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Author Topic: Getting bored with the same old routine of playing tunes, what else is there?  (Read 3868 times)

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Offline Roger Doltree

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What can i do to not get bored?

I practice every day but its becoming monotonous .

The tunes are very simplistic and it is so repetitive just practicing them over and over every day.

How do you stay interested in it?

Offline Hill Cat

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Just a few ideas you could try,not just based on fiddle but other instruments and activities, apologies if this is stuff you've already tried.

  • Find someone else to play with - makes it more fun.
  • Form/join a band.
  • Have something to aim for - arrange a gig (even if it's just for family), go busking, play at a session.
  • Study a new style, even if you still have a base style learning other styles can teach you an awful lot.
  • Get some new CDs to play along with.
  • Get a new book/DVD to study.
  • Get a new fiddle.
  • Get a new bow.
  • Try some new strings.

Often if it's getting dull then you can be just on the verge of breaking through to a new level so stick with it.

Cheers,
HC

Offline Ebor_fiddler

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I agree with TopCat up there in the Wild West Riding. You don't need to do it all at once though - just learn a couple of new tunes you've either heard or heard talked about. Keep going Rog - It's meant to be fun! ::)

Offline madmat

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I think regularly playing with other people who are better than you are is key, both as inspiration AND motivation. I'm starting to ceili and session a lot more, and informal gatherings at people's houses just seems to flow out of that. 

Getting together with a whistle player at least weekly now, by a nearby lakeshore. This is not something you pursue by yourself.  ;D
Not your mama, or Yo-yo Ma!

Offline Joe Gerardi

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Something my performance mentor in college told me:
If you  play something more than once, you're playing, not practicing. (Unless you're correcting mistakes and doing a second take.)

My performance regimen back when I was concertizing was an hour of scales, (both parallel and contrary motion) and  an hour of arpeggios from the MacFarren Scale and Arpeggio manual. All of them, in both Major and melodic minor keys. Only then could I start working on the repertoire, which was another hour to tow hours. With the scales, if I got any part of one wrong, I had to play them all over again until they were all right. Yup. 3 to 4 hours a day of practice. 7 days a week. Plus 3 hours of travel to and from school. Plus 4 hours of classes. plus gigs.

No, it was NOT fun. Yes it was mind-numbingly boring. But the threat of having to do them all over again kept me on my toes to make sure I got them right. BTW: Everything had to be played Allegretto with no pedal.

He would have me list what I was trying to accomplish for the day with the piece(s) I was working on. That list was inside the cover of the music, and he would seldom check it, but it had better have been there, and be what I was working on that day. He could hear me playing in one of the practice rooms, and would offer advice by shouting down the hall. (The one that smarted the most was the time he yelled "Stop playing with your elbows!" Apparently, he thought my dynamics were too loud.)

So don't just play your tunes over and over again, because that is not practicing. Have a goal in mind. Try to accomplish something specific in your playing that day, and don't move on until you do accomplish it, or you become too tired to continue.

That's a good practice.

..Joe
"Some people are like a Slinky... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs"

Offline Roger Doltree

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Thanks for tips all, ill have a think how id like to incorporate.

Offline swarbrules

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Record yourself and listen how all that boring practice is helping you to improve.

Offline Harriett92

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I'd recommend to find a fellow musician, but not the one that plays fiddle. You are looking for someone who can actually help you play something that sounds like a song. I've seen a duet where one guy was playing a fiddle while the other one is being on the African drum! Sounded surprisingly cool

Offline fiddleandstrum

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If you can't find anyone to practice with Youtube can be a great source of practice partners. Thousands of other people's Jam sessions and backing tracks you can join in with.

Offline pobe

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Play the same tune in different keys. Or try some improvisation. Start making up your own tunes. :)

Offline gmstl

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All of the above.  Change e verything including:
key
tempo
improvise
play with a track
play with a group
listen to someone else playing the same tune.
change style from swing to bossa and back
change the time signature
change octaves

Change everything or at least try  few!

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk


Offline graeme

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Try to close the gap between yourself and some fiddler you admire (say, Alasdair Fraser).

There is plenty for most of us to do.

Offline bluesviolin

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ah, there you are! Remember that Duck Shoot over on Key of E maj?.... Tetrachords?
"Striving to attain Mediocrity"

Offline giannaviolins

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Small pieces.  Break into every feasible tiny motion.  Feel every muscle.  Get perfect.  Learn how to listen so intently.
When I would get in the "zone" shooting, I would sometimes notice the flickering of the round going down range in the sun until it became too small to trigger any signal.  The space between heatbeats becomes the world, and the time between sear breaking and pin striking becomes clear.  
Do that with each note.
Or you could make a fiddle.  That's a good break.

Offline kjbllc

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not trying to be morose here, but just what I have experienced. 
I am a late started, with serious practice, and wasted about 30 years fiddling. 
  the first time I played with others I wondered why they were all out of tune, this was in the day of the a tuning fork. you probably figured out it was me. 
 so after all that time I could play ok in a couple of keys, at times it sounded pretty good. but the other  keys were a mystery. 
  now  I don't get the least bit bored with scales so far, about 1,ooo hours in the last 1.5 years , and not nearly satisfied, there is so much to work with tone, bowing, fingering, that's even before you get to other positions . 
  so partly I would say that your intent and attitude, as with everything is the most important.  
 :"one day you find, ten years have got behind you"  so if you have time now to do some serious practice on scales, don't waste it , you can't get it back. if you get to really know your instrument the whole world of music is open to you. 
good luck 

  

Offline x_adventure

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Record a video of your performance and post it to youtube just to have something new experience relevant with your violin playing.

Offline mswlogo

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Just a few ideas you could try,not just based on fiddle but other instruments and activities, apologies if this is stuff you've already tried.
  • Find someone else to play with - makes it more fun.
  • Form/join a band.
  • Have something to aim for - arrange a gig (even if it's just for family), go busking, play at a session.
  • Study a new style, even if you still have a base style learning other styles can teach you an awful lot.
  • Get some new CDs to play along with.
  • Get a new book/DVD to study.
  • Get a new fiddle.
  • Get a new bow.
  • Try some new strings.
Often if it's getting dull then you can be just on the verge of breaking through to a new level so stick with it. Cheers, HC
Great list.
I'll add
Find a Fiddle Camp
Sign up for a Fiddle Contest.
I also agree on the verge of breaking through and sometimes tweaking equipment, as you suggested, can suddenly allow you to break through.
Could be as simple and cheap as changing Rosin.

Offline Ebor_fiddler

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Has any of this advice been of any help to you Roger? I've forgotten - whereabouts are you geographically? We need some feedback if we are to keep on helping you -  :o

Chris (who just dropped his fiddle in the pub and needs to retune it)

Offline graeme

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Hey, "1000 hours of scales in the last 1.5 years".  Nip that back a bit. This could be our issue, right here.

Daily scale practice, with all technical work (including scales) taking about 1 hour, is probably enough for all but the concert artist, or elite jazz improviser.

As well as technical work, "study and play" your way through some book of "etudes", taking the view that all players of this "violin shaped object" can gain great benefit from this work, fiddlers, as well as "violinists". You will get a fair dose of scales applied to music here, and bowing technique, etc.  Can you play all 60 studies in Wohlfahrt Opus 45?  Plenty more great collections if you can already do this.

And play some new fiddle music every day (thousands of tunes available in collections -- O'Neill's, etc).

A daily practice routine will help organise all this.

But, do chill on the scales a bit. Essential yes, but "drinking too much fresh water will kill you".

Offline tupper

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I think it helps learning a tune that is a "project".  A tune that you find extremely difficult and takes weeks or months to learn.  When you can finally play the tune decently, you will have acquired additional playing skills.  When I first started playing, the instructor told me that I should always be struggling to learn something.  That is how a player progresses.
I agree with the improvisation recommendation.  Playing with a couple of rhythm players and improvising a version of a tune is difficult.  On Youtube the Canadian fiddler April Verch and 2 other fiddlers sat in a circle.  Each fiddler is to play a reel one time.  A reel cannot be repeated.  If a fiddler cannot think of a reel, or is too tired to continue, they are eliminated.  The fiddlers were surrounded by a shouting crowd of onlookers. It came down to April and another fiddler.  The other fiddler ran out of energy and April was the winner.  Doing this would improve memory. playing skills, stamina, and nerves.  BTW, that was the only time I have seen this done.  Seems like a good idea though.  Would hearing "O.K. Boys !!! Next month the competitors will play 6/8 double jigs.  The month after that, waltzes" get the juices flowing ?

Offline graeme

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One thing too many fiddlers have abandoned is the greater exploration of their instruments.

For one thing, learn to get out of first position.

Why? You don't simply get access to more notes, but in many situations you can avoid crossing strings within a phrase, and you will even find fingering easier for many passages.

I know fiddlers love open strings. Some stuff just flies when you build it around open strings. And you can sound so "dazzling" in the keys of D and G and A, and their related minors and modes, of course.

But it is not hard to find well-trained violinists who consider third position "home" for much playing.  But what would they know!

Take 12 months to double your skills? Sounds like a good deal to me.

Offline BurwellBash

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Have you heard Lau? Play with the music: bend it, twist it, compose for yourself and enjoy it. Try rhythmic improvisations and ornamentation practice. There is so much out there to have fun with even when you're by yourself.

marton

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Improvise - by yourself...with others.

Get into a band or start one, record yourself with backing tracks you've created or download stuff from wikiloops and do additions. The sheer number of things to be involved with is more than enough for a lifetime.

Offline bluesviolin

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yeah, I'm livin' the dream rockin' at the blues jams (waiting for busking season to start) yesterday afternoon at The Lynnwood Station I was up with a sax player/front man whom I've played with before, and the house guitar player, bass and drums.

I've been using my low action, fast and smooth barcus berry acoustic electric violin a lot lately and really staring to like that power steering feel.

rock on.   
"Striving to attain Mediocrity"

Offline catt

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...wasted about 30 years fiddling.
 

Me too!

Oh wait, I dont think you mean what I think you mean...   ;)

 




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