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HuangKaiVun

When did you become "comfortable" with your own playing?

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comfortable...hmmmm...When I can safely say that I can take any piece of music and eventually get it to sound decent. Not there so far.

I became much more comfortable with my violining when I had a fairly good sized reportoire of pieces (for family, friends, etc.) and had some knowledge of classical music. Every time I come on the FB I become more comfortable with the second of those two.

DM

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Haven't been quite comfortable with it yet.

I might never. Maybe I should stop listening to Heifetz. Then I might feel better about my own playing.

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What exactly do you mean by "comfortable"?

If "comfortable" means that you generally think you play well and are a good musician, I am not yet comfortable.

If "comfortable" means you really like the sound of yourself playing, i.e. listening to a recording of yourself and liking what you hear, I am not yet comfortable.

If "comfortable" means you have reasonable confidence in you own playing ability and are confident that others feel the same about your playing, I am not yet comfortable.

If "comfortable" means that you have confidence that every time you pick up your instrument you will be able to produce your best possible sound and play with the best technique you possess, I am not yet comfortable.

Feeling guilty for not practicing at all in the past 2 days,

Julia

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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

When did you become "comfortable" with your own playing?

It didn't happen until I got that "Gagliano" 3 weeks ago.

Anything, but blood sweat and tears-to really succeed in something?

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On one level, I'm comfortable now -- I know I'm doing the best I can in the moment.

On another level, I expect I've not got a hope in h*ll of ever being comfortable, because every time I think I've 'arrived' at a bearable place --no matter the context-- the world corrects my hubris in an unmistakable way. It's all down to karma, I'm sure. Or possibly quantum. frown.gif

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I felt comfartable last christmas, when my family asked me to play the christmas songs; and I played them ALL, by heart, without missing a note and with the sweetest sound and lots of emotions. I think I had a real *run* then (do you say so?)

I think am always comfortable when I can focus on the music and not on the tecnique, what happens now and then. smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Bernd (edited 07-27-2000).]

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Comfort comes and goes, mostly with the amount of practice I can put in. My new violin which I acquired last year really increased my comfort level on this instrument. In fact switching primarily to violin has helped a lot too.

My greatest moment of comfort as a violist (which is 99% of my training) occurred many, many years ago at a Congress of Strings rehearsal. I was principle violist for a concert that included the Vaughn Williams Variations on a Theme by Thomis Tallis where the viola starts off all the solo work with a hauntingly beautiful chantlike theme. It was the 2nd to last rehearsal and I had just played the solo and the violin had come in. The guest conductor (Howard Mitchell of the NSO) stopped the orchestra and turned to me. I thought, oh no, what did I do now? But he smiled at me and said something like this(I'm paraphrasing) - "Young man, this work is among my favorite pieces of music, I have taken it around the world, with many of the greatest orchestras, and nobody plays this solo better than you." Then he went on about a bright future and all. I was stunned and speechless by the time he finished, but it was the highlight of my musical career. (I have a recording of the concert and I did play it well - I'm 'comfortable' with it)

I'd say I was pretty comfortable about myself for about the next month. Then I started at the 'pestigous' east coast Music school and quickly reevaluated my comfort level.

Now as a 'rocket scientist' (i.e. engineer) I define comfort as still being able to pretty much hold my own when I gig with the pros, and do a respectable job with the orchestral solos I get as concertmaster of the local community orchestra.

To this day however, I can't stand playing 'Thomas Tallis' and not playing principle viola - it does get butchered, the last 2 times I played it as a section violist, you couldn't even hear the viola. Sorry guys, I'm a violist a heart, but ...

Ask again in 2 months when I'm playing a viola concerto with my orchestra.

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I can't blame my violin. I play only one violin which I made 6 years ago. How do I get comfortable in my playing? Let me explain below: every time I start to learn a new piece, I will learn the notes first (i.e., memorize the music). Then I will play from memory some 20 or 30 times every day for several weeks (or months, depending on the piece. I don't really count. The number gives you an idea how often I repeat.) In the process, I will try to improve the phrasing, fingering, dynamics, expression, etc.,etc. ONLY after the continual concentrated repeated efforts then will I feel a little bit comfortable in my playing. I am a slow learner and need such big effort to play a piece of music well.

You know that human brains are not like computer chips or harddrives you can imprint data so easily. The short-term memory can be formed rather quick ( in the hippocampus) but can also evaporate quickly. Only continual repeated work will the long term memory be formed somewhere in the cortex. I still play passages from various pieces I learned years ago as daily warm-up exercies, all recalled from memory. I guess the long-term memory can only be destroyed by brain trauma, amyloid plaques or Alzheimer's.

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