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Jun 28, 2020 - 7:44:22 AM

9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

You guys understand that if one is paying for lessons and the teacher gives you instruction you do the things they show you right? What you are asking me to do is like going to the doctor and saying well, Dr. Google says I don't have to take the medicine you prescribed.

 

Maybe I (WE?) are misunderstanding you.. Do you think you will continue with lessons from that person?  or are you just 'stuck' until you can get with her again?  Whatever..Don't get discouraged...

Jun 28, 2020 - 10:19:52 AM
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644 posts since 8/10/2017

I intend to continue with the lessons and to practice the things I think I understand and remember from the lesson on Friday, but maybe not do the things I didn't quite understand until I see her again. Meanwhile I don't think I will take advice from here that violin technique doesn't matter, that violin teachers can't help me because they don't play Oldtime music, or that I should watch youtube videos of people playing the fiddle to understand bowing or that I should just do what "works for me" when it comes to technique.

Jun 28, 2020 - 12:54:44 PM
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367 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

Meanwhile I don't think I will take advice from here that violin technique doesn't matter, that violin teachers can't help me because they don't play Oldtime music, or that I should watch youtube videos of people playing the fiddle to understand bowing or that I should just do what "works for me" when it comes to technique.


That's a wise choice. 

Jun 28, 2020 - 1:06:06 PM
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9037 posts since 3/19/2009

You did ask, "what should I look for that I'm doing wrong."... Lots of advise FREE, here, and you know what they say about free advice.. it's worth what you paid for it.. In the end, you Can, Should, and WILL do what you think is best for you. Again, good luck..

Jun 28, 2020 - 1:20:32 PM
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gapbob

USA

742 posts since 4/20/2008

Classical teachers usually work from books, spending years/decades with their students. If that is what you want, go for it. I was shown the bow crawl, never did try to learn it, saw no benefit to it.

Once I sat down with an accomplished professional violinist and was trying to play fiddle with her, I made some suggestions on how to do fiddling, as I am wont to do (oops) and she got quite mad! (What a surprise.)

"I've spent 8 hours a day playing violin for years and years, there isn't a thing you can show me."

Fifteen minutes later, she said, "I've never heard it explained that way before."

Most everyone has something good to say, but there are some things that will be a waste of time, IMHO, the bow crawl being one of them. Of course, everyone here is able to say "That gapbob is full of it and I ain't gonna pay any attention to him!"

Jun 28, 2020 - 1:27:37 PM
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9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob

Classical teachers usually work from books, spending years/decades with their students. If that is what you want, go for it. I was shown the bow crawl, never did try to learn it, saw no benefit to it.

Once I sat down with an accomplished professional violinist and was trying to play fiddle with her, I made some suggestions on how to do fiddling, as I am wont to do (oops) and she got quite mad! (What a surprise.)

"I've spent 8 hours a day playing violin for years and years, there isn't a thing you can show me."

Fifteen minutes later, she said, "I've never heard it explained that way before."

Most everyone has something good to say, but there are some things that will be a waste of time, IMHO, the bow crawl being one of them. Of course, everyone here is able to say "That gapbob is full of it and I ain't gonna pay any attention to him!"


"That gapbob is full of it and I ain't gonna pay any attention to him!"  Frankly, I learned a lot from you Bob..you know that...

Diane is at a point where she wants do see some changes come about.. .. and just KNOWING that she wants something to change is probably a sign that she'll not stop looking until she finds change.. 

Jun 28, 2020 - 1:53:58 PM
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gapbob

USA

742 posts since 4/20/2008

All we can do is to continue down the path towards our goal, asking for help on the way. Sometimes the profferred help will shorten the trip; other times it will lengthen it.

Jun 28, 2020 - 2:32:26 PM
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9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by gapbob

All we can do is to continue down the path towards our goal, asking for help on the way. Sometimes the profferred help will shorten the trip; other times it will lengthen it.


WHICH REMINDS ME.. when, after ten long years of struggling to sound like a fiddler.. I discovered the 'shuffle', purely by accident (story of that to come later)... I KNEW I was on to something good that day and the only thing I could think of the Next day was... "Dang", Now I have to relearn how to play EVERY tune that I know ( I knew a lot..but played them all poorly).....   !!  Having to scrap everything I THOUGHT I knew about using my bow was, looking back, a wonderful thing..A similar revelation was when I learned that the 'shuffle' wasn't the end-all to bowing.. To this day, after over 40 years of playing, I'm STILL learning new bow stuff regularly.......

Jun 28, 2020 - 5:52:11 PM
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2262 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

I intend to continue with the lessons and to practice the things I think I understand and remember from the lesson on Friday, but maybe not do the things I didn't quite understand until I see her again. 


I would encourage you to make an effort to practice the things you think you didn't understand, at the lest you would have attempted something then the teacher can see what you haven't understood completely and then can make the necessary corrections or explain in a different way for your better understanding. Even the basic exercises take practice to play well, and not much can go wrong if it's only a week till you see the teacher again. 

I would also advise to record the lessons because replaying a certain aspect of instruction can be very helpful. Sometimes attention can be lost for a moment and important information could be missed.    

Jun 28, 2020 - 7:28:40 PM
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644 posts since 8/10/2017

Yeah I saw that there was a record option in zoom so I'll try that next time. She had me stop and take notes otherwise. The instructor understands that I don't want to learn to play classical violin, that I just want to learn good technique so that I can move forward.

Jun 29, 2020 - 5:09:26 PM
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Old Scratch

Canada

702 posts since 6/22/2016

'Meanwhile I don't think I will take advice from here that violin technique doesn't matter, that violin teachers can't help me because they don't play Oldtime music, or that I should watch youtube videos of people playing the fiddle to understand bowing or that I should just do what "works for me" when it comes to technique.'

If I didn't know better, I'd say that sounds pretty dismissive of a whole lot of freely-given advice from a whole lot of experienced fiddlers. But - suit yourself.

Jun 29, 2020 - 7:34:04 PM
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5095 posts since 9/26/2008
Online Now

If you can take away what you need from the violinist, Diane, and recognize how it works with fiddling, you'll do fine. My guess is you know the difference between classical sound and the sounds made in the various styles you are playing. Luck to you on getting that bow tamed!

Jun 29, 2020 - 8:08:46 PM
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2253 posts since 10/22/2007

As adults we all have to sift thru the BS.


Everybody knows the best advice comes from them with the biggest post count.laugh

Jun 30, 2020 - 11:49:48 AM
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644 posts since 8/10/2017

One thing she told me is that I mainly do string crossings with my hand not my arm, so hopefully learning to use my arm will help me. A lot of oldtime tunes go BGAF#G or maybe something like edeF#G and man I just can't do that except slowly, not even on mandolin. Doesn't matter how much I watch others, how much I metronome myself, how many decades go by. Hopefully learning how to string cross like a violinist will help. If not, what's the harm in having tried to learn something with someone there making sure I'm doing it right?

Jun 30, 2020 - 12:18:32 PM

9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

One thing she told me is that I mainly do string crossings with my hand not my arm, so hopefully learning to use my arm will help me. A lot of oldtime tunes go BGAF#G or maybe something like edeF#G and man I just can't do that except slowly, not even on mandolin. Doesn't matter how much I watch others, how much I metronome myself, how many decades go by. Hopefully learning how to string cross like a violinist will help. If not, what's the harm in having tried to learn something with someone there making sure I'm doing it right?


Ask if there is a Hangout member living within distance.. then get just 6 feet away and see what happens..What part of the country do you live in?

Jun 30, 2020 - 1:38:50 PM

5095 posts since 9/26/2008
Online Now

I'll assume you are using the middle two strings. Yes, that is one of the trickiest yet common turn arounds. I still have to practice it if I haven't played those particular G tunes in a while. Slowly, over and over and over...it will come around once you get used to using other body parts to move the bow laugh

Edited by - ChickenMan on 06/30/2020 13:40:02

Jun 30, 2020 - 1:47:53 PM

644 posts since 8/10/2017

I go to a weekly jam with some really good players and to an Irish session. There is no dearth of people to watch and ask questions. But they are not instructors.

Jun 30, 2020 - 1:52:11 PM

9037 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

I go to a weekly jam with some really good players and to an Irish session. There is no dearth of people to watch and ask questions. But they are not instructors.


DANG.. No use asking you to show up at Clifftop for a week of free instruction.. It has been canceled!!  Always next year.. laugh

Jun 30, 2020 - 3:54:48 PM
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2665 posts since 9/13/2009
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

I go to a weekly jam with some really good players and to an Irish session. There is no dearth of people to watch and ask questions. But they are not instructors.


I think a lot of the discussions is about differences in philosophy of music, and learning; and perhaps goals.

The above comment points to difference in learning... and the modern formal approach to music.

Self-directed is about learning to use others, observation, asking... as collective instructors... using their collective knowledge for input and guidance. There's a saying, "When the student is ready, a guide will appear".  Everyone has input to some degree, potentially something that will help you... and show you or explain in just the right way that makes sense. It not based on expert authority, "have to" instructions; but rather based on the "info" itself, often just give suggestions of what to try, experiment with, see what works. Requires a bit more evaluating and sifting (but that can be worth it). It's a more concrete, right brain approach to learning.

But granted some, that is not for everyone. Some, the modern, authority instructor based learning is perhaps better suited to them, it matches their idea of what proper learning is.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 06/30/2020 15:56:01

Jun 30, 2020 - 4:48:03 PM
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2665 posts since 9/13/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

 "When you know correct violin technique, it is easier to play because you aren't fighting against it."


This is the philosophy behind all good teaching methods, and it is what we have been trying to convey in this thread, but very challenging through the text media. Much trial and error can be saved by learning one-to-one lessons. 


There does seem to be a lot of this modern teaching philosophy. That there is a single correct technique...  that violin technique is superior, if not the only "correct" way to do things. 

I came from alternative pragmatic learning. Part of which embraces idea of trial and error, experimentation... woodshedding... hands on experience, that concretely discovers and sorts out what works for my goals. Learned multiple ways, or variations; a bit of understanding the goal of motion/sound. Paying attention to my body, feedback of what seems more efficient (not fighting against) was big part. Was never concerned much with saving myself from that, either time or effort. This worked for me, (and many others)... to what my pragmatic goals are.

Just pointing out there are different philosophies and methods. FWIW, "good" is subjective... depends on what metrics used.

Jun 30, 2020 - 4:48:54 PM

644 posts since 8/10/2017

The advice I've gotten from jam friends is along the lines of just do whatever you'll figure it out don't worry about it just keep sawing. I have asked a few people if they've ever had violin lessons and many of them have, if not most. I had piano lessons, not violin, and my piano teacher said I was a dummy, so I didn't learn it right. One person I know used to be an Irish flute player but couldn't play flute anymore for some reason so he took violin lessons for a few months to get the basics and now plays Irish fiddle 1000x better than I will ever be able to. Although he compliments me on my ability to play in tune and demands that I bring my fiddle every week. I'm just trying to catch up to him, I guess. I want to be able to play Irish music. It takes a lot more skill than I have gained playing oldtime music following the advice from my friends to just keep sawing.

Jun 30, 2020 - 5:29:58 PM

2262 posts since 8/23/2008

quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler
quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
quote:
Originally posted by sbhikes2

 "When you know correct violin technique, it is easier to play because you aren't fighting against it."


This is the philosophy behind all good teaching methods, and it is what we have been trying to convey in this thread, but very challenging through the text media. Much trial and error can be saved by learning one-to-one lessons. 


There does seem to be a lot of this modern teaching philosophy. That there is a single correct technique...  that violin technique is superior, if not the only "correct" way to do things. 

I came from alternative pragmatic learning. Part of which embraces idea of trial and error, experimentation... woodshedding... hands on experience, that concretely discovers and sorts out what works for my goals. Learned multiple ways, or variations; a bit of understanding the goal of motion/sound. Paying attention to my body, feedback of what seems more efficient (not fighting against) was big part. Was never concerned much with saving myself from that, either time or effort. This worked for me, (and many others)... to what my pragmatic goals are.

Just pointing out there are different philosophies and methods. FWIW, "good" is subjective... depends on what metrics used.


I did say... 'all good teaching methods', which includes 'all styles'.. I did not say... 'violin technique is superior'. 

And 'good teaching' will include this as well....... 

trial and error, experimentation... woodshedding... hands on experience,

Learned multiple ways, or variations;

Paying attention to my body, feedback of what seems more efficient.

And since the OP has been 'woodshedding' for the past15 years,

what do you suggest they do now, or are you just trying to pick an argument..?

Edited by - buckhenry on 06/30/2020 17:31:05

Jun 30, 2020 - 7:53:11 PM
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367 posts since 3/1/2020

I hear a lot of comments about violin technique and fiddle technique, as though only classical violin players use violin technique, and fiddlers use some other different kind of technique.

Violin technique is just violin technique, regardless of the style of music it’s used to play. Using the term fiddle technique to differentiate is as silly as using the words violin and fiddle to refer to instruments as though they’re different. Fiddle is just another term for the violin, and fiddling is just another style of playing the violin. You might debate the superiority of one style over another, but technique is something that’s either present or absent.

There are a lot of fiddlers who are self taught or poorly taught and have poor technique. Some are able to play fiddle tunes in spite of their technical issues, but not because of them. Learning better technique is something that will help any player in any style. It’s frustrating to read comments that suggest that learning violin technique will somehow harm the authenticity of a fiddler’s playing.

As an analogy, consider Arnold Palmer, the great golfer. His swing was infamous for the “flying left elbow.” It wasn’t the perfect, beautiful swing that others like Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player had, but he was a phenomenal player. His greatness came from his abilities overall, not from eccentricity of his elbow movement. In other words, he was great in spite of his elbow. Arguing in favor of bad technique is like superstitiously arguing in favor of things like flying elbows. One takes lessons to avoid focusing on the wrong things.

Over the last 500 years, violin playing has been taught and studied exhaustively. The result of that is a comprehensive approach to playing well. There are several different methods to learn, but the essentials are the same. Any fiddler that plays well has those essentials, even if other aspects of their playing are less polished.

Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 06/30/2020 19:54:14

Jun 30, 2020 - 11:32:56 PM
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2665 posts since 9/13/2009
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quote:
Originally posted by buckhenry
quote:
Originally posted by alaskafiddler
Just pointing out there are different philosophies and methods. FWIW, "good" is subjective... depends on what metrics used.

I did say... 'all good teaching methods', which includes 'all styles'.. I did not say... 'violin technique is superior'. 

And 'good teaching' will include this as well....... 

trial and error, experimentation... woodshedding... hands on experience,

Learned multiple ways, or variations;

Paying attention to my body, feedback of what seems more efficient.

And since the OP has been 'woodshedding' for the past15 years,

what do you suggest they do now, or are you just trying to pick an argument..?


Not trying to pick an argument... I was referring to the comment,  the term "correct" implies superior, no?

 Just pointing out observations, that people have different philosophies about learning, thus different methodologies; and even different philosophies about music, playing music... perhaps different goals of what they want to do. It's really up to the individual to decide what those goals are.*

Many teachers, or methods do not include those aspects.
 

I meant something different by "Woodshedding"; which is not merely the time put in... but in how the time is spent. Not simply rote "practicing" the instructions regime. I meant a process that involves certain freedom, open mind possibilities, "what if"; utilizing aspects of top-down, aspects improvising solutions are useful...noodling can be useful.  Goal is to raise awareness, paying attention to cause and effect, giving your brain and body useful info as it relates to music, what sound and feel.

Just to point out that some teachers, philosophies and methods simply do not really encourage those things... in any meaningful way. Nor perhaps meant to. Indeed they are often focus on quantitative technical, mechanical first; practice regimes, exercises that can invoke dichotomy of "right" instructions (thus vs wrong?), pass/fail; as dictated by an "expert". These are often bottom-up based method; rely on rote repetition;  technical instruction and quantifiable focused... though sometimes can include fear of making mistakes, fear of bad habits.

Not to say it's bad, or necessarily inferior... the latter is probably well suited for some folks. As it's very disciplined, might be useful if wanting to be more high technical skill type player... esp if goal is to have career being technician, able to follow those instructions precisely (takes a lot of effort and discipline). Some amateurs, though that might be the ideal, their goal is to participate; but still more in line with that model to achieve to some degree of goal, fits their philosophy in what is playing music. Some are simply comforted by the idea of following quantified instructions of authority, (such as sequence of notes, timing, bow direction), and doing it "right" by supposed authority.  With enough effort, discipline, it will satisfy that goal of participation, and probably sound okay. How long, how much effort and limits might be another issue. I encourage anyone to proceed that suits them, gives them joy.

what do you suggest they do now,

Great question. Much really depends on what their goals really are, as well philosophy of what playing music is about. Then discuss what process/method and/or alternatives others have used that might help them, be more in line.

As far as the speed issue; just to mention there are some alternatives to that latter quantitative approach, that one might want to consider. Some were mentioned, I might add some in another post.

edit: I hesitate advising... esp if I sense the person is pretty wedded to needing the latter, and specific instructions to follow; and gets defensive in idea of "correct" and authority experts. Seems like will probably be dismissive, reject others suggestions, things like woodshedding, experimenting, diddling, phrasing are not what they want to hear.

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 06/30/2020 23:45:13

Jul 1, 2020 - 8:31:21 AM
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gapbob

USA

742 posts since 4/20/2008

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

The result of that is a comprehensive approach to playing well. There are several different methods to learn, but the essentials are the same. Any fiddler that plays well has those essentials, even if other aspects of their playing are less polished.


Classical violin is a TRADITION, just as old time, Cape Breton, Swedish, Norwegian, Irish, Gypsy fiddling, etc., are traditions.  Techniques that augment classical traditions are codified and taught in a rather formal path.  Language is used to identify things, the word violin is typically used for non-fiddlistic styles.  There are a multitude of traditions inside the classical tradition.  I mentioned a story about a friend of mine who went to play in the Mexico City symphony, and after her first day there, several musicians came up to her, excited, and asked her where she was from in Poland.  Her teacher was Polish.

The techniques learned are those that facilitate the music being played and the style by which it is expected to be played, which often is associated with the language of those who live in that tradition.

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