• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About GoPractice

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I am surprised and impressed as I sense there is lag on my Petersons. Not trying to be pissy here, but have used Peterson products for decades and my first one was a single dial unit that was partially broken for $500. A similar price for decent playing German instrument or five instruments in a cardboard box in various levels of dis- repair. Then a few more were acquired as school programs collapsed. They were not working units when I picked them up. The mechanical units were potentially fragile. When the LCD displayed models came out, I purchased one. Sorry for not being clear, but i was referring to piano tuners using mechanical needle tuners as an alternative to Petersons or other strobe tuners. Certainly having the old Peterson in a piano store, lab or band room was great but on the road it can get beat up and for those who use visual aids as a reference, the needled units would work after being bounced around. When I was lent out to a piano warehouse on the weekends in the 1980s, I would try to tune two or three pianos a day at the warehouse, because there was plenty of waiting before going out on deliveries and pick ups. The needle units were magnetic and thus had a floating motion that was much easier to see than a flickering display. That bit of visual averaging was helpful at the time. Now all sorts of displays flicker and flash, and younger computer users are not deterred. The interesting thing was to check how far off the pianos started to drift after several hours of just sitting there. A warehouse during the summer was often hot and dry and damp and cold in the winter. The newer Peterson units would certainly save time because it would be easier to see the gradient of the drifting of the pitch at a tenth of a cent. The company tried to keep the pianos pitch stable for several weeks and had some of us work on them. The final tunings on- site were always done by the in- house professionals... those were the days when kids still had piano - not keyboard - lessons and most families rented their spinets for $8- 15 a month. I think violins were $6, with red label strings. But for professional bowed instrument players, is a fraction of a cent, that level of sensitivity necessary? Even at a cent resolution, it was possible to tell that a piano was in tune with itself because the final tunings were primarily done by ear. On bowed instruments with wrapped gut strings on non-vibrato swells, the finger does roll ( mostly sharp, ) often mid bow trying to avoid the deflection in pitch - as that might be the desired effect. But clearly on an open strings, the pitch drifts enough to have both the other players and the LCD display flailing. I have one Peterson that I take to live amplified performances because it really is difficult to discern pitches on a stage with great amounts of amplification. It looks and behaves like "gear" but with a small display. The phone would be ok, but where would one put it? Frankly with guitars, the TC electronics tuner has become most helpful because it resolves out most of the strings simultaneously. I can strum the open strings and the interface ( on the floor with other effects pedals ) is fairly clear as to which strings are not in-tune without my glasses. Green leds vs Red leds, directional leds... Anyway, having dealt with Peterson directly for many years, it is a tool for those who know how and want to use it. Like a lot of good companies, they are stubborn. It appears that they think more like engineers and not like musicians. I have an unopened D'Addario strobe tuner from about 10 years ago? that I was going to trial but the return date past before I had time. That one appeared to have a friendlier interface. It was pre-phone app release but it was half the cost of a Peterson. Have you used one? I think less than 5% of my students download the Peterson app. The kids certainly borrow the box versions of the tuner when they have music projects. Most are willing to record themselves and so am grateful.
  2. They still have some value. As for truly fine mechanical needle tuners that were an alternative to Petersons, they worked very well, fast and accurate to the switchable resolution. Your point might be considered by many but there are often steps to understanding how to fully utilize tuners and though it may not be the best tool, but for those without perfect pitch, it still of value. I have not downloaded any Peterson App in a while, but awhile ago the iOS version was definitely more feature rich than the Android version. As for the cost, the App is reasonable, far less expensive than any of stand-alone boxes that are available. As for piano tuning, there are very cool tuners out there. As for registering in realtime, there can be lag. And though it can show that one's strings are worn or old, unless the player understands this, they still could run into pitch problems. With a cheap display tuner, one does not expect too much. The stand-alone Peterson is still, for myself, the most convenient to use when setting up and completing fretted instruments on a bench. But the younger techs are using computer apps...
  3. The resonator box or even a fork, is wonderful. I do not use one so much anymore, and I should. Instead, I often offer open 5th, tempered and just, and the let the students locate the third or tenth, building on the structure or ( better ) on locating the limits where it is uncomfortable to listen up close. Double stop games are necessary these days for they kids to develop the ear ( acoustically, aurally, not visually ) and once the students are comfortable with what they are hearing, they can work on speed. These days, it is difficult to get into a good conservatory if fast double-stop work is not developed. If you do have the clip... and you might have tried other locations on the bridge, on the leg, treble, bass sides? maybe on the tailpiece? Though there are more chaotic motions out there... It appears that the tuner's processor can not resolve what pitch is being played. I can not imagine that the Sabine's microprocessor is inferior. The last weird thing to try is bow at various contact points and at different dynamics. An open cello c- string is full of all sorts of information. If the tuner is upper range sensitive, perhaps bow near the bridge? while to capture a more predominant lower tone, bow near the fingerboard? I had a Stahlhammer endpin on my cello for many years and though I was not satisfied with the overall sound of it compared to the newer end pins that became available about 20 years ago, the pitch resolution on the instrument was solid. I mounted a transducer on the endpin stop destined for all sorts of floors and ran the wire up the stand to a tuner mounted on the stand along with my pencils, pens and tape/ post notes. If it wasn't practical, it at least gave the appearance of being semi-competent/ compliant. I only have had about a dozen times to prove to others, either the conductor or producer, that I was ( and others were ) in tune. The 'hammer produced more a solid sound and it was easier to record. When an instrument's sound is too full, or round or complete it's overtone series throws out way too many pitches at large volumes and though the brain is quick to sort, this processor might not be. A tuner is most likely to hear the 5th or the 4th if not hear the tonic/ fundamental. The some tuners that are high frequency sensitive might hear the other, higher, partials which include almost everything. In a room, great sounding instruments would compliment each other, but from a 4" car speaker, some sounds had to be more typified and defined when recorded in a studio. I was never good enough a student at lessons to get the strobe tuner treatment, but would hear from others who had their teachers test them to see how off they were on each pitch or double stop. Some cello teachers were notorious for using the strobe tuners... you know vibrating the Elgar's pizzicatos evenly and not getting too sharp on the pitches ( more east coast thinking than west, ) getting the Bach chords in the later suites to ring, or doing a Master's on the Strauss or the Prokofiev. On super fast passages, I have to examine the examples of tuning the lower strings of a double stop on the down bow and the upper string on the up bow, practicing both scales - compensating for the greatest margin audible error. The students find this level of practice tedious, but if you want the job?... Of course, this is for school... but most tuner's can not capture the pitches in real time. I have only resorted to recording and then analyzed every pitch ( using a computer ) for a few students to make a point that they are vastly out of tine for most of the passage if not the whole tune. It was a little mean, but point made. Which bring me back to your original statement of this post, that we should learn to use our ears and to hear/ listen to the entire spectrum. With out-of-shape/ used or beat up strings, as you mentioned, not all pitches within the scale will sound correct. Leaning.... yes, there was a period of my life when performances were by the book. And though we must learn how to play that way, music is far more interesting when performers are allowed to make choices. I use it when playing with piano. Pitch is another variable, either in the loudest or the softest passages, along with vibrato. And with solo works. If the motivation is to get the listener further along the musical path, adjusting the intonation can be helpful. Still think that cabinet is beautiful. The sheet music is at one's service, and it is visually finite, in order, attainable. And displayed respectfully. I have Xenakis stacked over John Denver over Nine Inch Nails on top of bills and catalogs and academic reading. But on one corner of the desk over a CRT television that has not been turned on since the second Bush administration, I have a small box of pocket scores of complete Shostakovich and Bartok SQ/ chamber scores for teaching, Along with most of the greats, but they are no longer complete because many students do return borrowed items. They look most orderly but it's the size of a shoe box. I purchased a sheet music cabinet once, used, and it would not fit European editions... so now on to mismatched Ikea Billy shelves.
  4. I still buy too much music in hopes of playing in the ( near ) future. But gifts are precious and meaningful. Your sheet music cabinet, if that is what it is, is awesome. Am very jealous. My retired government- issued file cabinets and mismatched Ikea bookcases look like the books and media section in the back of a thrift store. Your room is also beautiful. I practice in a room full of electronics, soundproofing and mostly artificial light...
  5. Some facial expressions can not be helped. Movements around the jaw can be involuntary as well as the way a player's jaw fits together when closed or open to help hold the instrument in place during a massive shift. Some instruments also react differently to whole body movement vs restricted movement. The violin bow weights roughly 55 - 65 grams and we utilize to create a great deal of sound. Sometimes it is better to let the body undo a movement when the ear is expecting something in particular. Playing can be an athletic process. But there are often particular moves, that are showy and unnecessary. Distracting, yes, maybe. But the ears are the primary listeners. When cooking live clams at the beach, most sand can be removed before applying heat just by leaving them in a bucket of clean seawater, but if one tries to remove all the sand, then some of the essential tastes and aromas also get flushed along with the sediment. During coaching, rigid ensembles and soloist often sound, well, rigid. Some players are, and have that particular personality. So somewhere in their path to developing musicianship, they have to learn how to move. Afterwards, they can regain control however much they choose. When playing clarinet quintets, the clarinetist occasionally vibratos for fun and piss off some listeners when playing Mozart. But my most favorite thing is when she swirls her instrument clockwise and uses the floor to create a dynamic and tonal reflection. At the top of a crescendo or a long un-colored sustained note, it's kind a cool. And her pianissimos played into the stand... the strings can play sooo quietly.
  6. The portable Sabine tuners are ok. The company makes professional, industrial, tuners and other electronics like anti-feedback to tools for loud, live performances... but often it is better to have a tuner than not. You can tighten the screws on the back of the unit and it might help a bit. My gut feeling is that some of these portable standalone tunes of a particular size, resonate themselves, confusing either the microphone or the microprocessor. Some early pocket-sized Korg tuners had this as a problem when they were placed on Manhasset style stands. Sometimes there are particles also stuck near the microphone inside the unit, that might result in problems. I think most portable tuners have a 1/4" or 1/8" input and it is helpful to buy a relatively inexpensive clip-on microphone ( and some piezo-based transducers ) just plugging it in and using that way. At a large corporate music store, one can likely find a mic for under $20 and return it within the month if it does not work. I have several and have paid around $12 for them. One can also tune at much lower volumes, like "backstage" at a church where there are no rooms available for the musicians. If you loan one out, it will likely not comeback. Rackmounted tuners ( as expensive and bulky as they are, and which Sabine has sold... ) with built-in microphones also develop mechanical issues over time. The metal cases do vibrate, and though they are engineered to avoid potential problems, they do occur. It helps to have to have a plug in microphone or transducer. The strobe type tuners can give players headaches, but are quite revealing about intonation. The old Peterson tuners were what I grew up with... and with multi display models, one could play chords or double-stops and the see how well the locked in place. And on occasion, the unit would display the "Tartini" tone even when barely audible. The new electronic display models are not as easy to see what is happening and is mostly for one pitch at a time. But the new models are programmable to use different tuning sets. I mostly use "expressive" intonation as Prof Lesser defined it when I last saw him, though it has been referred to as "sweetening" for as long as I can remember. The strobe tuners allow players to see how crazily off a player might get from center, as it visually flickers like the beats one hears when tuning tempered or pure 5ths. Clip-on tuners are getting easier for kids to use, sometimes with color coded displays, and can be a confidence builder for those a bit unsure of their pitch. I mention this because they are cheap and are a great investment like a metronome. But the kids have to use it. Thought they get lost, many appear to work better than the older pocket-style tuners. I almost always have close to a dozen in a drawer and give them away to schools that need them - the newer tuners are just cheaper and faster. Clip-on tuners do not work so well for violinists or violists as the clips will usually open wide enough to put on the scroll, though there may be an empty peg - maybe the e- string on the violin - where it can be clipped. Having said all that, for many students developing a ear for tuning, the slower tuners force us to listen more carefully at first and then resolve the guessing by looking at the display on the tuner.
  7. Joseph was an interesting composer because he puts in surprises for his knowing audience. There is a playfulness and at times silliness. His later quartets are full of possibilities in making fun music. Michael, I find is more precious and in many ways more elegant, not that Joseph can't be played that way. It's just that Joseph sets up some jewels. I can only convince a conductor or two every ten years to open the books on Michael. I have a group of friends that hate playing Bach, Mozart and other like riffraff. We don't even discuss it anymore. Nor do they teach it. They have argued in the past that is a lose- lose composer to perform in that there will always be someone ( perhaps a critic ) who complains about the execution. Too slow, too fast, too bright, to mellow,... Students do need to perform these works, but as a professional they argue that it's not worth the aggravation. Debussy and Ravel piano works are very difficult. But they did compose on pianos. Maybe she is torn by all the raging historical performance issues. Modern Texas suburbs have some huge homes. I was impressed often by the acoustical advantages of these spaces and performing was always a pleasure. The size is often perfect for chamber music. My relatives will be retiring soon and be moving out of Texas so performing opportunities there will be reduced. Will miss the warm evening BBQs with beer and live chamber music. It is always wonderful for the homeowners to invite local ensembles - especially hungry students - to perform and have eats. Four hand piano works are a good way to prep larger orchestral works and the other way. Prokofiev very late in life composed mostly on piano while others orchestrated. Also interesting to hear Rhapsody in Blue as solo piano, four hands, the Paul Whiteman version, then the Grofe orchestration. The Beethoven Symphonies or the Brandenburgs for four hand are fun to hear.
  8. Thank you for adding the Chapuis into the world. Durand might not, but someone else might add research and republish. Recently in speaking to a bookstore owner he was worried about limited space and was going to blow out some older editions that no one reads. Space is limited for retailers. Not sure how large Durand's warehouses are, but did pick up about 5 copies of the new edition of the Tzigane. It does not matter much to me, but the kids find the cover more interesting. The Chapuis will free up space unless those who are suddenly interested in it start buying. I do know that that some publishers are laser printing micro batches of sheet, books and booklets as needed. Though the print is not as beautiful nor is it as permanent, some are trying. Thanks also fot the heads up on the Sebastian Lee. I had it in a shelf along with an interesting Polish simple cello duet set. Just working on teaching a grade schooler how to adapt to chamber music rehearsals. He does not listen to others and just plows through it, miscounting, missed intonation and all. Trying to sensitize him into the other parts and working through the voices.. He plays reasonably well but in the presence of others, just shuts them out.
  9. The question and facts have quite a few variables making it a bit difficult to answer. It is also an interesting choice of string set to move to... would "echo" be a small over statement or is there that much sustained sound? I am assuming this is the violin? Depending on the set of Permanents that were installed, your initial guess is that it could be the string tension. The Pi tends to lean on the treble side a bit, while the regular e-string set and the stiffer e- string set are lighter and heavier in tensions. Which did you choose? Also can others at a distance hear the added sound? Depending on how the post is set up the "balance" between the e- and g- strings might have changed with the new set. I have set up some more "uptight" sounding instruments to be a bit more sensitive on the g- string side with a stark or heavy g- string installed. For example, the instrument feels more lively - do perhaps to more flexibility or give - after the set up with a regular - mittel - set of Dominants have the g- string swapped out with a stark. Then different e-strings can be swapped out to dial how the instrument feels overall. The set up has much to do with personal taste. But with time, the strings should behave a bit more and what you are hearing might mute itself a bit. New strings often vibrate very ( or more ) freely at first, and that has residual effects until they settle in and get rosin and sweat into the wrap.
  10. I am using the term loosely. There are a few ( courageous? ) publishers that print up a limited number of pieces that were either reworked or out- of- print for such a long time that it was mostly forgotten. These editions are printed on nice paper and are sometimes hand written or even photo etched original works. Or like Mr Lesser's fingerings for the cello suites, one has to find a small shop that prints up the edition. Or recently I located a French baroque edition of a recorder trio that cost a ridiculous amount. After the first several readings, it was nearly abandoned because it was strange and not what we expected. But it was hand written and maybe possibly, I played a few wrong notes that evening. Some music goes straight to the copier because I am afraid it will not last the reading. I did not believe that acid free paper mattered but am far more cautious about rare music that is not stable enough to read. Some retailers like Metzlers which sells music in addition to bowed instruments often sell older editions in plastic which holds it together and for those casually looking keep them from tearing the covers. Some older pieces are not that pleasant, but... I found some duets with Sebastian Lee that were about 80+ years old. At first they seemed useless, but he early ones were easiest enough for grade school kids to play. Will have to play through all before making shallow assessments. And you are absolutely correct in that there are editions/ works that are not to be found on the internet. Even older recorded sheet music can not be located. I have given up on quite a few interesting pieces on old records because the music does not seem to be accessible. It is very thoughtful and kind of you to nudge her in re-examining Haydn.
  11. It appears to be an academic edition. The pages look beautifully laid out with annotation and notes at the bottom. Though Peters' editions have given me headaches as well as International and other publishers that share print plates but having said that, I love the font on the inside page and looks quite formal and to be respected. C F Martienssen has edited keyboard editions and it is likely that Peters is being thoughtful and complete when publishing this as part of a collection. How vintage do you go? Some boutique publishers have become much more speciifc about the titling of their editions because of the parsing of search engines. The more specific they become, better chance for a hit during an online search. While others in the specialized marketplace have completely ignored this... hmmm. In a search for alternate tunings for bowed strings, it was time consuming wading through junk data despite not having the keywords within the link. I am glad these services exist, but there was a time when I was much more disciplined spending hours at a nearby university library. Other books in the libraries can be distracting. We just need more academic search engines.
  12. "Culturally preferred sound" is a good way to describe what is heard by many of us. But what is the idealized version of this? Each person, piece and performance ( and place ) might have an ideal sonic profile or need to best express the occasion but there are too many practical limitations. A well-rehaired ribbon of modern hair, with decent rosin will sound different when playing with decent pressure and speed on the edge of the ribbon and with flat hair. More frequently, when playing on the edge of the ribbon, bow placement on the string makes the greatest tonal difference as well as the location of the bow, upper- mid- or lower- half. A tight grip on the bow will reduce the overall tonal effect as well as bow that is too tight. Bow placement has a great effect on the tone using flatter hair but the greater tonal shading varies by the degree of how aggressively the player activates the string near both edges of the ribbon. This shading is best heard when the bow is nearly perpendicular to the string. When the inside edge of the hair pulls or pushes at a slightly different location from the outside edge, there might be more noise, especially with a tight grip. But with a better bow, I believe the overtones are strengthen. Maestro Beard's comments are interesting because it is a bit different than my thoughts on the importance of the single hair hypothesis. I have dreamed of a single hair bow as a tool to better hear particular segments of an instrument's tone. I imagine that the single haired bow would allow for a player to test the dynamic range of the instrument without too much difficulty. But like many things, this is likely to more complicated than is dreamed up. It would only be one facet of the instrument's quality, but I have played too many bows that altered the sound of an instrument.
  13. There are quite a few players that play this way. It can be evolutionary in the developing of technique and is suggested to all my students. Playing near the tips might be important to develop precise placement of the finger, so for youngsters the use of a flatter finger is best for the 1st finger. The arching of the fingers also make a difference. With the development of better double stop technique, the flattening of the pad might be required to "squarely" hit a perfect 5th across the strings. But playing with flatter fingers when the student is still growing within fractional sizes may not be suggested, but at some point it helps to diversify their placement on the string. Playing on flatter pads is different on both cello/ bass and violin/ viola as the use requires more than the flattening of the finger. On violin/ viola, the player with a short -er -ish pinky requires a greater twist in the upper arm, so the touch and contact also needs to be worked out, especially in the upper octaves. Tone is one reason to change. And a good one. The range of vibrato is another. If the pad of the finger has a small radius, the range of motion is larger than one with a softer larger radius. More "sophisticated" use of vibrato might be achieved for some thinner fingered students by reducing the angle of finger placement. The third might be that some people who play with the tips develop nerve pain. It is not consistent when the pain occurs, otherwise it would be reasonably easy to adapt. It can be a sharp pain that randomly occurs surprising the player but may continue with greater frequency during that session. The pain develops for some over time with hours of practicing, while other develop it with age. I have seen it in tiny cellists ( who might have developed this from a super tight grip ) and in tall athletes. In the taller man's instance, his pads were too large - almost square - to get in to tighter, higher positions, though he could an octave harmonic in 1st position. He played on his finger tips and brought down the string with considerable force to the fingerboard in higher positions. In both instances, technique had to be changed in order to better accommodate the music. One tiny cellist changed to flatter pads relieving most of the pain but adapting took a great length of time and caused an immense amount of frustration. The adjustment made her professional life very difficult. Many traditional piano students who switch to other instruments use their fingertips. But as they develop into more modern keyboard performance techniques, the introduction of flatter fingers can make for more subtle attacks and phrasing on many keyboard instruments. Some keyboard instruments have very sensitive mechanisms allowing for a much more varied strike. I do notice that this variety of flatter finger playing also crosses over to bowed instruments. There are other reasons, but it varies with a player's needs and personality as well as having an instructor willing to deal ( have empathy ) with the frustrations of forcing adaptation on students. My point here is that for some students, upgrading instruments and bows, requires some learning to adapt as it often becomes necessary ( at a given price point or availability. )
  14. Bows without underslides are often in a price category that most will not consider. What is the least inexpensive bow without an underslide? I am very happy that there are makers philosophically committing to this. The purchase was a good one. I have had to make adjustments to grip and bowing. I also want this sound to develop and last. Even tightening or loosening the bow may require care depending on the bow. I hold the bow upside down and try to gently set the frog in alignment with my thumb while supporting the stick with my fingers. This helps keep the two in place if there is any binding in the system, when trying to unscrew the button. I am not saying this is the correct way, but the way that seems to work well with my bow. Some hold on only to the frog when undoing the button, which on some older bows is not great to do. One of my teacher did this with his Vuillaume bow and it drove me nuts. But over the 20 years I knew him, the bow did not exhibit much play. Others hold on to the stick and one can visibly see the frog move a bit, side- to-side, before moving forward. It is interesting how fast kids start to wear out different details of bows. One newer "signature" Brazillian bow which I lent out has started to develop a bit of play after one year. I purchased it as new a year prior and had no play in it. When I offered it, there was no movement. She does not over play, or force the instrument or the bow, but uses a full bow and her grip tends to be more static than flexible. I have no answers yet, but her bowing is less disciplined. Will have to keep an eye on it.
  15. If you are fortunate enough to have a business where players and parents are willing to rehair at reasonable intervals, then wow, how great. Each shop might have a different answer, but they are similar, i would guess, say once a year for a rehair? There are several ( older ) players on limited or fixed incomes that likely will not get a rehair. Also due to the current conditions, regionally, there will be many who will prolong use of the existing hair. One bow I own has less than 40 hours of light use in the last three years and I have not rehaired it. In some of the school districts I visit, kids ( used to ) share bows and instruments. The bows get dirty quickly, especially if a program is fortunate enough to have multiple periods throughout the day as many kids do not wash their hands after returning from their midday breaks. If there is time after a visit, the dirtiest ones might get cleaned. These inexpensive bows are usually plastic-y and have no wood in their build. Some have synthetic hair. I am not as careful with these bows with fluid, but try to remove the gunky dirty areas near the tip and the frog. I do have to return to rosin the bows in the afternoon or the next morning depending on the weather, sometimes blow drying with cool air after the wash. But all this is done for free as most schools have a limited budgets. And we want the kids to play well and hopefully learn about cleanliness and respect for tools. The more affluent districts have kids who own their instruments with some bows as nearly dirty as the shared bows. They get cleaned once but then they are sent to a shop. Hopefully the better students go to rent or purchase instruments or take private lessons? The other difficulty near these schools is that rehairs can take a week. A standard music store may have a contract with a bow rehair person so the pick up and drop off occurs only once or twice a week. At the string shops the difference in quality of the rehair is significant though the prices are similar, so one would want to take their bows to the better shop. But then there is a wait. Usually rehairs were completed during the summer. But with dirty hands, cleanings are required throughout the year. At one particular shop, many players came in late October and November ( Halloween thru Thanksgiving for those in the US ) we assumed because players were paid after the first seasonal job with their ensemble. The Nutcracker runs were soon to start, or first set of juries for students, and then they could coast until their finals in May. When performing with a chamber ensemble, depending on the program, some of us rehair right after that set. As for a shop's responsibility, we tried to be the advocate and with the cleaning came the lecture, and performed the cleaning for free. For a shop of one or two persons, that may not be financially prudent. Also, our cleanings were done overnight so the customer did not see what was being done. We recommended to those able that the wash was possible and is done on occasion. Rehairs are simply the way to go with anything but a bow that costs less than a rehair ( but there are the exceptions that requires some thought. ) We rehaired our rental bows when they were used up or visibly dirty but some shops wash. Again, depends on the quality of bow and how it reflects on the shop.