In-Depth Post #2: The Journey Proceeds
Wow! In-Depth has gone from a simple introduction to straight into the project!
I have made a ton of progress so far on In-Depth! I have found 3 of the 6 songs that I wanted to play. This also leads into what I had planned initially being changed. Instead of 5 songs, I have decided to do 6. Since my first two songs are fairly easy, I decided that I would do both of them in the first month, just to try to kickstart my learning. However, it was not easy for me to learn how to play these songs. (Seen Below)
When I first got these songs, I played them to the best of my ability, but was able to do it easily. However, I had played them about 4 times under the normal speed. So, during my first meeting, Tony, my mentor, had me play it 2 times under speed, just to get familiar with the notes. I was able to get through that, but still struggled with certain parts that made me change strings over and over. (String crossing) My mentor told me to decrease the distance that I moved my bow to minimize the time taken to go back and forth. This was hard for me, as a classical player who enjoys slow, melodic songs, needing to fully ‘dig’ into the strings to get a nice sound. However, I found that it helped me a ton! On the second week, I had practiced my songs quite a bit more, and believe that I had improved. Tony noted that I had gotten it up to speed as well as up to a performance standard, so I recorded myself playing the two songs. (Seen Below) Overall, I am proud that I have made quick progress on these two songs.
After choosing these songs with my mentor, I have added them to my overall schedule:
January: The Devil’s Dream (Fast 120 bpm) and Fiddle Rounds (Fast 130 bpm)
February: Old Joe Clark (Medium-Fast 90 bpm)
March: Ashokan Farewell (Slow-Medium 60 bpm)
April: ??? (Fast 120-140 bpm)
(Performance) May: ??? (Very Fast 140-160 bpm)
I have been spending quite the amount of time on my In-Depth, and have met with my mentor twice now. I have gotten to know him a fair bit, and he has told me a little about himself. He has been a violin player for a long time, dating back to his childhood. He developed a passion for violin, and stuck to it, with his own teachers and mentors guiding him along the way. He told me that he had always enjoyed to play, and learn new songs. I also learned a bit off of his paragraph on the website of the music school I am attending. (http://salinachengmusic.com/faculty) In the past two meetups, he has taught me many strategies for playing quicker and better fiddle tunes. So far, he has taught me how to improvise slightly by adding in small notes that make the piece sound deeper and more fluid/natural. He has also been kind enough to help me look for some songs, as seen below. Overall, if I am wanting to become a mentor, I will need to practice intensely to assure quality content.
Recorded on second week of practicing.
Recorded on first week of practicing, two days after first tried.
The three pieces I received from my mentor
Overall, I have worked hard and am very proud of what I have accomplished so far!