, etc. in both places but not of violin stores per se.) Thanks!
  10. Hi all, I have a guitarist as a new duet partner and we've suddenly gotten some short-notice gigs. Now we're scrambling for music to play! (He's an extremely strong classical player; I'm only OK.) Anything with a Latin flavor (Spanish, Brazilian, etc.) is especially needed. Thanks!!!
  11. One point is that your playing environment sounds like a negative one: a discouraging teacher, and a master class in which the mood sounds catty and competitive, instead of mutually encouraging and supportive. (If your perceptions of that experience were correct. My guess is that the worst anyone thought at that class was "Oh, she had a bad day".) How is your experience of being a section leader? Are you setting up a positive, win-win environment for your section? Remember, the strongest players aren't necessarily the best section leaders: if you can count, are consistent with your bowings and responsive to the conductor, you're probably doing a fine job, and I'd rather follow you than a hot-shot soloist who lacks those qualities. My main suggestion is: change your playing environment. I was a classical violist, and sometimes felt just as you do: inadequate, and obsessed by how I measured up to others. (However, even though I was frequently in competitive situations with my peers the overall feeling, at worst, was friendly competition.) Anyway, due to some back problems I dropped out of classical viola playing for a while, then later fell into the folk violin scene almost by accident. I was amazed at how people responded to my music! Audiences and fellow players alike were appreciative, sweet, and not the least bit catty--definitely enjoying music and the moments we get to share it for the precious things they are. (Folk is many-faceted: appalachian, Klezmer, Irish, ballads, etc. etc. and if the "F" word scares you, there's always swing and jazz.) Anyway, if you try any of these, I guarantee you will be amazed and feel music in a whole new way, and probably make new friends, to boot! Please keep us posted!
  12. Good question. I am 5' 9", and have an especially long neck: just over 4.5 inches long. In the past (as a violist and more recently as a violinist) I was using a Wolf primo shoulder rest (adjusted to be tall as possible) and an over-the-tailpiece chinrest of average height. On the advice of some Maestronetters, I got a high SAS chinrest, which keeps the top plane of the violin lower. That's been good because my right shoulder is no longer so high. But I don't know what to do now about the shoulder rest. (I have a sloping, bony collarbone area so I do need something between that and the hard, slippery violin bottom.)
  13. Hi all, Like many of us, I have back, shoulder & some neck pain from playing. I have these huge upper trap muscles that always seem to be tense. I plan to strengthen the rest of my mid-back, but what about treatment, like Rolfing or Chiropractic? I've had chiro before which helped a bit, but seems to be a revolving door: go every week for the rest of your life. Does anybody have any info on Rolfing?First-hand experience? (This may have been covered before, but I did a search on maestronet & found very little.)
  14. I've had a lot of pain too and this thread has been really helpful! Everybody, keep the good advice coming! One helpful thing that has not been mentioned so far: doing a few minutes of good stretching before you play. (rolling your neck in both directions, gently stretching your wrists, etc.) [This message has been edited by lauragigs (edited 01-26-2002).]
  15. When I was little and Billy Joel's "Piano Man" got lots of airplay, I would get tearful at the part when he goes into a minor singing "oh la la laaaa de de daaa..." but when it would go back into C Major I'd recover. The classical piece that does it every time? The 2nd movement of the Ravel Piano Concerto. I think the GATTACA soundtrack is great. If you rent the DVD, there's a beautiful sequence on great achievers in society who might never have been born due to congenital disabilities. It's accompanied by Schubert's Impromptu for Piano in Gb major. Worth renting just for that.