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Things I've noticed

Posted by Andah1andah2 on Friday, November 13, 2009

 Here are some general observations I've made during my last few practices:

1.  I not only have to build my playing skills, I have to build my foot tapping stamina.  I find that my foot or shin wimps out after one song and I have to switch to a heel stomp for a while.  I exercise around 5 days a week, but never my shin muscles.  Weird

2.  Just when I think I'm getting pretty good at a playing skill ,it goes south for a while before it gets better again.  Like the wrist movement thing.  I thought I had it for a while, then lost it again. Now working to get the left hand movement back again.  Also, I thought I had the correct bow pressure to have the G string ring properly, then today it sounded awful and gritty.  

3.  On the good side, I found that I've been able to increase my shuffle speed from 70 bpm to 100 bpm within a few days and still maintain decent technique.

4.  Those double stops are tough.  Actually I don't know what you call it when you bow 2 strings that are open.  Double droning???  Anyway, you got to bow them at juuuust the right angle or you're monotone.


After work today I stopped at a violin store in Freeport.  It sells some pretty expensive stuff, but I thought it would be fun to look.  First off the violins/fiddles/cellos had dates and names but no price tags.  You know they're expensive when you have to inquire about the price.  Same thing goes in a fancy restaurant when the menu doesn't have prices.

I have to say, I couldn't tell one fiddle's value from the next.  With banjos, you can tell a fancy one from a regular one pretty well by looking it over.  Not with a fiddle, at least to my untrained eye.  I guess it's more in the sound.  But I was embarrassed to ask him if I could screech out bile dem cabbage down on his 20,000 dollar violins.  All in all it nice to look.  I also checked out what a pernambuco bow looks like.  Again, its probably more in the sound.  One neat thing,  he had a Stanley violin.  The same guy/company that made the Stanley Steamer automobile also made violins.  Their shop used to be in Kingfield, Maine.  This Stanley didn't steam though.

That's it for now.  My fav fiddle tune today is the Saturday night waltz.  I'm adding Vivian Williams to my list of fav's.  She is great.

4 comments on “Things I've noticed”

Cyndy Says:
Friday, November 13, 2009 @3:40:10 PM

Vivian Williams is a favorite of mine, too. I really like some of her instructional materials and it's fun to watch her on YouTube. Cynthia

autumnstrings Says:
Friday, November 13, 2009 @4:48:25 PM

Hey Stew, I'll be happy to loan you a spinning wheel for a while. That will build up your foot tapping for sure. :)

Don't ever feel embarrassed for playing violin fiddle style. They don't know what you can and can't afford. Play away. :) To be honest, I think that some violins sound much better playing fiddle style than they do classic, but that's just me.

mudbug Says:
Saturday, November 14, 2009 @3:43:59 AM

Yeah, Stew, progress is definitely "one 2 steps forward, one step back". I'm sure that's why most drop out in frustration.

That violin shop in Freeport, which shall remain nameless, was my first experience with a "classical slant" shop. I found them rude, snobby and condescending. I hope that all string shops aren't like that, but I'll never walk in that one again, even if I DID have the 20 K to drop.

Andah1andah2 Says:
Saturday, November 14, 2009 @5:38:41 AM

Yeah, I can see that. I did think that it would have been nice or at least good business to talk to me a little. I was the only person in the shop and nothing else was said after I first walked in and I hung around for 15-20 minutes.

Oh, and I didn't feel awkward because I was a fiddle player rather than violin. I think playing fiddle is just as noble as violin and would be proud to bust into Turkey in Straw if I could. Rather, I was embarrassed because I'm a lousy fiddle player and wouldn't do any instrument justice right now. :)

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