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pandora

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Everything posted by pandora

  1. Jacob, do you mind sharing what you used as a model for this? Reason I'm asking - it looks to me a lot like one I'm playing in for a friend/maker right now, and I'm curious if I'm actually seeing what I think I'm seeing, or only deluding myself that my eye's getting better...
  2. From the original post: "My best friend's daughter is an accomplished high schooler looking seriously at college auditions in a year or two. She's a lovely and highly intelligent young women, terrific work ethic, soulful but somewhat understated player. Been playing full-blown standard repertoire for years." I don't know who brought upt the image of a 12 year old, but it sure wasn't me. Lost in the shuffle, I guess. Or maybe "standard repertoire" is more of a player's phrase than a makers? Apologies if so, I'm not always sure of my vocabulary on this side of the business.
  3. Because I live six states away? If we all lived in the same town, this whole situation wouldn't exist. I didn't realize the state her instrument was in until right before the end of my visit. She's in one place, I'm in another, the better shops in a third. Pfeh. Frustrating.
  4. 12 years? Nope, daughter is in high school, looking seriously at college auditions in the not-so-distant future, and has been playing standard rep for years. She's performed many of the big flashy solos (think Lalo), currently nailing the Bach Chaconne, excels at the long drawn-out soulful Medelssohn-type passages. She really does need a good fiddle.
  5. Goodness, this whole thread has become quite the continuing education for me. Thank you, gentleman. If anyone is still following along, this is where I reiterate: NONE of the parties involved are acting shady or presumptuous. I trust both of the shop owners where Daughter has recently looked at violins, I trust that Teacher is acting in good faith, that there are no ulterior motives or comissions or any such b.s. anywhere. And also, Daughter really is a damn good player and truly needs faster/bigger response. (some of you luthiers have deeply cynical natures) It's more, I suspect, that parents/teacher each think the other knows more about setup and pricing than either of them do -- they're avoiding lecturing or questioning each other out of respect -- and opportunities are (perhaps) falling through the cracks. Now, also to reitierate the primary question: good reading matter where??? Michael's chapters are too much, the "What setup is" pages on places like Johnson Bros. are too little. Who's written the definitive smart-civilian article on levels of setup work? Heck. I really might just buy the thing myself, I've always liked it -- and then show up with it on your doorstep, Michael. Course, I'll prob. have to sell my own instrument to do it. Anyone want to buy a nice Master Art Juzek?
  6. Because daughter is a highschooler with a tight schedule, they've already planned what days they're driving to visit the bigger shops, because Teacher has said so and I'm not Teacher, because they've already figured out the money and there's no budget line in there for "throwing $500 away on something that's not good enough". Because they're German? They're willing to take plenty of time to listen and try out violins, that's not a problem, it's deviating from The Plan. And I just look like a jerk, flouncing in from out of town and questioning things. And we're all friends -- Mom, teacher, and I, which makes it harder. But if Teacher doesn't know enough to say "get a setup", why should she get to say "buy"? And if it was "set up" a year or two back, how come none of them know that wolf tones can be addressed, or that four fine tuners can change things? Aggk. This is actually more of a "Dear Abby" social situation than a luthier problem...
  7. Interesting replies so far. Not what I expected. I was thinking a rousing "What are they thinking, of course they should set the current one up before ditching it!". To be really really clear, I really like this instrument myself. It's engaging and even, with the right mix of crunch and glide. It's just not concert-hall huge in the way everyone seems to expect young people to be huge, and it's not QUITE immediate in response to fast ornaments/bow articulation. And yes there's a wolf from F-G# on the upper octave G string. For a prewar Roth, it's exactly what I'd expect (and value). So to me, it's a no-brainer: teacher says it's too slow/small? Fergoshsakes put a new bridge/soundpost/tailpiece on and mess around a little before you ditch it -- shoulda done it when she started playing the good stuff, anyway. And if you want to be smart, have the setup work done by the shop owner you're most likely to want to trade it to if you do sell. Heck, maybe I'll buy it.
  8. Sorry, I should have been more clear: the Roth is definitely EH, full sized, a 1927 "Stradivarius 1718" copy, which makes it a "IV R" model. And I'm not suggesting bassbar/regraduation work, just a new and truly fitted tp/sp/bridge. Michael, I was hoping you'd show up. If I don't find a good short article, I'm going to print out your chapters and highlight the core sentences. I'm one of those teachers; I whittle down the rental choices to three and let the kid pick, I go through new shipments of asian instruments, pick out one and call my adult beginners and say "Buy this one!"... but my students all live in a world with one or two fewer digits on the tag than yours, I suspect, so I don't know how much that counts. >probably rejected the good ones because they don't sound like her old violin Yup. Already happened. There was one that was "weird" because "every note sounded different from every other -- not uneven, just different". Which to me is terrific, sparkly. But I can't say anything because I'm the friend, not the teacher or mom. And too opinionated.
  9. Short version: two questions: 1) Is it possible to sell a poorly setup 1920's Roth for 8K, buy a "better sounding" best-setup-possible living-maker violin for 10K, and actually go down a level in quality? 2) Could any of you point me toward good reading matter (for civilians) on setups, also basic "How to shop for a good violin" guides, in case my dear friends are in danger of doing this? Long version (warning, novel ahead) : I'm a teacher/player, not a luthier, but I've tried hard to educate myself. I can tell a Strad from a Guarneri model across the room and know the difference between open seams and soundpost cracks, but that's about it. My best friend's daughter is an accomplished high schooler looking seriously at college auditions in a year or two. She's a lovely and highly intelligent young women, terrific work ethic, soulful but somewhat understated player. Been playing full-blown standard repertoire for years. Tends not to question her elders. Teacher is a good player and pedagogue, warm and supportive. Mom and Dad are intelligent and educated. Mom played back in the day; daughter now plays the same 1927 EH Roth IVr. It's in excellent (visual) condition, cared for well as far as humidity/general handling. Teacher has said the Roth is no longer acceptable -- just isn't big or quick enough, and has a wolfy zone about an octave up the G string. Last week we all went violin shopping in nearby big city. Parents have set a 10K cap on the new one; she looked at instruments from 7-12K and brought home a bunch to try. One well regarded dealer gave the Roth a quick look and said he'd probably list it for 8K -- but also mentioned she may want to keep it as a spare, especially since they're appreciating in value. I hadn't realized Mom&Dad were planning on selling until that moment. They are, directly to friends, for 7K. Just before leaving I took a look at the Roth myself. Teacher's right: it's a little slow, small, and wolfy. BUT: It also has FOUR BIG HONKING FINE TUNERS on the tailpiece. And the tailpiece is original to Grandpa's purchase in 1979. Mom says "The setup was checked two years ago and the local guy said everything was fine" . She doesn't remember paying much recently for a soundpost or bridge, so they might be ancient, too. She doesn't remember Daughter ever going to the local shop and working on setup, or seeing anyone about the wolf zone. Strings are whatever's popular amongst high schoolers these days. This is making me twitch. Buying a new violin doesn't make sense to me unless they know the old one's maxxed-out, setup wise. And selling an 8K Roth for a 10K Something-Else just doesn't seem like enough of a jump to be worth it, unless they find something with no label and/or repairs, where that 10,000 is going for just tone, no provenance or investment. (On top of this, when she tried the better instruments she found many disconcertingly "scratchy" and the strings "too far apart". Nobody's talked with her about the way bow noise can be magnified on bigger, faster violins, or that her own bridge is pretty darn low/flat.) I've poked at the situation, but…Mom and Dad have talked a lot with Teacher about things like whose shop to visit, what demo passages to play; they've talked a lot between themselves about the financial planning. Anything I say just sounds like I'm challenging their foresight or labor, or the teacher's credibility. They're accepting as gospel that Teacher's right in saying "buy" -- but Teacher has never questioned the four tuners, ancient bridge/tp/sp, or suggested simple wolf-eradication possibilities. (I think Teacher is also more financially comfortable, maybe). Tell me if I'm off base? And point me toward good articles if I'm not? They're all academics. If I can find something for them to read, that talks about how much setup can matter at this level, it'd be a great help. Also any guide to violin pricing, how living vs dead, single maker vs shop etc can affect price. Sorry for the wall o'text, but I'm eating my heart out a little over this.
  10. I can't download youtube at my school office (it's blocked, or the students would clog the works with WAY too much video/audio frolicking and not enough research) but I can see it's the Bothy Band - and you're not the only one to be hooked by those gents!
  11. In the words of NPR, "Luciano Pavarotti and James Brown, united again." And somehow I think the great one would've enjoyed that gentle bit of humor. Thank you for all of the music, maestro.
  12. Alexandertechniquealexandertechniquealexandertechnique.....barring that, videotape yourself from behind, wearing shorts and a tank top, and find out what you're actually doing. And I'll bet that you're clamping your chin down too hard, for starters.
  13. quote: Originally posted by: bean_fidhleir O'Neill's also has the problem that the man who transcribed the tunes was classically trained with no experience of trad fiddling. So he did the transcriptions of many tunes in technically-correct-but-not-lifelike ways, making the book harder to use than it should be. ALL music is technically correct but not lifelike. That's what the PERSON is for. The things that make Joshua Bell's way of during the Brahms' different from Sterns' aren't in the music either. If you want to play the tunes in O'Neils and sound like a fiddler and not a violinist, you have to already know how to fiddle. So go down to the pub, get yourself a pint and start listening/playing... (PS: the other problem with transcribing tunes: if part of fiddling is playing it different every time, which time do you pick? One writes down the bare bones only, and leaves room.)
  14. The original edition of O'N's is great, BUT: There's one version that has ONLY a divided, categorical index, sectioned into tune-types with no master-alphabetical list. Which means if YOU play a tune as a reel and don't know that it was originally a hornpipe, you'll think it's not in there. But do get the book. There're many undiscovered gems in there, and you can't sit in an easy chair/drink coffee/flip through the pages of a laptop -- and you can't scribble notes in the margins of a screen re "interesting tune to look at sometime."
  15. I tried gut again recently and had a real light-bulb moment regarding fiddle styling/ornamentation -- a lot of the stuff I do routinely in some of the the traditions I play, I have to "make it happen" when I'm on synthetic strings but on gut it just about plays itself. Those bow cuts EVOLVED on gut strings and make TONS more sense when they're played on the original equipment (and I can hear all of the baroque folks nodding and saying "duh" !). For the hybrid violinist/fiddlers out there, you owe it to yourself to check it out.
  16. Re: feedback howls: you won't get them if 1) you keep the mike from pointing directly at the f-hole, and 2) you know how to say, in all languages, "Is the board all the way down? Please make sure the gain is all the way down before I turn this thing on, it's a hotter mike than you think." I can say this in (bad) Spanish, (really bad) French, and (passable) Russian.
  17. Ditch the fishman and get a nice little condenser mike (I like my Audio-Technica) with a mini-gooseneck mount -- and clamp it on the chinrest, not the tailpiece! Start with the mike pointed just behind the bass foot of the bridge then experiment. I'd be willing to bet the harshness is the fishman, it just doesn't do it for some violins.
  18. An actor must memorize the script first, then the characterization gets added on. A musician must learn to produce the notes accurately and at the right time - but it is the right hand that speaks. The left hand notes are the words, the vocabulary, the right hand bowing is the inflection, the tone of voice. Just because one thing must come first doesn't mean it's the most important in the end.
  19. I'm still waiting for that cake recipe...
  20. Actually, pigs have a very keen sense of smell (remember truffles?) and probably use that to find acorns.
  21. Aw jeez, now you've got that tune stuck in my head .... baDum,baDum.....bum.......bum................baDum,baDum.........bum..........bu m.......... BWAAdaDAdaDAdaDWeeda,DWeeda,DWeeda,DWeeda,Dweedadabumbum....dweedadabumbum....
  22. This is somewhat off-topic, but if you're following this thread because you're into wood, building things, and classic proportions, you might want to read Jonathan Hale's "The Old Way of Seeing" (if you haven't already). It wasn't just the ancient Greeks who built Fibonacci series and golden ratios into their buildings; I'm surrounded by them here in my mostly-18th c. New England village. Read it and you'll start seeing regulating lines EVERYwhere...it's kinda fun.
  23. Maybe kasha (buckwheat) for the Eastern European ones?
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