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Everything posted by Steve_W

  1. I swapped out my Corelli Crystal steel E string for a Pirastro Tonica aluminum-wound E and that took care of the majority of the whistling I was getting. Some people say wound E's tend to wear out a lot faster than the solid ones but I haven't found this to be true. -Steve
  2. My violin has a very high arch (it's a Markneukirchen "J.B. Schweitzer") and I have trouble finding chinrests that will fit it correctly (many tend to bump into the top or the tailpiece). Does anyone know if the Teka would be likely to fit this fiddle, or have suggestions for other chinrests that extend over the tailpiece? Thanks. -Steve
  3. I just wanted to thank everyone who has posted suggestions to this thread. I finally feel like I'm well on my way to playing competently (or at least as competently as I ever played) without a shoulder pad, something I've tried to figure out a few times in the past with no success. I've worked for several hours on this over the past week or so and I really like the looks of my playing posture now. I still need to work more on LH position but I'm confident enough I'm on the right track that I removed my Kun rest from my case so I won't be tempted to revert! -Steve
  4. I think my situation is similar to yours, Simon! I just tried to figure out how many tunes I knew and came up with about 50 off the top of my head (sitting at my desk without fiddle in hand) so I think I probably know about double that; there's a lot of tunes I forget I know until another tune reminds me or someone else starts them. -Steve
  5. I would not look to a Scottish country dance group (at least if it's RSCDS) for guidance on hornpipes; RSCDS has gotten so far off the track that there's now basically no differentiation between hornpipes and reels . Hornpipes are not actually classed as a separate dance form in the RSCDS, they're a subset of reels. The steps used are the same as for other fast time dances and the tempo used is similar to that of reels; basically the only way you can tell you're doing a hornpipe is either by the dance title or by listening for the "bum bum bum" at the end of a phrase. It frustrates me because there are a lot of great hornpipe tunes that just don't seem to work well at 110-112 BPM, and I'm assuming they were originally meant for a slower tempo. I'm guessing you'd probably have better luck at a step dance or highland class if you want to see hornpipes performed. -Steve
  6. Hey Minuet, lighten up! You're still in your teens, right? When you get to my age you'll realize that 10 years isn't such a long time! Actually my aunt went through something similar; she was also a music major and a violist but stopped playing about 30 years ago to concentrate on other things. She started playing again about a year ago and found her technique came back fairly quickly (she still had her original viola, which I think is a Roth; she recently had it appraised for the first time since she got it and was amazed at how much its value had gone up). I think yaffasmom is doing the right thing in looking for a better-quality instrument, since even if she's rusty she'll likely improve quickly! Anyway good luck yaffasmom; sorry I can't offer any practical advice on brands. -Steve
  7. I take a thin nail (like a finishing nail), nip off the point with a pair of wire cutters, and make a 45-degree bend about 1/4 inch from the end with a pair of pliers (this is to prevent it from going through both holes and gouging the ribs). I learned that trick from an old teacher of mine and it works fine for occasional adjustments. -Steve
  8. Thanks Stephen and Matthew. I think I'm finally getting an idea of how this is supposed to work! -Steve
  9. This is probably a stupid question but when holding the violin without a shoulder rest does any part of the left hand besides the thumb and the finger pads contact the neck? I've seen some instructions that indicate that the neck should rest on the joint at the base of the index finger, but everything I've read is unclear if is just a starting position or how the violin is held while playing. It seems that the mobility of the first finger would be reduced, but without that extra contact point I can't figure out how to keep the violin from wanting to shift to the right. -Steve
  10. For what it's worth, I saw a recent post from David with username DPalm. Hope this helps. -Steve
  11. So how do you know which is correct . I think I posted this once before but I found a procedure for calibrating hygrometers which seems to work well. It requires a clear plastic, airtight sealable container, about pint size (even a ziploc-type bag would work); a small open container like a bottle cap; and about a teaspoon of table salt. Put the salt in the cap and add 2 or 3 drops of water (not enough to dissolve the salt but enough to get it damp), then put the cap and hygrometer into the container so that the hygrometer's visible and seal it (in my Weber case the hygrometer was held in place with a drop of hot glue; it came out easily). After 8 hours the hygrometer should read exactly 75%. If not, the dial-type hygrometers typically have an adjustment screw on the back; adjust with a small screwdriver and try again. The digital hygrometers are a lot more accurate (assuming they're calibrated!) but using this procedure the analog ones can be made to be reasonably accurate (FWIW one source I found said the analog hygrometers are typically designed to be accurate to +/- 5% in the range 40-80%; not great but probably close enough). -Steve
  12. My Weber case has a clip which holds a little humidifier called a "Humistat", which is a small plastic vial with a cap at one end and a sponge at the other end, with holes to let the water evaporate out and a ring which allows the user to set how many holes are exposed to the air. I've been able to get replacements for the original at cigar shops. I live in an area without humidity extremes (daily averages around here don't normally go much below 40% in the dry season and above 90% in the wet season) and this seems to do an adequate job of keeping the case's humidity in the right range (at least, according to the dial hygrometer in the case, which I recently calibrated so that I'm fairly sure it's reasonably accurate). It's probably not as effective as a Damp-It so I do have one of those to supplement the Humistat if needed. -Steve
  13. I have to agree with Steve L.; although I've been a Mac customer since the early '90s I'll probably switch to a WinXP system when it comes time to get rid of my Rev. B iMac. I still think the Mac OS is superior to anything Microsoft has produced but I'm tired of being in the 4% minority of computer users that run Macs. Where I work it's mainly PCs and having used Windows since version 3.1, Windows 2000 was the first version I felt I could live with! -Steve
  14. Marie, the mp3 version of the clip that Stephen posted at www.stephenredrobe.com/efzig3.mp3 played just fine on my iMac; it opened in QuickTime Player. I didn't find a way to save it to my hard drive, though. -Steve
  15. Don't feed the troll! -Steve
  16. A few years ago a violin I'd owned since 7th grade was stolen from a house I was renting, along with a couple guitars and some other stuff. It wasn't very valuable but had a decent tone and a lot of sentimental value. About a year later, after I'd given up on getting any of the instruments back, I was in a music shop that I occasionally visited and spotted it hanging on the wall! It was actually in better shape than when it had been stolen because the shop had fixed a couple minor problems and fitted it with a new bridge. I confronted the owner and was able to convince him it was my fiddle since I knew what they'd fixed and was able to point out some markings inside the fiddle. He checked his records and was embarrassed to find that they hadn't bothered to keep information on who had sold it to them, as required by law. Not wanting to get the police involved, I think, he just handed it over to me as is, without even a bag to carry it home in! I knew this shop had a good reputation so was prepared to believe it was an honest mistake on their part. I never got any of the other stuff that was stolen back but was happy to have the violin! I still play it occasionally although I've moved up to a better instrument now. -Steve
  17. Nooooo! Don't turn this into yet another thread about the pros and cons of shoulder rests! -Steve
  18. Yes, I knew it was a Marshall tune but I'm always curious how these tunes got from 18th century Scotland to 20th century Cape Breton! Your note likely does answer my question though; Kohler's Violin Repository is a late-19th-century Scottish tunebook that's the source for some tunes in the Cape Breton repertoire, according to Jerry Holland. -Steve
  19. Hey, you're right Michael! I checked online and the US dial tone is a composite 2 tones, of 350 and 440 Hz. However it looks like the only other countries that use 440 Hz are France, South Korea and Taiwan (and Canada?)! -Steve
  20. I wish this society considered the acquisition of knowledge to be as important as the acquisition of stuff! I think I'm going to take Carlo's suggestion and look into Buddhism this year. (sorry for the lack of fiddling content. Why isn't this discussion in the Soapbox Forum?) -Steve
  21. I'd bet that Jerry got it from Winston, considering Winston was one of his heroes and mentors. I wonder where Winston learned it? -Steve
  22. I'm not that advanced; I still do it by hand. However I use a Mac freeware program called BarFly which has a couple of features that make things easier: it can run in split-screen mode, where you can see the results of your code in standard notation as you're typing it in; and it can play back a tune starting at any spot in the code. These features help a lot in catching errors (I tend to make simple mistakes like transposing notes by octaves and leaving notes the wrong length). I also usually have the abc tutorial extensions page at http://www.lesession.vcisp.net/abc/abc_extensions.htm open for reference while I'm coding to help me with some of the more obscure details. I find abc to be pretty simple; it follows pretty logically from standard notation. I'm working on learning to read tunes directly from abc but I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I'm as comfortable with it as with standard notation! -Steve
  23. I've never played electric fiddle but have a bunch of experience with electric blues guitar. Without going into specifics about brands or models, one thing to think about before purchasing an amp is how you plan to use the fiddle. If you're just planning on playing for your own enjoyment you can get away with a less powerful (i.e., cheaper, smaller and lighter) amp than if you're going to be playing out, especially if you're going to be playing with other amplified instruments and/or drums. Something to consider, anyway, although almost everyone I played with ended up with at least a couple different amps to fit different situations! Fender, Crate and Peavey are all brands I respect, that produce amp models that should be suitable. -Steve
  24. In fact I got bored this afternoon so went ahead and coded the ones I had. You'll need to paste the 4 tunes separately into the Tune-O-Tron converter. I don't know if this Lord Seaforth is the one you're after since to me it looks and plays like a strathspey, not a reel. Good luck! -Steve X:1 T:Lord Seaforth C:traditional S:Gow Collection #381 Z:Steve Wyrick 12/28/02 Z:Gow's note: "very old" K:G M:C L:1/8 B|G/D3/2D3/2E/ GABG|c3/2A/B3/2G/ E2-EA|GDD3/2E/ G3/2A/Be|d/B3/2"tr"A3/2B/ G2 G:|! g|(e/f/g) d3/2g/ B3/2g/d3/2B/|(c3/2A/)B3/2G/ E2 Eg|(e/f/g) d3/2g/ B3/2g/d3/2B/|c3/2A/D3/2B/ G2 Gg|! e/g3/2d/b3/2 c3/2a/B3/2g/|c3/2A/B3/2G/ E2 EA|GDD3/2E/ G3/2A/Be|d/B3/2"tr"A3/2B/ G2 G||! X:2 T:Steer the Gill C:traditional S:Gow Collection #521 Z:Steve Wyrick 12/28/02 K:D M:C| L:1/8 d2-d3/2e/ (d/c/B/A/) (G/F/E/D/)|d2 df (e/f/g) (f/g/a)|d2 de (d/c/B/A/) (G/F/E/D/)|E =C-C E c2 c3/2e/:|! |:DD-DB AF"tr"(ED)|dD-Df (e/f/g) (f/g/a)|dD-DB AF"tr"(ED)|E =C-C E c2-c3/2e/:|! X:3 T:Laybourn's Hornpipe C:from Kohler's Collection S:Jerry Holland's 2nd Collection, #75 Z:Steve Wyrick 12/28/02 K:C M:C| L:1/8 (3(Bcd)|"tr"cBcd cdef|"tr"g^fga "tr"gedc|A^GAB (cd)"tr"cA|GEcA GECE|! "tr"FEFG A^GAB|"tr"cBcd egag|fedc AcBd|edcB c2:|! |:gf|egcg egcg|dgBg dgBd|ceAe ceAc|GcEc GcEG|! "tr"FEFG A^GAB|"tr"cBcd egag|fedc AcBd|edcB c2:|! X:4 T:Roderick MacDonald's Strathspey C:trad, arr. Buddy MacMaster S:SF Scottish Fiddlers' Newsletter, 12/91 Z:Steve Wyrick 12/28/02 Z:as played by Buddy MacMaster, VOM 1991 K:G M:C L:1/8 (3AAA c/e3/2 e3/2d/ c3/2A/|(3B=GB =g3/2e/ d3/2g/ B/G3/2|1(3AAA c3/2A/ (3ceA c/A3/2|! =g3/2e/ (3fed c/e3/2 e/a3/2:|2(3ABc (3B=cd (3edc B3/2=G/|=g3/2e/ (3fed c/e3/2 e||! f/g/|a2 (3efg a3/2e/ c/A3/2|d3/2=g/ B3/2g/ d3/2g/ B/=G3/2|a2 (3efg a3/2e/ c/A3/2|! =g3/2e/ (3fed c/e3/2 (3ef^g|(3agf (3efg (3aed c3/2A/|(3B=GB =g3/2e/ d3/2g/ B/G3/2|! (3ABc (3B=cd (3edc B3/2=G/|=g3/2e/ (3fed c/e3/2 e/a3/2||!
  25. Other websites I use are Cranford Publishing's site at www.cranfordpub.com for Cape Breton, Henrik Norbeck's site at http://home.swipnet.se/hnorbeck/abc.htm (mainly Irish tunes) and Nigel Gatherer's ABC tunes at http://users.argonet.co.uk/users/gatherer/tunes/abc.html (mostly Scottish tunes). Tunes from Cranford's and Nigel Gatherer's sites show up on Google searches; I'm not sure about Henrik Norbeck's though. I got around to checking through my books and I have these tunes: Lord Seaforth's, Steer the Gill, Laybourn's Hornpipe, Roderick MacDonalds, and a reel called Miss Robertson of Tullybelton (not sure if this is the same Miss Robertson's Reel you're after). I don't have a scanner but would be happy to code these into abc for you if you don't find them elsewhere; let me know!
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