Community
You must be a member to respond to discussions.
Discussion

Shelly ~ South Carolina
This discussion includes members-only video content

Ok - Eileen (and others) you asked for it.  Here I am playing "Simple Gifts".  Please understand I've only been playing for 7 weeks so don't tear me apart too much! :-)

I know I need to work on my intonation and what is up with me "swaying" so much when I play?!  I didn't realize I did that.  Weird. lol

My instructor still thinks my violin needs a sound post adjustment - she thinks it sounds really "nasally".  I guess it does?? I still think she doesn't like my violin. lol 
Shelly ~ South Carolina
21 Responses
Posted: November 1, 2011
Last Comment: November 4, 2011
Replies

Eileen
Posted: November 4, 2011
I do have a rubber mute and will use it on occasion......but with my hearing loss it's difficult for me to hear myself very well when I use it.  :-(   

I have occasionally thought of getting an electric violin so I could "plug" in with ear buds....but..spending for a decent electric violin doesn't seem like something I should be doing at this time.

I have to do something because it's getting pretty discouraging really...not being able to practice when I have nothing else to do and really really want to.   I do go up into my bathroom upstairs...where the acoustics are "wonderful" btw haha...I love playing in there......I have two door between me and the rest of the crew but even that isn't enough.    That's why I get up at 4am and pull it out after hubby leaves for work and before the kids wake up....they don't hear me when they're sleeping (I've asked them).

....20ft ceilings.....must be fantastic !   :-)   The fiddle group I used to play with occasionally would play at a senior housing complex that had a room with high ceilings.....all wood.  We LOVED playing there !



Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 4, 2011
LOL!  I hear ya, Eileen! I would have done the same. :-)  But question - do you have a mute?  I have a rubber one that goes over my bridge.  It really tones everything down.  Then I go into my office (my cave), close the door and practice in there.  There is very little sound that comes out to the downstairs area (I had my husband listen to be sure).  Otherwise when no one is home I like to practice in the living room.  We have 20 foot ceilings in there and it really has good acoustics!! :-)

Eileen
Posted: November 4, 2011
Thanks Shelly, so glad to be back !   I couldn't even practice my music as much as I wanted to because.....everyone else was home too.  My husband still has no power at work and used up the rest of his vacation staying home this week.  The school is closed till Monday, so our February vacation came a tad early this year !  I sure hope this isn't a sign of things to come this winter !  Two weeks off already and it's only the beginning of Nov !

I did manage to get a little practice time in when everyone went over to my mother in laws (who had no power, but had heat because her building has a mongo generator) to warm up.   All the pegs let go of the strings on my violin because it was so cold but it's surprising how fast you warm up once you start playing !   I guess you find out just how determined (obsessed?) you are when it's only 40F in your house and you forego going someplace warm and toasty just so you can practice with abandon !

 O<{}:o) 

Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 4, 2011
Eileen!! I'm so glad to see you "back" among us!! I know you lost power for a few days - can't believe that storm was so intense!  So glad things are back to "normal" for you. :-)

I guess you must be right about whatever I learned having stuck with me.  Now to just progress and get to the point where I can play faster songs and such.  The slow songs don't seem to be a problem but when I have to pick up the pace then things fall apart. lol  Oh well! :-)

I really hope you DO come to Texas!  And actually, when I did the video I wasn't thinking about the shirt until AFTER, but then I thought Beth would have a good laugh over it. lol

Eileen
Posted: November 3, 2011
Hi Shelly,

You and your violin sound wonderful for only having played for 7 weeks !  I "Know" I didn't sound that good when I started out !  I'm thinking that someone taught you well, at least in the basics for those short couple years way back when...whatever you picked up then, even though you said you didn't practice...it stuck !  Bravo !!

Keep up the good work !  I'm sure you will improve very quickly.   I sure hope I can get to Texas this coming summer so that I can meet you and Beth and everyone else.  I too noticed the t-shirt and wondered whether that was on purpose...haha


Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 3, 2011
Patricia - thank you for thinking I've come so far so fast.  I just want to get better and better!  And yes, that was a slight vibrato at the end but I REALLY have a lot to work on with that - sometimes when I'm playing though it just comes out on it's own.  No idea how that happens??

Simon - you are so sweet, thank you!!  I feel the intonation needs a ton of improvement.  I guess I'm my own worst critic. :-)  Maybe I should post another video in a couple of months and then compare the two.  I think that taping myself has helped me watch what I need to work on.

Michael - thank you for your kind words as well.  I think posting the video has helped me see where I need to work on (for my skill level) and as you can see, everyone is so nice and kind in their critiques!  You should play something you've worked on and are very comfortable playing.  I have memorized the Simple Gifts song so I can concentrate on how I am playing versus having to look at music.  I try to do that with all the pieces I work on - even if it's only a few measures at a time.  Please post something soon!  It's great to see others in their progress! :-)

Michael Logiudice
Posted: November 2, 2011

Hi Shelly,

You played that peice Simple Gifts very nicely.Amazing that you have only been playing for 7 weeks.Keep up the Good Work.Cant wait to see your progress in future

video postings.Ive been a member for about two months and wondering when I should post a video and what I should play?





Simon
Posted: November 2, 2011
Fantastic!  I'm very impressed for just 7 weeks!  you look very comfortable, confident and natural and the intonation is great - as is the tone.  I look forward to more videos in another 7 weeks!

Patricia
Posted: November 2, 2011

Hi Shelly:

Congratulation for advancing so fast. For some of us and speaking for myself, it will take a lot more time to progress what you have done in less than two months. I believe at the end you have a vibrato? Vibrato has cost me already a lot of practice (and some disappointments too). So congra!

Patricia


Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 2, 2011
Thanks, Bonny!! :-)

And Beth - I thought of that later myself..lol!  "Hook 'Em, Horns!!"  My best friend is an alum but I am from Ft Worth so I support anything Texas.  :-)

bm
Posted: November 2, 2011
Hi Shelly,
Nice to see a video from you. It was nice. Beth and others have already commented on it. I believe you are on the right track to excellence. Keep it up.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: November 2, 2011
Sure hope you can come too! And I forgot to tell you I liked your T-shirt choice : ^ )

Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 2, 2011
Hi Beth - block fingering:  YES, I am totally guilty of that!!  That is something else on my list of things to work on.  I try to stay relaxed and not place the fingers to hard on the fingerboard but when I get nervous I definitely do that!  Thanks for pointing that out. :-)

The violin has not been played for almost 20 years, perhaps even longer than that.  And I did just replace the strings with Obligatos, which are said to have a warmer tone to them, so not sure how that all works together.  Hopefully in a few months as I improve so will the quality of the sound of the violin.  I just know I love it.

I can't wait to come out to the workshop next year!  I would love the opportunity to have a private lesson with you as well!  :-)

Beth Blackerby
Posted: November 2, 2011
Hi Shelly, Thanks for posting!! Your technique looks great, an yes, I agree, excellent intonation!  As for the swaying..keep it up! Moving while you play helps keep tension out of the body, as well as creates pathways for developing that great sense of internal rhythm (which you totally have).
In fact I have been thinking of how to incorporate movement based exercises into my beginning lessons to encourage those very things.

I can't tell from the video, but are you using block fingerings? I noticed that when you place 3rd finger on the D string, it looked like you were placing all the fingers. Of course the hand can accompany the 3rd finger as it travels to the D string, but I like to see students place fingers independently.

As for the "nasal" sound of the violin, beauty is in the "ear" of the beholder. If your violin sounds good to you, that's all that matters, unless you're going on a solo tour : )

I found the violin to be fine, barring the inherent poor quality of computer mics. Also, you said the violin went unplayed for a ling time. It may take a while to open back up.

Brava on your playing!!!

Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 2, 2011
Jojo - thank you!! I don't know if the two years I played as a kid really helped all that much but maybe it did.  I just know I have a very intense desire to get BETTER.  I try to practice 1 - 2 hours per day, though the past couple of weeks that hasn't happened due to work.  I'm ready for my "slow" time of December/January!

Donna Marie - I really appreciate your comments on my straight bow!  I'm not sure really how it came about?  I do try to practice in front of the mirror twice a week as my instructor thinks I play too close to the fingerboard - so I need to work on that as well!  There is a lot I need to work on. :-)  And with the nasally sound, I think *I* hear it being more mellow, as Anne described, but you and my instructor hear nasal tones.  I guess it just boils down to what our own ears prefer?  Strange how we all perceive things a little differently! But maybe a sound post adjustment will help all that. :-)

Tomi - thank you so much for your feedback on bow bounce!  VERY interesting about the right thumb. I will have to look at that.  But, the interesting thing, this bow that I am playing with now that I have on loan from the luthier is a much better bow compared to my cheap chinese one.  I have noticed a lot LESS bounce with it and it seems like it is easier to control.  I like the way it feels on the strings as well.  I would just need to come up with the $400 to buy it - just not sure if I should or not.  Decisions, decisions!!!

Thank you all, again, for your very kind comments and critiques!  It is greatly appreciated.  :-)

tomi
Posted: November 2, 2011
Hi!

Nice playing! 

About bow bounce. I've had that problem too. I've isolated my bounce's main cause to my right thumb. If I apply more counter force (squeeze) with my thumb than necessary, bow will bounce very easily on down bow. With very relaxed thumb there is no problem. My problem is to keep the thumb relaxed, but I'm getting better at it every day :)

And the bow that came with my cheapish violin set really likes to bounce. I bought a new carbon fiber bow some time ago and it is a lot easier to control. Even now when I play a piece totally without bounce with the new bow and then switch to the old one, it bounces like mad. No idea what's going on with it but I can't control it :)

Donna Marie
Posted: November 1, 2011
Hi Shelly.  You're good!  I know how you feel.  The desire to play really does overcome the need to practice intonation. How do you manage to keep a straight bow?  I can only do so when I'm in front of the mirror.

Sorry, but I have to agree with your instructor.... he does sound sort of "nasally" to me  :( 

jojo
Posted: November 1, 2011
you are very good :)  maybe the 2 years as a kid are helping as I certainly was not THAT good after 7 weeks! LOL
I can see you overtaking me real soon :)

Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 1, 2011
I also know I need to work more on bowing closer to the frog.  I have issues with that and also with "bow bounce".  Sometimes when I put the bow down it bounces a bit like I don't have a lot of control of it yet.  Any ideas how to alleviate that? 

Shelly ~ South Carolina
Posted: November 1, 2011
Hi Anne - thank you so much for your kind reply.  And yes, it has only been about 7 WEEKS of playing - though I did play for a couple of years in school when I was about 13 and I never practiced at home (bad me).

I really appreciate your comments!  I try to work on my intonation every day but some days I just want to play ... lol. :-)  I really do love playing.

Anne aMaudPowellFan
Posted: November 1, 2011
Hi Shelly! Great that you played for us. You mean you have been playing for seven months, not weeks, do you?

What struck me is your excellent rhythm. Yes, intonation is not perfect; it is good that you hear that yourself. Your bowing is very good, considering the short time you have been playing. My humble opinion, not being a teacher.

Can't say too much about the sound from the video. It seems to be quite even over the strings, which is good, and the sound seems to be more mellow than bright, which is pleasant and only becomes a problem if you want to solo with orchestra. Regular playing, more brilliant strings or, yes, a soundpost adjustment could open up the sound some more.

It is so obvious that you are having fun with it; and then you treasure it because of its history. Strange that your teacher is so opinionated.

Thanks again for sharing. I enjoyed your playing.