Hello. I am new to this site. The postings are super. It is incredible to see in print some of the very same struggles and questions I have had over the years. The support of this site is part of the positive energy I am feeling as I return to the fiddle after taking significant time away.
Background: I studied for about 10 years, ages 13-23. It was hard work, but I held my own in youth and college orchestras. While I could handle advanced orchestral repertoire, I was disappointed to not go beyond Bach in in my solo work. Playing ceased to be much fun within a few years of leaving college, even with a community orchestra and within about 10 years of leaving school I pretty much stopped playing altogether. However, I did take voice lessons and made good progress in a short time (with no small nod to the impact of all of my years of violin study!).
About a year ago I was motivated to return to playing, and have enjoyed the process of getting my violin ramped back up. I upgraded my bow, which has made playing much more enjoyable because I am not fighting against the lighter weight of the bow I had always used.
Now that I am older, it is easier for me to listen to myself now and stay focused and I am getting more pleasure now than I ever remember. Even better, my fingers remember where to go; I just need to regain strength and speed.
I need guidance on tuning and practicing. I can tune with open strings, but sometimes need a little help. Does anyone use an electronic keyboard when the tuning fork and your ear are just not jiving?
Unlike my earlier days, it is now just plain fun to practice. I need help setting up a routine. Do I break up time by practicing, for set amounts of time, intonation, bowing, vibrato, et al using my etudes and a piece? (This is what I used to do.) Or is there another approach that may be suitable. Money is tight, so a teacher will probably be out of reach for awhile, unless for a one-shot session. My goal is to play in a small ensemble (small chamber orchestra or perhaps quartet if I find a match).
I look forward to any ideas you have to share. Thank you.
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