A Fiddle of Rogues

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Over 90 percent of people that take up the violin quit before they leave high school. To improve on those results, I studied the small group of violinists who continued playing as adults. Whether they were classical or non-classical players, one important difference is that they have the skills to play music socially off-stage with others.

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Our prevailing education model teaches students to play in performance settings with little emphasis on playing informally. Creekside Strings takes a different approach. We play mostly in informal settings jams, dances and have just a few formal performances. RVM : At the same time that you emphasis playing in a group, you also have developed an online curriculum. But to answer your question of how it works, it basically looks like this: The student and I are both sitting facing each other. We catch up on what has happened during the week, tune the instrument and then start playing.

In the first year, it is only a notes at a time. As their ears develop, they can learn lengthy phrases by ear very quickly. During the week, they can slowly get the song to tempo. We also will work on skills like scales, improvisation and sight-reading on their practice page.

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They will use that same practice page at home to review what we did in lessons. For young students, their parents will help them practice using the recordings on their practice page. As a teacher, I take comfort in being able to know that they have all the tools they need to keep learning with their ears throughout the week.

RVM : The emphasis also seems to be on classical and traditional music. What do you say to the teenager who wants to learn, but also wants to play Led Zeppelin on her violin? DW: For a number of years, the conventional wisdom of creating adaptable violin players has been that students should learn to play classical first so they will be well-prepared to play other things like folk or Led Zeppelin.

But it is not an ideal path for students who wish to participate in music beyond the orchestra or chamber music group.

Rogue's March (2)

My advice for a teen who wants to play other styles of music is this: develop your hand-ear coordination playing the music you loveā€”Led Zeppelin, Tchaikovsky, Irish, etc. That is, teach your fingers to play what you hear. For students who have already learned to read, this is a difficult challenge. It is much easier to read the notes. The problem that classically-trained violinists face is that most non-classical music is not written out.

Even when the music is easier than what they have played before, many violinists feel totally unprepared to play it when there is no written music available. Developing your ear is worth the effort. When you have strong hand-ear coordination, a door opens to a world of music. You will be able to play what you hear on Spotify, play what you want with friends, sit in on any music session, travel anywhere in the world and play with musicians there.

It is the single most important musical skill you can have. DW: Yes, FiddleQuest teaches students to read music. I always found that the best sight-readers in the orchestra were the violists because they always played difficult harmony parts that were hard to memorize.

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FiddleQuest exercises use that trick to teach our students. DW: The violin and fiddle are the same instrument. What's the scoop on one of these? I'm looking for an electric violin for one of my daughters. I simply can not afford a Yamaha or better violin and am trying to find a decent one for her to play.

The Rogue's March

She already has a couple of very good acoustics and is looking for something to play around with. Advertise Here. I would advise, that 'cause she has a couple of very good acoustics, simply electrify them. The pickup is the cheezoid "piezo strip under the bridge", which sounds "like a bumblebee in a jar". A standard shoulder rest will not hang on for love or money, though I've seen some late ones with a channel routed onto the lower bout so one will stay on.

Beautifully made, very attractive instrument, but not really practical. I just bought one, and besides the fact that I bought it used and it had many defects the fault of the secondhand seller, not the brand! I don't mind it. As another commenter mentioned, it is very heavy, at least 3 times the weight of an acoustic. I don't mind the weight too much, but some might.

Rogue's March (2) - The Traditional Tune Archive

Depending on how old your daughter is and how strong her arm! Also, it might not be as cheap as it seems. It does not have a built in preamp, and needs to be run through separate preamp before it goes to the amp.

The preamp, cables, and amplifier might run you another couple of hundred dollars. I don't like to go busking with my acoustic because it's valuable and delicate, and I'm scared of getting shoved or rained on and it getting destroyed. The Rogue is built like a tank.