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Everything posted by Steve_W

  1. quote: Originally posted by: vlnhunter Apparently, he faces 20 years for each of the 10 counts in the indictment, which doesn't exactly sound like a slap on the wrist... My guess is he'll plea-bargain and get a very reduced sentence. The judge was apparently telling viola jokes during the arraignment; doesn't sound like he's taking the case that seriously...
  2. Readers here may remember the case of the student violinist who scammed a bunch of dealers out of some really nice violins, violas & bows, who was arrested with one of the violins after a concert last Fall. I thought you might be interested in This Followup Article from the San Francisco Chronicle. Unfortunately it sounds like he'll get a slap on the wrist... -Steve
  3. I've been happy with a Pentel P209 drafting pencil, which uses 0.9mm lead; I usually use 2B (the softest available) or HB leads. It's aways sharp and there's a decent replaceable white eraser under the cap (I use Pentel's Clic Eraser for bigger erasing jobs--it never dries out or smears and lifts lead better than any other eraser I've used). I got tired of not being able to find a pencil so I bought a bunch of them; think I must have 10 or so around the apartment, in various cases and music bags, etc.! -Steve
  4. I also recently read Musicophilia and am now awaiting This is Your Brain on Music which several musician friends have recommended to me. I found Musicophila to be an engrossing book, scary in parts when realizing that an ability that's so important to us is fragile and could be lost in a moment! In reading about some of the disorders he described, like the patients who lost all sense of music, I was almost afraid to continue!
  5. Nice looking instrument! I hope Darol likes it! I may have missed this in your earlier posts, but what does Bubinga do for the sound?
  6. AEAE is used by some fiddlers in the Cape Breton violin tradition as well, and often referred to as High Bass there. David Greenberg, in the DunGreen Collection (a great reference for CB fiddling), says "..the pitches of the violin strings then become a,e',a',e'', at least two of which will ring sympathetically to every note in the key of A-major! The ringing strings and the potential for use of more open-string drones make for a sound which is reminiscent of bagpipes... The additional volume acquired by using scordatura tunings would have been especially helpful to a dance fiddler before the modern age of electronic amplification and pianos... The high-bass scordatura also facilitated the playing of octave harmonies when there were two fiddlers playing; the back two strings are pitched the same as the top two strings, so one player could double the melody low or high without having to learn a new fingering for the tune." With their Scottish heritage, the CB fiddlers' repertoire includes a lot of pipe tunes that are in the keys of A major and A mixolydian with range of an octave or so, so I can see why this tuning would be fairly popular there. I wonder if Appalachian scordatura has the same heritage? -Steve
  7. That Schweitzer copy could be the twin of mine, except for the black inlay on the button (and mine doesn't have the wear--obviously sat unplayed in someone's closet for a long time). My dealer suggested 1880-1900 for the age, but I understand a lot of these were made over a long period in Markneukirchen. I have heard that these can sound good but I found mine to be harsh, although with a good amount of volume. It had a small (3mm or so) saddle crack that was stable for years but opened up after a period of low humidity; never sounded as good after the repair (but it never sounded that great beforehand). -Steve
  8. I think that abc might be a good choice for you, since using an interpreter like BarFly you could view the "dots" while hearing midi version of the tune. Maestramusica left off both of my favorite sites for abc tunes, JC's ABC Tunefinder, which is an online index of many abc collections, and Andrew Kunz's Fiddlers' Companion website which is a tune history site covering mainly British Isles, Irish and American folk music, but also includes a number of tunes in abc. -Steve Edit: sorry, hit the button to post before I added the links!
  9. quote: Originally posted by: Ferbose I think Zoom H2 is the hottest portable recorder nowadays, and for a good reason. I recommend buying pro-audio products from <a href= "http://www.sweetwater.com/c860...;Sweetwater</a> Their shipping is fast and free (no minimum purchase), and the service amazing. I dealt with them many times and could not be more satisfied. I second the recommendation on Sweetwater; I've used them for pro audio equipment for several years and have been very happy with the service and support I've received from them. I've also been looking for a digital recorder to replace my old minidisk recorder and agree that the Zoom H2 seems to be the leading candidate for my needs. -Steve
  10. I have one fiddle, a "Schweitzer" copy, that sounds better with Crystals than any other synthetic string I've tried on it. (I use Tonicas on my 2 other lesser fiddles and Infeld Reds on my main instrument; I've tried the Schweitzer with Infelds, Dominants, Tonicas and probably a couple others I don't remember.) Crystals are a decent string at a really good price. They work very well for the Scottish stuff. I can't say I've noticed that they have a longer life than the others though.
  11. Wetting the peg holes with water!?! Is that a good idea?
  12. Hi Ken, some of that two-buck Chuck tastes horrible, whether or not you're sipping it through a plastic straw! I'm willing to pay a few more bucks for consistency in my wine. Same with my violin repairs!
  13. Mark, If this is the shop I think it is I would describe them as very reputable but arrogant... (And based on the description of the situation, I'm pretty sure I know who BBBXXX is dealing with there!)
  14. quote: Originally posted by: troutabout I use desktop software for a true digital tone but when I get to the gig I have to retune to the guitar players who , after tuning to their electronic tuners , are still out of tune and balance that to the electronic keyboard who is out of tune to them. It's a losing battle. At least you get to play with electronic keyboards! I'm always happy when we play at a venue with no piano because then our keyboardist will be forced to lug his electric piano and it'll be in tune, but more often than not we play dances in halls with un-maintained pianos, and good luck then! The other melody instrument in my group is a recorder, and the soprano recorder he uses most frequently tends to play the E above middle C a bit sharp; I have to remember I can't use the open E as a drone when I play with him. Ah well, at least we have gigs; can't complain too much. Henry, that StroboFlip looks pretty cool. I'll have to check it out! We used to have a strobe tuner in my high school band room but that thing was huge...
  15. I'm with you Hank; I don't think I have perfect pitch but can hear A-440 in my head and tune to it when needed, and am usually right on. I can't do this when there's noise or music going on though; I get influenced by what I hear. For general tuning purposes I use a Korg CA-30 and have a bridge-clip mic for when it's noisy. I've been happy with it for general use--it's nice and compact, and it gets close enough--but playing around with it recently, I was interested to find that at least without the mic it apparently isn't sensitive enough to show differences between perfect fifths (obtained by tuning the A to the tuner then the other 3 strings by ear, eliminating "beats") and the tuner's equally-tempered notes. OTOH my old mid-'80s Seiko Tolv with manual switching between notes and analog (i.e., mechanical) needle shows this difference, which I think is a couple cents per string... I need to repeat this experiment using the clip-on mic and maybe fresh batteries in the Korg. Probably this difference isn't of interest to most players here, but I play music that uses a lot of open strings, and generally play with a pianist, so the difference between temperaments is somewhat important to me! -Steve
  16. Banzai, I asked my friend who's in touch with Jerry and she wrote that he says he has days when he feels great and days when he feels terrible. Not very informative, I guess, but he's still hanging in there at any rate.
  17. In light of Jerry Holland's recent fight with cancer I'm interested to see what happens this year with Ceilidh Trail camp. They did hold it last Summer although I don't think that Jerry taught. I haven't heard how he's doing recently, my contact has been out of touch. As far as I know Brenda's first book is currently out of print for revision--adding chords, according to a friend, which would make it somewhat more useful. A pianist friend has her second book and from the little I've played of it, it looks like another one well worth having. I echo Lisa's comments about Cape Breton; it's an amazing place for the music as well as the people and beautiful surroundings. Well worth a visit; I went for a couple weeks in 2006 and am planning to go again--although it looks like it won't happen until 2010. -Steve
  18. quote: Originally posted by: sunnybear Ryans Mammoth was the C.B. "bible" for years and years Yeah, lots of good tunes in that one too. I haven't spent as much time with it as I ought to... I've used it most for hornpipes; it has a ton of great tunes I haven't heard elsewhere.
  19. Banzai, I can't really help you much with the popular tunes because I just tend to learn tunes I like rather than common repertoire (plus I play many more Scottish sets than Cape Breton). I thought I would mention that traditionally, Cape Breton fiddling is more a solo affair and Cape Breton sessions are a little different than you might be thinking of them in that the fiddlers tend to take turns playing solo sets (with accompaniment), rather than all together in a group. In my opinion this means that you're more free to learn tunes you like rather than relying on a common set of tunes. I also get the impression that they're happy to hear new tunes, and tend to assimilate any tunes that they like (Buddy MacMaster is good at this, he plays tunes he picked up in the Shetland Islands, the Pacific Northwest, & so forth). Anyway I have all the books you mentioned and of those, find the 2 Jerry Holland collections to be the most useful since in addition to his own tunes he included a lot of other popular tunes from various sources. The Skye Collection also has a bunch of tunes you'd hear out there, since it's one of the sourcebooks they had available. That said, I don't think you could go too far wrong by learning some of the sets that Buddy or some of the other influential fiddlers play. I hope that's some help! -Steve
  20. I have a Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) dance to play for so am running through a lot of Scottish country dance sets. Have managed to play about a half hour to hour a day during my break. Things have slowed down a lot since the first part of December when I had something like 5 gigs in 2 weeks, so I've been able to relax a bit! Had intended to find some time during the holidays to find time to play through a bunch of Scottish tune books that I got during the Fall but so far have been too busy...
  21. I remember the optimism when Gerard Schwarz came to Seattle. He really did great things for that orchestra; I'm sad to hear of the current situation...
  22. Thought this article from the SF Chronicle might be of interest. Young guy, apparently a very good violinist, allegedly took instruments from collectors to sell on commission then disappeared, also stiffed at least one well-known dealer here on a big repair bill. Since he apparently had aspirations to become a concert soloist, I don't understand how he expected to keep a low profile!
  23. quote: Originally posted by: gabi Why does the E string blow a tiny cloud of rosin everytime it whistles? Because you're using too much rosin?
  24. "Searching for the right strings can be expensive - and time consuming." Amen, brother! Still looking for the "right" strings for my main violin, and I've had it for just short of 4 years! Went through Dominant, Tonica, Obligato, Infeld Blue and now Infeld Red, which is the best so far. I talked to its maker a month or so ago and he says he's found that his fiddles perform best with Evah's so I may try one more...
  25. quote: Originally posted by: Banzai However, what do you think of this book? Scottish Fiddler's Session Tunebook. I took a look at the index and it has a large number of tunes that commonly get played around here in sessions and for dances; it would probably be a good resource to have if you don't have other sources for those tunes. I've heard mixed reviews on the Taig Na Teud books but the one of theirs that I own, Traditional Scottish Fiddling, is well-done and I recommend it to anyone who's learning Scottish fiddling--it comes with a CD which is very useful. You might find more information on the tunebook at Taig Na Teud's website here. -Steve
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