Barry Berman

don't you love it when...

Published: May. 30, 2007 at 6:33 AM
Don't you just love it when you know you are playing better? I decided to warm up by playing all the songs I've been passed on, and to tell the truth, I did have to sometimes play them a few times, before they sounded good. But then when I played the new songs I did play better. I know it sounds silly but the new songs included 'yankee doodle' yes, I'm at that level, but damn I got happy!

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finally cool stuff coming...

Published: May. 17, 2007 at 3:56 PM
The past six months have been a little crazy. For a bit I had to put my lessons on hold to concentrate on work, and you all will get to see the results of that soon. It's the new cinematic from Blizzard for you gaming fans.

Other cool news is, I'm continuing lessons again starting tonight. I'm so looking forward to improving. My goal of being a surf rock violinist is still quite a ways off!

Next is the strings conference in San Diego. I signed up, and get smiley every time I mention that indeed, I'm going to "Band Camp". I hope to meet some other enthusiasts for strings there too. Let's face it, it's not all that popular, feels lonely sometimes, but I'm used to that. I've got some very odd hobbies.

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Finally, I'm improving...

Published: Feb. 17, 2007 at 8:50 AM
My teacher commented that I'm improving, and I feel so happy. I've actually not been practicing that much, but am able to play things fairly well, with just one walk through. My next lesson, the teacher asked if I had any special sheet music that I'd like to learn, so I'm bringing in James Bond and Star Wars. Does that make me a bad person?

Heh, not all of us want to play Bach;)

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Time for Maintenance

Published: Feb. 10, 2007 at 7:05 PM
Looks like it's time to do a little maintenance for my rig. A few months ago, I started to humidify my apt to keep it within about 50%, and the violin does sound much better. Now though, the pegs are sticking, so I've got to add peg lube. I've never done that, but it seems fairly self explanatory.

I also haven't used polish ever on the violin, but when I ordered peg lube, I bought that too, so might as well try it.

Lastly, the Bam case I bought is scratch prone, or more likely, I'm not careful. To cover up the scratches, I'm putting stickers on the case. I put a couple NASA ones, on there, and I love going through airport security now. They look at the case and think there's some scientific equipment in there. If they open and see a violin, the jib is up, but it's funny for me.

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new job, bad practice, and namm

Published: Jan. 27, 2007 at 7:00 PM
I moved away from doing visual effects for a living and am now working for a game company. I'm practicing a lot less, which is really irritating me. Anybody have some tips on how to motivate a person to practice more? I'd appreciate that.

On a side note, I went to NAMM last weekend and got to play with the new codabow. Wow, it's nice. Perhaps someday....


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finally able to practice

Published: Mar. 15, 2006 at 6:12 AM
I've just recently gotten finished with a freelance job that took every waking hour I had, so FINALLY, I'm able to practice. My teacher actually said last week, 'gee we could move on, but you have to do some work first'. Finally though, thank goodness, I'm able to practice and improve. Yay! I practiced over two hours today and it was so refreshing!

Oh, btw, I did get my case finally, and I love it. I bought the Bam France HiTech Carbon, with the large music case. I'll take picts when I remember to bring my camera to work. I keep it at work, and my electric at home, so I don't have an excuse not to practice.


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thoughts on NAMM

Published: Jan. 23, 2006 at 6:57 AM
I just got back from a day at NAMM. For those that don't know, it's the largest music show in the country (maybe the world for all i know). The main reason I was there was that I was suspect of a pickup in my electric violin. Sure enought, the pickup for the A string is defective, so I have to get it serviced. Hope it doesn't cost much.

Anyway, here's my thoughts on NAMM. First, it's about dealers and secondarily musicians. When there, I went from booth to booth, and the first question always was 'are you a dealer?' When answered, no, they were deflated, but still went through the motions.

A few booths though, were genuinely interested in the musician. I found that nearly all the strings makers were really nice and interested in everything a musician had to say. At the Super-Sensitive booth, they were practicly gushing over themselves when I told them I've been using their Sensicore's for years. That kind of service made me buy 3 sets of strings from them too. Oh word to anybody thinking of going to NAMM, if they sell in their booth, buy, since the prices are dealer prices!

I went to a lot of different case companies there, and found each very interested in all their products, and listening to the artists to make sure their cases meet their customers needs. One, Accord, even said they'd make custom cases for even one off instruments, all they'd need is measurements. I'd say that's good service, but then again, their violin case is made of carbon fiber and costs like $1500. I did go to the Bam France booth, and saw the case that will be shipped to me next month. It's ABS Carbon Fiber look, and it looks nearly as good os the Accord, so I'm not complaining;)

Every booth that had violins I took a look. Most were just so so, but there were some beutiful ones in the german section. Heinrich Gill had the largest crowd, but right next door, Heinrich Roth, looked nearly as good. I also visited the electric violin luthiers too. Jordan Electric Violins were there, and they had about 8 of their nice models. Their tone really is nice and their craftsmanship is great. I'm glad I bought one of theirs. I also went to the Wood Violins booth, and well, the best part to me was the booth was stocked with nice skinny female sales people. The wood violins might play well, but I don't think they look as nice.

Other booths that made a noteable impression to me was Moog. They had their Therimin Pro, which is beautiful and haunting at the same time. One booth was Girl Guitar Company, that sold really girly instruments. They were pink with flowers or butterflies on them. The whole booth was pink, and moms brought their daughters wearing pink to the booth. It was all, well, pink.

I found that when people asked what instrument you play and you say 'violin', you get two reactions. One is disdain, like 'it's an archaic instrument, how can you possibly be so stupid to play that'. Or two, 'wow, you play violin, you must be one of the truly gifted to play that'. The only booths that didn't have that kind of response were violin makers. They were like, 'oh good, tell me what you like best about the violin'. Very refreshing.

I thought it was funny when some booths asked if I've tried their rosin too. I'm like, 'you mean this stuff runs out'? Honestly, has anybody every bought a replacment rosin? I don't mean, if you lost it, left it, broke it, but really used it all up? Hee hee, anyway.

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the case has been decided...

Published: Jan. 8, 2006 at 10:30 PM
I finally decided on a case and it's pefect timing really. My teacher noticed that I've been putting in my bow diagonally since it's too long for my student case in one slot, damn coda bows. And that puts pressue on the violin itself since the bow crosses over the fingerboard.

I looked at all kinds of cases and decided on the Bam Hightech Carbon with the large music pocket. This one is full suspension, is long enough for my bow, and has a full music pocket. Besides that it looks like I'm smuggling nuclear secrets in it. I can't wait to try use it with my electric. That instrument already looks like something out of Flash Gordon. I'll probably mostly be using it with my acoustic though. I didn't think I'd enjoy playing acoustic as much as I do, but it's got a certain quality that's different than the electric. The electric on the other hand is sooooo much more forgiving.

Yes, I know, boys with their toys. Oh, but such wonderful toys;)

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merry x-mas, time to spoil your violin

Published: Dec. 25, 2005 at 6:52 AM
Merry Christmas folks. I hope you all are having a great holiday. My favorite (non violin) gift this season is a real vampire bat to mount on the wall. No idea where somebody would find a gift like this, but it's very cool.

For myself, I chose to spoil my violin. The violin itself was a gift from myself to myself for this xmas too. But I decided to stick on a new chinrest which matches the electric I have, as well as a new tuning fork, and a mute. I can't seem to figure out how to use the mute though, I'm supposed to attach it behind the bridge, and slide it up to the bridge when I need it, still though, it's weird. It's one of those that you can leave on the violin when not in use. I was using a big rubber grommit one, but I started to get worried about damagine the bridge sliding it on and off, which is why I got the new one.

Okay, now that I've got all these violin parts, I'm going to need a new case to fit it all;) My Birthday is too far away (July), so I think I'll get an early valentines day gift for the violin!

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I've been bad...

Published: Dec. 23, 2005 at 5:51 PM
I've been bad, and should be spanked. I've gone a week, and have only practiced about an hour. I know the teacher will see it too, especially after the last lesson, where I blew through 4 songs, got sign off to move on. Work has just been a drain trying to gear up for xmas. I hope the teacher understands. I'm trying to learn, really! If santa judged me based on my violin practice in the last week, I'd get coal for sure.

Next week though, I have it off, so I'll practice inbetween learning to program robots for animation. Life is good;)

Oh, the tuning fork, I ordered, should come in today, looking forward to tune by ear.


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