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Karla

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Everything posted by Karla

  1. Karla

    Austen

    Sorry for the OT post. This message is for Austen who has a full inbox. Please call me ASAP or send me mail with your phone. I need to speak with you.
  2. My scale time is also my "technique" time. Scales are the one thing I do that isn't really musical so I am not tempted to worry about musicality, phrasing and all that other stuff. This leaves my mind relatively free to focus on keeping the bow straight, hand (both of them position), tone quality, etc. The same applies to my scale practice on the guitar. I often hear people complain about scales saying that they are "brain dead" exercises and I look at them and reply, "uh.. That's' the whole point" If, however, you are bored when doing scales, then you are not making use of your time wisely. OT: Austen. If you read this PLEASE call me or contact me ASAP. Your mailbox is full so I can't write you, I can't find your new number and I cannot even go to see you 'cause I don't even know where you live. (GRIN)
  3. Holy cow this is cool. How long have you been playing? You can download the SW called, "The Amazing Slow Downer" and use it to change the tempo of the midi file without changing the pitch.
  4. You're quite welcome. This workshop is the best money I've spent in a long time in musical education. It has really helped push me along in my practice routine. Here is a review from another person who downloaded it.. I just finished watching the Scott Kritzer video, and I did this in two sessions. The whole atmosphere of the video is as if you are there in the audience. Scott comes across as Scott. It is very relaxed and informal, with occasional questions from the participants. The information is changing the way I approach my practice, in a good way. Scott covers how to organize your practice, and how to organize your pieces. He talks a lot about extracting the interesting or difficult bits from the repertoire pieces you're working on, and about putting those bits into different "bins" that fit into the parts of your practice schedule. When you sit down to practice, there should be no question about *what* you're going to practice, because if you've taken the time to organize as he suggests, you will have a firm schedule of what you have to accomplish. There is no "practice scales for 2 hours a day" kinds of advice. He tells you to take *your* repertoire pieces and extract the scalar passages, or arpeggio passages, for example, and make a 1-minute or 2-minute part of your practice out of each one. Then on to the next thing. I don't think it would be possible to get bored or confused with this approach. I think this video is best watched after reading the included text file, and is probably much more valuable the second time through. With all that said, I think this is an excellent value and I intend to go through it again and use it for my practice. Media Quality The video and sound quality are adequate, but with many noticeable digital artifacts and imperfections. This in no way detracts from the usefulness of the presentation. The entire 79MB download only took me about 20 minutes or so, and if there were the option to download a larger, higher quality file, I would probably prefer that.
  5. I recently attended a workshop on practicing that I found to be VERY useful. It detailed the concept of organizing your work into categories or bins and helped make it possible for me to manage more than 20 pieces of repertoire to performance level. This was done by a classical guitarist but the information is useful to all musicians. I found out yesterday that he video taped the workshop and has it available for download on his website. I highly recommend this information to anyone who is interested in learning how to make their practice more efficeint. http://store.miramont.com/merchant.ihtml?pid=86&step=4
  6. I think this is a trickier situation as when the word gets out that all the students are on remedial it could cause bad feelings. I, personally, would not wish to be in this boat but if I was I would stick to my guns and put the students all on remedial work as gently as I could of course. It sucks to be on remedial but it sucks worse to suck as a violinist.
  7. as a beginner the ease of use is more important to me than the tone that is lost (almost negligable btw to me) in using them. I use 4 fine tuners in a built in tailpiece and see me doing that for quite some time.
  8. Quote: True, "Music theory" is to help one's understanding the structure of music (singing, orchestra, harmony, keys, etc...) of general nature. If you are a string player, not a composer or a teacher, I do not think you need to know as much as a composer,or a conductor, or a teacher. Otherwise, you lose your focus.(e.g. a note G is in theory , just a "note". As a player, you should focus on how to play a "beautiful note" G ,execution aspect of the G ). That is what I meant. /yuen/ As a player a G note is NOT just a note to focus on playing beautifully if (for example) it is a 7th in the scheme of a piece. If it is a 7th then you might think of it as a tense note that you know will resolve back to home and as such you might want to also add some dynamics to undercore the tension of that G note as well as just play it beautifully. Every measure in a piece has these types of clues in them if you understand theory. Music theory is ESSENTIAL for a player if that player wants to really play music as opposed to just notes IMHO. I am blessed by wonderful teachers who guide me quite masterfully in this area.
  9. I am currently undergoing jusr such an overhaul. I think that as an student it is critical to have conversations with the teacher about the importance of good posture and technique. Once I (as the student) undertand how this affects my long term health and playability I am more able to swallow the medicine of remediation. I expect my teachers to be upfront with me about what they are doing and why and to communicate it in such a way that I still stay encouraged and motivated. My guitar teachers have remedial programs that we students enter into now and again and it is a common practice so the stigma is not so bad. Personally I think taking and changing things one item at a time would really prolong the process of repair if not make it impossible. I would guess that if the student were inteligent and mature enough at all to understand what remediation is and how things work that I would have a conversation with them about it and let them decide which way to go. All students will choose to play the best that they can and to get there in the most efficient way over struggling with changes and crippling technique for a longer period.
  10. So just an FYI to ad to this since I am the one that began it all (technicall speaking) and since someone ask... I rarely use the tuner during practice and I don't recomend that it is used all the time. I use it during my scale work sometimes to make sure that I am starting correctly and to check up on what I think is right. It's good for fine tuning and it is also good for setting people who are very confused about relative pitch more straight. Other than that I don't use it too much. It would drive me insane.... I have enough to worry about with bow hold and bow movement, etc to constantly also check in with pitch outside of my ear. The other thing to say here is that both Austen and I are using Korg tuners but we also have a device on them that hooks to the violin and measures the pitch via frequency instead of sound. I think the response and accuracy is better than what you experience by using just the tuner alone. It is a really cool device.
  11. Just an FYI, both of my teachers tell me that I am a "natural" violin player. I started just a year ago when I turned 40. I don't believe at all that being a natural has to do with age. It has more to do with physical awareness and intelligence and adults can have this just as kids. I studied Alexander Technique and meditation in my 30s specifically to develop these things in me. All that said, I still s*ck at the violin and am on week 2 of Twinkle with this new teacher!!! Having natural ability in anything is only wasted without lots and lots of work.
  12. I am studying the classical guitar as an ammy and do about 2 hours of practice a night. As such I have developed an amazing routine that allows me to keep about 20 pieces ready for performance. I keep this document next to my music stand and check mark the stuff as I go through it. To me one of the coolest features of this routine is how the repertoire is put into BINS on page 2. These bins give very specific focus to a piece during a pracice and keeps me from just playing without focus. http://www.kfisherx.com/Guitar/HowTo/Guita...%20Schedule.doc I only practice the violin for about 30 minutes but I use the same idea for that. I just started with a new teacher though so I am only doing 1 piece at this time.
  13. I was thinking I would not get these as I can sight sing the things in Volume 1 but am now questioning this. I am an adult beginner. Will the recordings somehow help me? Do all the the recordings have piano to play along with? Much appreciation... -Karla
  14. One of the really important things to remember here is that discomfort is a good thing. In life when we feel discomfort in something it is usually a sign that we are stretching our boundaries and growing. I started music lessons at 39 years of age after having reached a sucesful career as a sw engineer. I cannot tell you how uncomfortable it felt to me to sit in front of a teacher with a strange musical instrument in my hand and know NOTHING. I almost quit several times for the discomfort. Even today, when I go to open mics with my guitar and join other adults, I always have about 9 years LESS experience than anyone else. At first I felt really awkward about this, but I found a happy place in all of this discomfort. I play my simple pieces with respect and love and I eventually have a great deal of fun. The thing that keeps me going and the thing that you too should focus on is the music. I mean at the very core why do we want to learn instruments in the first place? If your motivation is to be a rock star, a super star or to show off then you will never make it through this. If, however, your motivation is the music, then it becomes easier to push past your discomfort and into the next level. It is easy to serve the music and hard to serve our egos. The music will never let you down.
  15. I use the korg chromatic which is very responsive but to get even better results I have purchased also a little device that attaches to the instrument and measures by vibration instead of sound. The response is super quick using that and I can do this in a noisey room if needed. The two pieces together run just under 50 bucks if I am not mistaken.
  16. As one of the participants of that other thread I will let you in on my little secret. I just started with a new teacher and I am starting Suzuki book 1!!! So the pace that you go also has to do largely with how in tune your teacher is to building your foundation. I felt as if my foundation work was lacking a little and that I was moving along too quickly and this new teacher feels the same. Since that post, I have developed a vibrato and am no longer allowed to play it!!! So now I go from Cannon in D to Twinkle and that suites me just fine. It isn't a race. It is a journey and enjoyment of the journey is what it is all about.
  17. Quote: Since Karla's intervention, this thread has taken a whole new twist. One hardly knows where to begin so here's a stream of consciousness. 1. Austen teacher is just beginning to learn the violin herself. How does that work? 2. I haven't a clue what C# should sound like (not having perfect pitch) but I certainly know how it should sound relative to the preceeding note. Just a point of clarification. Karla is NOT Austen's teacher. I am his foster "Auntie" and friend. I am also a musical mentor as I am a classical guitarist. I started studying the violin just a year ago. Does this make things clearer and a little less painful? Austen recently made some changes in his viola education and now studies under a real professional orchestra member and is doing quite well with him. He is on his way to a major audition so things are shaping up quite quickly for him. About point number 2 GOOD FOR YOU! I can tell you that when I started this whole thing with Austen that he could NOT tell you what a note sounded like preceding another note. He was very consistently flat in his repertoire and in his scales. Someone actually told me that they thought he was tone deaf. I quickly learned that he was not even a little tone deaf. He knew exactly what he thought he knew. Nobody ever really slowed him down and taught him the real correct notes. Using the tuner and singing he was able to learn what a C# is supposed to sound like and now knows it just by hearing the proceeding note. You see with the right amounts of BAD practice and BAD training (such that you often get in school orchestras, etc) a student can actually learn the WRONG pitches to the scales or even (as was the case I believe with Austen) learn to NOT listen to intonation or even listen to themselves at all. This happens all the time in the classical guitar world. People have NO CLUE what they sound like when they are playing and are always shocked (to the negative) when they hear a recording of themselves and listen more actively. If you have never recorded yourself on the instrument and listened back to it, you should. It is very eye opening. To make it even more fun play it back at half speed so you can really hear your errors and bad tone.
  18. I don't have a lot of experience with music and such but I am inclined to disagree with you based on the fact that I have 3 different music teachers who ALL make the students sing in order to see if the student has an aurel awareness of the piece being played. 2 of these teachers are guitar teachers so it isn't even about specific intonation. The singing has nothing to do with your voice tonally (AKA, how well you sing) and everything to do with basic pitch. They don't care if you croack or squeek, they just want to hear if you have aurel awareness. In Austen's case, it was very helpful for me to know that he really thought that the note was supposed to sound like that. He was simply unaware of the correct pitch. As soon as he was made aware of the correct pitch he made HUGE leaps in his playing.
  19. I feel as though I should reply to this thread as I am responsible for starting Austen on the tuner. When I first met Austen and heard him play he played largly out of tune. He could not play a major scale (if I recall he played mostly flat). I was a bit perplexed about this as he had been in lessons for some time and in various orchestras. In order to help me understand what the problem was I asked him to sing the major scale to me. Actually I did a more baby step than that. I played a note on my guitar and asked him to sing the next one. Low and behold, he sang it flat. So the intonation problems where not in his ear or hearing but in his understanding of what the next note really was. This was a good thing! So I pulled out the tuner and we walked through the scale, singing and playing IN TUNE several times. The next time I saw Austen he could play more in tune!! I too am a beginner violinist and use the tuner often to check on a note during my practice. I don't play every note to the tuner and I know for a fact that young Austen doesn't do that either (he doesn't have the patience) I think using a tuner in this way is no more of a crutch than playing with other instruments to check your intonation. Yes, it is slightly more visual, but I don't think any more harmful. I would venture to guess that Austen plays way more without the tuner than with. It is actually a PIA to play with the tuner for each note....
  20. Bach Lute Suites played by Breams, Williams, Parkening and Stephen Schmidt. (can you ever get enough of Bach Lute Suites?)
  21. I generally practice in my PJs. My practice time is either first thing in the morning (technical) or very late in the evening (performance) PJs rule for practice.
  22. Larry, And now we have been officially introduced. It is my pleasure dear Sir. See you around but please be careful. I am told the pantalones from Robinson May will give you a rash.
  23. Quote: Karla my dear--- Help you? Defend you? We haven't even been introduced. Please. As I say, I call 'em as I see 'em. End of story. Hi Guta... If I might quote you earlier in this thread you said to M. the following.... Quote: Recent quotes from Michael Darnton: "probably why you didn't get a response the first time"--- "You appear to be the fly for which the flypaper of salesmanship was designed", re Karla: " if, having learned how to play her violin, and developed some standards and tastes in the matter..." Many of your postings contain these kinds of remarks, which are sarcastic and hurtful to the people you direct them at. Why do you do this, and what are you so angry about? Do you feel that an apology might be in order? Both of the people who you feel were owed an apology said that you were wrong. The remarks that you chose to pick out of threads and display as sarcastic and hurtful to the people they were delivered to were simply Neither. So if you "call 'em like you see 'em" without respect to how you deliver your own message and you are wrong could it be YOU that perhaps owes an apology? I don't know... Just a thought...
  24. Quote: First problem is that we do not know if Karla made any bad purchases before acquiring this instrument on ebay or whether she purchased other instruments that were returned as unsatisfactory. The cost of bad purchases (violins set aside that are unsatisfactory and cannot be returned) and the costs of return shipment ($25-$50) of each on-approval instruments must be added to the $650 purchase price. We do not know if that is the case or not. Let me help you with that. The answer is NO I had not made any other bad purchases. The total cost of the violin was 475 and that included shipping which was done very well. Quote: Appraisals are typically made for twice the retail value THAT A VIOLIN SHOP can get for insurance purposes. So this $1,400 to $4,000 violin is realistically a $750 to $2000 violin IN A VIOLIN SHOP. An individual cannot get these prices because of the limitations with selling a single instrument out of ones house. Working through a violin shop requires paying a commission of between 15 and 50%. So the violin, appraised at $1,400, that can realistically be retailed for $750, will net the owner $630 or so if and when it sells. I don't get how this point helps your argument. So I get 630 when I sell when I spent 750, OR I could go and spend 3K and sell for 630. And that is better how? Quote: Appraisals are almost meaningless to players because the value of the instrument is established not on tone but the structural integrity of the instrument and its pedigree. This is EXACTLY why I choose to buy from an Ebay seller that I trust. The cool thing about Jesse's violins is that he has them played by some of his symphony player friends and gets them tonally described. Since these players have no interest in the sell the descriptions are generally right on. Quote: The real test of claims such as Karla’s would be if great deals can be had by her with consistency—or is the good buy just luck and will be followed by bad purchases. I would be on ebay day and night if I thought I could buy $4000 violins for $650. I am supremely confident that I could get the same type of bargin from this seller again and again. That said I probably will not as it is and always has been my intention to purchase an American made instrument from the local instument show. Quote: Like all business sectors, violin shops vary in price and integrity. When I upgrade my instrument I will go to a Midwestern violin shop, probably in MI, that has 200 or so violins and compare and contrast a dozen instruments in my price range. I will take my current instrument to compare them with as a control for room acoustics. When I leave the store I will know that I have purchased an excellent SOUNDING instrument for the money, and that no repairs will be necessary, probably not even strings. I will offer the dealer 90 percent of the asking price and they will probably accept my offer. This is how a player should buy a violin. You see I accept that what you do to purchase a violin is okay. I shall not be so pompus as to suggest that what I do is how "a player should buy a violin" I am merely suggesting that ebay is not all bad. One can still find decent bargins on it if they use common sense and their brains. Many people do not have this ability and for them the violin stores will always exist. I too pay more than I should for many things for the convinence of the customer service and the instant gratification. That is an okay way to shop too.
  25. Guta... First let me say that what Michael said about me was not in the least bit offensive so you are not helping me at all in your defense of me. I have actually had the pleasure of meeting him at a GAL convention and so he is correct about me and the classical guitar. I have a world class classical guitar and very high standards for that instrument. With respect to the violin, it is my intention to purchase an American Made violin at the handmade instrument show one day to upgrade my ebay purchase. I have no limit on the amount that I can spend and as such intend to buy based on my refined taste on the instrument. I think with the violin that one must spend some time really playing and getting a feel for their style before making such a purchase. So it was my plight early on in my studies to find a violin with a quality that would help me to step into a new handmade instrument from around here. Right now when an accomplished player is on my ebay purchase the sound of that instrument beats any of the ones in the room. It really is quite remarkable on many levels. Now I could have gone into a violin shop and spent 3K or so for a similar instrument but it wasn't necesarry and I can guarantee that I could go out and get the same type of a deal again. I deal with Jesse on ebay and I have come to learn that when Jesse says a violin has a certain tonal quality that he is pretty close to being right on. He gives a money back offer and is easy to deal with. In the case of someone like me who is a beginner who needs something to play until they have developed finer tastes or different tastes (I may like a bit brighter sound in my next one for example) I say that ebay is a ideal place to shop.
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