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Dianne
I am posting a series of videos and pictures for your review...
Dianne
13 Responses
Posted: October 8, 2018
Last Comment: October 10, 2018
Replies

Dianne
Posted: October 10, 2018
Hand Height & String Contact
Well this was a pretty incredible experience. I added the bow hand with bow pressure and I suddenly gained time. It feels slower now at 88 on the detaché. The hands are out of sync, but I can use the practice strategies to fix this. Having a higher hand height puts a lot of relaxation into the hand. The bow feels more efficient and sounds clearer. Schradieck is still on the list, but this gets me over the hurdle of my current repertoire needs on this one. I will work through the extended passages of detaché in the other pieces next..

Dianne
Posted: October 10, 2018
Thank you, Beth!! Raising the left hand really made a difference. I thought it would take a while to get used to the new finger angle, but it's going well. I don't know why I always revert to a low hand position, and I didn't even think about the extra height needed in a fast passage. Your mention of reminding the fingers to get high is also very helpful. It is not automatic. And I think I understand the implications of all that bow hand flexibility - time! Later today, I'll try using more bow weight. Keeping the left hand from reacting to changes in bow pressure might be a challenge, and I hope to gain the time I need for hand coordination. Looking forward to trying this.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 10, 2018
Sorry something happened when I was typing. I'll fix my post later. 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: October 10, 2018
Great brain storming here. Dianne, my attentions going to the mechanical action of your left hand. For these fast passages a higher hand position to bring the 3rd and 4th fingers closer to the strings will help with making the movements more efficient. Watch the first videos with reduced speed. Notice how relatively long the journey is for the pinky especially. When I have passages like this, I have to have a review session with my fingers (yes,I talk to my fingers)  and ask them if they can find a comfortable position in whic

Also, even though your right hand is gloriously relaxed, add more pressure to make the contact with the strings stickier. It will reduce the finger motion which is needed for these fast passages. I can hear the the hair is losing contact because in this case, the fingers are too flexible!

Dianne
Posted: October 9, 2018
Bow Line & Schradieck
I've discovered something huge. Elke, you were right about the string crossing. It is almost imperceptible in the video (I think), but after the string crossing, there is a bit of tension in the arm, then when followed by the 4th finger to 2nd finger bit, more tension creeps in, and the whole shoulder then becomes involved. This throws off the timing with the right hand. I had to watch it about a hundred times to see it. Then I remembered feeling it!

So I think I need to do 2 things. #1, as you said, stick with the bowline, and not only the 2 measures, but the three measures coming in, as they are tricky as well, and probably set up their own tension in the bow arm. #2 Bring the left hand in a little more toward the fingerboard so that the 4th finger does not have to 'reach' at all, even as little as it does, because at this tempo, it is disastrous for the timing with the bow hand. For this, yes, I need to play the Schradieck for strengthening of the 4th finger, and strengthening of the hand frame itself. So #2 will take weeks. <Sigh>. But worth it!

Dianne
Posted: October 8, 2018
This discussion includes members-only video content

Playing At the Balance Point Tiny Bows
Thank you Elke & Christiane for taking the time to look at the videos. You have given me many good points to consider. Elke, your mention of the fingers and the bow getting out of sync w/a third finger that goes down too fast is a huge consideration @ this tempo. It might be giving me that out-of-sync sound I am hearing. I have NOT been doing Schradieck and will try that. And yes, that string crossing over to the G# for one note and back is hard to keep a minimum bow level change. I tried the bow line for that string crossing and it did not feel economized yet. Christiane, I have made a video of my arm. Am I at the right part of the bow? The balance point in the bow causes my arm to be just above square. At the square of the arm, I am a couple of inches above the balance point. I tend to play at the balance point. My teacher askes me to go that couple of inches up, but I seem to feel more comfortable at the balance point. Do you know the implications of this if any? Also, am I using the right amount of bow? Thank you both!

I just went in and made this video after food shopping. No excuse, I know, but boy was this not that great! But this does show what I am naturally capable of on a moment's notice, and does show the arm, which I think is the focus of this new video. :)

Christiane
Posted: October 8, 2018
Yes, I discovered the same with Shradiek slurred notes - they can be shockingly 'not' rhythmical, which will impact on coordination with the bow..  So back to lower speeds and finger exercises.  I also use the Shradiek exercises for 'speed training', and yes, i have to admit, it is a VERY slow, barely noticeable process.

Dianne, the video doesn't show your bowing arm, and as Elke pointed out already, it's the coordination between bow and fingers, that determines what speed.  It's very obvious, and I'm also very familiar with it, when bow and fingers 'loose' each other, and then there is a frustrating mess. The only way is going back to lower speeds and starting all over.
And yes, you are right, less bow, and using the right place of your bow, will help tremendously.  Flexible bow hold also comes into it, and playing softly may be easier than loudly.  But without a video that shows your arm, it's hard to comment if there is anything to improve.

I know you've done already all the rhythmical speeding exercises, and what Beth suggests for fast playing in the practice course.  So it's just repeating that over and over again and tons and tons of patience!  There will be minute improvements in time.  Some things simply can't be forced!

Elke Meier
Posted: October 8, 2018
No real help from my side, Dianne. Just sympathy as - unfortunately - I am very familiar with your problem... Just at much slower speeds. But here are a few observations I made in my own practice:
  • I have stopped speeding up as long as I cannot play cleanly. Very obviously the brain somehow does not give the commands to the left and right hand in the right order, and I don't want to reinforce those wrong patterns. So I force myself to stay at a speed where I can play cleanly, even though it drives me crazy at times...
  • The bow has SO much to do with it. Like: it works reasonably well and then I realize that instead of the elbow I moved from the shoulder again because I was so intense on the fast movement of the left hand. So I decide to concentrate on the elbow again and - boom - all the coordination goes out the window again!
  • I think I would make a version with a bowline for this. Because another thing I noticed is that just the minutest hesitation about when to cross a string renders the next few notes a complete mess. 
  • I have found that somehow it helps when I look at my left hand and think all the time: "Fingers first, fingers first, fingers first!!"
  • The biggest problem, I have discovered, is that my fingers are not independent when I play faster. For slower notes I can drop each finger as we are supposed to do. But when there is a faster scale passage the third finger wants to go down right after the second, kind of automatically. So the finger action becomes irregular. The bow, however, moves regularly but the two are then no longer in sync and it sounds like yours... I found out about this problem only recently. I have been doing Schradieck exercises all the time, but not slurred. Since I have such a problem with left and right hand coordination as soon as something speeds up, I felt I needed to do Schradieck with detache to give my hands opportunity to get better coordinated. The effect was more than meager. Then I decided to do them slurred - and I was horrified at the irregular rhythm. That was when I discovered that the fingers of the left hand have their own "rhythm" and don't really act independently from each other. So I went back to 60bpm, slurring 8 notes, and "hammering" each finger with force and in the right rhythm. I started that maybe a week or two ago and it seems to help.

Dianne
Posted: October 8, 2018
4th Finger & Bow Usage
After >3 months of practice of many pieces with bits like this, I have pinpointed 2 things. #1 - My coordination between the two hands is greatly affected by the amount of bow I use. #2 - My 4th finger needs a lot of warmup before I can get the speed I need with it, so early in the video you can see how slow it is. (Also, there is a 4th finger to 2nd finger spot where the 3rd finger sounds because it has just been played i.e 3rd-to-4th-to-2nd. I am working on that old problem again.)
I need to play at this tempo right now, and my problem is I either fall apart coming into measures like this (so I practice coming in), or else a problem sustaining many measures like this. I will post further videos of other pieces where there are longer runs.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!

Dianne
Posted: October 8, 2018
This discussion includes members-only video content

Coming Into The 2 Measures Before K


Dianne
Posted: October 8, 2018
This discussion includes members-only video content

Warming Up


Dianne
Posted: October 8, 2018
Coming Into The Two Measures Before K


Dianne
Posted: October 8, 2018
Yes, it looks like Wohlfahrt