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Everything posted by tom-c

  1. A young friend of mine decided she wanted to try the violin. She made this desire known to a family friend who retrieved an old fiddle from the attic. I cleaned it up, put a used set of Dominants on it, and it sounds pretty good. The label inside reads: A FALARDEAU MAITRE LUTHIER 119 YOUNG BUILDING HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND "1945" Can anyone tell me about this maker? I think it would be of interest to my friend. Thanks. tom-c
  2. That was a nice discussion. It helped more than just the writer. Thanks for taking the time. : I'm a music theory major who plays the violin, and this sounds like a challenge to your music theory and your listening abilities! I can think of a few possibilities for working on this: : The Thorough way-- do all three steps: : 1) How do you practice your scales? If you practice them merely by relating pitches to one another with no absolute idea of where you are (i.e., major, minor, etc., only starting on a different note every time, doesn't matter what note) without concentrating on what actual notes you are playing, that might be why practicing your scale is not helping you. It is possible to play very accurately in tune without ever knowing, intellectually, what notes you are playing! I used to do this when practicing my scales, but my teacher told me that I have to know what notes I am playing; for instance, in the C# minor scale, say the notes as you play: "C#, D#, E natural, F#, G#...." etc. Always know where you are when you play your scale, even when you play it fast. Apply the same principle to the exercise. : 2) If you've mastered your scales when starting on the tonic, practice your scales starting on random notes; for example, in Db Major, start on a note in the scale other than Db and play the right notes: for instance, Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb. Train your ear not only to hear "do re mi fa sol la ti do", but also "re mi fa sol la ti do re", "mi fa sol la ti do re mi", etc. The way I learned to train my ear to hear this kind of thing was actually not by playing them on the violin, but by singing melodies and changing the key signatures (or changing from minor to major or even medieval modes, whole-tone, octatonic, and other non-diatonic scales). : The Quick Way-- only #3: : 3) Play the Sevcik slowly enough so that you can get the right notes in the new key signature. If you must, you can write all the accidentals into your music to help you play it, for the time being. Have a clear idea in your mind what the accidentals in your key are. Don't go "by ear", unless you are unusually talented in that area-- that is, trying to hear what is supposed to sound like in your head and play according to that mental idea. That can get too complicated if you are in a very strange key. Instead, teach your ear what it is supposed to hear in these unusual key signatures-- each time you change keys, play it like it is a completely new piece that you have never heard it before, and practice it slowly until you CAN hear what it is supposed to sound like with six flats, etc. : In the short term it is probably fine to just do #3, and just doing that will certainly help to train your ear, especially if you do it systematically (eg., up by a half-step every time, or around the circle of fifths-- C Maj, G Maj, D Maj, A, E, B, F#, C#/Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F). : I definitely do not advocate letting music theory take precedence over performance-- if you are serious about playing the violin, play the violin!! but theory really helps performance. It will enable a violinist to understand and interpret pieces on a deeper level. : It is worth it-- really!! Over the past year or so I went from hating music theory because it seemed utterly irrelevant to violin playing, to loving it, because of the depth and understanding it gave me. : Best wishes! : Irene : : I am working on a Sevcik shifting exercise. : : It is written in C major, but it says that I have : : to repeat it in 11 different keys. It doesn't mean to : : transpose, it means that F (for instance) in G major : : wouldn't become a note of an entirely different name, : : it would just become F#. I'm fine in G major and the : : obviously easier ones, but when it gets into all those : : sharps and flats, I get totally lost and don't even : : know how to approach it! I thought practicing scales : : in these keys would help me, but it doesn't. I can : : play a scale as perfectly as any teacher could ask : : because with a scale I know how it's supposed to sound. : : I know the sound of major, minor, melodic etc, as long : : as I start the scale on the note of the name of the : : scale. When it comes to this exercise starting on : : either A, Ab, or A# no matter what strange sounding : : key it's in, I just get a headache. Please help, : : I don't even know how to approach this. : : Thanks, if anyone can help me I'll be so grateful! : : -Chu
  3. I remember seeing some time ago, a message about longer screws for the Kun shoulder rest. I searched the database, but didn't find the post. I would appreciate it if someone will tell me how to get the longer screws. Thanks for the help.
  4. Yes, I have the solo part. Got it from Shar. : I saw one version of the music(Mayer Bay?), and it seems like the music is for the orchestra part, not the : solo violin. Do you have the music for solo part? : : I am working on the Vivaldi concerto in A minor for violin. Can someone recommend a good recording of this piece? : : Thanks.
  5. I am working on the Vivaldi concerto in A minor for violin. Can someone recommend a good recording of this piece? Thanks.
  6. : For a person who is already an advanced musician in other instruments such as woodwinds and piano, and who does not play violin, are there self-study books available for such persons to begin learning to play the violin on their own, or is such an endeavor unadvisable? I'll make a try at an answer, although others may disagree with me. Before taking up the violin, I have played trumpet, sax, recorders, guitar, and banjo. I had even tried a little country fiddle. None of this prepared me for the kind of effort needed to play the violin -- even a little. It's just different - and more demanding - than anything I had tried before. I believe that playing any instrument really well is difficult; playing the violin reasonably well is very difficult. If you don't want to get a teacher, watching another violinist play would be a good idea. The books are good, but nothing substitutes for a good demonstration. Bad habits that you develop will be hard to break and will hinder your progress. I might add that I have never done anything more personally satisfying that trying to play the violin. Good luck.
  7. : at 60 i now have a strong desire to learn to play the : violin am i too old I started at 55 and have never regreted it in the least. I think learning to play this instrument is one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I regret that I didn't start sooner, but also, every day I regret that I don't make more time for the violin. People on this board are very helpful in answering questions, and in helping to keep me motivated. Good luck.
  8. : You need to use two different 'voices' for the two instruments. I'm not talking about MIDI voices, MusicTime has a Voice button in the upper left -- At least my Rhapsody does, and that's pretty much the same user interface. Thanks. That did it. I have used "voices" for lyrics, but never for music.
  9. I believe some of you are using the Music Time software. I am writing a part for two violins on the same staff. In one measure, I want the first violin to play a dotted half note and the second violin to play a quarter note tied to a half note(movement). How do I make the software do this? Thanks for your help.
  10. I have one and play it occasionally. It's nice for Christmas Carols; people seem to enjoy hearing it. Every note has its own string. Mine was made by a maker in Virginia. Let me hear if you want to know more. : I just heard about the folk instrument called the bowed psaltery. As a string player I was intrigued to find out about a bowed string instrument which I had never heard of before. Has anyone tried this instrument and what do you think of it?
  11. One more suggestion that may help. I always play with a fast response electronic tuner on the music stand. I can stop at any point and check the pitch of a note. Of course, you need to be sensitive to the possibility that you are playing out of tune and look at the tuner even if you seem to be in tune. You can get a line voltage converter at Radio Shack to power the tuner so you don't spend a fortune on batteries. If anyone can see problems with this appraoch, would appreciate hearing from you. : My intonation is quite bad, especially when playing fast passages. That's why cadenzas always drive me crazy. I also have terrible intonation when playing double-stops and when shifting positions. Does anyone have any suggestions that would help me develop better intonation? Thanks
  12. Thanks so much for this discussion. It helps to have someone discuss what works and what might work. I have a Kun pad which I like. Have been fooling around with placement on the violin, but now I think I'll try lowering the right side some relative to the left. Will let you know if any improvement. Thanks again. : In recent years I have had to warm up about 30 minutes before my violin vibrato becomes smooth and managable, and even then it has not been what it once was. This has not surprised me since I had suffered some pinched nerves in my neck eight years ago that affected my left hand and arm and left me with no vibrato (and some 3rd finger/4th finger confusion) for over a year. : So imagine my delight this past Saturday when I replaced my Kun shoulder rest with a new Wolf Forte Secondo shoulder rest and found that my vibrato was there with all its "glory" instantly from the beginning of practice for the first time in over many years. I also note that the violin seems definitely lounder to me (the player) with the Wolf (not that it needed to) - but I suspect that is due to the different angle and placement of the violin under my ear. Clearly the Wolf is changing the angle of the violin relative to my body in several ways and in just the right way for my previously learned vibrato motions to work properly again. (You younger people on the board may not realize this, but as one gets older, it is harder to expand the movements one is capable of, and vibrato seems to work best at one set of arm-angles only.) : I had bought the Wolf for two reasons, one because a colleague had just bought one - recommending it because it is supposedly less likely than the Kun to fall off at inopportune times, and because last Friday I was in Ifshin's shop that sells them for only $19.50. The improvement in vibrato is just an added benefit, worth the price of the new rest at least 100 times over. : This is not to recommend that the Wolf is the solution for every one, but only that a CHANGE IN ANGLE may help other players as well, and that a change in shoulder rest may help make that change. : I first used a shoulder rest 30 years ago (after playing without one for the first 30 years) and found that it strengthened and smoothed my vibrato. Before that I had just gone to a higher chinrest to achieve the angle and spacing improvements I needed to enable more freedom of motion for wrist and finger vibrato (the arm was taking care of itself). I tried many different shoulder rests. I had switched to a Kun (I now have all three types, but they seem to feel identical on an isntrument) as soon as it hit the market and was very happy with it, since it was better than for me than the Resonans I had been using. : I think the Wolf is lowering the right side of the violin a little, making it less of a stretch to the G string. It also seems to be angling the violin to the left a little, putting my chin slightly more to the left and putting the violin's neck, and hence my left hand a little more to the left - both changes I already knew I needed for smoother, easier wrist motion. Finally, all these changes do seem to have raised the instrument toward my left ear just a little, accounting for the noticeable increase in sound level. : So, if this sounds like it relates to you, I suggest you take your violin to a fiddle shop and try all the shoulder rests you can. : Andy
  13. I have (but less than before) the same problem. Someone on this board suggested a little book entitled "Viva Vibrato". It's about $5 from Shar and is really helpful. The exercises also helped me to stop escess left hand pressure. If you find something that works, I would love to hear about it. : I am having a tough time learning to have a good vibrato... any suggestions? Thanks
  14. This is really a nice idea. I am not a regular contributor, but I enjoy reading the posts and contribute when I can. I am a research chemist, worked fo 30 years for one of the large chemical companies, then retired to do things no one will pay me for. These include violin playing, handweaving, fishing, hiking, and other things. My musical background was the trumpet through college. I took up the giutar first, started flatpicking fiddle tunes, then tried the fiddle. I have been trying to learn to play the violin "properly" for about 4 years now and its rough going. The old body doesn't stretch as it once did. Thanks to you all for good discussions. tom-c : Hello, : Kinsel (below) was wondering how many maestronuts were professional symphonic/orchestral musicians. Perhaps it would be interesting for each of us presently using this BB to briefly identify ourselves. : A. Brown
  15. : Will someone please recommend the best (most user friendly) software for musical composition? I bought Music Time Deluxe and have been very pleased with it: easy to use; all the function I need, etc. It was recommended by other people on this board. I believe I paid $39.95 at a local software store.
  16. Get a copy of the little book "viva vibrato". Shar sells it, as well as others. Good luck - from one beginner to another. : I'm new to this Fingerboard thing but I already love all the information that is available here. I'm new to the violin. I'm 15 and have been playing for 1 and a half years. I am advancing pretty fast in my class though. I want to start learning vibrato soon (it doesn't hurt to start that too early does it?) but I have become annoyed at my fingers because they just don't want to move back and forth (it's kinda like patting my head and rubbing my stomach at the same time, only that's a whole lot easier). : I know that there are many experienced violin players on the fingerboard and I would love some easy tips on beginning vibrato. : Thanks alot for your help! : Brandon
  17. I vaguely remember someone mentioning on this board a small book named "Viva Vibrato". Can someone tell me who the author is? Thanks.
  18. : I figure that today is as good a day as any to come out of the closet: it's my 41st birthday and I want to learn to play the violin! I grew up listening to the Beatles, the Stones, you name it, but I have always been fascinated and passionate about the violin and am dying to learn to read music and, hopefully, learn to play (I have no musical education) Be honest- anyone kind enough to respond- is it possible for someone my age to accomplish more than "Twinkle Twinkle?" (My IQ is more than just lukewarm and I'm very disciplined.) I have come up with dead ends as far as locating an instructor - I wasn't even able to locate youth instructors in my area (I'm 2 hours northeast of Seattle). Any advice from one of you kind souls would be very, very much appreciated. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this message board. I plan to keep sifting through all the notes to see if I can locate something of assistance. Glad to hear from another beginner. I retired early in order to pursue some hobby's I really wanted to do, so started the violin at age 56. I think I have learned some things that may be helpful to another beginner. First of all, I think a teacher is essential, even if only once in a while. Bad habits will form in spite of your best efforts and they need to be spotted by someone who can give you specific suggestions for overcoming them. Pay attention to your body as you begin. I had a real problem with my left shoulder until I started some exercises and began to take more frequent breaks. Get the Galamian book and read it carefully. I can't do everything just as he suggests, but it gives me a good idea of what needs to happen. Finally, don't take it too seriously. The violin is great fun and can be very satisfying even if you never get to play in public. I have found that people are pretty impressed that I had the courage to try .... even when I fail. Send me an E-mail if you want to correspond with another beginner. Good luck.
  19. : : : I just received the book, "Viva Vibrato!" In doing some of the "polishing" exercises, it seems to me that you have to move your fingers at more of a slant towards the bridge than I am used to playing in. It has greatly improved my vibrato, but I wonder if I was holding my fingers incorrectly before. They were more at a 90 degree angle to the strings. Thanks for your help. : : Could you say a little more about what you mean by "slant toward the bridge"? I'm not sure I understand. : : Thanks. : Before when I played, my fingertips faced the air somewhere over my left shoulder...at almost a 90 degree angle to my fingerboard. The book gives exercises where you run your fingers up and down the strings or as they call it "polishing" the strings. This caused me to hold my hand in a different angle...where I had to change the direction of my fingers almost 45 degrees in the direction of my face or bridge. Before I started playing this way all the time, I wanted to make sure this was not an incorrect interpretation of what I should do. I hope this clears up my post. I understand now. Thank you.
  20. : I just received the book, "Viva Vibrato!" In doing some of the "polishing" exercises, it seems to me that you have to move your fingers at more of a slant towards the bridge than I am used to playing in. It has greatly improved my vibrato, but I wonder if I was holding my fingers incorrectly before. They were more at a 90 degree angle to the strings. Thanks for your help. Could you say a little more about what you mean by "slant toward the bridge"? I'm not sure I understand. Thanks.
  21. I could sure use some advice with a problem that is driving me crazy. I started playing the violin at age 56 and have been playing about 4 years now. Progress has been pretty good but I still cannot play very long without an ache in my left forearm. If I play more than an hour, I can get a very painful shoulder as well. I have trouble reaching the G string particularly, and have to strain to reach without using a lot of finger pressure. My teacher has observed me on many occasions and so far nothing has really helped. I feel as if I need to stretch the tendons in the left arm to reach a little further without straining. Is this common to "older" beginners? Any suggestions for minimizing the problem or, maybe, overcoming it completely? Thanks for your help.
  22. : Am trying to locate a copy of a very old song which starts out with the words "When your old wedding ring was new..." Does anyone know of a good source for old sheet music or songs? There are lots of old songs at www.acronet.net/ ~robokopp/usat.html. I didn't see the one you are interested in listed in the first line index. Regards
  23. : :the fiddler's fake book is a good one. : However, most Irish music is tuned the same : old way, as is american fiddle music, GDAE : and that's the same as classical tuning : M If your library has a copy, take a look at "THe Fiddle Book" by Marion Thede. She discusses tunings and bowing styles as well. It also has some good tunes.
  24. If you haven't seen it already, look at "The Fiddle Book" by Marion Thede. It was published by Oak Publications - first printing in 1967. She talks about bowing and indicates slurs on quite a number of tunes. She also discusses the "strange tunings" that fiddlers use. That contributes to the sound. There are probably other books as well. Tom C. : Do any of the fiddlers on the board know of a video that demonstrates the various bowing techniques? : I am a classical player who loves the sound of fiddling, and want to spend time this summer exploring it. I hope to find a teacher near Lake George NY. : I have several recordings, so I can hear how it should sound. : I have numerous books of fiddle tunes, with pictures to describe how it should look. : But when I play them, they don't sound "fiddled". : Do any of the videos out there concentrate on the bowing techniques? : I appreciate any recommendations. : Louise
  25. : Recently, I started to learn the violin at age 54. : I would appreciate some advice on tone or pitch : training. Currently, I leave my electronic tuner : on the music stand and occasionally glance at it. I : really like this instument an am determined to : learn to play it the best that I can. Read your note with some interest as I also started the violin a little late .... at age 56. I find the electronic tuner on the music stand to be helpful, although I always tune relative to the E-string, which I bring into tune with the electronic tuner. If your interested in corresponding about the trials and tribulations of an older beginner, send me an E-mail. I am currently working my way through the MAZAS book 1, opus 36. Am also trying to work my way through a concerto named Accolay, edited by George Perlman. Maybe we can start an "old guy's" forum. Tom
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