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How do you sound Now compared to YEARS ago?

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Oct 16, 2019 - 1:07:05 PM
7683 posts since 3/19/2009

Many of us on the Hangout have been playing for a LOOOng time..In my case, I sound better than it did years ago BUT still play pretty 'rough and scratchy'.... I'm a good jammer but solo playing is not something I excel at...The older I get, and the more fiddle players I listen to, the more I realize that I'm just an old 'hacker'...SO.. while I play now better than I ever have, I'm still not all that great.. and I've come to accept that..

There is that old joke about "Boy, that old guy sounds terrible, but I'll bet he sounded great when he was young."   No.. Not so in my case..If I sound rough and scratchy NOW, imagine how bad I sounded when I was less skilled!!!!laugh
How about YOu???

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 10/16/2019 13:09:24

Oct 16, 2019 - 1:44:37 PM

Dragonslayer

Mozambique

153 posts since 9/1/2019

Well, I definitely sound a lot better than I did two years ago when I started. I'll share my day one video sometime.... but, arguably you could say I sounded better before that...... it depends.

Oct 16, 2019 - 2:25:13 PM

4284 posts since 9/26/2008

Apparently I was in a hurry when I posted the oldest tunes on my page (11 years ago).laugh

Oct 16, 2019 - 4:05:12 PM
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2465 posts since 7/12/2013

I started classical violin when I was 4, I had a private teacher, played in youth orchestras all the way through highschool. Then I stopped playing for probably 10+ years. When I picked up the violin again, it sounded terrible. But I've now played for another 10+ years and played in bluegrass bands for most of that time. I feel like I've come a long way from where I restarted, but I certainly don't have the skill I had back when I ended especially playing in positions outside of 1st. BUT I think I've finally kicked most of the "classicalness" from my bluegrass playing ... at least people don't ask if I studied classical music any more. (Which could be a good or bad thing ... haha).

Oct 16, 2019 - 4:29:01 PM
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1407 posts since 12/11/2008

I recently peeked at some vids I made of myself maybe ten years ago. My intonation is now a lot better but I seem to have lost some youthful...okay middle-aged...energy.

Oct 16, 2019 - 5:23:22 PM
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Fiddler

USA

3977 posts since 6/22/2007

I am immensely better than I was 5 years ago!!

You know what did it? Being under doctor's order to play 4 hours a day to stem the effects of neuropathy due to chemo treatments. And, it worked! No neuropathy! And, greatly improved playing. My bow control improved. My intonation improved - drastically. I had a tendency to play with a "heavy bow" and in the process, overplayed my instrument. I now let my instrument speak for itself - and it is powerful. I am no longer fearful of flatted keys. I have no fear in moving up on the fingerboard. My only regret is that I didn't do this earlier in my playing,

The important thing -- I am alive and creating music with another human being and creating an experience that will never occur again. I am experiencing the Diety in others and acknowledge its presence. My life is full.

Oct 16, 2019 - 6:30:39 PM
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2465 posts since 7/12/2013

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler

I am immensely better than I was 5 years ago!!

You know what did it? Being under doctor's order to play 4 hours a day to stem the effects of neuropathy due to chemo treatments. And, it worked! No neuropathy! And, greatly improved playing. My bow control improved. My intonation improved - drastically. I had a tendency to play with a "heavy bow" and in the process, overplayed my instrument. I now let my instrument speak for itself - and it is powerful. I am no longer fearful of flatted keys. I have no fear in moving up on the fingerboard. My only regret is that I didn't do this earlier in my playing,

The important thing -- I am alive and creating music with another human being and creating an experience that will never occur again. I am experiencing the Diety in others and acknowledge its presence. My life is full.


Wow great news!

Oct 16, 2019 - 7:02:17 PM
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2069 posts since 8/23/2008

Interesting question, so I had listen to my files from ''years ago'' and to my surprise I don't sound as bad as I thought.

Oct 16, 2019 - 7:04:30 PM
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5681 posts since 8/7/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler

I had a tendency to play with a "heavy bow" and in the process, overplayed my instrument. 


I'm still afflicted. I like to blame it on my fiddle (excuse to go spend money). But I know... I'm making excuses. I don't spend enough time working on the techniques needed to make the instrument sound better.

Certainly, today I play smoother, with more confidence, and I am more "informed". But... having said all that - I feel like I was more pleased with my self back 8 or 9 years ago - with what I able to accomplish. I still enjoy learning new tunes - but I seem to be more impatient with myself.  I feel like I should be able to pick stuff up quicker.

And - I have really struggled through the years with being able to start tunes cold. I posted a lot here at FHO (out of frustration) asking about what others do to help over come that. I still struggle, but I have come a long way from where I was. I'm glad to say - I've improved on that. But when it comes to a good number of tunes - I still need to pull out the smart phone. I get teased a lot - I can literally listen to the first few seconds of a recording - most of the time before the melody even gets started - and that will be enough for me to kick it off and play the tune without any other help. Go figure.

Oct 16, 2019 - 7:20:55 PM
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Fiddler

USA

3977 posts since 6/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by fiddlinsteudel
quote:
Originally posted by Fiddler

I am immensely better than I was 5 years ago!!

You know what did it? Being under doctor's order to play 4 hours a day to stem the effects of neuropathy due to chemo treatments. And, it worked! No neuropathy! And, greatly improved playing. My bow control improved. My intonation improved - drastically. I had a tendency to play with a "heavy bow" and in the process, overplayed my instrument. I now let my instrument speak for itself - and it is powerful. I am no longer fearful of flatted keys. I have no fear in moving up on the fingerboard. My only regret is that I didn't do this earlier in my playing,

The important thing -- I am alive and creating music with another human being and creating an experience that will never occur again. I am experiencing the Diety in others and acknowledge its presence. My life is full.


Wow great news!


Yes. I am extremely fortunate and grateful. I was lucky. I know many others who were not so fortunate. So, I live each day with this knowledge. I wake up each morning to find those precious sacred moments where I find the Holy in unexpected places.

Here's a photo of me in Nov 2011 playing in my hospital room looking into the Dallas skyline. What you can't see are the chemo lines - one into a port in my chest and peripheral line in my right arm. In this photo I was disconnected briefly so that I could get cleaned up.

Nov 2011 - Playing in hospital room looking into the Dallas skyline

Edited by - Fiddler on 10/16/2019 19:23:25

Oct 16, 2019 - 9:46:38 PM

364 posts since 8/10/2017

I'm better than I was but I'll never be good. I'll always be pretty terrible.

Oct 17, 2019 - 4:40:58 AM
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4284 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by tonyelder

 But when it comes to a good number of tunes - I still need to pull out the smart phone. I get teased a lot - I can literally listen to the first few seconds of a recording - most of the time before the melody even gets started - and that will be enough for me to kick it off and play the tune without any other help. Go figure.


Several of the people I play with use this trick. It's called taking advantage of technology. I teach a ukulele class and instead of taking notes the students take a picture of the chalkboard. 

Oct 17, 2019 - 7:31:23 AM
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2157 posts since 10/1/2008

I am better than ever yet still not as good as I want to be.......... sigh. R/

Oct 17, 2019 - 7:55:34 AM
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2465 posts since 7/12/2013

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

I am better than ever yet still not as good as I want to be.......... sigh. R/


Does one ever get as good as wants to be? :) I'm right there with ya.

Oct 17, 2019 - 8:37:29 AM
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441 posts since 9/1/2010

I started about 10 years ago. From year 1 to year 5 there was drastic improvement. From year 5 to now I would say has been a lot of refining. The majority of the improvement has been with the bow because that is what I work on each time I play. I have "good intonation days" and "not-so-good intonation days"....the difference now is that there are fewer not-so-good days. Overall I'm very pleased with the progress I've made. I used to think that I would never reach the level of playing I hoped for. When I really think about it though, it actually doesn't seem too far off. Still a thousand or so hours to go, but I think when I hit the 15 year mark I could be there. Something to shoot for at least. I'm sure I'll have new goals when that time comes anyhow smiley

Oct 17, 2019 - 8:57:18 AM
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Players Union Member

carlb

USA

2165 posts since 2/2/2008

Much better, but my clawhammer banjo technique has suffered.

Oct 17, 2019 - 9:23:48 AM
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Petimar

USA

126 posts since 9/13/2007

Now in my mid 60s, I've lost a good bit of speed, but I know much better what I want everything to sound like and get a lot closer to that sound.

Oct 18, 2019 - 3:55:46 AM
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218 posts since 6/21/2007

I started taking it seriously, about 6 years ago,, being a bluegrass banjo player for 40 years. Similarly to Pete the speed isn’t there (max occasionally about 130 bpm). But From gauging the reactions of friends I see yearly at a festival, my technique has improved.

Oct 18, 2019 - 6:55:19 PM
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1629 posts since 10/22/2007

It's always a moving target for me. I play in a band that never rehearses, so my improvement in that area is very slow. I attend a weekly coutry music jam. Six or seven guitar pickers and myself. Consequently pretty much every tune, in any key, like it or not, I get handed a break. Most of the time i pull it off, sometimes not so much.
Ok so, there you go, how do you train for this stuff? I suppose just doing it more? So like fundamental stuff, like intonation, and timing, I'm constantly useing that stuff in context. I just assume that stuff is OK. But one goofy tune in some goofy key, and I'm back to square one, as it were. I could refuse the break, and sometimes do. But i want to present a can-do attitude. So improved? I suppose in the right situation.

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