July 2003

July 31, 2003 10:07


Tuesday my hand hurt after playing only an hour so I had to stop playing, Ill try to make up for that this weekend so it all balances out. I have always been serious about being disciplined and wanting to get better.

I made it all the way through the first ending of the Bach D min Sarabande last night, playing completely by memory. I have taken some time to understand and feel the meaning of each note and phrase but I feel much more is needed because Im interested in making it sound the way I want as opposed to the original markings. I have the mechanics memorized so all I have to do it play it repeatedly and focus on intonation and quality of bowing. Soon Ill know all of it by heart and will be ready to move on to learning (more of) a different piece.

The first few bars of the Paganini caprice 5 is starting to feel comfortable a little bit but still a long way to go.

I have been using parts of Kreisler's Liebsleid, Estrillita by Ponce, and the first page of Tartini's Devils Trill as exercises for playing in 3rd position + and trying to nail my intonation on the high notes, progress is very slow there.

Back to the prunes I guess!

PS-Does anyone know what a "muggle" is?

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July 29, 2003 11:15


The 68 in Scott68 means I was born in 1968, so I guess that makes me 35 years old, yikes! I was a musician for 15 years and just got sick of being poor all the time so I went to finish school in computer programming. I finished about a year and a half ago taking many breaks and now Im finally making a decent income for the first time in my life.

From 16 - 30 studied guitar, bass and piano. I started with rock and blues and found a guitar teacher who taught me to read music and theory as well as some chords and some basic chord theory. He also exposed me to the great jazz musicians and to the great violin music. It was at 16 I began to listen to all kinds of jazz and classical violin. I started to buy violin records (remeber records?) and fell totally in love with the violin. I played guitar in various rock bands and later played bass in a jazz band after moving in with a tenor saxophone player. I am still greatly influenced by him and the music of the great jazz musicians such as coltrane, parker, miles, bill evans, mc coy tyner, oscar peterson, eric dolphy, sonny rollins, grapelli/rinehart and many many more.

Finally at age 25 I acquired a cheap violin but had no time to play or take lessons.

When I graduated at 34 I decided to take lessons and did so for about two months. At some point I decided that my school debt is so heavy that I shold work two jobe for a while to help pay them off faster. When I did that, I became too tired to practice and I decided that the lessons were a waste of money because I wasn't practicing. So I started to teach myself and practice in what little spare time I have. In June I quit my second job to relax and that also gave me time to practice again. I decided against taking lessons again, well for now, because of my debt and because I have invested so much into learning guitar and piano. I know this will cause problems with my technique but I suppose I am content being mostly self taught.

Even though I shouldn't have I bought a violin a few months ago, a Scott Cao 850 Paganini Cannon copy that I am very pleased with. I know Ill never be a great performer but perhaps one day Ill hand my violins down to a child if I ever have one.

I studied calssical guitar for many years so the craft of fingering and positions is not foreign to me.

I have made considerable progress from the time I strated taking lesssons and can play most of the Bach D minor Sarabande, Im focusing on that for right now. I also know bits and pieces of alot of tunes I use for peactice such as Kreisler's Liebsleid, Ponce's Estrillita, the slow movement of Vivaldi's spring, air on a g string by bach, part of the bach chaconne and giga in d min, and part of the c maj sonata, last movement, and the first few bars of paganini caprice 5. My intonation is actually decent and I still go through some of the sevick my old teacher showed me. I play a minimum of three hours a day five days a week every week. I dont know how much longer this will last as I plan on getting a second job soon again.

My goals are to finish learning everything I partially know except caprice 5 and move on to more advanced works. I am interested in learning many chopin pieces on violin and piano as well as he is my favorite of all composers.

I hope my notes serve as inspiration to all who started late on the violin and to those who are frustrated with their playing but dont give up anyways. There are so many times I have been disguested with my playing and so many thoughts of ill never be able to play anything well but I keep on trying and experimenting and changing anyways.

Im a total collector of cds and dvds and I think Im addicted becase I cant seem to stop buying violin materials. I tell myself that buying videos is justified because it can be used to help learn a piece of music, and that a live concert costs even more money but with a video you can watch it over and over and I can always resell a video so its worth it I suppose. Its hard not to feel guilty about spending money when youre in heavy debt. Im also crazy for getting a second violin, a cello, and a digital piano, much money needed. Any rich people out there willing to support my art?

Well anyways, this is a introduction to who I am, please feel free to visit my webpage. I will be updating my blog regarding new recordings, experiences, and mostly my progress learning and playing the great music of the masters.

One day I hope to perform and record jazz and classical standards, in addition to my own music. The music I write is inspited by pianist paul bley and the acoustic guitar work of john mclaughlin, bill connors, and especially ralph towner. These people seem to mix jazz and classical into a new art form: modern chord progressions and harmony presented acoustically: quiet but intense and unobtrusive.

Enough words for now...

Visit my webpage here

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