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Author Topic: Greg and the MO's  (Read 5880 times)
LibertyJustice
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« on: March 21, 2013, 11:53:02 pm »

Well, after reading many postings I'll start to enter my own "journey".  I received my C and G poly's the first week in February, and I have practiced more than an hour every day, I would suppose.  Most of the buzz and airy-ness is gone, but it still creeps back now and then.  It's amazing how important it is to learn to blow correctly!  I kept feeling like the new inmate in a joke my dad used to tell:

A new inmate was placed in a cell with a man who'd been in the big house for years.  The newcomer noticed a very strange thing: quite often someone would yell out a number (usually 3 digits), and most of the inmates would give out a hearty laugh.  After this had happened several times he asked the old-timer what was going on.  The man replied that many of the prisoners loved to tell jokes, but it took a long time to tell them.  So, one of the prisoners numbered all the jokes, and the rest of them memorized the jokes by their number.  When someone yelled out a number, they would all remember the joke and then laugh.  The newcomer said he'd like to try it.  So, he yelled out, "One hundred thirty-nine!", but no one laughed.   When he asked the old-timer what was wrong, the reply came, "Some people just can't tell a joke."

For weeks I felt like that guy, "What do you mean I have to learn to blow into that little hole?"  "How hard could it be?"  Nevertheless, I have persevered, and now enjoy much less noisy ocarina music.

As you can read in my intro, I grew up in church.  We sang hymns, choruses, and lots of gospel songs.  I also grew up playing the clarinet.  I've also spent much of my life in a choir.  So, I know music already, but not really well.  I had also recently started with a transverse ocarina with a learning book, so I figured I didn't need another music learning system.  But I did get the Celtic book and the Christmas book from MO. And while I've been learning some of the songs in the Celtic book, I've spent a lot of time playing songs from old hymnals and clarinet books that I had. I can easily play for an hour or more at a time.  In fact, one reason that I do not post much here is that I'm playing instead of posting!   My ability to sight read has never been better in my life. 

That said, I'm looking forward to interacting with you as time permits.  You should know that I appreciate good humor.  That will probably come though as well.  One other bit before I close out my opening post is a poem (I think it's a stretched out limerick) that I remember from my childhood.  It makes me think of Karl, who is a tutor to all of us.  It went something like this:

A tooter who tooted the flute,
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot.
Asked the two who tooted,
of the tutor who tutored,
"Is it tougher to toot, or to tutor two tooters to toot?"


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Harp Player
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 04:35:14 am »

I am always glad to see someone willing to post about their journey with the MO.  I also love to play Hymns on my MO, and have had a lot of fun the past few weeks learning to play some new (to me on the MO) songs from my hymnals.


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LibertyJustice
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Posts: 18


« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 12:56:30 pm »

Apparently, my journey documentation will be more "thoughts along the way" than "happenings day-to-day". 

As you may have read in my introduction, my wife is musical as well.  So, shortly after we received the Poly G & C, we decided to get another pair so we could easily play together.  BTW, both shipments arrived in a very short time.  (We also bought the 300 Celtic songs and the Christmas Carols book.)    Anyway, I'm still very excited about playing.  I can easily spend an hour playing without hardly realizing it.  But up until lately, I was pretty much only playing songs I knew (and hadn't heard for years or decades) from the hymnal.  Of course, the bigger challenge lay ahead: Playing songs I didn't know. 

I tried occasionally to play songs out of the Celtic book, but I would stumble a lot and give up.  Every now and then, however, I'd start to play a song and recognize it as a song that Karl has posted on the website.  (I loaded the songs on my computer at work and listen sometimes during the day).  Once I recognized the song, that definitely helped me to play through it more steadily and enjoy it more as well.  But also what I've noticed is that playing all this music for hours on end has definitely improved my sight-reading.  I'm not great yet, but I've found that my ability to read rhythm has improved significantly.  So now, before I play a new song, I count out the measures and tap the rhythm before I try to play it.  I may tap out the rhythm 2 or 3 times through.  Then, I can add the notes into it.  That makes it much more enjoyable.

This week I picked 8. An Boithrin Bui out of the book.  I dutifully tapped out the rhythm as I counted the measures, and after a few times started adding the notes.  I soon recognized the tune from Karl's recording and got the hang of it fairly quickly.  Practicing a few times per day, I have it down pretty well.  In fact, last evening my wife peeked around the corner to see if the music was coming from me or from the computer!

My wife and I have found music we can play together in harmony, much like the video of Pat Anderson and his wife.   However, we're not quite as polished as they are yet  Let's just say we won't be going on the road any time soon!  Smiley  But it is enjoyable. 

Thursday evening my son (who is very good on the piano) accompanied me with some music books we have written for flute.  I've learned to play flute notes, which are usually written an octave above MO notes.  I must admit, though, that intonation is still a pretty big challenge.  I can play a single note and stretch it quite a ways in either direction.  But to get it to sit right on the note is beyond me.  It's almost depressing to sit in front of a tuner! 

More later.


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4efs
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 03:47:11 am »

Hi! enjoyed reading your journey thus far!
Don't allow yourself to get distressed by the tuner! Just keep practicing with it, but remember that most folks don't have perfect pitch and you can be a little either way and still sound darn good!(at least that's what I've heard!)
 Cheesy


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"The real secret of success is enthusiasm." -Walter Chrysler
LibertyJustice
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Posts: 18


« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 02:02:16 am »

Thanks for the support and encouragement.  I have had a number of family things to do lately which have not allowed as much practice time as usual.  But I will say that my playing continues to be more steady.  Today, my wife and I played duets from the hymn book again.  She normally plays the "alto" line while I play the melody (we have two Poly C's and two Poly G's).  I enjoy it so much.  I keep getting tempted to dig my clarinet out of the case, but I haven't done it since I got the ocarinas.

I often watch the videos posted on this site.  Many folks are much more advanced than I am, but I get inspired by watching.  Ubizmo probably has influenced me the most.  When I see myself stumble and struggle with something, I watch the manner and ease with which he not only plays, but embellishes those well-known melodies, and I re-focus on that goal that is worth practicing to achieve.  Thanks, Ubizmo!

Anyway, the charge continues.


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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 05:46:20 am »

I am glad to see that you are still enjoying and playing you ocarinas.  It is even better that you are able to play with your wife as well.  I would love it if my wife showed enough interest in music to stick with an instrument so we could play some with each other.

It is normal to have times where you don't play as much  don't let that bother you any.  You will always keep going back if playing is one of your desires.


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LibertyJustice
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Posts: 18


« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 02:18:01 pm »

I've been wanting to give a quick update for a while now, but I often just play instead of writing!

I have continued to enjoy practicing and playing my poly C.  I still play mostly out of the hymn book, but I also have learned more songs from the Karl's Celtic book. I can now play up to 5 flats (on a slow song), and I'm working on 3 and 4 sharps.  This has been allowing me to play more songs.  BTW, since more songs in my hymn books are in flats than sharps, I've been using the conversion trick of playing 4 flat songs in 3 sharps, and 3 flat songs in 4 sharps (the note locations are the same, you just change the key signature). 

I've also been practicing playing by ear.  I usually do okay if I get started out on the right note.  I've discovered it is hard to play in 5 flats by ear!  But I can play all the military songs (Army, Marines, etc) pretty well by ear.

For my birthday in October I received a hardwood C.  I love to play them both.  I will say there was a small adjustment period with the hardwood.  I feel like the wood adds a bit of legitimacy to any kind of playing you would do for others, but I am still hard-pressed to hear a difference many times.  Now, one of my poly C's is with me nearly always, but my hardwood stays on my nightstand near where I sometimes practice.  Often we are out on family errands and my son and wife will go into a store.  They will ask, "Do you have your ocarina?"  Of course I do.  Sometimes I even have the hymn book along.  So I play in the car while they shop.

Well, that's it for now.  Happy playing.


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redrocketteer
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 06:52:05 am »

My Musical Journey has just begun.... Smiley


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