Sorry everyone, been busy at work and off the forum
QUOTE(violinlove @ Jan 3 2012, 11:59 AM)
I think you should continue to do what your teacher asks you and work on the more difficult music but dedicate some time each day to relearning all your repertoire (starting from your beginner book). Set a fixed length of time to do this - say 15 minutes or half an hour. Then start at the beginning again. Apply the techniques your teacher is teaching you to the beginner pieces. When you are happy with a piece, then move on to the next one and so on up. I think you will be surprised at how well you can play pre-grade 1 pieces!
Thank you violinlove, this may be an option, do half practice on 'grade one' half on what I am doing now....maybe...still have to talk to teacher tomorrow (aaarrrggghhh
QUOTE(Blackbird77 @ Jan 3 2012, 12:18 PM)
Jojo - right now I can name two pieces that I've heard you play that you can play "decently enough", although I would say that you are playing them more than decently enough - how about GREAT. The theme from Schindler's List and Meditation by Thais. I'm not saying this to make you feel good although if it does it's a bonus. I am saying this because.....IT IS THE TRUTH!
Before you see your teacher, could you make a list of all your strengths in your violin playing (and you have an abundance of them) and a list of the areas that you feel need stripping back and consolidating? I personally don't feel you need to go right back to the start, but perhaps use this as an opportunity for reflection and appraisal.
Thank you BlackBird, I'll have to say thank you to what you said about my two performances....how could I not?
if you think I played well enough that is all that matters really!
I actually have recorded those performances and maybe when I listen to them I listen to them with an overcritical ear (the one of a teacher?), that can be very good of course as otherwise we would never improve but I think I also use my overcritical ear a little too much the negative way ie: I should indeed use it to 'acknowledge' in order to know what to change/improve next time but not to 'bash myself'
QUOTE(viola-mad @ Jan 3 2012, 12:23 PM)
Hi Jojo. Ok, we know you have the basics (a decent violin, a good teacher, and the aptitude and dedication to have reached an advanced level of playing). What you wrote above indicates that you also have:
1. A good ear.
2. The judgement skills to know when you have not executed a passage correctly.
3. The judgement skills to know when you have not played a passage as well as you could have done (subtly different from above).
4. The patience, drive and commitment to go as far back as necessary to work on whatever techniques need improving.
What do you need in order to improve further? Well, all of the above. You already have all the right ingredients. Just add time.
Anyone who is interested in improving their skills (at anything, not just music) is probably guilty of beating themselves up. It is normal and commonplace, both in amateurs and professionals. However, Jojo, I do think you give yourself a harder time than most. Wanting to improve is one thing, but I would hate for you to make yourself ill over it. Please be as kind to yourself as you would be to anyone else!
With regard to your 'back to basics' proposal, I'd say go for it. I hope you start to see results soon.
Absolutely viola-mad! you are SO right and as in my reply to BlackBird I probably have a very good tool indeed: my ear! should stop using it to 'bash myself' and use it more to practice those passages!
QUOTE(miffy @ Jan 3 2012, 03:06 PM)
Sometimes the problem with 'seeming' to progress very fast in the first few years is that you suddenly turn round and realise that none of these techniques are as sound as you thought. Maybe rather than 'starting again' as such, it would be a good time to consolidate?
Yup Miffy 'consolidate' is what I've been trying to do, but I think I 'miss' some basic building blocks as I keep falling onto the floor too often, otherwise why is my teacher telling me off just too much all of the time? I would have hoped his telling off would slow down just a tiny bit by now? noooooooo it's not! that is why I am still making all the silly mistakes I was making 2 and a half years ago! that's why! I need to go back I think! I'll tell him tomorrow
QUOTE(ffliwt @ Jan 3 2012, 03:09 PM)
When i got to music college i found myself suddenly in comparison to 10 people who have been playing 3 times longer than me... i realised that whilst i'm the same 'level' as them, maybe some things aren't quite as secure or developed so i've devoted a lot of time to sorting out individual things bringing them up.
My teacher said i'm in a good position in that any 'bad' or 'wrong' habits are easy to re-learn/correct because i havent had them engrained in my brain for the last 12+ years like everyone else! You're in the same position
There are many negatives to 'fast progress' but some positives too
I don't think I have progressed that fast...I have been playing 5 years and I don't know what 'grade' I am to be honest maybe 6? I can't say I am grade 7 as I can play grade 7 pieces if they are 'slow' but give me a fast one and I'll make a mess of it!!! and grade 8 pieces slow yeah maybe fast? FORGET IT!
so no, it's not that fast my progress, I'd say average and if you actually stop and listen to how I play I don't play that well at all, quite below average so you take that into view as well, if you want me to play 'well' maybe I can only play grade 3 to 4 pieces adequately, anything more difficult I can't play well so no, I have not progressed fast after all...but thank you for having such high view of me
QUOTE(immy @ Jan 3 2012, 07:14 PM)
You may not know me Jojo, as I hardly ever post anything (but read the forum a lot), but have you tried reading the Inner Game of Music by Barry Green? It might just help. I have found it very useful and from reading your posts I am not dissimilar to you, in the sense of being an expert in telling myself how terrible I am! I even re-read it from time to time, as a reminder to not beat myself up all the time.
One of the other problems I find is that whilst you are playing twinkle twinkle, in the early days, you are not comparing yourself to anyone else. You are just glad to be making a sound. Once you get a bit further on most of the pieces you are playing have been recorded by the good and the great, or you hear them performed live, and that is the sound you are aiming for. Sadly, even if one were to start all over again a hundred times, you and I are never going to achieve that sound in this lifetime. I find it a hard thing to get to grips with, but it is the truth we have to live with. Either live with it or give up altogether and miss out on all the fun of making music. So on balance I think living with the frustration is the better option by far.
In the meantime, like most of the others, I would not advocate starting all over again, but rather spending a good part of your daily practice time on bowing open strings, simple bowing and finger exercises, slow scales in various bowing patterns, and in 3rds and 6ths etc for intonation.
Finally, do you play in an orchestra or with others in a chamber group? Such a good opportunity to have fun making music and not be completely focused every second on your own sound. Just being part of a symphony gives such a sense of fulfillment! With any luck the brass behind you will drown out any dodgy intonation.
Hope some of this might help.
Hi Immy, no have not read that book, I don't have much spare time at all in my day to day life...I work many many long hours 6 days a week I find it hard to find to play my violin
I have to go back to listen to my hypnotherapy CD though re: my low confidence, that did help me....
At one point I was going to 3 orchestras but have left it all behind, I was NOT enjoying it but rather found it got in the way, I did not have time to practice the orchestral stuff as all I want to/like to practice is my solo stuff from my lesson and when I go there I feel lost not knowing how to 'keep up' as I have not practiced. I find I cannot socialise as there is only a 15 mins tea break so what is the point?
and no, I don't find that the more you go the more you learn to 'catch up and play more' as I went for a year and I still could not 'catch up' I got tired of it! I will go back when I reach licentiate, until then I felt I was more tired then actually enjoying it (I do work nearly 60 hours a week though)....
QUOTE(miffy @ Jan 4 2012, 03:01 PM)
All good thoughts from Immy - Jojo, I have the book Immy recommends if you want it?
It's all to easy to get into the 'oh, I sound rubbish' trap and hard to get out of, and for other people to convince you otherwise. I know when you are feeling this way probably the worst thing I could suggest is recording yourself, but you could try it with a resolve to ONLY hear/see the good parts (however small!), even make a list of the things you CAN do. You may surprise yourself..
AH! Miffy...I record myself very often! I actually 'video' myself a lot (you know this actually!!!) and I think it is a 'torture' more than anything else as I ALWAYS watch my videos like an 'hawk' ready to PICK at any mistake....going THERE THERE IT'S AWFUL, I KNEW I WAS GOING TO SOUND AWFUL LISTEN LISTEN I MUCKED IT UP AGAIN!! NO IT'S NOT RIGHT, NO NO IT'S SHARP IT'S FLAT, NO NO I GOT THAT WRONG, I WILL NEVER PLAY IT RIGHT THROUGHOUT
QUOTE(jod @ Jan 4 2012, 05:31 PM)
Jo-Jo, what do I know about string playing, I'm only a singer, except when I went to college I had to rebuild my technique due to placing problems, and I was made to do this on Grade 8 + repertoire and not Nursery rhymes.
It would have been better and easier to have done so using easier songs, so I could have worked on the passagi better and furthermore had my singing teacher at college not put a false ceiling on my voice, I would have had a better feeling for where the passagi actually were.
So from this lesson, my suggestion is if you feel it is necessary to rebuild your bowing technique by going back to bowing patterns on open strings, then do it.
You will soon be back playing the Bach Sonata. However you will be playing the Bach Sonata knowing you have consolidated your technique. I've had to do similar things with my oboe and with the piano as well as my singing so know it is worthwhile.
You are not the first musician who has felt this way or even done this. I admire you for working this out for yourself rather than needing to be told.
You have been flattered by those who have heard you play, and if their faith in you is justified (I think it just might) you will be the better player as a result.
However, remember, I am not a string player so what do I know!
That is how I feel Jod....
but I think my teacher will say no
QUOTE(michael N @ Jan 4 2012, 06:23 PM)
I would like to hear these grade 5 pieces that JoJo plays so badly.
I have recordings of me playing grade 5 pieces but it was 2 years ago, they are not recent, so I was even more HORRIBLE back then!
if I make you throw up your dinner these days then those recordings will make you go into an non shockable heart-rhythm!!
so which one do you want to hear? jojo 2 years ago playing grade 5 pieces or jojo now playing grade 5 pieces?