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Speed for Dummies
How do I rev up this tempo?
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Oliver
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May 13, 2014 - 6:28 pm
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Is it better to do slow, but safe, reps when trying to learn a new piece that wants a lot more tempo? Or, how about full speed ahead hoping that the difficult parts will simply yield to determination (eventually!).
A careful and orderly approach may seem to be most sensible but takes too long!
What is most effective?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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fiddle chick
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May 13, 2014 - 6:51 pm
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I think everyone is different and everyone you ask wil probably give you a different answer. But me personally, I can't slow down. I get bored too easy and can't keep my mind on what I'm doing. I'm always in a hurry. LOL! Probably not the answer you were looking for though.

Let the bow flow.

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Schaick
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May 13, 2014 - 9:33 pm
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I have been told repeatedly by people here and by my Teach over this first year of learning the violin that slower is better.

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Ferret
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May 14, 2014 - 5:15 am
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@Oliver

Think of is as learning to drive a car. A lot of new things to learn and a lot of new coordination to get together. While on a violin the consequences of going 'flat out' may not be as tragic as in a car, all the violin crashes may slow down your progress. rofl

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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StoneDog
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May 14, 2014 - 7:29 am
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I go slow to learn it > then I have a bad time at slowing down after I think I know it. Learning the notes > not such a big deal > and getting to them quickly > not such a big deal but the intonation suffers much on my viddle if I go too fast when learning a tune. Result > sounds like crap. SOooo I slow down again. Full Circle

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Oliver
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May 14, 2014 - 9:34 am
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It occurs to me that maybe the concentration of playing slow(er) is a mostly mental matter and playing fast is mostly physical.

(As Yogi said "Ya can't think and bat at the same time")

So far, he is definitely correct!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Mad_Wed
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May 14, 2014 - 5:22 pm
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Oliver said

..... Or, how about full speed ahead hoping that the difficult parts will simply yield to determination (eventually!).

Imagine yourself, trying to play Fiorillo's Etude #28. How possibly You can play it fast from the first time? From the beginning to the end.?
If You are so advanced for a tune You try to play, to play it in tempo - then go for it. Listen to yourself and if You are satisfied with the result - then why not. If there are some hard parts - then, obviously, they need more careful attention. For example if there are some fast passage - learn it with different bow strokes, then with different speed, then find a comfortable speed, put the metronom according to it and play the whole piece that way, and when You can do it smoothly through the whole piece - start increasing the tempo.
And where particularly here one can find something boring? If one puts all in practice, working on the edge of abilities - there's no time to feel boring. Never felt like this, thank God, maybe i'm just lucky!

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Fiddlerman
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May 14, 2014 - 6:33 pm
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To learn a piece, play it as fast as you can without making any mistakes. To perfect a piece, play it slowly and pay special attention to each and every single note. Practice the piece up to tempo and even faster as well so that you have the capability to perform it at any tempo your heart or soul desires.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Oliver
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May 14, 2014 - 9:23 pm
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Mad_Wed

I happen to agree with FM regarding attention to detail. The violin never gave me anything for free !

But I also think about the "edge of abilities" phrase that you used. Don't you think that there is a risk of just practicing "your mistakes" without having a remedy in mind ?

Believe it or not, any increase in speed that I have achieved seems to involve my scales practice because I see scales in a lot of my music.

That is just one gimmick I use but I'm always thinking about corrective action, again, the mental game.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Oliver
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May 15, 2014 - 1:34 pm
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Having started this thread, I should report on recent practice schemes.
I think playing slow in the learning stage has more benefit than frustrating attempts at full speed. Also, playing slow can expose some bad issues that only get worse at speed.
I can tell about one way to really limit speed. This is to fail to anticipate the next bar. (Or, you can become a fiddler who don't need no stinkin bars!)

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Mad_Wed
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May 15, 2014 - 5:42 pm
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Oliver said

But I also think about the "edge of abilities" phrase that you used. Don't you think that there is a risk of just practicing "your mistakes" without having a remedy in mind ?

I don't really understand how You so smoothly combined "edge of abilities" + "practicing your mistakes" + "without having a remedy in mind" in one sentence.
Or maybe You thought i applied it to the context of speed?http://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/dunno.gif
Anyway, pardon my English, to prevent any other misunderstandings, i'll try to explain myself:
Definition to "edge of abilities" from my point of view - get as much as i can from the practice, working on the skills (whatever it is: bowing, intonation, sound...) and try it my best.
You can "practice your mistakes" not on the "edge of abilities", You can "practice your mistakes" without paying attention to what You're doing, You can "practice your mistakes" whatever way, if You don't know what to do (this is about "without having a remedy in mind"). I have my teacher to revise my skills and mistakes. You and other forum members have this forum, all of us and Fiddlerman himself to help!
Who asks You to "practice your mistakes" on the "edge of abilities", and + "without having a remedy in mind"?http://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/duncecap.gif

Guess i should explain what i was talking about when used this phrase: If one has a goal and imagines the result one's aiming to, trying to do it as good as possible, then pracice just can't seem long, boring etc.

So: no, Oliver, i don't understand why i should:

think that there is a risk of just practicing "your mistakes" without having a remedy in mind.

There is that possibility, like any other troubles - one can break a leg coming out of home...
Be careful with anything - and it will be OK. Nature gave us brain for it.

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Tyberius
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May 15, 2014 - 7:12 pm
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I have read and re-read the posts here. Honestly, I think that all are correct. I think the problem is understanding what was typed and what was meant. I think playing at the edge of your ability IS playing something however fast you can, while playing it correctly. The more drive you have to play it, the faster you are able to play it (with practice). This then pushes the "new" edge of your ability.

I hope I understood that. maybe I'm wrong. probably so. i'll just settle to the background for another 8 months.

edit : Its like playing etudes. You play them til you want to barf. then you play with 8th notes, then maybe 16th notes, then change the tempo. its all playing at the edge until you learn it. then you try it at 3/4 or throw in double stops. I think Suzuki even has this as part of their learning process. You play (4/4) with 4x 1/8 notes, then 2x 1/4 notes, for each note of the practice piece or in my case, the etude. I think I read somewhere you keep the beat by singing in your head "Mo-tor-cy-cle Go Go -or Mis-sis-sip-pi Ri Ver .. anyways, back out I go.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Oliver
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May 15, 2014 - 8:34 pm
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I must admit that I have little faith in the notion of practice without understanding the problem and choosing a more or less specific corrective action.
I know that because I have often concentrated on a piece for many days only to realize that I sounded the same as when I started several days ago. No worse, no better. Obviously I did not know what the problem was or how to fix it and it was unlikely that casual advice would help.
I can tell you right now that one of my recent discoveries is that I hold my fingers too high. One problem identified with obvious corrective action :)
My contempt for practicing happens because I want to do as little as I can get away with but I never argue with success.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
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May 16, 2014 - 7:51 am
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Oliver said

I must admit that I have little faith in the notion of practice without understanding the problem and choosing a more or less specific corrective action.
...............

I can assure you that Naska is not doing that Oliver. It's obvious with the tremendous progress that she has made since I first heard her play. I am sure that she focuses on something whenever she practices even though there are issues that she is not aware of. She then has the opportunity to be told by her teacher/friends/self analyze what to work on. I think you're misunderstanding her.

Your point is well taken as well. One needs to have specific goals in mind when practicing to advance quicker. It's OK if you only have one goal at a time if that's all you can handle.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Oliver
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May 16, 2014 - 9:03 am
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That is why I added "never argue with success" :) I have heard many outstanding student videos on this site and recognize that a lot of good things are happening without any idea of the training. Just as well. I enjoy hearing it.
I will hold off being a serious critic until after my 10K hours!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Mad_Wed
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May 16, 2014 - 7:01 pm
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http://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-surprised.gifhttp://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-embarassed.gif Tanks, Pierre!
Though i never thought that i'm an example of progress or something. I'm kinda slow learner, but i apply those statements i made to any levels and abilities, because one can try one's best whether he\she is good or not, whatever is concearned (speed included).
And i'm not entirely sure that i understand how there could exist such thing as contempt for practicing, sorry!http://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/dunno.gifhttp://fiddlerman.com/wp-content/forum-smileys/duncecap.gif

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Schaick
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May 16, 2014 - 7:46 pm
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Mad_Wed said
And i'm not entirely sure that i understand how there could exist such thing as contempt for practicing, sorry!

Me either!! I LOVE to practice and can not wait to get the time each day!! Maybe it is because I have little time to myself and it is during my practice that everyone has tried to leave me alone with my new love ... :) Berty!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Oliver
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May 16, 2014 - 9:25 pm
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I'm curious. What do you like to practice so much? Scales? Etudes? What is on your music stand right now?
Maybe if I knew what was fun to practice I would do it too.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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1stimestar
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May 16, 2014 - 9:48 pm
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Fiddler's Fake Book! I love to practice too and get no where NEAR enough time to myself to do so. Also wanted to add, if you are just practicing mistakes, then you are obviously playing beyond your abilities and need to slow down.

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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Oliver
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May 16, 2014 - 10:44 pm
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How many hours a week do you practice? Maybe I need more practice time. And a lot of waltzes.
I doubt I will catch Michael if I slow down but you fiddlers know about that.
He talks a lot at the start but it's worth it !

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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