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Soph

I have been working on Vivaldi G minor 1st movement for last 4 month now.

I knew it was farfetched for a beginner but really fall in love with the piece. 

Since I knew it would take a really long time  I am still enjoying this long journey.


The most difficult part now for me is page 2.

mm43-47 slurs and next part mm51-63 shifting. then mm65-72 fast fingers with bow crossing.

Could you point me to the right way to practice this part? The way I am practicing this part is just listening and try to play like the recordings. But starting to think there may be a better way to practice.

Soph
17 Responses
Posted: September 27, 2019
Last Comment: October 6, 2019
Replies

Soph
Posted: October 6, 2019
Dear Elke,  I do not what happened to my font. haha
I am so grateful for your generosity and all your advice. 
I will update my little progress you to critique asap. 
I know that this probably will take really long time for me to play ok but really excited to try out everything I have learned from you guys. 
Cannot wait to practice! 
Best, Soph

Elke Meier
Posted: October 4, 2019
Okay, Soph, the file with the bowline ready filled in is done. You can find it in the Bowline section under Resources. Scroll down to "Suzuki 5 with Bowline". When you click on the title you get the ready PDF. I have also corrected some mistakes in the file with the empty bowline. If you find other mistakes, please let me know so I can correct them. 

Happy practicing!!

Elke Meier
Posted: October 4, 2019
Haha, Soph, I think the computer played tricks on you in this response :). But I think I sifted out what you really said. No, sitting down is not a problem. People have different preferences. I sat for a while on a little higher chair, but then I went back to practicing standing. It just feels better for me. But others, I think Dianne is one of them, mostly practice sitting down. At least I remember several posts by Dianne where she sat. Tim always plays sitting down. So preferences are different. In my case, I tend to slump if I sit down, so standing is a good preventative measure... 

I am getting close to finishing the filled in bowline. You know, what it does for me is that I recognize pattern. You see those many fast notes and they look frightening, and when you do the bowline all of a sudden you think: Oh, the right had has to do the same thing over and over again. I also notice I use much more bow if I have practiced with the bowline. Somehow looking at two slurred eighth notes suggests little bow. But if the bowline indicates just a quarter note because those two eighth notes are played on the same string, somehow I just automatically give it more bow. 

In the filled in bowline version I always also mark all the fingerings. This goes with the first few videos in the practice course, where you analyze what the left hand does. Then it is easy to spot places where a finger can stay down, or where one has to hop over, or I can mark half step distances between fingers, etc. It just gives the left hand a lot more security. 

Soph
Posted: October 4, 2019
Hi Elke and Dianne
First of all, I sincerely appreciate your advice and Elke, Thank you very much for your file. I cannot express how much I appreciate it.
I was working on bowline from the practice course for the past few days. I was watching Beth's instruction for the slowest speed to follow Hi Elke and Dianne
First of all, I sincerely appreciate your advice and Elke, Thank you very much for your file. I cannot express how much I appreciate it.
I was working on bowline from the practice course for the past few days. I was watching Beth's instruction for the slowest speed to follow each bowline. That made me realized I have not prepared for the piece enough. I think I was hoping that I would 'get' it without these preparation steps. but I know now these steps are critical. I will go ahead, record the entire piece and upload it. This was the best thing I have ever done for my violin practice. 
Now I am paying with more attention to thumb placement for stiffness and working on bowline. Thank you for re-watching my video.  I will try to make my bow straight as much as I can.
I was wondering the other day if seating down and playing is a bad idea? I had ankle injury for a while so I could not stand up for a long time. Now I can stand up longer so I was thinking should I stand up from now on? each bowline. That made me realized I have not prepared for the piece enough. I think I was hoping that I would 'get' it without these preparation steps. but I know now these steps are critical. I will go ahead, record the entire piece and upload it. This was the best thing I have ever done for my violin practice. 
Now I am paying with more attention to thumb placement for stiffness and working on bowline. Thank you for re-watching my video.  I will try to make my bow straight as much as I can.
I was wondering the other day if seating down and playing is a bad idea? I had ankle injury for a while so I could not stand up for a long time. Now I can stand up longer so I was thinking should I stand up from now on?

Elke Meier
Posted: October 3, 2019
Hallo Soph, you can now download the file with the empty bowline from my Dropbox. I will continue to work on a finished bowline file, but this one would be good for you to practice a bit on if you have never worked on a bowline version for yourself. Once I finish the bowline version I will place both in the bowline section in Resources.

I was also rewatching your video below and had another thought: Maybe you should record yourself such that you can see everything. I know that you feel shy about posting a full video, but even if you do it for yourself I guess that would be enough. The bow is going zig-zag in many places and that is normally an indication that you bow from the shoulder without opening and closing the elbow. Recording yourself and watching that could give a a good indication of whether this is what you do. And the videos on straight bowing would give you indication on how to remedy it.

Dianne
Posted: October 2, 2019
Hi Soph, my bow line was from the 4th piece in Book 4 Vivaldi sorry for my mistake, but Elke is kindly working behind the scenes to help me clean it up and she will probably get back to you here on the other one. In the meantime, the practice course is the perfect place to be. I just hand wrote myself a bar or two of bow line this morning, and it wasn't until I drew it out that I realized how they do the 16th bar lines- very interesting. But the Musescore bow lines that people do are so much clearer, being computer generated, and faster to do, after learning the keyboard shortcuts Elke suggested, but for me needing just a bar or two, it worked for me today just fine. So hang in there in the practice course for now and good luck!

Soph
Posted: October 2, 2019
Hi Elke, Thank you very much for your critique. I agree with how stiff is looks. I just did not know how to correct them. I am going to follow bow exercises from the practice course that you mentioned for a while and re-record the piece for progress. I am very excited to have this detailed advice that I never had! 

Hi Dianne, Thank you so much for your reply. Not having a private teacher just makes me doubt everything. You have mentioned about bowline, could you share with me well. It won't matter if it is incomplete. I would appreciate any version. Now I look at my hand position after you and Elke pointed out. It seems like that is the reason why finger movement gets so limited. I would have never known if I hadn't recorded. 
Bowline and Finger position is what I am going to work on for a while and I will update whatever progress I have with y'all.

Dianne
Posted: October 1, 2019
Hello Soph, 43-47 is hard. And you are right in shifting 51-63. I was totally confused about which piece you were playing. Yes, there is shifting there as you can probably see after downloading the sheet music from the tutorial. This truly is a more advanced and challenging piece in Book 5.

Dianne
Posted: October 1, 2019
I'm so glad you posted, you'll get great advice from Beth and others. I would also say that the bowline would help so that you can concentrate on tone and sounding point for this challenging piece. Elke I made one for this movement that I sent you, but it probably needs a going over- I just haven't had the chance to do it. Also, the left hand looks too low. If you raise the hand so the fingers are hovering more, that might help with getting faster finger drops.

Elke Meier
Posted: October 1, 2019
Hello Soph, congratulations for picking up the courage to post :). And isn't it so true: the camera is such a truthful and unrelenting mirror of what we might perceive as quite okay... For me that happens mostly with the straight bow movement and staying on one sounding point. I am just shocked when I see what the camera tells me. But that is good. How can we learn if we don't see where the problems are?

Here are some thoughts I had when I watched your recording:
- your left hand seems not very relaxed. But I would not know how to correct this. I am really looking forward to what Beth has to say. This is what gives the impression of not-relaxed to me: When you go back to first position the hand flips toward the outside so often. That means that the fingers are far away from the string. Also the hand seems like it kind of cradles the neck in between. That makes it difficult to play freely. The other thing that indicated lack of relaxation is how the fourth finger just bends backwards when it is not used (check e.g. 1:40). That needs very active muscle movement of a finger that should just hover relaxed over the strings... 
- I see a lot of insecurity with coordination, and also with bowing. Did you see that under the tutorial there is a PDF with Beth's bowing instructions? I am not sure what kind of bowing instructions you follow but if you basically just play along following what your bow wants to do at a certain moment your bowing will not be consistent and it will be very difficult to train correct string crossings or even good coordination. My first thought when I watched the recording was: Oh, I wish she was practicing a bowline version of the piece (as explained in the practice course). It would save you so much time as it would give you security in all these string crossings. 

I really look forward to Beth's comments. I have learned as much from her reactions to what members have submitted as through her tutorials!

Soph
Posted: October 1, 2019
This discussion includes members-only video content

Vivaldi G minor 1st movement
It is just full of mistakes but I have finally recorded my first practice video. It was weird how nervous and uncomfortable it feels having a camera in front of me. Watching my video now I see problems everywhere. My fingers move so awkward and stiff. Another thing I have noticed was playing just that particular parts only are somewhat easier than playing through from the beginning.

Beth,  Your instruction video made me fall in love with the piece. It is me not following your teaching yet. Please let me know what could be helpful to my current play. I will try to learn. 
Dianne,  Slur+String crossing is really hard for me. Shifting on mm.51 to 60 was... my idea? I guess? omg I might have made huge mistakes here. I do not own Suzuki book.4 and I do not have a private teacher. I just analyzed by myself. Thinking process was just finding that sound on the string that made sense for me to play. Guess step backward. sigh.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: September 29, 2019
Soph, I'm sorry I wasn't more helpful. It's very difficult to give advice without seeing what your issues are. The strategies in the practice course do work for anything. So, I would always first advice to practice the bow part only. Decipher the right arm and practice that until you feel that you're in complete control. Sometimes your left hand has been having problems because the right arm wasn't completely controlled. If you are able to make a video, please don't feel like it has to be a performance. You can just play the sections that you'd like to have help with. 

Dianne
Posted: September 29, 2019
Agreed on mm.65-72. Anything in the piece with the slurs and string crossing 16th notes are challenging. What has been working for me is to play an entirely different piece with like slurs and string crossings and then come back to this. No amount of just practicing these particular measures with any technique did it for me. I also found challenging mm.24-26 for the same reason. Were you able to play those? If so, perhaps there is some particular thing going on that you could locate that makes the pther measures different. Not doing any shifting mm.51-63 in my Suzuki book that I can see. mm.43-47 just seem to fit in my hands.

Soph
Posted: September 29, 2019
Vivaldi G minor 1st movement
Hi Sonia,

Thank you very much for your advice. I will surely try to record a video but maybe pointing fingerboard for the first dose.  I really like your approach to micro-concentration.  I can see it would take me a while but it already helped me. Just need to chill about it and accept the slow progress. 

Soph

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: September 28, 2019
Hi Soph,

Each of the measures you mention will have a different approach to fixing them ie slurs, shifting and fast fingers. When you practice concentrate on just one of those items eg fast fingers, and the strategies which will help you fix them. Dont overload by trying to fix everything at once.

Dont worry about being able to play the whole piece, and up to speed. Concentrate (or even micro-concentrate) on those areas that cause you issues, even if you only choose to do 2 or 3 notes from those tricky spots. 

My teacher said to me that if I can play 1 out of the 3 notes correctly, then by repeatedly practicing the 1 note Im wasting a 3rd of my time!

Video would be much better than just audio. Yes, it can be a challenge, but were all friends here. Were not here to pass judgement but to help each other, no matter where we are in our journey.

Sonia

Soph
Posted: September 27, 2019
Vivaldi G minor 1st movement
Beth, Hope you are doing well.
I have watched your Vivaldi G minor tutorials many times. I have printed out my sheet music and marked fingerings and bow. even though I cannot follow all the bow markings somehow. 

I cannot seem to play the entire 5 pages at one go. I could make it through maybe 2 pages at once. It almost feels like a workout sometimes. I did not know violin is this physical. I do not think I know how to pace myself or getting comfortable while playing.

One weird habit is also noticed.  I tend to lift pinky off the bow. Should I be worried? It does feel like having better control when I lift but I cannot be sure since I never had a private teacher
Recording my playing is quite nerve-racking for me. I might record my audio and upload it later but I cannot play too fast like recordings it might take about 10 mins for the entire recording. Do you reckon recording page by page is better to critique? 

Thank you 


Beth Blackerby
Posted: September 27, 2019
Soph, just checking to see that you've watched the tutorials for the Vivaldi and have gone through the Practice course?  Those passages would be perfect for applying  all the many practice strategies I have in there. Also, It would be helpful to see a video if you can post one. It could be that there are some technical issues unique to your situation that I could pinpoint for you.