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Look What Followed Me Home!
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HeadCheese
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June 12, 2012 - 3:03 am
Member Since: October 4, 2011
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There was a gentle tapping on my front door this afternoon shortly after I came in from checking up on my garden. I saw the back of the mailman walking away through the peephole as I approached the door and got a brief thrill of excitement as it dawned on me the significance of his brief visit.

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There was a long, well-traveled box waiting for me on the porch as the mail truck made its smoky way to its next stop. Quickly bringing my prize inside I made a quick inspection of the box.

Inside was an ocean of packing peanuts that threatened to storm my living room floor with a tsunami of styrofoam. Carefully slipping a trash bag over one opened end of the box, I inverted the impending flood and vigorously shook loose everything from the box that was willing to leave.

With the peanuts safety in thrall, I drew the black case from it's snug confines and gave it the same cursory once-over as I gave the previously unopened box.

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Opening the case revealed the hidden care with which the Viola was packaged for travel in the occasionally unfeeling world of the USPS. Cardboard had been carefully formed to protect against bridge collapse. Another piece served as insurance against a catastrophically unintended meeting of the minds between tailpiece and lower bout.

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Finally extricating the CVA-500 from its full shroud of protection, I gently put it to my shoulder to pluck a bit of pizzicato. I couldn't help but chuckle when I realized that it was in a better state of tune straight out of a box from Florida, than my CVA-400 was when I played it earlier that afternoon.

I look forward to playing it often – and, every time I do – I will be reminded of the clever kindness and international efforts of my friends at Fiddlerman.com who saw fit to buy it on my behalf.  

Again, I thank you all.

hats_off

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HeadCheese
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June 14, 2012 - 12:27 pm
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I had hoped by now to post a video of me playing (around with) the new CVA-500, but it's sufficiently different from my CVA-400 to require more acclimatization. It seems that the angles for bow-crossings are shallower than with my 400, so I'm squeaking and honking my way through tunes I might've played with some greater degree of confidence otherwise. (note: "degree of confidence" is not to be confused with "degree of competence." cool)

Interestingly, I also discovered that the cases are fitted to each instrument individually, so that they aren't interchangeable. When I tried to place the 400 in the 500's case, I discovered that the lower bout on the 400 was too wide to fit in the hollow. Similarly, I can't just swap my shoulder-rest between instruments without a fair amount of adjustment. My son plays a 15 or 15.5 inch viola (I keep forgetting), and his shoulder rest fits just fine without any changes. Mind you, both instruments are supposed to be 16" models.

Interesting, isn't it?

 

Question: the ebony of the fingerboard looks very "dry." As ebony goes, it's a fairly low-end piece with a fair amount of brown marbling throughout. I think it would look better if it were oiled (boiled linseed or tung oil) or stained. Is this something that is just "not done," or am I OK to pursue this? I'm contemplating upgrading the strings, so that would be a convenient time for touching up the fingerboard.

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Barry Nelson
Nashville,Tennessee
June 15, 2012 - 2:08 am
Member Since: October 31, 2011
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Very cool, Im trying to trade or sell my violin so I can get a Viola.  Hope to get one some day....being poor just sucks laugh

 

I imagine your getting pretty good by now

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

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HeadCheese
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June 15, 2012 - 11:52 am
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Meh ... I'm undisciplined and tend to keep going back over the "easy" stuff, rather than constantly pushing into new skills, so progress has been stagnant. I really need a local teacher to hold my feet to the fire, so to speak.

sf-embarassed

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Barry Nelson
Nashville,Tennessee
June 15, 2012 - 3:29 pm
Member Since: October 31, 2011
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well at least by repeating the easy stuff you should have a good foundation

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

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NoirVelours
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June 18, 2012 - 12:04 pm
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Barry I know the feeling! I would like to try a viola also because I prefer deeper/warmer sounds but cannot afford one, heck I'm still paying my violin lol.

HC, have you try building yourself a lesson sheet? Like give yourself 1 week to practice this technique on that song, then another week or 2 for somethign else. It helps to have deadlines!

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HeadCheese
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June 18, 2012 - 12:19 pm
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I have plenty of deadlines, NV. They are those things I watch as they pass by ...

Actually, my goal for the summer is to learn a new tune each week. Last week's was "Happy Birthday." 

sf-wink

I think "Greensleeves" and "Bile 'em Cabbage Down" are next.

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HeadCheese
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June 19, 2012 - 12:01 am
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As an apology for not participating in the "He's a Pirate" project, and also to serve as an additional "thank you" to the fine folks who provided me with the CVA-500 from the Violaman.com contest, I though I'd better buckle-up and upload a video - squeaks, honks and missed notes be damned...

First pass is with a Cecilio CVA-400 and the second time is with the CVA-500.

bananabananabananabananabananabanana

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Jessica
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June 19, 2012 - 5:05 pm
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Wow that's funny, the same thing followed me home.. maybe it's a viola epidemic?

With two jobs and summer classes, I haven't been able to try mine out yet sf-cry I'm lucky if I get to sleep. Ahh the life of a poor college student.
But from you've played it sounds like it has a good quality to it and I'm really excited to start! Did yours come in that fancy soft case too? I spent ten minutes just admiring the case. It was so fuzzy!

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HeadCheese
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June 20, 2012 - 12:05 pm
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Jessica said
Wow that's funny, the same thing followed me home.. maybe it's a viola epidemic?

With two jobs and summer classes, I haven't been able to try mine out yet sf-cry I'm lucky if I get to sleep. Ahh the life of a poor college student.
But from you've played it sounds like it has a good quality to it and I'm really excited to start! Did yours come in that fancy soft case too? I spent ten minutes just admiring the case. It was so fuzzy!

You can see pictures of the case it came in above. Allowing for some production variations, I'd imagine they are all the same. 

Be sure and send us some pictures of you and your prize when you get a chance!

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Violaman
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June 23, 2012 - 6:16 pm
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Jessica said
Wow that's funny, the same thing followed me home.. maybe it's a viola epidemic?

With two jobs and summer classes, I haven't been able to try mine out yet sf-cry I'm lucky if I get to sleep. Ahh the life of a poor college student.
But from you've played it sounds like it has a good quality to it and I'm really excited to start! Did yours come in that fancy soft case too? I spent ten minutes just admiring the case. It was so fuzzy!

BTW Jessica,

Do you know the story of how Keith got the viola? One of our members on Fiddlerman.com felt bad that Keith (HeadCheese) didn't win and started a fund raiser for him through private messages. It didn't take long for him to get the money necessary which is what essentially paid for the viola sent to you.

exactly Great story huh? I'm glad that you both got one. Couldn't be a better ending to this contest. Hope you both get many great hours from your instruments.

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camilla-the-chicken
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June 30, 2012 - 2:34 am
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So you viola folks don't miss out, I will re-post my comment to HC's video here too:

 

What do you do with a drunken violist?

What do you do with a drunken violist?

What do you do with a drunken violist ear-lie in the morning?

Practice his bowing until his ears ring

Practice his bowing until his ears ring

Practice his bowing until his ears ring ear-lie in the morning!

1st-place1st-place1st-place1st-place1st-place1st-place

I look forward to seeing Jessica in action too!

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