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thx712517's Achievements


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  1. I appreciate your comments but I feel at this age and with my available time to practice I will never rise much above dilettante.
  2. Correct, first position. Four fingers. I've got the one octave major scales and have been working on expanding that to two octaves. I'm looking for collections of music to play and enjoy rather than drills. I'll look into the books suggested so far, they sound interesting.
  3. As an adult playing/learning the violin, I'm looking for some suggestions of songbooks or other collections of music (Mozart, Bach, folk) to learn that would be a pleasant but not overwhelming challenge. I've worked my way through the second Suzuki book if that gives any indication of ability.
  4. For now I have set aside the minuet. I've gone over my older songs and am focusing more on enjoying things. I don't expect myself to be a master in two years, but my personality is one of extreme criticism of myself in everything, not just music. The piano is tempting but holy cow are those things expensive.
  5. I've been practicing violin and taking weekly lessons for just under two years now. I'm 29 years old. I'm familiar with G, C, D, and A major scales in first position. I'm finishing up the second Suzuki book now, and I'm getting frustrated grinding away on the Boccherini minuet and my level of playing ability in general. So frustrated in fact that I've been practicing less and less (which bodes poorly for any future success) and now I've put my lessons on hold for a month while I figure things out. I figure it's more fair to the teacher versus me calling a few days ahead to cancel. Anyway, trying to decide whether this is a temporary slump or if I'm just not cut out to be a violinist. My wife has told me on numerous occasions that I'm too harsh with myself and have unrealistic expectations for where I should be right now. For musical history, I started playing music on piano at 7 or 8, and after a few years I switched over to guitar around age 16. I took lessons for a while and even played at church. I enjoy playing piano when I visit my parents, and I still pick up my guitar (electric most frequently, occasionally acoustic) from time to time. I'm frustrated with my lack of progress in bow hold, bow arm, wrist position, forearm position, and finger memory for the notes. With the piano or guitar the note was the note, but with the violin if my hand is at the wrong angle and my fingertips roll a bit either way, I'm sharp or flat. I've practiced the bow grip, taped myself playing to see where it goes wrong, even thought about making some sort of brace to keep my hand in the right shape, and still suck at it. With the bow arm I've literally played against a wall to limit my movement, and with a rope tied from my knee to my elbow to keep my left arm tucked in enough. And let's not get started on the audio from recording myself play. It might sound okay to my ear while I'm playing, but when I play it back it's thin, wavering, sharp or flat... So do I muscle through this and persevere, or is it time to tap out?
  6. Sounds like a very good plan. I've got my fancy bow ordered up, so the violin budget is strained right now. I may need a new bridge soon (current one is warped) so I'll plan on spending a lot of time playing while I'm there!
  7. Hi, my name is Kevin, I live in Lawrenceville GA and I'm a tire kicker. I keep reading about how the mass produced fiddles like mine are "okay" but people follow up by rhapsodizing about these superior violins out there. I guess the point of this post was to see what kind of insane price range I'm dealing with. $2500? $5000? $10,000? I've got a long way to go for my skill to be worth a higher quality instrument but it is fun to talk about and dream. What makes me worry sometimes about testing out violins in a shop is that who they are made by and what they're worth seems to fluctuate. I know how much a Telecaster should be and what it should sound like. Something supposedly French from the early 1900s? Not a clue. Getting away from "copy the Plowden," are there physical characteristics to a violin that make it favorable toward producing a rich, lush, articulate tone? A certain wood or construction type, a depth of arching, etc? I'm completely at sea once things get away from slab of wood with electromagnets.
  8. Right now I'm playing an old dutzendarbeit dug out of the closet. It's been in the family since the 1970s but literally spent its existence in its case in the closet from a year after it was purchased until 2013. The top has been repaired (lots of cleats), the seams have been reglued, it had a new soundpost made for it... I could go on. From time to time though, I wonder about how a new violin would play and sound. Something made with modern know-how. At any rate, from time to time I think about commissioning or acquiring a new violin. I like the idea of a del Gesu, and I really enjoy the tone produced by the Plowden. The problem is whenever I go looking for someone or some place that would make such a beast, I keep running into the articles comparing Strads and del Gesus against modern violins. That's great, but doesn't help me find someone who builds or would build a del Gesu Plowden violin. I'm not looking for an exact copy down to the chisel marks and worn varnish. It can be made nicely, and look like a new violin. I'm just looking for something with a lush sound with depth. How do people find such a thing?
  9. Starting to notice a growing vibration when I bow the A note on the G string. Something's rattling around and I can't figure it out. Really hoping it's not something internal.
  10. It does seem to be a left hand issue. Taking greater care in finger placement before bowing the note seems to bring a more focused sound from the violin. I've also been working on getting my right arm up more and paying more attention to my left elbow as I cross strings. My left shoulder muscles are feeling the strain. Is there a difference, aside from price and fittings, between the Codabow Diamond SX and the GX? I have enough saved to get an SX right now, but if there is a performance difference between the two I could justify waiting.
  11. I'm noticing that as I practice the scales, in the lower octave of the G major scale (on the G and D strings) that the sound is less defined and more... fuzzy, less clear, than it has been previously. Strings are clean of rosin build-up, and are a few months old. The notes are cleaner and more defined from the F# on the D string upward, but getting lower than that I'm hearing the fuzz. The best way I can describe it is that as I go lower in the octave, the sound goes from being a single line of defined and strong color to more of a watercolor with the majority of color in the center of the line but with leakage on either side fanning outward. Is this a fingering issue? Bowing?
  12. No, playing to the tuner was not a suggestion from my teacher. He suggested using my third finger positions as anchor points, as they don't move that much from key to key, and adjusting the placement of my fingers until the note sang. I know you can match the fourth finger position with the next open string (4th finger G = D for example) so I attempt that as well from time to time.
  13. I spent about half an hour this evening going very slowly, very carefully, over the two octave G major scale with my tuner on, making sure to shift my elbow over and keeping my pinky curved. It was painful but good practice. I've got an electronic metronome built into the tuner, but I may save up and get the actual thing just because I feel it would be easier to match bow strokes with a real one as opposed to a digital representation.
  14. My timing needs work, I need to bow cleaner, and in transitioning from major to minor I need to fully transition and not wander between the two. On the other hand practice is more enjoyable and I actually want to play.
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