Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Same old practice issues
Prior to getting into that, we played through the Gavotte in C-minor, and aside from one stumble on a descending C-minor scale portion, it went quite well. I like playing this piece - a lot. My homework from this is to play just that third position extension and the shift back to first position, over and over.
Then we opened the Scherzo. For all my other successes, I've not been able to "get" this one, yet. I usually work on it three or four times a week, but I can't really say I've made a lot of progress. If I pay attention to my bowing (which still isn't right on this one), I start messing up the notes. If I concentrate on the notes, my bowing sucks. It's gone back and forth this way for months now. My teacher suggested I put in some time playing the Suzuki Book 1 Twinkle, Etude, and Perpetual Motion pieces with the fast double-16th notes, using these to work on my bowing arm [aack, even more stuff to try to fit into my schedule]. Also, she suggested I play my scales with this same bowing technique. Meanwhile, I will also work on the Scherzo at a pace just slow enough to completely lock in the right notes.
Since my progress on Humoresque was so good, she asked me if I was ready to start the next piece. But I hesitated, because I felt I have enough yet to do on my current pieces. So, she suggested instead that I work on several pieces in the upper third position section of Mooney's "Position Pieces" and we'd go over them at the next lesson.
Back on the practice timing problem, we talked about setting up a formal rotation plan - using 3x5 cards or something. That will help...
I hope you find a way to practice that works for you! Your dedication and thoughtfulness about your playing never fails to impress me.
As for shifting, I'm currently working on a piece that has a very high E-flat. Taking my teacher's advice I noted where my thumb was and other fingers to make a mental snapshot of where the note was so I could easily find it again. The rest of the notes further along in the piece didn't seem to be matching with my E-flat. I took out my tuner and checked; C-sharp! Delete my mental picture and start again. Shifts!
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