Next video!

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NutmegCT
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Next video!

Post by NutmegCT » Sat May 05, 2018 7:29 pm

As my progress has been so slow, I decided to go back to "first principles". Maybe because I have no zitherist to get me started, I've been skipping over very basic skills?

This is Darr's first exercise in using RH fingers for accompaniment strings: Darr #21 - 1. Copy of the exercise is attached.

https://youtu.be/ndgZan9gPUs

I omitted the "melody" open strings, so I could concentrate on getting the G and D chord strings right. I'm keeping my right thumb on the D string as I play.

First time through is while I'm carefully watching my fingers; second time through is watching the music only.

How should I be able to play this exercise before moving on to the next exercise? Is hand position ok? Is the goal to play it smoothly, without watching my fingers? Is this something that results from dozens (hundreds?) of repetitions? Maybe over the last three years I've been moving too fast. (Wow, sure hope not! If that's the case, I'll be 175 year old before I get halfway through the Darr!)

Rather than continuing to stumble through the later exercises, I'd appreciate some feedback on how to practice this simple exercise, any changes needed, and how to decide I've "learned" it and can move on.

Thanks!
Tom M.
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Re: Next video!

Post by Andy » Sun May 06, 2018 9:34 am

Morning Tom,

For what its worth: I think your right hand position looks better in this video, and your hand seems more confident. Fingers are staying in the area they should. I think your next step would be to slowly get the melody back into that tune, and come back up to a steady comfortable pace. Melody/bass, accompaniment, accompaniment, accompaniment, melody/base, and on.

The line below it will be your big mountain to climb, where those notes become chords. But you should approach it the same way. You’re training the muscles in your hand how to make these motions, so just start off to where you can play the right hand without thinking about it too much. Bass, chord, chord, bass, chord, chord.

It took me about three weeks of strumming those chords before my fingers finally started to get in on what was going on. It was very much a process of fail, fail, fail again.

Hope it helps!
- Andy

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Dave
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Re: Next video!

Post by Dave » Sun May 06, 2018 11:28 am

Hi Tom, thanks for the video. As you work through these exercises, I would not be overly concerned about whether you’re looking at the strings or not. Focus instead on improving tone by eliminating the “buzzing” you’re getting from the bass and accompaniment strings. After your G bass, rest your 4th finger on the C bass as you move through the accompaniment. After the D bass, rest on the G bass. You will have to maintain some tension as your 4th will want to relax and slip back against the string just played. Likewise for the accompaniment strings. After b, rest your 3rd on e, and so on.

When it's comfortable to play and the tone is clear, you'll be ready for the next exercise.
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Re: Next video!

Post by NutmegCT » Sun May 06, 2018 4:16 pm

Thank you gentlemen! Believe me, I *really* appreciate the detailed suggestions.

Next weekend's video will show improvement. One step at a time helps prevent stumbling later as the peak gets harder to climb! And a minimum of one hour per day will keep me on the trail.

Tom M.

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Re: Next video!

Post by Dave » Mon May 07, 2018 11:41 am

Hi Tom, having had the benefit of an instructor, I never actually worked through these A. Darr exercises - I was given simple songs and exercises taken from here and there when I was just beginning. Anyway, thanks for sharing your videos (You too Andy!). Here’s my take on A. Darr No. 1. Maybe I will try to climb Darr mountain as well. :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y06NT2ZR-Dg
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

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Re: Next video!

Post by Musicmaker » Tue May 08, 2018 4:55 am

Nice playing Dave.
Please keep up the posts.
Pete

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Re: Next video!

Post by NutmegCT » Sat May 12, 2018 2:45 pm

Here we go, ladies and gentlemen! One week later, here's the same Darr exercise 21/1 that I first uploaded last weekend.

https://youtu.be/ap3eIiv7u3U

Compare with last week's version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndgZan9gPUs

Some adjustments made to angle of zither (now left side is about five inches from table top edge, right side is at table top edge). I'm moved a bit more to the right. This will probably take some getting used to. Strings still at "navel height".

Blankety-blank thumb ring still slips around my thumb, despite pushing it as tight as possible. Even sandpaper between ring and thumb doesn't prevent the slippage. Starts off nice and vertical, but ends up almost flat over the string. I had a "telephone lesson" with Jane Curtis this morning; Jane mentioned the ring must be *tight* - so I've got to figure out how to fix the slipping problem. As my double-jointed thumbs make it tough to keep the ring point at the correct angle to the string, it's two problems combining to make a third. As the ring point changes, I sometimes hit the wrong string, or two strings at once, so have to keep watching it as well as the bass/accompaniment fingers.

I've never seen a good set of close-ups on how the ring fits on the thumb, how to judge what size ring to use (I've got four sizes), how the ring should actually "look" on the nail side and the back side of the thumb, etc.

Jane said she'd send me her own beginner's exercises, as she doesn't feel all that positive about learning from a book. We agreed that the method books are written by people who already know how to play, and who spend a *lot* of time on the mechanics of reading music - but that the authors probably didn't learn to play from a method book!

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Dave
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Re: Next video!

Post by Dave » Sat May 12, 2018 9:05 pm

Hi Tom,

Nice to hear you were in touch with Jane Curtis. You had the good fortune of speaking to, in my opinion, the most knowledgeable zither player in the US. You can not go wrong in seeking her advice.

Regarding your latest video, that’s a definite improvement! The tone has improved, with less noticeable buzzing of the strings. Try and keep that right hand anchored. Looks like (and I could be mistaken) there was a tendency to lift it, but I suspect you’re working on this. Keep it up, and thanks for sharing your progress!
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

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Re: Next video!

Post by Musicmaker » Tue May 15, 2018 12:24 am

Hi Tom.
Great video and thanks for doing it.
Thanks also to Dave for your expertise in showing us how it is done.
Tom, I was at the point in suggesting for you to go back to basics as you were struggling with the right hand.
I have now decided to study the Darr book instead of the Harris method because then we are all reading the same book and can relate to it.
If it is any consolation Mate, I am now on exactly the same exercise.
Oddly enough I find playing the chords in Darr 2 easier than playing the seperate notes in Darr 1.
So although I find it easier, I must still persevere with Darr1 as I dont want to skip basics.
As it is in G I am also practicing the scale of G maj with Arpeggio on the very next page.
Well done Tom
Pete

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Re: Next video!

Post by NutmegCT » Tue May 15, 2018 6:56 am

Thanks Pete and Dave! Pete, now it's time for you to post your next "progress video".

hint hint

Tom M.

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