This has not been a good week, physically. Last week, as I wrote earlier, I sprained my ankle and was hobbling around. Then, a couple of days later I woke up with tremendous pain in my toes that only got worse over the next two days. When it got to the point when it felt like I had ground glass in the joints, I decided it was time to take a trip to the Emergency Room. Diagnosis: acute gout! I’m feeling somewhat better now, hopefully on the mend.
Needless to say, with the pain, my practice did suffer, too. However, I am very happy with the progress I am making on three tunes simultaneously: Crested Hens Waltz, Tennessee Waltz, and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, much of which I think is due to what I learned in that Michael Sanchez lesson I wrote about the other day on Left Hand Position.
So, onto a few of my favorite things….
I think I mentioned it in the forum on this site, but I went ahead and ordered a violin display/storage case from Fine Wood Displays. It will take a few weeks for it to arrive, but I am happy with it and finally have a more safe and secure place to keep my fiddle when not playing.
I also did some shopping for a few things on Fiddlershop.
I bought a backup set of Fiddlerman’s Violin Strings, the same strings that came on my concert violin when I purchased it from Fiddlerman. I was thinking of springing for a more expensive set of strings until I read, “When compared to the world’s most popular strings (Thomastik Dominant), none of our professionals could tell them apart. Just like the Dominant strings, they are warm and resemble gut strings (while being way more resistant to humidity). They are soft, clear, and rich in overtones. But the best part, they’re half the price of Dominants!” I also bought an extra backup E string since that is the string that is the most vulnerable to breaking.
I also added the some W.E. Hill Polish & Cleaner for my violin. While I wipe my fiddle down after each practice, I think it is time for a good cleaning and polishing as I move into my 5th month with it. This is the recommended polish and cleaner used by Fiddlerman, and he uses it on each and every instrument before it is shipped.
I also decided to upgrade my rosin to Holstein Premium Rosin. This is Fiddlerman’s own premium rosin with excellent articulation and fast release. It is a great all around rosin that is a hybrid between a light and dark. I have been using a dark rosin which I learned is more appropriate for colder weather.
Finally, I also purchased what looks like a nifty little string cleaner called The String Cleaner. Constant practicing and playing leaves behind harmful debris. Bowing deposits rosin and finger movements deposit oils, skin, sweat, and other harmful substances. All of this debris weighs down the string thus dampening the sound. Through the use of “tension control tabs”, The String Cleaner quickly and easily removes these.
So, I’ll be waiting for all of these goodies in the mail as I continue to practice and move forward. I am looking forward to my second fiddle lesson a week from this coming Saturday on June 8th.
If you have any comments about the above, or about what strings, rosin, etc. you use, please make a comment below.
And, as I usually do, I ask that if you like my blog and are looking to purchase any of the above items or other violin related items that you consider using my link to Fiddlerman. When you do, I receive a small commission for referring you. I use any commissions I earn to help fund the cost for publishing Fiddling for Older Folks, so I thank you in advance!