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Thread: Playing in an Orchestra

  1. #1
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    I'll start...

    ...since I'm now an official 2nd violinist in our adult orchestra I have a dilemma...

    ...I've already gotten some excellent advice, but would like to hear more opinions...

    ...my counting...despite metronomes and whatever...remains weak...but if I can hear what I'm supposed to be playing...I tend to do much better...

    ...I can't hear ANY of the other second violinists...they're either playing too softly (like the woman to my left) or faking it ( like the woman to my right)...and if I start listening to the firsts...I really bungle...

    ...would it be rude for me to ask to be moved beside the principal second...provided he's a strong player? :huh:
    <span style='color:green'><span style='font-family:Optima'>Music is what feelings sound like...Anon</span>.</span>

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    Senior Member Quaverion's Avatar
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    I am sorry to hear about this dilemma Nox. I think that you should first consult the instructor with your problem. They can do something about it probably. However, if they do not, I suggest you push them offstage and take over their job. Good luck&#33;
    It is our imperfections that make us who we are.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    You always have the problem not to hear yourself properly or even totally not. You must learn to "feel" a rythme. Maybe feet can help, or a inner clock which is counting. Be proud of you as the only well playing 2 nd violinist&#33;

  4. #4
    Senior Member Harvey's Avatar
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    Hah&#33; Same here. But I know why: I practice at a different tempo than what we rehearse at. For example, the Overture of Rossini&#39;s Barber of Seville. The conductor takes it sooo freaking slow...like 120...and it&#39;s supposed to be - what? 180? Anyway it&#39;s hard for me to adjust my tempo, especially the spiccato.

    Edit: There doesn&#39;t seem to be any strong players in my section, even the girl on my right...whose technique is questionable.

    She&#39;s the concertmaster.

    I&#39;m sick of the responsibilities of a concertmaster anyway, not planning on "attacking" anytime soon.
    IF I hit a wrong key its becaus i kind of like it that way.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone&#33;

    Originally posted by Daniel@Sep 19 2004, 05:55 PM
    You always have the problem not to hear yourself properly or even totally not. You must learn to "feel" a rythme. Maybe feet can help, or a inner clock which is counting. Be proud of you as the only well playing 2 nd violinist&#33;
    [snapback]2021[/snapback]
    ...I don&#39;t think I&#39;m close to being the best...LOL...I just can&#39;t hear any others...
    <span style='color:green'><span style='font-family:Optima'>Music is what feelings sound like...Anon</span>.</span>

  6. #6
    Junior Member max's Avatar
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    a lot of the time, in orchestras, they want you to play so soft, that you can&#39;t hear the person next to you....

    But as for your problem, just keep one eye on the principal chair&#39;s bow and make sure you&#39;re always with it.
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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    I am NOT always with her bow... It is kinda strange about my bow technique, I change the direction so often....today I play up down down, tomorrow up down up....I think my main problem that I have a bad bow technique

  8. #8
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    DELIGHTFUL&#33;&#33;
    CONGRATULATIONS on your taking part in orchestra&#33;&#33;&#33;
    Which orchestra and who&#39;s the conductor? What you are asking about depends on how the group is run, and who the conductor is. One of the arts of playing in orchestra is the same as that of playing in an ensemble....knowing how your part fits in with the other parts, and reacting to that. More times than not, you won&#39;t WANT to hear your fellow section players, if they are so meek, and insecure, that they are more likely to be wrong than right. A good skill to learn is focussed hearing. Learn to hear what the section leader is doing, from your present position in the group, and learn to react to the player you have confidence in, and ignore those that you don&#39;t. Also, fit your part into, say the horn part, or the flute part. These things change as the music progresses. It&#39;s not so much complicated analysis as it is observation and reaction. USE YOUR PENCIL&#33;&#33; and mark on the score, things like entries of other instruments.

    Anne

  9. #9
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    One of the arts of playing in orchestra is the same as that of playing in an ensemble....knowing how your part fits in with the other parts, and reacting to that.
    Yes...I&#39;m afraid that&#39;s the whole truth about it.
    It&#39;s good to have a recording and run through it with the scores right in front of u. U really have to know what is going on with the other sections... to not only come in at the right time and so on...but to feel totally engaged.
    Don&#39;t worry about not hearing yrself or yr fellow players ... I&#39;ve played with ensembles as small as 3 pax...and as big as 100 over...and I always can&#39;t hear myself or the others, esp. when playing with a real BIG group. :huh: ... And sometimes I doubt as to whether I&#39;m hitting the correct notes... So overtime, I&#39;ve learnt that not hearing oneself and the others is a good thing ...Caz u&#39;re 100% right on pitch and tone, and has 100% blended in with the ensemble. It&#39;s just like singing with a big, powerful choir. Do u think u can hear yrself or yr friends distinctly? I don&#39;t think so...(unless yr frined&#39;s pitch is really off. ) Instinctively, u can feel what yr singing, but u can&#39;t really hear yrself clearly. So it works the same way when playing in a big orchestra...What u hear is the overall acoustics(suprisingly not from yr direction of hearing...but from the projected/reflected acoustics of a good hall).
    If people can isolate and hear u distinctly in an ensemble...it&#39;s usually not a good thing, unless yr the principal violinist, or yr doing the colla pace.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by violabratsche1@Sep 23 2004, 05:41 PM
    DELIGHTFUL&#33;&#33;
    CONGRATULATIONS on your taking part in orchestra&#33;&#33;&#33;
    Which orchestra and who&#39;s the conductor?


    These things change as the music progresses. It&#39;s not so much complicated analysis as it is observation and reaction. USE YOUR PENCIL&#33;&#33; and mark on the score, things like entries of other instruments.

    Anne
    [snapback]2085[/snapback]
    Thanks&#33; I&#39;m having a blast&#33; I made the mistake of referring to our orchestra as an &#39;adult beginner&#39; orchestra. I was corrected LOL. We are a &#39;Community Orchestra&#39;. And our strong woodwind section is in part due to the prodigious talents of several Symphony players - some of which are playing their &#39;secondary&#39; instruments in this group. Our conductor is quite good...he conducts others as well. I think he conducts this one for fun...or to hang out with buddies in a less serious setting...

    ...and thanks for the suggestion of marking on the score...I hadn&#39;t thought of it...

    <span style='color:green'><span style='font-family:Optima'>Music is what feelings sound like...Anon</span>.</span>

  11. #11
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    ...and thanks DW...I&#39;ll just have to learn to relax...and be happy I&#39;m not hearing any other strings...
    <span style='color:green'><span style='font-family:Optima'>Music is what feelings sound like...Anon</span>.</span>

  12. #12
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    Try this: If this is a quiet piece, then dont play louder and then you wont stand out. If it is loud and you can&#39;t hear anyone, play the dynamic written. If they say how loud youre playing, then tell them how quiet theyre playing and point out the dynamic. If this isnt quite your style, you should say to the conductor: Ermm, did we change this dynamic to (whatever) because were playing this much quieter/louder?" as if you actually want to know. Then if no one plays up, just play the a bit closer to what it is. Once you come to the concert, if you think it was terrible, you can rest assured in wasn&#39;t you that screwed up.

    Anton
    Email me personnally:Musical_Anton@hotmail.com

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