September 2003

September 30, 2003 11:02

Last weekend I played through half of the first page of the Chaconne, it was incredibly rewarding to produce those sacred tones with my hand. It is already sounding like music because the chords in the d min sarabande are very similar so the chords seemed familiar to me. I cant explain the feelings that come over me when I hear this music and the rewards of learning to play these works by myself.

Yesterday I ordered a violin instructional cd called Mimi Zweig's Approach to Violin and Viola Teaching. It is a cd full of violin instruction by a grad of Indiana U, where Joe Gingold used to teach. Im looking forward to using it soon and learning from it. I especially need help with my spiccato and I think this will help. Even Josh Bell was quoted as saying Mimi Zweig's course is a powerful and wide-ranging learning tool. I encourage string students and teachers to immerse themselves in it. I am convinced that the great wealth of knowledge she offers will be as beneficial and inspiring to you as it was to me in those important early years of my violin study.

Over the weekend I went to the library because I was craving new sheet music to devour. In addition to the some films I checked out on video, I found scores for the Bruch Concerto 1, Mozart's Eline Klein Nachtmusic, Mozart Concerto 4, and Mendelssohn and Brahms Concertos. It has been a goal of mine to lern the best parts from some of the more popular violin pieces like this. Im sure Ill have fun learning them sometime this week while I watch "The Hit" "The Score" and "Theres Something About Mary". I like to have the tv on when I practice because I live alone and it adds ambience to the room, seems to be better than silence for some reason and if it works, use it I figure.

My guitar desires also seem to be reappearing, there are guitar pieces by Ralph Towner and Bill Connors I wish to arrange for violin and guitar and its starting to make me want to play them so bad I won't be able to go much onger without working on them in addition to all the straight violin stuff Im doing.

Also met someone from maestronet who is buying an $18,000 violin, I offered to let him try mine and me his so that will be fun to play a violin that nice, Im excited about that.

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September 26, 2003 13:01

Many rare mp3s including Kogan, Rabin, Oistrakh, Grumiaux and Shumsky's Rode plus other videos will be posted at:

Stephen was a pupil of Shumsky and has put up many video lessons online. I encourage all to visit this forum.

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September 24, 2003 08:15

Random observation:

Everyday I become more and more like Glenn Gould...

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September 23, 2003 10:24

I recently decided to focus on the Bach Chaconne at this point, I already know most of the first page. This is exciting for me because the music has become such a part of me, almost like a religion. Sometimes I think my violin is the only thing that understands wht I am feeling, especially through this piece. I have many deep memories linked to this music when I hear it.

Ill post my progress the next couple of weeks.

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September 16, 2003 06:45

I looked at some of the viola parts in the vivaldi last night, now I understand what inspired all those viola jokes!

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September 15, 2003 08:03

I played the second movement of vivaldi's winter yesterday, a much easier scale pattern than spring. I love playing vivaldi and bach and so much, I could play only baroque stuff the rest of my life and be happy.

I also started to play some of the gavotte from the 3rd lute suite, it sounds so good on violin and I cant wait to record that and overdub the cello part for the bass notes, that will sound so cool.

The bach b min and d min sarabandes are now both second nature by now, I have completely memorized every note. I think Ill start on the chaconne and 1st movement of the e maj, that and more vivaldi, maybe summer which is my favorite, I think im ready for some of the faster movements now, this will be exciting for me to finally play the third movement of summer, certainly one of my favorite pieces of music ever, exploding with genius.

I never thought I would make this much progress in one year, last year this time I played with really scratchy bowings, the bow would bounce unintentionally and I had no clue about playing in tune or where the notes were. Its so rewarding to be able to play my feelings (finally). There have been so may times I have said Ill never be able to play in tune and kept on playing anyways.

Soon I will be distributing OOP recordings: soon I will send a cd to my friend Stephen Redrobe full of rare violin mp3s by kogan, shumsky, rabin, grumiaux, szeryng and more. We will put them up online for everyone to download, it makes me feel good about distributing rare and out of print recordings that you cant get anywhere especially when students and teachers benifit from this.

Im also craving more instruments Im dying for a second violin, I love the dark tone of my paganini delgesu copy but what I really want is a strad type sweet tone that isnt as loud. Im buried in debt right now in time Ill get there. I alo am craving a cello, recording devices, a digital piano and a drumset, its strating to really eat away at me because I can not do the musical things I want to. Ahh the aggrivation, maybe Ill start working 2 jobs again soon although I usually wait until winter when it is too cold to practice.

One thing is that the violin can take all your time and money and make you obsessed. I practiced as much as I could in the summer, now the fall is coming and I will likely practice less and spend more time going out with friends and having fun. Practicing so much helped alot but I need to relax and have fun this fall, this is also the week the students move into the dorms at osu and that means there will be tons of young girls looking for someone to date so I will likely be spending a great deal of time looking for someone fun to date and possibly marry one day, Im 35 and Im running out of time before I can have children, the clock is ticking wildly but I have to remain patient, we will see what happens...

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September 11, 2003 12:29

Played all of the bach d min and b min sarabandes completely from memory, still needs work but at least I dont have to stop to remember notes anymore. There are chords in the B min I could never play at all until recently, I just went really slow and played each note one at a time and after a while I started to get a feel for it.

I plan on working on finishing liebslied and the second movement of winter just havent gotten to it yet, mostly because I started working on the gavotte 1 and 2 from bach's third lute suite, yes I played it on guitar but its great music that I may arrange for violin and cello one day. The change in tempo in the middle eats away at me so bad I can not stop practicing until I have it down. I go through phases where I want to play something so bad that I go into mad scientist mode and cant stop practicing. Of course no one in the world will be able that gavotte on guitar as well as john williams. Im still amazed I was able to see him a few years ago, his playing is always emotional and completely effortless. I remember hearing williams plays bach when i was like 16 and even then it was one of the best records I had (remember records?) I swear Im obsessed with bach, one day I will know all of the lute suites, all sonatas and partidas for violin, cello sonatas, some of the preludes and fugues and some of the inventions.

911 - my thoughts go out to those who died and to the soldiers over there. It amazes me how people do not support a war after what happned, maybe because they arent from here or maybe because they would rather bury their head in the sand and pretend there is no problem.

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September 9, 2003 10:24


My back still acts up every once in a while but for the most part the pain is gone and I am free to practice as much as I used to. The pain really slowed my practicing but now Im back on track. Thank you God! I suppose if you dont have good health, what do you have?


The Bach d min Sarabande is sounding good and in tune, when I play it I don't have to think and I never have memory lapses at all. Playing this has now become comfortable and totally second nature. I never thought I would be playing Bach at all within one year, well I did tell my old teacher that if i could play a 3 octave g major scale that I should be able to play Bach and now Im really doing it. The rewards of producing those tones are incredible, I love violin so much when I practice it is not like work even those days when Im out of tune and cant to do anything. Everything comes from my love for the music and that is the fuel that keeps me going.

I have been playing through the b min sarabande the last month or so and that is finally starting to sound good. B minor is a very difficult key to play in correctly and with raw effore and correcting myself Im finally getting the feel of the chords, some of them areterribly difficult. It seems to help if I play each note of a chord one at a time. I can play through the whole thing but only have about half memorized so far, more time and effort will change that. Soon I will be able to play the d min and b min sarabandes both back to back. I think that is remarkable progress for someone who only started taking lessons less than a year ago. Of course, I read much Bach on classical guitar proir to studying violin so that skill has definately helped alot.

I can also play the second movement of spring but havent gotten to winter yet, I guess I wanted to focus on finishing the b minor first, and partially because I get lazy about reading music and just like to play what I have memorized most of the time. This allows me to focus on technique though it seems I play best when I dont think about it at all.

My legato is coming along, I have many exercises I invented and I still play part of paganinis 5th caprice really slowly. This caprice has really helped me to shift into higher positions when I play other tunes. I had alot of trouble with legato string crossings and I can already har progress in my sound but still a long long way to go.

Last week I went out and bought a decent bow, it came in the mail and i tok it out and left it on the couch. Later I caught my moms dog chewing on it but it still works good, teeth marks and all. Before I was using a Glasser and wow I cant believe the difference! All the bowing problems that I had but couldnt figure out what I was doing wrong totally went away and the tone is so much better, Im shocked at the difference. I still use my glasser when I practice with a mute and need to be quiet but every sunday I have been going to my friend's store and I play everything I know like a recital. He works at a billiards store where they sell pool tables but its really slow on sundays and the few people that come in seem to enjoy the music. Hey if anyone is interested in a pool table, head over to and talk to my friend tom crooks, he can get you a deal.


I heard the new Mullova CD, the Beethoven I didnt like that much, but the cadneza was a different one than I was used to and that made it interesting (I forget who wrote it offhand). The Mendelssohn was good and interesting but Ive heard better, I still liked it alot, she has a very unique sound.

That is about all I really listened to, I saw some new dvds coming out in asia Im getting excited about from Grumiaux with Gitlis, a new Szeryng DVD, more Oistrakh, and more Menuhin, who knows what else will come out? I cant wait!

Until next time keep on fiddlin everyone!

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