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  1. Is that 200 an hour er person or 200 for the whole quartet? If it's per perspn that's very high,if it's for the whole quartet it's not bad. The weddings that I do through an agent pay us 150 each for weddings lasting up to 2 hours. The feeling is that its not worth it to the musicians to drive the distance for less than 150 so that's the minimum regardless of whether the wedding lasts 15 minutes or two hours. After the first two hours its 50 per person for each additional hour.
  2. I do a lot of weddings outdoors in the summer. We usually play about 30 minutes before the ceremony and calculate the fee from the time we start playing. I get most of the jobs through an agent and our minimum for anything up to two hours is 150 per person and 50 for each additional hour. I get more from the harpist that I work with because there is no agent involved.
  3. Try Old World Beat by the klezmer concervatory band and Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra's the traveling Jewish Wedding.
  4. I bought my violin from a Bay Area maker in 1992 and payed 9000 at that time. He charges 15,000 now. That seems to be a pretty popular price but I've seem some nice ones for less. The very well known makers probably charge more.
  5. I have a similar problem and what frustrates me is my nerves seem to be worse as I get older. I play principal second and Asst conertmaster with two different orhestras. Occasionally I'm asked to play concertmaster and I am surprised that I get intimidated by that. What gets me into trouble is thinking about what other people will say about me. When I was 25 I had a job I really enjoyed in a nice restaurant playing with a great pianist. I played music that I loved and enjoyed the intimate response of the people that stopped talking long enough to listen. I think the fact that I put no pressure on myself to be perfect enabled me to play as musially as I know I can. Now when I perform under more formal conditions I try to recreate the feeling I had as a strolling violinist.
  6. I think for someone who is still learning their instrument you need a lesson once a week. I am a professional musician and see my teacher more as a coach and mentor. I go twice a month for lessons. Also at 85 dollars a lesson and a 1 hour commute to his house it got expensive going once a week. I did go once a week for the first year because we were making some changes in my technique and I needed the continuity of a weekly lesson. Good luck with your lessons and congratulations on you enthusiasm to learn.
  7. I have two sons . One plays violin and one plays cello. It;s interesting that the older one loved to hear me play the violin. when he was a baby. I would practice the Mendelssohn violin concerto over his crib and it would entertain him for about 45 minutes. When I tried that with son #2 he screamed as soon as I got onto the A string. When he was about 2 and 3 and I had string quartets at the house he was the one that stayed and listened and was attracted to the sound of the cello. Now he is a fine musician working on the Haydn C major cello oncerto for his jury at the conservatory. He still doesn't like it when I pratice high orchestra parts.
  8. My son started cello at age 4 on a 1/10 size. He liked it better than violin which he tried at 31/2 because he didn't have to hold it on his shoulder, he got to sit down and he prefers the low notes. He is 16 now and it has been wonderful watching him grow into a fine musician.
  9. Actually I have no problem learning tunes by ear the way they are sung. It's the scales and bluesy improvising that I have trouble with or picking out a harmony to play when womeone else has the melody. Does anyone practice blues scales to help with this? If I take the time to sit down at the piano and painstakingly figure out what chords go with the tune and make up a line and write it down I could probably do it but that's not spontaneous and takes too long. Last night I played along with some recordings and I think if I did that often enough I could improve my improvising skills. I think the idea of slowing the piece down is great. I'll get my son the computer whiz to help me figure that out.
  10. I didn't have to prepare such an extensive program. I only prepared one piece, the first movement of Mendelssohn and they didn't hear all of it. I know from being on orchestra audition committees that you can get a good idea of how a person plays by just hearing the exposition of a concerto, expecially Mozart. I auditioned at the Academy of Music in Vienna, and that was (gasp) 28 years ago.
  11. Hi lilangel, how long have you been playing? What does your teacher assign? I usually start my practice warming up with some long bows and vibrato exercises. Then I work on scales, shifting exercises and etudes. After that I practice my orchestra music, since I play professionally. If I time after that I work on a solo, The amount varies. Today I threw out all the usual practice routine and played all day. I had so much fun. I've been asked to do some strolling gypsy songs for the symphony donors at a reception. I used to stroll a lot about 20 years ago but haven't done much since so I was brushing up on the old tunes. I was having so much fun I didn't want to stop. On a normal day my practice varies between about 1 1/2 and 4 hours.
  12. I'm not great at improvising but I can sight read quite well. If some great fiddle arrangements were written down I'm sure I could play them but I don't think it works that way, Are you naturally good at improvising? Do you try to copy a recording note for note? I've tried this with Grapelli recordings and gypsy recordings. I can usually get a lot from the gypsy pieces but Grapelli is too complicated for me to copy. Do you get your own ideas after listening a lot? I have several fiddle books with the basic tunes in them. What would be a good way to learn how to embellish them? Right now I just add some slides and trills here and there.
  13. I recently tried viola too and it is a lot of fun. The funny thing is I feel fine going from violin to viola(I have a 15 3/4 viola) but when I go back to violin I feel cramped and a little clumsy for a few minutes until I readjust. The notes on the C string are 1st figer D,2nd E and 3rd F# in first position.
  14. I guess I'm not that old, 47, and I just wanted to rant. When I was in my 20's I could practice all day and my body didn't complain but now everything hurts. Do you do exercises or strectch before and after you practice. What helps? Also do you do any sports? My second love after music is my bicycle. I ride a road bike and would like to do an Aids ride from Amsterdam to Paris this summer if I can manage the fund raising commitment Sometimes after a long ride my hands get numb. I don't want to mess up my hands but I really like riding. I read a bicycling forum too and a lot of the people there are musicians. How many here have a favorite sport?
  15. I like a lot of different music. A lot of my classical friends don't like the schmalzy stuff but I'd probably have to say it's my favorite to play on the violin. I like jazz, and I like Soouth American Indian folk music, I love Klezmer and eastern European folk music. I listen to a lot of my kids music, and they also have an eclectic taste. It goes from old standards with Frank Sinatra and Nat Cole to classic 50's rock and roll to heavy metal . The only stuff I don't like is some of the hard rock stuff. If it has a lot of profanity in it and sounds like garbage cans being slammed around a back alley I don't like it.
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