Forum Replies Created
I went to carbon fibre a couple of years ago when I went electric. I have a high end wood bow, and the main difference between it and my CF bows is that the wood bow sounds more mellow on high notes. It seems to absorb some of the harmonics up there. The CF bows are a bit more lively, a little bit more clear.
One thing is for sure – I love playing with my Codabows (and they were probably 1/5 the cost of my pernambuco bow.
And once y’all switch to CF, think about switching to Zarelon strings. Then you never have rehair problems, humidity problems, breakage problems on those hard double shuffles, etc.
Hi Rucky, I’m glad you enjoyed my video. I’m glad you enjoyed the video. There’s a before and after pair of videos on my website, to show the contrast. The video was right when I was a newbie at vibrato, so I see some “limitations” 🙂 in it now that I have more experience.
Vibrato isn’t that hard to do when you know exactly what to do. My upcoming books 2,3,4 will show you exactly how to do it. And vibrato sounds wonderful on those slow songs, like Ashokan Farewell. (I’ll have to learn that one this year maybe, when I have some spare time between writing all these books and setting up the website… 🙂
And to you and Gu, thank you for the kind comments on my little video. Kevin
I bought a great little humidifier a couple of years ago. REALLY easy to fill, dead quiet, and if I forget to turn it off and it runs dry, no sweat. The current filter needs replacing after 2? 3? years of steady winter use, but they’re only a few bucks I think.
Honeywell Germ Free Ultraviolet Cool Moisture Humidifier.
Tuning isn’t bad on my electric violin either. It has very stable tuning because it has a solid wood body, I think. But even with that, the temperature/humidity change between 50% humidity in the summer and 30% humidity right now (inside my apartment) requires a tuning change.
Nope. I bought them from Amazon for $5 or $10 bucks. Maybe they came from China. I have a 25-ft 3.5mm extension cable too. But if you can’t find the long ones, the 6 footers are everywhere. Chain together a few to get the space you need.
I’ve had a few sets of wireless headphones over the years, and they were all lousy overall.
For many years now, I just use a simple $5 12-ft headphone extension cord for my headphones. Works great, I can cross the room, walk around, have a workout while watching TV loud at night, etc.
Twelve feet + 6 on the headphones gives you 18 feet to play with. And when I’m playing my electric violin, I’m wired in with a 25 ft cable. It works fine too.
I’ve also tried using an ipod in my pocket for a backing track. It works great for the backing track, but not so well for my electric violin, since I need a mixer to blend the two signals. But an ipod in your pocket would work great for acoustic players, I think.
The think I really liked about the ipod (or smartphone) in the pocket method was that I could make a whole playlist and follow it. No need to reset each tune, etc., and no need to be next to my computer. I could put regular songs on the playlist, loopers to practice certain sections, set it on repeat-1 to practice a song, shuffle to surprise myself and make me hustle to match up with the intro key and speed, etc.
Haha, that’s funny, “the rest of the jam goes south fast” when you’re already South in Florida!
Haha, I did a couple of banjo gigs back in the day, but I didn’t have to sing. I didn’t know fiddlers had banjo jokes! (Maybe we should start another forum section for such jokes, that would be funny.) Now I don’t even play in a band, and I don’t have to sing.
Surely John is a master at this, with all of his experience. If it was me, I think I’d try to be drawing out a long last note (something simple, in other words) as I was leaning over my bow arm to start my vocals. Wouldn’t there be lots of examples of this kind of thing on the net, with Chubby Wise and Gu, etc? Gu, do you sing in your band after a fiddle break?
Just FYI, PGMusic (Canadian makers of BBox, in Victoria BC) have their annual upgrade sale on. $99 gets you the software upgrade and a pile of new RealTracks. I just installed it, and there’s a completely new interface that takes up about 1/3 or 1/4 of the space that the old interface took up. So you can have many more bars on the screen. I haven’t used it enough to comment on whether it’s easier or not. But now’s the time to upgrade if you want to save a few dollars. Sale ends Dec 31.
Here’s another Lion’s Den video that I made a year ago, after 1 year of playing. I used Band in a Box, following John’s fine teaching.
Hi Rodger, on Book 2 and my bowing skills… Have a read of my story on my website; I don’t think I ever had any bowing issues, since by magic I held the bow correctly within about 30 seconds, and could draw straight and true by about the third bow stroke. Starting the music in Book 2 felt about right to me, and I never slowed down too much on any song. She also gave me a couple of Wohlfarht studies. Probably the thing that confused me the most were the music symbols for sustain, staccato, etc until she explained them. And intonation, of course. I only had a few months of lessons before we parted ways, and I didn’t play for 25 years, until joining BGD 2 years ago. Then I played steadily for a year, but haven’t done much in 2016 at all. Other projects, you know… All I can play now is Whisky Before Breakfast, Silent Night, the French Song, Amazing Grace, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Long Long Ago, and Hunter’s Chorus. So I haven’t progressed much at all. Oh well…
Well, she did start me on Book 2, and keep in mind she had 20 years of experience teaching. It worked out fine, I made 3/4 of the way through without any issues to speak of, before life got in the way and I stopped playing.
Regarding 5 strings, my acquaintance here in town (2 x Grandmaster Fiddle champion, 7 times finalist guy) has a 5 string fiddle. I asked him the same thing. He said don’t bother with them at all. Apparently the strings are little bit closer together (bad for fat fingers), the reach to the fifth string is brutal, and you can never find any music written for the 5th string anyway, so it sits idle all the time.
Yes, there should be links on this site.
Here’s a BluegrassDaddy link of me from the Lions Den.
Here’s another one from my website.
I was surprised the Shar fiddle had active electronics for that price. My fiddle was 5 times that price. I suppose there are many grades of active electronics.
As long as the sound isn’t too bad in your earphones, it should be ok. Keep in mind you can do quite a bit in your mixer with adjusting the EQ, tone, reverb, etc to make things sound nice. If you’re just using straight headphones or iphone earbuds, those will affect the sound too.
I recognized the demo lady for the Shar violin. She did the same demo songs for the NSDesign machine (which I thought sounded better).
Good luck. I love my electric, and have zero regrets. It’s FAR less touchy than my old (and I mean old) acoustic was. Of course, the sound doesn’t match my old acoustic, but my old acoustic couldn’t do easy reverb, chorus, octaves, or loop stations either.
FWIW, I gave up my high end acoustic fiddle a couple of years ago, and now play (when I play…sigh) on an electric exclusively (NSDesign CR4, probably posted somewhere on this site in the archives). I doubt I’ll never go back; the electric fiddle/ tuning / stability in humidity changes / sound / effects / carbon bow / synthetic strings (on both fiddle and bow) experience has just been too good for me. But electric is not for everyone, definitely. And it costs some extra dollars, no doubt there either. Lots of YouTube demos with electric violin sounds. Active electronics give a better sound, if you can afford them.
Of course I never use that metronome. My favorites are the Practice+ app on my iphone, the Pro Metronome on my iphone, and my trusty physical Sona metronome. Cheers
Here’s another web metronome — pretty minimal. Drag the weight up and down to set the speed…
Well, yes old strings can go “dead”, but usually it’s the higher strings, not the big heavy strings. And if only the C note sounds dead, but other G-string notes sound ok, it’s hard to claim that the string is bad…
When particular notes on a fiddle sound dead, it’s usually a resonance problem, or maybe a fingerboard problem for that particular note position. (Strings can wear out at particular notes, esp the third finger D on A, but then the string wrapping just wears out, rather than the string sounding dead.)
If your C note is suddenly a dud, I’d say your choices are to replace the string, or just take it to a fiddle shop luthier who might be able to comment on it. It was amazing to me. Just a tap on the sound post (1/32? 1/16? of an inch, and the zing came back into my violin. Maybe someone can do the same for your fiddle.
Hi Gu, funny to hear you talk about cleaning stuff off the fiddle near the F hole. The tiny little bits of wood in (and around) the F hole (esp on the lower F hole) are the resonators for the fiddle, and tiny, tiny changes in their mass can really affect their resonance points. Maybe that’s what happened when you cleaned off the rosin mass.
Bass notes apparently are made more from the large area on the other side of the bridge. So I don’t know how a person could tune up a C on G note easily. I know that tiny changes in the sound post position can really affect the resonance of some notes like that. I’ve seen it done with my own violin — it started to sound a bit dead in places, so I took it in. A couple of taps with the sound post tool, or with a credit card on the bridge feet, and Presto! The sound was alive again.
PS. I’m with Angela, and John, and a zillion other people on the net — Audacity is an awesome free program for audio work.
Hi Cynthia, I run windows 10, and the old windows media player is still available, I think. Just press [windows key + S] to open the search box, type in “windows media player” and press return to load the desktop app. Apparently you do that, then insert your CD, and click the RIP button. Haha, for sure Windows Media Player is not RIP on windows 10, I know that because I’ve seen it (like now).
But I don’t see a Rip button on it anywhere. Maybe that’s because I’m on a laptop and don’t have a CD loaded.
Method 2 is to google “rip CD on windows 10” — I got about 20 links that had various answers, including some from the Microsoft site.
Let us know if you’re successful, please, so the thread will have a solution…
I use a Samson Meteor USB mic, and I’m really happy with it. I couldn’t stand the chrome look, so I got a brushed nickel version. They also come in black. To answer Scott’s question in the review, you get the mic (it has flip-up builtin legs, very nice, very convenient) and a USB cable.
The mic is really well built, and is half the size of the giant Blue Yetis and Audio Technica mics. I like mine because you don’t have to be right on top of it for it to pick up sound nicely. It’s a cardoid pattern, so it’s slightly directional, and does a pretty good job of ignoring off-axis background noise.
I would easily buy another one.
Just a tip — it has a headphone jack in it for podcasts and such, so that output from speakers doesn’t feed right back into the mic and cause feedback loops. So when you plug it in, the computer will assign both recording (mic) and output (speakers) signals to the mic. So your speakers will go dead when you first plug it in. You’ll either have to use headphones on it, or click the speaker symbol in the Windows system tray to set the default output device back to your usual speakers.
The mic also has a button for muting the recording signal, and a rotary headphone volume dial around the mute button.
Oh yes, and it has very wonderful, classic looks… 🙂