Eric Stanley is an American violinist and composer. He is known for remixing popular Hip-hop and Pop songs on the violin. Stanley presents improvisational violin performances found on his YouTube channel, Estan247, which was introduced in 2010. As of December 2014, his YouTube channel has more than 100,000 subscribers and over 15 million total views. During 2011 Stanley released The Eric Stanley Project, a mixtape.
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Hello reddit! Eric Stanley here. I will be answering questions for a few hours starting at 4pm EST 9/10/15.
Most of you know me for my violin freestyles of popular songs. I go under the name Estan247 on YouTube. I’ve gone from playing violin in my college dorm room to playing around the world doing what I love. Most recently, I shared the stage with Machine Gun Kelly and played the theme song on ESPN First Take. I also performed in Mexico City this past weekend. I released my self-titled EP, Eric Stanley, in July. I appreciate each and every one of you who have supported me throughout the years.
Ask Me Anything.
[Edit: I will be back in a few minutes 5:01pm EST ]
[Edit: I'm back! I'll be on for one more hour 5:22pm EST ]
[Edit: Thank you! Your questions were unique and phenomenal! Take Care 6:46 EST ]
What kind of schooling do you have to pull off what you do?
When I was in highschool, I did an after school program and played with the local Richmond youth symphony. It was 2 and a half hours every Tuesday and Thursday for the entire school year. It was the toughest part of highschool as I often would quit and pick the violin back up. I started violin at VCU in Richmond, VA for 4 years. I think the thing that improved my skills a bit was playing in church. There was no sheet music. I just had to play notes by ear.
Is Joe Flacco an elite QB?
Pretty Consist fellow he is. A brief fall in 2013 but never the less elite quarter backs like Flacco fall but get back up stronger than ever. He's elite in my book!
What is the most obscure fact you know about violins? If none, please answer with a violin related joke. Thank you.
Whats the difference between a fiddle and violin??
You don't spill beer on a violin!!
I can't imagine anyone your age is incredibly moved by classical artists alone- have you found inspiration in contemporary violinists and classical musicians? I enjoy your music much in the same way I enjoy Bond, 2Cellos, and TwelveGirlsBand. Thanks!
Thank you and Yes! I grew up listening to Jean-Luc Ponty Regina Carter and Noel Pointer. Recently I've listened to instrumentalist like David Garrett and Lindsey Stirling. Very unique styles.
Do you happen to play any other instruments apart from violin?
I started on Piano and moved from viola to violin. Mainly because my orchestra classes didn't have any viola players. Violas were scarce back then haha.
Who made your violin and bow? What strings do you prefer? How about rosin?
Edit: Just read it's a Jay Haide violin, but is it a Stradivarius, GDG, Guad or Balestrieri model?
Yes Jay Haide- Ifishin Violins. My violin was made in a shop in Berkeley California. My bow is a Fornaciari Junior. I use Thomastik Dominant for my G,D and A string. I use a Pirastro Gold E string. The model is à l'ancienne European wood.
What got you into violin?
I started playing violin in grade school because it was either art, shop class, or music. Fast forward to 2004, I was watching a Performance of Kanye West and he featured a violinist from Tel Aviv, Isreal by the name of Miri Ben-Ari. Seeing her play violin to his hip hop songs got me inspired. I ran and told my mom I want to get more serious with violin.
What do you think of me?
Crisp tone. Robust character and style when playing. You had the pure skill and ability to make the violin sing even on old recordings.
Have you made any money from youtube?
I got a lil pocket change. Estimated 8,000 for the year. You have to remember I don't monetized on a lot of video because it's copyrighted work.
How long does it take to be good enough for people to actually want to listen to you? Say, to make money by playing on the street?
I don't think its how long you practice but how smart you practice. I played violin since I was about 11 years old. Up until 15 years old, I started at the same playing level because I often left my instrument at school. When I started taking private violin lessons, it really pushed me to be better. When I practice, I turn off all electronics so I'm in the moment. When I was 16 I started practicing 2-3 hours a day 5 days a week. Malcom Gladwell said it best that you need 10,000 hours to because a master at anything. I think I'm almost at that number but I will still keep growing and learning.
Thanks, but there are four l'ancienne models. Which is yours? And if you don't mind my asking, how much did it cost?
Yezzir I have the European wood model. http://www.ifshinviolins.com/JayHaideInstruments.aspx It goes at about 3400. You can get a discount from a violin seller like Shar music i believe.
I always wanted to play at Madison Square garden in NY. (sigh one day)
> The ancienne violins are available in four models: Stradivari. Guarneri del Gesu, J.B.Guadagnini and a reproduction of a violin from Jay Ifshin's personal collection by Tomasso Balestrieri of Mantua
Which is yours?
oops my fault it's Stradivari
I have legitimately always wanted to ask you this question. I'm a classically-trained violinist but I never got the hang of playing freestyle - how do you do it? I've always wanted to know how to play by ear like you do and just vibe with the music, but I feel so constrained and the notes are never right. How do you break that barrier between your head and the notes?
I just wanted to let you know that you were my idol in middle school when I was learning to play violin. I'm going to have been playing for ~8 years soon. Your Black and Yellow cover changed me. And I still remember your cover of Time by Hans Zimmer.
Proud that you stayed committed! To get better at freestyling I placed myself in uncomfortable situations. I played with a jazz band and performed at senior citizen homes. Played in church. I was awful starting out and often played long single notes. Until I really started understanding my scales I was always stuck when trying to jam with others. I started listening to songs I would only try to find what key the song was in. I knew that if I found the key signature, everything would flow better. I began playing to songs like this and only played the notes that were in the key signature. After to doing this to countless songs and playing with the jazz band, it soon became second nature. Remember, it's okay to mess up. We all do. That's the beauty of freestyling.
Sounds like a lousy orchestra. Most people move from violin to viola. Why did you start on the bigger instrument?
I had long fingers and could easily reach the notes. Plus I thought it was cooler cause the sound was low and rich
What's your warm-up routine? Scales, studies, bits of repertoire? How long for?
I start with scales on the piece I'm studying. For example Bach Partita No. 2, I do e Major exercises out of Carl Flesch Scale System book. I never pratice more than an hour at a time. I slipt it up into 3 times in the day. 9am/12 or 1pm and then at night 10pm
How much money are you able to make off of YouTube views?
If you're weird about revealing that, just give us an idea...
You have about 16mil views, right? How much does a million views make you? Have you been involved in any partner programs with YouTube? How does it all work? And, does it matter that you're playing copy-written songs?
I join a third party called fullscreen. It allowed me to monetize cover songs. I just have to state that it's in fact a cover of another song. The split the money off the Adsense revenue with the original creator and the cover artist. I became a YouTube partner in early 2010. The money goes straight to a bank account or PayPal account. Last year accounted for about 8000 dollars. Hope that helps
Where do you see yourself in five years' time? (Dont say MSG!)
I see myself scoring music for television, film and living somewhere on the west coast (In Virginia now). I'm just enjoying the moment and I realize that life changes so swiftly I could be doing something totally different. But yes, film composing is where my heart is at.
What one piece of advice would you give someone who said they wanted to make a career out of freestyle violin?
Don't make it a competition amongst other musicians. It's not. The only thing I focus on is being better than I was yesterday. I practice study and collab with other musicians beciase there's always something to be leaned.
Do you think the violin's the most expressive instrument? Why? (If not, what is?)
Man I was in the music store and saw oboes pushing over $3000. Oboes are expensive to me for there size. But I think the violin takes a skillful luther to help you get the right tone and sound out of the violin.
Which film composers do you want to be like? Are you composing now (other than freestyling)?
Thomas Newman- his compositions aren't very melodic but they are simple and beautifully done. Check this out http://youtu.be/VTIN80XGICA
Another is Hans Zimmer. He's like a rockstar composer
What other instrument do you like/would like to learn how to play?
Ok so I'm learning guitar and man it's so different! More notes to think about but it's fun trying to play Stairway to heaven lol
Is there a particular place you would like to go perform?
Where in the world would you like to go visit?
I want to visit South Korea and play with a Big Bang. They're a kpop group. Yea that would be dope!
What's the best collaboration you've done so far? And is it on YT?
I've done a few but my favorite ones are with my big brother. https://youtu.be/wP1OpGluBdU
Good choice! That's from Shawshank Redemption but it sounds a lot like American Beauty, which is my favourite of his
Yes and it's weird... the theme hardly played throughout the movie yet it was the most rememberable part of the film. Thanks for the questions Gerry!
I'm at the long, drawn-out notes stage right now. I will definitely keep at mastering my scales, then (I use the same book you do, sometimes tedious to practice but never fails). I am so determined to get this; moreso than ever now. Thank you for inspiring 6th grade me and continuing to inspire present-day me, and thank you for responding!
No Prob bro. Appreciate you telling me this. Your words are inspirational fro me too. keep up the good work. (Internet fist bump)
Dude. I loved your "Love the way you lie" by Eminem. Really beautiful. What do you like to do in your free time?
Bout to head to the Gym now. Basketball was my first passion and it's hobby of mine! Gotta get those jumpers in. Thanks and stay blessed Zockman