Electrify Your Strings

The thing I continue to find crippling when it comes to playing rock (or any other style that requires improvisation i.e. fiddle, blues, jazz, fusion etc – rock happens to be my focus) is a “read-only” approach to playing.

It’s the great gift and biggest weakness of “classical” musicians.

My mentor is trying to teach me improv from a guitarists perspective, which is mind-expanding and teaches me SO much I never learned before. But I’m still not “getting” it.

I do realize how silly that must seem, but it’s the whole approach that I’m trying to change.

Mark Wood totally gets the issue; as a Juilliard grad he knows the classical shackles and the key to break free.

I found this book by him – Electrify Your Strings, a key of sorts to open the door to rock. It is mine as of today, and I can’t wait to devour it this weekend!

Don’t think for a second that I idolize MW – all I want is to open up the rock world so I can bring students along on an exciting ride. He happens to be the one with all the answers.

Rock violin, an exciting ride indeed!

I’ll Stand By You

I ain’t gonna lie – my ego took a huge hit of late – but has calmed down and gotten over it.

All I’ve wanted this year is to find a sanctuary, a resting place, for my spirit. A place more secure than the temporary one that I had. Somewhere at a higher level that will stay with me.

So Lucy chick – stop blaming yourself – embrace who you are – no apologies –

hold your ground

remember who you are

express your naughtiness

flaunt your intelligence

……and your hair and your breasts and your smile and your eyes

Song to myself:

Back to badass naughty Violin Bitch.

Saying Who You Are and Where You’re Going.

Advice to Travelers

          by Walker Gibson

A burro once, sent by express,

      His shipping ticket on his bridle,
      Ate up his name and his address,
      And in some warehouse, standing idle,
      He waited till he like to died.
      The moral hardly needs the showing:
      Don’t keep things locked up deep inside —
             Say who you are and where you’re going.

One of my three favorite poems of all time, just needed retelling. I’ve taken a week away from social media for a couple reasons, one of them to reassess where my business is and where it’s going, like the silly burro.

Playing classical acoustic and electric rock violin, all very good ~ awesome ~ fun ~ but I need a means to bring all my skills to the world, not do it merely for myself and a handful of people.

I need to positively influence thousands of people. Performing is one way, yes, but I want more than that.

Life sucks a lot ~ .compared to many others, I have nothing to complain about even though it seems overwhelming at times, especially lately. I want to change peoples’s lives in some grand and positive way,

My #1 love is performing violin in any way, shape, or form.

I  passionately love outreach. I want to be able to do what Mark Wood is doing, bring joy of playing to the unenlightened, He goes waaaayyyy beyond violin lessons.

Just throwing it out there.

Radio Truth

Was listening to a talk show on the way home from last night’s lesson. Have you noticed how when you’re struggling with something, you trip over the thing you needed to hear?

Happens all the time to me, I suppose I always have my radar on for answers to my many questions.

Talk show truth:

If a person is fundamentally unable to be honest with him or herself, there is no way he or she can ever be honest with you.

Well ~ that dissipated a rather large darkness that’s been lodged inside me.

Tonight’s Classical/Acoustic Lesson

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Spent the entire hour on bowing. My teacher is wonderful – as if I haven’t already mentioned that. She expects me to tell her what I need to work on this time. She is aware that I well know my weaknesses and frustrations!

If you don’t play violin, let me tell you – the bow is pretty much everything. Expression, dynamics, style, effects. The bow is breath and life.

And the hardest thing to perfect. I’ve been intensely working on perfecting mine for a good – what? – nine months now. I feel that tonight the various arm and hand parts might be finally talking the same language and working together.

Freeway Jam

My mentor P. has me learning Freeway Jam. This whole electric violin experience has loosened me up musically, brought music and musicians to my table that I never knew of. How can this be? For all the knowledge and experience my music degree has brought me, it is merely a slice of the spectrum.

I’ve had to shake off the the restrictions and rules of the classical world. Play by ear without music in front of me. Feel and respond to mood, tempo, dynamics from the inside rather than a printed page. Get more intimate with my instrument by focusing on my hands rather than a printed page. (And since I am very visual, it’s easy to pick out a tune on a piano than a violin, not having any points of reference).

Rock is organic; classical is intellectual. Neither is “better,” just different.

P. put it this way: that I need to shed my classical skin. He has been incredibly patient with me trying to learn his language. We laugh sometimes at the communication barrier.

The more I know, the more I need to learn. I am absolutely fascinated by this other world, and it really is like another planet. The things that music is capable of never stop amazing me.

It Won’t Let Go

Last Friday I totally intended to make it my last classical violin lesson. Been trying to let go of some classical endeavors to make room for more rock.

I already told you what happened a couple weeks ago when I tried to leave one of the orchestras.

I wanted to end classical lessons for now since….well…..I’m taking violin lessons from two different teachers, and isn’t that quite enough to prepare for each?

Concentrate on rock for a while as I have much more to learn there.

So I told my teacher that I am failing miserably in my preparations for her lessons. The Bach E Major Partita I wanted to learn has gone untouched since the last lesson since I just hadn’t been able to get to it.

The Bruch Concerto I told you about months ago, I never finished learning the first movement for the same reason. I play in three orchestras and a string quartet. Performances to prepare for! And I teach, and work a few hours every day.

So my dear teacher reminded me that what I learn in my lessons needs to be applied to ALL my music, not just the special things I choose to work on but will likely never perform.

This is why she is my teacher, you see?

What an obligation lifted. So I am continuing with lessons, and working with her on whatever I’m already playing but is a pain in my ass.