Posted by Andah1andah2 on Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I'm not quite sure where I am right now in my playing but I feel like I'm out of my slump. Not that it feels great right now but I feel capable of moving along with my practice, making headway I guess. That is... in everything except double stops.
I've adopted 2 new exercises into my practice. One hint ,which I got from Percy which she got from Hardy, relates to intonation. Time yourself 5 min on each string. Long, slow bowstrokes. Hit notes and make sure your intonation is on with an electronic tuner. Over and over, then on to the next string. I've been at it 3 days now. I'm only doing the G scale right now and will switch to another scale after staying with it for a week. After a month I'll have a weeks practice on each major scale I know (A,D,G,C) . I haven't noticed it improve my intonation YET but it has helped my stamina and comfort with my bowing. My right arm gets tired but I keep at it for the 5 min. I give myself a minute between each string. When it gets tired, I imagine what would make it feel better and think lighter pressure and keeping the elbow only as high as necessary. Also my bow grip gets better as my hand finds less strain in the correct bow grip and naturally goes there. You do need to have patience with this!!!
The other practice involves 3 min of pure long, slow bowing double stops. No fingering, just 3 min on the G and D strings, 3 on the D and A, and then 3 on the A and E. I wish I could say it has helped but not yet. I know it must eventually help though. My teacher approves.
Due to several reasons, I had to cut back my hour lessons today from every week to every 2 weeks. I didn't want to but it was necessary. I hope I can still progress at a good clip. I've had almost 6 months of lessons every week to this point.
Got me a new chin rest that doesn't dig into my chin. It has the shape of a flesch center mount, but it is not mounted in the center. It is shaped more like a scoop without the high ledge at the rear. I also ordered a new gel rest to fit it. If you are not happy with your chin rest being too hard on your chin, check out Gel Rest online. It's like a living room couch for your chin. Got some great help and advice from Harry at Somerset Violins in Waterville, ME. He also let me know I was using way too much rosin on the bow,
Finally, I had lost the brass screw to my Kun Super shoulder rest. I emailed Kun and they are sending me a new part for free, Nice folks.
By the way, when should you get to change your profile from Just startin to Novice?
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 @1:55:25 AM
It sounds like you have a good routine down, Stew. It's your choice, when to change your experience level description. FWIW, I just changed mine at 14 months. It didn't feel right to still be describing myself as " just starting" any more. Novice, sums up about where I feel I'm at. I can't remember what the next level is. Green belt, maybe. But I think I'll be awile getting there.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 @5:57:46 AM
From another Mainer, don't rush the double stops... they will come naturally in time. Once they start working for you, then like vibrato , you have to learn to temper their use..
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 @11:56:46 AM
I'm glad to hear you slumpbusted out of it.
Scales are a necessary evil when first starting out but do give yourself some PLAYtime every day too, k? That's just as important, if not more so!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 @3:38:39 PM
Thanks folks. I can't wait till I can adjust my double stopping to fit the tune rather than try and get it to work in the first place.
Right now, besides the exercises I've been playing and tying to work out 2 jigs (Swallowtail and Toben's Dream), a southerny barn dance tune with double stops whose name escapes me now, shoo fly and liza jane. The other tunes I swap in and out but there is no chance of playing them all everyday anymore.
I've also noticed that my fingering has improved, timing wise, since I starting really focusing on foot tapping with the tune. Besides timing the whole tune, it has helped me time between notes better.
Someday... Eck's version of Sally Goodin'
Sunday, April 11, 2010 @5:10:30 AM
I echo bj's comment... .practice is a must...self-discipline is a must.....yet letting go and just playing for the pure fun of playing is the grease that will propel your desire and learning to the heights all that much more.
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