What's Made You Happy Today???

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dave brum
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 04 Jan 2014, 10:19

Moving on to the Online Piano Tutor's Lesson 2.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Feg » 04 Jan 2014, 15:25

Don't know how happy I am, but I now have my own brand new motorbike jacket, cordura trousers and fluorescent helmet. 2014 is the year that Fiona gets back on a motorbike :)

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 04 Jan 2014, 15:27

Feg wrote:Don't know how happy I am, but I now have my own brand new motorbike jacket, cordura trousers and fluorescent helmet. 2014 is the year that Fiona gets back on a motorbike :)
Picture please?
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Nutroast » 04 Jan 2014, 16:11

I've started playing the violin again for the first time in 30 years! It sounds like someone's standing on the cat's tail, but I'll get there eventually. My main problem is my left thumb, which is very double jointed and "collapses" when holding the violin, making it uncomfortable to hold and impossible to try and do any vibrato thingies. I recon that was always my problem as I don't seem to hold it properly with my chin(s!) and I can't seem to balance it right at the scroll end. It's fun to practice anyway and I'm looking at some things online to help me get things in the right position.

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 04 Jan 2014, 16:25

Have you seen this Youtube channel Nutty? Her name is Alison Sparrow, she's from Norwich and she's a great teacher, she does professional tutorials on both piano and violin and it's all completely FREE!!

Most violin learners are like taking the cat's temperature, so stepping on his/her tail is a step up from that, I guess... Here's the link to Alison Partridge, sorry Sparrow's channel:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLLxyaKSNav9f9Vqvp99npQ
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 04 Jan 2014, 17:22

Nutroast wrote: I don't seem to hold it properly with my chin(s!) and I can't seem to balance it right at the scroll end.
You'll have to play with it wedged in your chest like matey in Steeleye Spen; he makes a lovely noise!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 04 Jan 2014, 18:34

Or Seth Lakeman, he's brill.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Feg » 04 Jan 2014, 19:56

Nutroast wrote:I've started playing the violin again for the first time in 30 years! It sounds like someone's standing on the cat's tail, but I'll get there eventually. My main problem is my left thumb, which is very double jointed and "collapses" when holding the violin, making it uncomfortable to hold and impossible to try and do any vibrato thingies. I recon that was always my problem as I don't seem to hold it properly with my chin(s!) and I can't seem to balance it right at the scroll end. It's fun to practice anyway and I'm looking at some things online to help me get things in the right position.
Sounds like you were taught the balance the violin on the left thumb method. I was taught that way to. Technique has moved on a lot and now a more relaxed grip is preferred. Start by letting the neck slide down your thumb towards the join between thumb and first finger, you know the way 'fiddle players' hold it :) It took me ages to adjust, but it is more comfortable.

Might also be worth changing your chin rest. Loads of different styles to try. Go to your nearest luthier/string shop. They will be able to help.

Give me a ring if you want. Always happy to help.

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Feg » 04 Jan 2014, 23:51

dave brum wrote:
Feg wrote:Don't know how happy I am, but I now have my own brand new motorbike jacket, cordura trousers and fluorescent helmet. 2014 is the year that Fiona gets back on a motorbike :)
Picture please?
Don't know why you would want to see a photo Gill :o To be dressed in black, heavy duty motorcycle gear, is not in the least flattering to the middle-aged figure but very necessary for the preservation of life and limb.

I took the little bike out on Thursday in convoy with my daughter and husband who both ride BMW650's and managed about a dozen or so miles without making a fool of myself so progress is being made. The daft thing is that I have a full bike licence - I passed my test in August 1992- and I have been insured to ride every bike my husband has owned since then. Unfortunately, having two children doesn't leave much time for bike riding so I have probably only ridden 100 or so miles in that time.

Now that both kids have their own big bikes, I have to either ride the 125cc bike they both learned to ride on or sell it. The bike would be so much easier to park in town than my Volvo estate when I venture in for tuning work but I would have to seriously cut down the amount of kit I currently carry around.

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Nutroast » 05 Jan 2014, 13:23

Feg wrote:
Sounds like you were taught the balance the violin on the left thumb method. I was taught that way to. Technique has moved on a lot and now a more relaxed grip is preferred. Start by letting the neck slide down your thumb towards the join between thumb and first finger, you know the way 'fiddle players' hold it :) It took me ages to adjust, but it is more comfortable.

Might also be worth changing your chin rest. Loads of different styles to try. Go to your nearest luthier/string shop. They will be able to help.

Give me a ring if you want. Always happy to help.
Thanks! I'm going to practice now! I'm just using the chin rest and shoulder pad that came with the violin, I will try and experiment.

And thanks to Dave too for the link, I'll have a look later.

J
x

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 05 Jan 2014, 13:54

Feg wrote:
dave brum wrote:
Feg wrote:Don't know how happy I am, but I now have my own brand new motorbike jacket, cordura trousers and fluorescent helmet. 2014 is the year that Fiona gets back on a motorbike :)
Picture please?
Don't know why you would want to see a photo Gill :o To be dressed in black, heavy duty motorcycle gear, is not in the least flattering to the middle-aged figure but very necessary for the preservation of life and limb.

I took the little bike out on Thursday in convoy with my daughter and husband who both ride BMW650's and managed about a dozen or so miles without making a fool of myself so progress is being made. The daft thing is that I have a full bike licence - I passed my test in August 1992- and I have been insured to ride every bike my husband has owned since then. Unfortunately, having two children doesn't leave much time for bike riding so I have probably only ridden 100 or so miles in that time.

Now that both kids have their own big bikes, I have to either ride the 125cc bike they both learned to ride on or sell it. The bike would be so much easier to park in town than my Volvo estate when I venture in for tuning work but I would have to seriously cut down the amount of kit I currently carry around.
I've seen many female middle aged bikers around various places in Central England on Sunday afternoons (Bridgnorth, Upton on Severn etc) and it seems that age consciousness seems to go out of the window once the leathers go on. My second piano teacher was actually a biker.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 06 Jan 2014, 17:07

Feg wrote:
dave brum wrote:
Feg wrote:Don't know how happy I am, but I now have my own brand new motorbike jacket, cordura trousers and fluorescent helmet. 2014 is the year that Fiona gets back on a motorbike :)
Picture please?
Don't know why you would want to see a photo Gill :o
I didn't ask! I have my own gear somewhere...a full face crash helmet was the only hat i ever liked myself in!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 06 Jan 2014, 20:26

It was me that asked..just wondering if you have all the badges and various insignia on your leathers (usually skulls/crossbones, Motorhead with the umlaut on the 'o', red remembrance poppies etc.

I had a small motorcycle back in the days when I wore a younger man's jockstrap - and a black bikers coat (not leather, fleecy insulated). When I skidded on some ice on the A41 between Whitchurch and Chester and came off the thing, the jacket only sustained a three inch tear.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Feg » 06 Jan 2014, 21:14

Cordura is far more practical than leather, Dave. Modern materials are abrasion resistant, waterproof, and warm. Modern bike jackets and trousers have built-in armour at the shoulders, back, elbows, hips and knees. We also have the benefit of zip out thermal linings and extra zipped vents built into the garments.

My helmet is a flip up full face with double glazed visor and protects to a standard unthinkable when I started riding 30 years ago.

I have managed for years wearing my husbands cast off gear although I have always had my own helmet and boots. My current pair of boots are at least 15 years old but I have yet to find a,better fitting pair.

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 06 Jan 2014, 23:20

I'll tell you what's made me happy today.

Practicing really basic scales on the piano and noticing silly little muso-scientific things I never noticed before. And feeling like I'm actually LEARNING things.

It's amazing just what a change of attitude can do for you! No more complaining about not being able to play. Just practice at my own pace.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Feg » 07 Jan 2014, 11:09

dave brum wrote:I'll tell you what's made me happy today.

Practicing really basic scales on the piano and noticing silly little muso-scientific things I never noticed before. And feeling like I'm actually LEARNING things.

It's amazing just what a change of attitude can do for you! No more complaining about not being able to play. Just practice at my own pace.
This ^ is what has made me happy today :)

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 07 Jan 2014, 13:44

Knowing that has made you happy today which has made me happy yesterday, has made me happy today, Fiona.

Hold me to that.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 07 Jan 2014, 14:38

Too right we will! :D
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 07 Jan 2014, 14:47

Just have to keep telling myself that just a little bit of bad luck and misfortune is not the end of the world.

But I still think I'll be better with an SAD light though.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 08 Jan 2014, 15:14

Talking of which I went out and bought a floor standing SAD light today from Maplin in Solihull. I would never have thought of going in there so thank you Fionachops for the hint.

Actually the ones you were talking about for £44 were on special offer at £34. The one I got was reduced from £69 so thought I'd invest in one. Plus with this larger model I do not have to use it one metre away, because it's bigger I can sit on the sofa and plug it in by the phone, which is two metres.

Going to try it out now.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 14 Jan 2014, 15:10

Had my winter fuel bill and it was £343, much less than I thought. Last year's equivalent was £378 despite a hefty price rise taking effect . Best way to penalise your energy companys' board and shareholders? Don't use your tumble dryer!!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 14 Jan 2014, 18:02

Something else has made me happy today. Getting all of my scales right first time on a foreign piano in a foreign place with chattering old ladies in the background. Didn't move me one bit. Why am I not scared of an army of such people but just one ABRSM examiner makes me cringe with fear?
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Jan 2014, 18:56

Because you care what the ABRSM bod thinks. Also, there's a strong chance the LOLs don't know what they're listening to!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 14 Jan 2014, 20:56

Yes Gill. I enjoy playing to a load of working class pensioners, but not examiners. I rest my case.....why bother learning the piano otherwise...at least some people are appreciative and it's those ordinary people I prefer to judge my playing on - for free!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 14 Jan 2014, 22:00

You get a truly honest response from the LOLs!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 14 Jan 2014, 22:49

...and also, it's quite a nice piano to play, despite it sounding slightly detuned. It's a bugger to push along though, considering when I was a boy I weighed so much I could easily move our old school piano around. They always got me and some of the other large kids to push it around the classrooms. Before Health and Safety legislation obviously!

I had to move the piano at Keep Fit from one corner of the hall to the other as some wally had put it right in front of the fire door. I got out of puff after three metres!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 17 Jan 2014, 15:10

Selling an old Zedbed that had been stuck in the lounge for a month, which means £20 towards a new mattress that my wife needs for her back and muscles.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Jan 2014, 18:43

Moving a piano is only as easy as the castors!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 17 Jan 2014, 19:31

The castors on the one in the church hall are rusted up and that's why it's so difficult to push.
Maybe I should swap classes to the Hazlewell church on the border of Stirchley and King's Heath...there's a sharp sounding mahogany upright there, with the keyboard covered with a metre and a half long strip of felt! A learners' dream piano.

OOOOH, got to go now, Portillo's on!!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 18 Jan 2014, 15:34

Give 'em a gentle squirt of WD40 - but don't get any oil on their nice floor!
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 18 Jan 2014, 17:45

The floor is dirty and scratchy anyway so no worries about getting it oily, although it might be unsafe because it wouldn't be good on either mine or anyone else's gym shoes. There's like a dancefloor in the middle of the room but it's not polished so both surfaces give good traction. What we don't want is to be slipping and sliding around all over the place when we're doing our fast grapevine moves and leg stretches.

The Hazlewell hall in King's Heath is as pristine as their mahogany piano.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 19 Jan 2014, 15:50

Well a belt with a nammer and a drop of WD might do it a pinch of good! What's a grapevine move? Sounds painful...
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 19 Jan 2014, 17:23

A grapevine is basically a step to the right, bring the left foot behind and to the right of it, another step to the right with the right foot and bring the left foot to standing position. And all the time we're doing that we extend our arms like we're doing the breast stroke, or a growing grapevine.

Today I played the piano in the Library of Birmingham, and was filmed doing so. Results of my musical efforts are currently being uploaded to my Youtube channel. Fame cannot be far away.......
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Feg » 19 Jan 2014, 18:49

Second motorbike ride of 2014 this afternoon. Not much to report except properly fitting bike gear DOES make a difference to ones comfort as does new helmet and gloves.

Next time I take it out, I need to either do town riding or find a quiet road for stop/start practice. Or, as my darling husband suggested, the nearest A road into town which is dual carriageway with many roundabouts during rush hour!

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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 21 Jan 2014, 13:54

Being told by my fitness instructor that I have 'talent' at the piano, though I think she's giving me a dose of the old buttering up medicine in her own imitable way. All I was playing were grade 1 scales at 60 and 120 cbpm, moving up to 240 in short bursts.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 21 Jan 2014, 16:48

But G1 is pretty damn impressive to people who aren't able to play themselves, don't forget. And if you consider how hard you fought for G1, it IS pretty damn impressive. :piano;
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 21 Jan 2014, 19:09

I never actually did Grade 1, Gill. It was Teacher 1's bright idea to skip it and go straight for Grade 2. I think if I had done G1 I might have thought differently about exams.

Nothing on my shopping list tomorrow for the music shop in Leamington...
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 22 Jan 2014, 15:32

Nothing to stop you buying the G1 pieces then! :wink:
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 22 Jan 2014, 16:57

Seen them, they're all in enigma code and I can say with every single iota of honesty that I can express, way way beyond my comprehension. They must have been compiled by that Edna Taylor person at the AB.....can't make Edna Taylor them.

Don't see the point wasting my money on them anyway as I'm not doing any more exams :wink:

However I did pick up 'The Rough Guide To Bhangra' CD at the Oxfam B&M in Leamington today. I also had a butchers in Presto Music for that hymn book but they didn't have it. They did have the 'It's Easy To Play.....' series which is around grade 2-3, so in other words it's NOT easy to play....., the 'Really Easy Piano' classical and popular series, around grade 2 so 'Really Not That Easy Piano'. The 'Easiest 5 Finger' series would be around my current level, although I'd have to translate each piece from the Edna Taylor system to my own easy notation so I can indeed play them.

And this on the notice board which interested me greatly. Piano Holidays for all levels of ability at Lyn House holiday apartments in Devon. Nothing online about this apart from the Lyn House website. However, poor people need not apply.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 02 Feb 2014, 10:30

Seeing the natural colour of the sky. Tha e glè sholleir.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 05 Feb 2014, 21:33

Going to IKEA and picking up so many affordably creative little ideas from Sweden via Wednesbury.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 13 Feb 2014, 18:29

At my lowest ebb, turning onto France-Musique just in time for the wonderful Chet Baker. The king of laid back smoothic.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 14 Feb 2014, 10:22

I may not be able to PLAY music but I can discover and download the stuff. And learn about it too. This morning I have been downloading Fela Kuti (Nigeria), Ali Farka Toure (Mali) and Habib Koite (Senegal) such cheerful and happy beats and riddims to get the serotonin going. Plus some ambient Tangerine Dream (Deutschland) to take my emotions for a ride on a magic carpet.

And much much closer to home, Dr.Helen Ingram on a magic church organ not too far from me.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Hel7808

What would the human race be without music??
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 15 Feb 2014, 11:00

I read the news every day, but this little aspect of the ongoing EU vs Russia protests in Ukraine caught my eye:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25955350
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 16 Feb 2014, 14:39

I love that.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 16 Feb 2014, 15:11

Reminds me of Victor Jara's musical protests in Chile in the 70s. Pinochet's police cut his hands off to stop him from playing but he sang on as the protests raged. Sadly they were to no avail.

Planning a trip to London on the 23rd March to cheer up my wife. Going to go to some of the museums in Kensington her late father used to take her to.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Feb 2014, 16:15

You'll enjoy reading about Ben Treuhaft and his 'Send a pianna to Havana' campaign then.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by dave brum » 17 Feb 2014, 20:10

Gill the Piano wrote:You'll enjoy reading about Ben Treuhaft and his 'Send a pianna to Havana' campaign then.
I didn't think the Americans called them piannas. I thought it was just cockneys.
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Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Feb 2014, 22:13

He's almost civilised; his mother is/was a Mitford.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Feg
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Joined: 26 Oct 2005, 23:09

Re: What's Made You Happy Today???

Post by Feg » 18 Feb 2014, 09:35

Check him out on google, Gill. He has relocated to Edinburgh :?

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