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High Strung

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  1. Hello, Wow, been a long time since I've been here. Nice to return. I am very anxiously searching for Irish musicians and/or sessions for a recording project on which I am feverishly working. If anyone here can help me, I would be more grateful than you can imagine! I'm looking for musicians in the following areas: Toronto/Barrie/Innisfil areas of Southern Ontario Vancouver area of British Columbia. These needn't be great musicians, but average players who can spin out a natural sounding tune. Any type of instrument is welcome and sought, for I need many. Even if you can only supply me with the name of someone twice removed from a real contact, I'll do anything to find someone. My area is more filled with Old Time and Ottawa Valley types (love the dancing...not the fiddle). Anyway, if anyone has info, PLEASE share. The reward is playing on a professional CD and getting involved in a newly unique project (secret until ready to be released.) To any helpers...THANK YOU!!!
  2. Oh, I agree with you. If she feels uncomfortable, for any reason, she should not continue with the lessons. I'm only suggesting that we not take everything said for its entire worth, since many things are often taken the wrong way very easily, and that we not insult the teacher with unfair claims. It seems to be developing that he is some sort of cruel man, which is probably not the case. I do think, however, that we can all agree that if the student is not happy and the joy is suffering, changes must be made. Anyway, I was just trying to add a little objectivity. By the way, fiddlefaddle, am I usually a "high-key" responder? Are you saying that I am OPINIONATED!!!! Shucks, I'm flattered (blush). I wouldn't assume anyone here even knew I existed!
  3. May I just take a moment to say that we cannot condemn this man as a terrible teacher without proof. Perhaps he is a fine teacher and the poster is simply a sensitive person who clashes with the teacher's personality. I don't believe it is fair to say that the teacher is "abusive", either physically or verbally without having been in his classroom during a lesson. There isn't anyone who would condone an abusive teacher, but we have no proof that such a thing is happening here. The point is, we don't know the circumstances here enough to make any sort of incredibly knowledgeable answer, and therefore, I believe we should simply say that if the personality between the teacher and student is incompatible, then perhaps it is best to leave. That is only for the student to ultimatley decide, and jumping to conclusions based on one post doesn't help the student make that decision any better. Let's please be kind and logical to both the student and teacher who has no defence. To put it simply, we can't be sure of the man's teaching style. He may be wonderful to some students who match his personality or he may be a bad teacher. We simply don't know and shouldn't make unsubstantiated judgments.
  4. Do whatever is necessary to retain your passion. Leave if need be. If you're playing at a five year level (according to your previous teacher), is it absolutely necessary for you to continue with a teacher? Could you teach yourself for awhile? Is there ANY other teacher that you could go to...and do a lot of checking around before you say a definitive "no". By the way, what sort of music do you play? Either that or just don't sweat it with this new teacher. Go to each lesson aiming to take away whatever is taught, listen to the comments you think are fair and ignore the ones that you feel insulted by. Try to make the situation as bright as you can and take away whatever you can. Focus on the benefits. Beneath it all, is that teacher actually teaching you good things? Is there much to learn from this teacher? If so, just learn a technique and say "thanks" and walk out with nothing else but having learned that technique. Simply don't absorb that which makes you uncomfortable. Also, don't discount this teacher's comments. Perhaps your last teacher had lower standards. Perhaps this new teacher is very perfectionistic and demands only the best from students (which can be a good thing.) Perhaps you should give it a bit of time...it takes a while to transfer teaching styles from children to adults...the teaching might improve. Are you sure your playing is really as good as your last teacher said? Is this new teacher your first second opinion to what your last teacher said? Are you simply having to get used to this new teaching style and getting upset too quickly? Were you expecting a teacher just like your last one and now are disappointed? Was your last teacher soft and your new one more gruff and exacting? Both kinds can be good, but there is a period where you have to adjust. Perhaps you were built up by your last teacher and feel torn down by this one. This new one may make you REALLY work and improve. Who knows, he may end up being a great teacher. After all, he doesn't make you feel like you can't play, you allow him to. If you learn how not to allow him to by changing your attitude, you might be in a rather good situation. You see, there are a lot of things you can do. There are many choices you can make. Make your enjoyment of the instrument a priority and then see how you can attain that. Sometimes you have to change the situation, and sometimes you have to change your attitude in order to make that situation better. Do what you feel is right, but make sure it's for the right reasons.
  5. Thank you all. The reason I would like exercises in the higher positions is because I don't play music that ever uses them and therefore learning (memorizing) them could only come from exercises. Of course I can understand that once you've learned to shift it's just a matter of learning "where" and the "fingering positions", but because I don't play up there and because it's rather difficult to REALLY learn the fingering simply by doing scales and not putting the notes into context...exercises would help me greatly. That's my reasoning!
  6. What about the positions above the seventh position? Thank you for your suggestions.
  7. I'm looking for a book that has exercises that teach the higher positions separately. This means, it works on the third position alone, the fifth alone, the others alone...and then perhaps puts them all together. Is there such an exercise book out there? If not, what is the best exercise book that deals with higher positions and teaches them porductively? Thank you for any suggestions.
  8. Rosin, that is exactly the point I was trying to make. Heifetz did it naturally in one take, not with doctored recordings that heightened his abilities. He was honest.
  9. I can help but think of all the times I've heard musicians say, "people don't notice half the mistakes as the player." In such a case, I suppose a musician could spend weeks perfecting mistakes that even the audience wouldn't notice, thereby cleaning the music too such a tampered extent that it begins to sound almost super-human, and false. How can a musician keep such a perfect standard when playing for an audience? That causes people to believe that they can't play well in the live arena when, really, they are simply a victim of today's technology and need for such perfection in the studio. I also can't help but notice (and keep in mind that I am a fiddler) that the tapes I listen to are more fun, alive, and in contact with the 'spirit' of the music when raw and allowed to breath. This means no tampering, no redoing, no fixing. The music and musicians seem more human and more 'musical', if I may say it in such a way. That is when the unique nuances occur that can't be created in a studio.
  10. I'm looking to purchase a Strad Pad because my chin rest - though it is the most comfortable I have been able to find - is causing my jaw/neck to 'break out.' I thought a soft pad might help it. My question is, there is the large pad and medium pad, and elastic and velcro. Could anyone help me decide which one is best? What is the difference in the sizes? How does the elastic work? How does the velcro work? The problem is that I need to order it and can't try them all out at a store. As much information as you could give me in order to make an informed decision would be tremendously helpful. Thanks to all of you.
  11. Update...I found a website that had some rather good pictures on it and I paid special attention to the thumb, since that seems to be my greatest problem. Therefore, I've recently attempted to reposition my thumb my rotating the nail towards me more, much like its natural position when you lay your hand palm down on a table. This seems to be helping...the thumb doesn't slip (if I keep consistent watch of my positioning) and my hand doesn't strangle the bow to compensate. However, I do need the pencil grip just to give the thumb a place to ancor against since I don't use the frog. Does this sound right? I suppose it will simply take some re-training, but I'm willing to put in all the time it needs. My positioning of the fingers is correct above the stick. It's just my thumb, and trust me when I say it's great to know where to start for a cure!
  12. As I said, I DON'T have anyone around here to help me. No teacher, no violinists, nobody who even plays, nobody. That's why I'm asking for help here.
  13. So more practice equals better playing...who'd a thunk it?
  14. With the problems I have been having with my bows and my violin...and assuming it was entirely my doing, I have experimented with changing my bow hold numerous times over the past four months (if not more.) This, to put it simply, has completely destroyed by bow hold. Now I can't even find one that works let alone improve it. My hand slowly but surely slips slightly out of position and the music becomes rather horrid. My hand isn't stable. The bow has always rested in the second joint of my index finger, and that gives me the best control for off the string bowing. It seems to work the best for me. My pinky usually stays on the string when I'm playing slowly and comes off when I'm playing quickly (subconsciously but I can train myself otherwise if need be.) Keep in mind that I play traditional music but I don't want that to influence a proper grip. I believe much of the problem is that my thumb slips, despite the fact that I have a pencil grip thumb pad on the bow. How do I fix this problem? To help you out some in helping me, I'll first ask these questions. Could it be simply the placement of the thumb against the stick? Meaning, where EXACTLY does the thumb contact the stick and what part of the thumb contacts it? Could it be that I don't extend my wrist properly and the thumb moves because of it? Because of the slipping problem, I have adopted a death-grip on the stick but this may be making the slipping worse and continuing a vicious sort of cycle. However, I do keep the bow quite straight, so that isn't really a factor from what I can see. Could it be that I should keep the pinky on at all times...even though I've tried this and it doesn't appear to help? Could it be the placement of the bow in the index finger, or even the placement of the middle and ring fingers? I realize that it's difficult do help me over this message board but I'll try to answer any of your questions about my hold if it will help you help me. I'm only asking you after hours of tireless attempts and much frustration and I DON'T have a teacher in my area to go to for help. Plus, I want a legitimate bow grip that can utilize many techniques instead of a fiddler's grip that is used only because it works 'enough.' As well, I can only assume that, since I've lost my original grip with all of the experimenting and cannot get back to it, it wasn't particulary strong in the first place. I'm desperate to make this right. It's so important. Please help me out. Thank you for any time and advice you can give.
  15. NOT the Lester Flatt/Earl Scruggs version...it has no rhythm, is too fast, and is sloppy fiddle playing. It's helpful to know what not to listen to as much as what to listen to, right?
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