This is a message to express my condolances for those who have lost during the California wildfire chrisis and especially to the firemen who have died trying to save lives. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
God bless you all
Played the usual Bach all weekend, its a challange to play the intro of the Chaconne smoothly and up to tempo, this is what I have been focusing on more than progressing to page two.
Sunday I again went to the library seeking new music and movies to play when practising. My love for new age music is still present and I picked up a gorgeous cd by Liz Story (I have been a fan of her music for almost 20 years) called "Unaccountable Effect" and improvised along to that for a while. Also, "The Deer Hunter" is now one of my favorite movies ever.
Playing and listening to different styles and having fresh movies playing in the background really helps keep my practice routine fresh and inspired and minimises boredom.
The best thing about practicing this weekend will be watching the best spagetti westerns from Tokoyo.
Went to a friends house last night to practice violin and took the glasser bow... Im beginning to believe that bow is the antichrist. Who needs that when youre trying to play four note chords? I suppose however, it will serve me well as a marshmallow stick unless someone wants to buy it... anyone?
Did I mention that Im eager to get my new bow?
I have a new best friend, the pause button on my dvd player.
A long time ago, I asked a teacher when the best time would be to move your hand during the first ten notes of Paganini Caprice 5 (a three octave arpeggio in a min requiring a really fast and long shift), they told me to get the Rosand video but I think I like my Milstein video more. I slapped in my Milstein dvd, the thing is that at normal speed you cant really tell when he moves his hand because it moves so fast. Well thats where my new best friend comes in, the pause button. I can play a fraction of the video and it will pause a partial second later. It looked to me like he played 2 notes on the low strings, than 3 notes on the a and e strings, each high note of the 3 note string sequence was played with the third finger. Even though I asked a teacher this question a long time ago, it was interesting to see Milstein's solution. (Its really unbelieveable how fast and accurate he is!)
After practicing that 3 octave a min arpeggio for 20 minutes, I started playing half of the first page of the Chaconne for three hours and it is starting to sound better, more natural and musical because I am getting to know the intervals better. As for the Paganini, it is a disaster right now but I find it useful as a shifting exercise and in time I may get it together, perhaps soon I will start working on the chromatic sequence that proceeds the first ten notes. I also have a book with the Brahms and Bruch concertos that Ill probably goof around with some tonight. Yummy!
I noticed recently that when Im learning a piece of music, it is good to practice some with the violin in guitar position and strumming the notes with your thumb. It is easier to correct your intonation that way and really learn the feel of chords before you have to hold it in standard position, you learn without straining your hand and when you go to bow the notes you are alot more perpared. It is also alot quieter and your neighbors hear less wrong notes that way and hopefully want to poision you a little less? One can only hope.
Reading the notes is only the first step. I think a piece of music is like a piece of luggage: its really heavy at first but after a while you get used to carrying it and it becomes more comfortable. The important part is how to play it with respect to rythm and above all learning the meaning of each note and how long a note or part of a chord should be played.
Just saw a great video lesson at Steve's Forum about spiccato and sautille bowing.
My new bow isnt in yet but Im excited about playing my first real bow and working on the bowing techniques in Steves Lesson.
Im so happy to be able to play in tune and know how to get a good tone from the bow. Im no great violinist but Im still greatful for what I do have.
Side note: Tracy's egg timer technique is similar to my idea of playing one page for three hours, instead of 15 minutes for eight bars.
Also wondering where tina butter went? I miss her blog ;P
I get so much spam it's rediculous! I mean do I look like the kind of person who would be interested in breast enhancements?
I would also like to add that Buri's prunes are now available in the juice format. Bazzini nuts are optional as well.
I noticed that watching the cubs loose is detrimental to motivation for practicing.
I finally found out why it is taking me so long to progress in the Chaconne, I remembered making the b a b flat in the second octave but for some reason I forgot to make the low b a b flat, making this one chord impossible to sound good and slowing my progress way down. I was so happy to finally make those sounds correctly.
One time I saw a movie called "The Gods Must Be Crazy" about an african village who gets a coke bottle dropped from an airplane. They think bottle came from the gods and it becomes a prised posession. Later, the village starts fighting over it and it is seen as an evil thing that brought conflict to their peaceful village. I was thinking recently the violin is an evil thing because it takes all your time and money and takes you away from people because you have to practice it so much.
Last night I watched "A Beautiful Mind", one of the best movies Ive ever seen in my life. Its definately true there is a fine line between genius and insanity I think.
As for the cubs game last night, that fan must have been wearing the wrong hat. He surely couldnt be a fan because of what he did (see photo at the right). Maybe it wont matter anyways, we will see...
I just found out Shawn Lane, one of my favorite guitar players, died recently (there is a photo of him to the right). He invented so many new scale patterns and played with a freshness I had been searching for for a long long time. How sad very few knew of this undiscovered genius. I will never forget what he did with music, the kind of thing where he shows you how to do it and youre still like how did he do that? I miss him already. I was going to go to his hometown to see him play with his backup band last summer but just didnt have time. Guess I lost my chance to meet him. Why does life have to be sad?
Stop and think for a minute about how many undiscovered musical geniuses there have been in the world that no one will ever hear.
This is a copy of a letter I wrote today:
To anyone in the Lane family, fans, colleagues, and to Mick,
Shawn will be dearly missed, I cried when I found out.
His music changed my life in so many ways, inspired me to no end as a musician, and brought to my ears what I have been looking for for many years.
Rest your mind at ease knowing he is with God now and please know that he did not live his musical journey in vein. Perhaps his death was a relief from the pain and somehow I think I find comfort in that.
I can't believe he is gone!
These tears are real,
Scott Bosley - Guitar virtuoso
Watched the Buckeyes loose yesterday while practicing the chaconne, ugh. There's still hope for the Cubs though.
Today I went to the library but not for sheet music this time, I wanted to get some movies to break up the monotony during violin practise. I found "Lost Highway" by David Lynch, its actually a less complicated and abstract film than "Mullholland Drive" and I think watching it helped me understand Mullholland a little better somehow. Both of these movies are so abstract that there is no way you can completely understand what is happening, they are unlike any other movies I have seen. The are now both part of my list of cult classics Ill watch over and over during violin practice, although today I busted out Star Wars for practice and even figured out the music of the main theme by ear.
While I was at the library I found someintersting CDs: A Faure Piano Trio and Quartette, piano trios by Bruch, Mendsessohn, and Lalo, and sonatas by Pandolfi, Villa Lobos, and Handel. I have to say Faure is easily one of my favorite composers of all time, the beauty in his music is undescribable. You have to hear the Faure sonatas and piano quartettes, unsurpassed beauty! Apparently Gil Shaham will be recording some of them soon according to last month's Strad issue.
It so nice to be able to watch movies and listen to new music without having to pay. Im not opposed to buying CDs but I have so many of them already and I dont have much money right now.
So please dont call me a cheapskate, Id would rather spend my money on violins anyways!
Im also very excited about getting my new violin bow. As for my old bows, I suppose thay would make good marshmallow sticks unless someone wants to buy them...
I have been talking to Connie Sunday lately more than ever (who was mentioned several times in the last issue of the Strad). We are good friends now and all of a sudden she offered to sell me one of her old bows. It is a Karl Knilling (german made) pernambuco octagon stick that is currently being rehaired and she claims it is as good as the $500 bows. I wanted a good bow and didnt know what to get, it looks like this is my answer and for only $125 - not including shipping. So it seems my bow delemma has been resolved.
Connie has her own online violin shop and is an honest teacher, also her webpage has many interesting articles so I encourage all to visit her page and her store, just click on the link to the right.
Now if only my delemma about the Cubs winning the series and the OSU Buckeyes winnig another national championchip could be resolved. I guess I will have to wait and see.
I played for two hours straight last night and Im really feeling like Im starting to understand the bow and how control the dynamics of volume and its easier for me to get the tone I want alot more than ever. I can remember when I started the bow used to jump alot and now it doesnt at all, finally.
To anyone out there who is having throuble with this, just play through it, if you play scales long enough and try to learn from your experiences and instincts it will simpy come to you in time and present it self somehow in some magical way. But you do have to work at it and know the fundamentals so you arent practicing wrong.
My violin still has the original strings on it and Im getting itchy to put evah pirazzis on it, only Im broke right now. Im starting to wonder how the thing will sound with new strings and a better bow.
Im also severly bummed about the possibility of having no more Schwartzeneger movies, T4 would have been cool.
Kabalevsky cola, sounds good bet it has lots of kick!
Anyways, some girl I was talking to last night told me that I live in a cave because I didn't know she was talking about Jennifer Lopez when she referred to her as "jay-low". I then thought to myself that I never would have made it through college if I didn't live in a cave.
Consequently, I may now be referred to by new nickname "cavey"
Other than that, im really taking my time with the chaconne, only playing a few bars at a time. Im in no hurry to get that one down but I figure in time Ill have it. The chords are so hard to play but I am totally used to them by now, my hand is used to stretching huge distances from my guitar studies. I can see how a beginner could be discouraged by trying to play this.
I have also been messing around with some vivaldi and mozart 4 the last few days. Im so hooked on mozart 4 I asked my brother to buy me the complete mozart concertos for christmas because I cant afford it right now and the library wants their copy back. Besides the library only has a mini score, anyone who is reading that little mini book would get a headache trying to read the notes.
Slow steady progress is fine for me right now, Im having fun spending time out with my friends on the town but soon it will be too cold to practice and Im running out of spending money so it may be time for a second job very soon more than likely, joy.
Until next time,
...went into convulsions laughing so hard, partially from watching my show, "Everyone Loves Raymond" and also partially from all the cheers (checks are in the mail)
...I think I prefer practicing with the TV on!
Still looking for the t and the v in Chaikowsky, will keep you posted...
In need of violin cheerleader for inspiration, and I am considering paying cash for services rendered. All interested applicants welcome.
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