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Dianne
Lesley, inspired by your latest video on Schradieck, I'm trying to capitalize on the shape I'm in after many weeks/months of vigorous practice and not go into a rest period and consequently lose it all. So two days ago I started on Schradieck. It was hard on the low 2nd fingers to 4th fingers, but on the 2nd day I changed my hand frame by bringing the elbow over a bit, and it made it so much easier. I also heard the hammering fingers. I have never had this finger strength from the base knuckles I have right now, and it is not just the shape I'm in as a base, but the combination with Schradieck. It is as if the base is needed to get the full results, because Schradieck never really worked for me before. I just have to keep this up. Are you still running it? Do you see increasing results? Who knows how far it can take me. It's really not that much time to do a run through. No excuses not to!
Dianne
10 Responses
Posted: November 7, 2019
Last Comment: November 18, 2019
Replies

Lesley
Posted: November 18, 2019
Here's something I just thought of. It helps if you push "up" with the (left) thumb just a tiny little bit while playing, I find it makes it easier to go faster without losing intonation or clarity. Maybe you've already discovered this, but if not, give it a try.

Dianne
Posted: November 16, 2019
Another good point of this exercise was listening for those double notes when finger lifts needed work. Just a great overall tune up exercise.

Dianne
Posted: November 16, 2019
Thank you for feedback from the violinist. If I wasn't in the shape I'm in, I could never have done this. I've been working on speed playing in the left hand for concerts for the last year, and had some pretty intensive rehearsals and practice since summer. It's kind of been a long time coming. There's no way I could have done this otherwise, and you are right, it is a huge workout for the left hand. They give you lines of easy playing every once in a while as if they knew this. :) Page one came along but page 2 was harder. So I played it briefly 2 or 3 times during the day in the default key of A Major with good hand frame as a priority. It's great to hear that feedback because you never really hear that and only see the results.

Lesley
Posted: November 16, 2019
Dianne, great to hear of your progress. But I hope while you are playing that you are not experiencing any undue pain or tension!! I first heard about this exercise from a violinist working at my local luthier's. He said people do pages 1 and 2 for years. But (and he made a real point of stressing this!) he said, be careful not to overdue it. I took his advice to heart. When I first started, I wouldn't do it more than once a day, and even there I would stop the second I got any weirdness happening in my pinky. And always, always, always prioritizing left-hand relaxation and accurate intonation over speed. That said, it wasn't long before my hand figured it out. The idea is that your fingers should rain gently down from the base knuckle, no tension, no hurting. Nice and easy does it. Don't take your lead from the super-turbo-charged violinsts you see doing this on YouTube at about 100 mph -- they've been at it for years!

Dianne
Posted: November 16, 2019
Well, it took 9 days to be able to play pages 1&2 without feeling really awful for the pinky. I'm not playing this very quickly, but I sure needed this work on hand frame. I have never stuck with it this long because I didn't have the time or endurance, but coming off 3 months of heavy practice, I thought I'd try it. Then I went back to the pinky busters and it didn't kill the hand like it used to- 25 Wohlfahrt OP 54 #10. I guess Schradieck really works if you stick with it and have a stronger hand going, and it just took hours and hours of practice. (I tried it a few times throughout the day.) I look forward to building on this and keeping this as a daily exercise. It can be sped up, it can take on new keys, it can have bowing patterns, so a forever exercise for sure. Just thought I'd share my much needed tune up that finger taps alone were just not getting done.

Dianne
Posted: November 7, 2019
I just do pages 1&2. The Cranz version on IMSLP has some interesting bowing patterns for these two pages. Notice how only the last measure is a full bow.

https://imslp.org/wiki/School_of_Violin_Technics_(Schradieck,_Henry)

Lesley
Posted: November 7, 2019
Michael, I think I tried no. 4 maybe once -- and couldn't run away quick enough! But you have inspired me to consider having another go. I'll take a look at the Sevcik too because you have piqued my curiosity... I don't know it at all but anything that's liable to help me is my friend!

Michael Baumgardner
Posted: November 7, 2019
Schradieck:  I've been stuck on Schradieck IV for months.  So I of backed off a bit and worked more diligently on Sevcik (Opus 1, Part 1) and have come to have a real appreciation for Sevcik as well as Schradieck.

Dianne
Posted: November 7, 2019
You are right about trying to recapture the ease- today it didn't fall into place as easily as yesterday. So many things can change in a day, such as how the hand and arm are doing as they get conditioned. No video yet! But some of the bits on the middle of page 2 are helping my reading skills. Schradieck apparently has it all- smart guy!

Lesley
Posted: November 7, 2019
Hey Dianne! Great to read that youíre doing the Schradieck, I think it is fantastic for many things. I had sort of let it drop but renewed it with a vengeance as of the last couple of weeks (after hearing that Heifetz liked it, lol). Itís the first thing I do now in any practice session. Itís great for ďhand framingĒ and in fact, I think thatís one of its main purposes. So if you are finding it easier now that youíve shifted your elbow slightly, then Iíd say youíre on the right track. Iíve noticed when everything is really ďright,Ē then my fingers go faster and easier almost all by themselves. I try to recapture this senes of ease each time, but I donít always succeed.

There should be two focal points: keeping the left hand very very very relaxed; and ensuring intonation is correct. These two points take precedence over speed! Speed should only come gradually and incrementally as you get more comfortable. I am currently at a happy 70, meaning, hand stays relaxed all the way through and intonation remains solid. Aiming for 100, tho am prepared to give it the time it needs.

Did you post a video? I canít see videos for some reason with the new site on my tablet, so if you did, I will look forward to seeing it once Iím reunited with my computer later today. :)