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Practice, Practice, Practice

Posted by Andah1andah2 on Saturday, November 21, 2009

I just came up from practicing.  From the basement that is.  That is where I do most of my practicing as I serenade the furnace.  The poor thing works hard this time of year, why not give it a little joy.

I am mostly practicing the following things:

my G major scale

Boil dem Cabbage on the A string while trying to drone the E string

Southwind Waltz

Tennessee Waltz

and now Golden Grahams (ah, Slippers)

Each item is teaching me something different and/or new.  I am finding that Southwind is a very uninteresting song to me.  I am learning from it, in particular left hand fingering and keeping my wrist straight, but I find the song as interesting as rotating tires.

Now Golden Slippers, I am proud of myself on that one.  Again, I picked it out by ear and memory and was able to get through the whole basic tune.  It is all basic squeaky notes but it's another real time fiddle tune that I was able to figure out and can't believe I'm playing it.  I think I might post it, as horrible as it sounds right now, so I can compare later.

I went to our school play last night and there was a student playing violin in the orchestra.  He has been playing for a while and is very good, but the one thing that really struck me was that it must be difficult to play in the dark.  Forget how well he is able to play, but add that the only light he had was a tiny little light on his stand so he could read the music.  Otherwise, he was totally in the dark.   Adds another dimension besides playing in front of 500-600 people.

I just ordered an Intell-600 tuner to replace my old one that doesn't clip on and has trouble tuning when there is other noise in the room, like when the furnace turns on.  Oh, boy...another toy.

Time for dinner






7 comments on “Practice, Practice, Practice”

mudbug Says:
Saturday, November 21, 2009 @2:43:15 PM

If the fiddle is, indeed, "the devil's instrument", It probably feels right at home next to the furnace. Although coal would probably be better than propane.

bj Says:
Saturday, November 21, 2009 @6:00:53 PM

One of the things I do all the time is play with my eyes closed. I do it on purpose. It "dials in" your intonation in a way that staring at your fingers will never accomplish. Try it! You can also tell by listening if your bow is nearer the bridge or the fingerboard.

bj Says:
Saturday, November 21, 2009 @6:01:36 PM

Oh, and Golden Slippers? It's the one we get the most requests for when we're busking . . . so learn it well. There is just something 'bout that tune that people LOVE.

Cyndy Says:
Saturday, November 21, 2009 @8:00:02 PM

You wrote: Each item is teaching me something different and/or new.

I find that. Every tune my teacher gives me has some little something in it that I need to learn. It's kind of neat the way that works.

For Southwind, how about looking for a backing track? (Or create your own?) I find that playing along with chords gives a tune a whole different dimension.


Andah1andah2 Says:
Sunday, November 22, 2009 @5:06:12 AM

Thanks Cynthia, I'll look for something slow to play to. Right now, I do my needed number of tries at Southwind, then go on to one of the other tunes I like.
Yes, BJ There is something about Golden Slippers. Maybe it's that the A part is just as cool sounding as the B part. Some songs you really only like one part.
I didn't know what busking was until I just looked it up. Where are some usual places that folks busk at?

Andah1andah2 Says:
Sunday, November 22, 2009 @5:50:30 AM

Actually, I just read some threads on busking and where to go. That is so cool. It doesn't seem too lucrative but it seems fun and good practice. I wonder how many years before I felt that comfortable. I would definitely want to go out with at least one other musician at first.

Cyndy Says:
Monday, November 23, 2009 @5:14:19 PM

I think it's the chord progression that makes Golden Slippers so much fun to play!

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