Thursday, September 20, 2007
Our string orchestra will also play a couple of pieces in that concert.
At last night's rehearsal we tried several variations to improve our sound - playing the tricky measures slowly, note-by-note; tuning ourselves on the half note and whole note chords; exaggerating the dynamics, and so on. We tried recording with a small voice recorder, but it was too painful to listen to the poor quality playback. Next week, I'll bring my laptop and we'll record using Audacity.
At our lesson (#37), we worked on the Lully Gavotte and the Boccherini Minuet. Apparently, (in spite of my own lack of satisfaction these last two weeks) I have made steady progress. There's still a long way to go with tempos especially on the various runs. In order to play these rapidly (and accurately) - as well as those 16th notes in Webster's Scherzo - I have to work on my staccato, and on proper use of my bowing arm (keeping the motion at the elbow and wrist, not the shoulder). I also have to work on my left hand finger placement. I'm squeezing the neck pretty hard - especially when playing the first finger - causing my other three fingers to lift up off the fingerboard to somehow help hold that first finger down. (This isn't as much an issue when I'm finally comfortable with a piece.) However, it is affecting my accuracy and my ability to play these notes rapidly. I need to focus on getting appropriate left hand/arm angles while trying to hold my 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers as close to the string as possible without actually touching it. In the end, it all comes back once again to relaxation - intentional but unconscious relaxation...
Finally we played a few of Mooney's Position Pieces, and she told me to start working through the next group (extended second position).
Congratulations on the successful audition.
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