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What do you do durring your "short breaks"?
10-20 mins of...?
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New member
December 15, 2014 - 5:11 am
Member Since: December 15, 2014
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I would like to ask what are you all doing when you take short breaks. But "short" means 10-20 mins, it's kind of "a lot of time", you want to rest and let your mind relax, so doing anything that requiers focus seems counter-productive. What can a person do in 10-20 minutes to rest that doesn't require focus and yet isn't boring? :p Especially since you take those kind of breaks couple times a day, so it would be best to make the most of it.

Honorary advisor

December 15, 2014 - 7:21 am
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 290
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Welcome to the forum Focused.

I'm not positive I follow your question?

If you mean what can you do for 10 to 20 Minutes when you take a break from working and want to spend some time on the Fiddle well then sit back and enjoy running some scales just listing for intonation working on getting the sympathetic strings to sing, do long bow strokes on the open strings trying to pull a full sound out of each string, play, play a song you like from memory just play forget about every thing else and play it listen to the connection between the notes and bowing patterns just enjoy the sounds, feel the vibrations of the bow and violin that they make.

Personally I like to play Ashokan's Farewell one or twice to warm up and just listen to the structure of that song (thank you Toni for introducing us to that song)  

Works for me when I have a few minutes spare and I have access to my fiddle.

Good luck..



California, the place of my heart

December 15, 2014 - 12:43 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
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Hello Focused.

I too was not sure if you meant taking a break while playing violin.  When I take a break while playing I stretch my fingers.. I clasp my hands behind my back and stretch, I reach for the ceiling and stretch and I get a drink of water.  I check to see if I need more Rosin, and plan what to play and work on for the next set.  Often if I need to "do something" I let the dog out.   Okay that was for if you were talking about what you do during a violin playing break.

If I am taking a break from working at the house to play violin.. I just pick up and start  a few scales.... and bowing and then pick a song and focus on that song for the full 10-15 minutes.

Good luck and welcome to the forum. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

December 15, 2014 - 2:52 pm
Member Since: March 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 81
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If you're talking about taking a break in the middle of a long practice section to let your mind process what you've been learning, I watch videos on youtube of the songs I'm learning and pay attention to what the fiddlers do so i can learn from them.  I also have an intonation game app on my phone that I work with that helps me identify musical intervals.   I hope this is what you were looking for!

New member
December 16, 2014 - 7:48 am
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sorry that i wasn't clear, i meant if you play violin for example 90 minutes and then you want to take a break for 20 min, then play again ~90 mins, break, play again

Far North-west Scotland

December 16, 2014 - 8:28 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
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LOL @focused - got yah now - that's why I didn't respond before !

Well, for me that would depend entirely on how the first session went and whether I felt as if I wanted to chop the fiddle up for firewood or not.  

OK - slight exaggeration - but - if it "went bad" - I would do something totally mindless - like trawl through unread FB posts - maybe pickup one of the books ( non academic ) I'm currently reading.   I would maybe also do something totally mindless like watch a Simpsons or King of the Hill episode to restore what would clearly be a very dark-mood with a bit of laughter.   What I would NOT do (myself) is potentially worsen the situation (I've been there) by saying "I'll do something simple, a few scales" - for me - that wouldn't work - I would just get more and more annoyed.   I would simply drop it, forget about it, and return anew some good number of minutes later.

If the session had gone well, I would go listen to other performances of what I had been working on, either on CD or you tube / whatever - and try to draw inspiration from the different approaches / interpretation various players bring to the piece/pieces - and come back to the violin and - well - not so much try to emulate what I heard, but "use it" in the sense of understanding how the piece can be played differently.....

That's my approach.  I may of course also go off and do some "work" (which to me, is also a bit "mindless" ) LOL


I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

Honorary tenured advisor

December 16, 2014 - 3:31 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
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Itzhak Perlman suggests practicing for no more than 50 minutes with a 10 minute rest period.  Get up walk around, do something else for 10 minutes or so, then come back and do another 50 minutes.  He also suggests that anything over 5 hours a day is probably not helpful.  

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright


December 16, 2014 - 3:42 pm
Member Since: November 8, 2012
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Hello and welcome.

You can sit back, close your eyes and visualize the piece you are trying to play. "SEE" where your fingers are to be placed, "hear" the notes as you "place" your finger. "look" at the notes, "feel" the tempo, "listen" - all in your head, how you want it to go. Then, when you do actually play, you can move towards that goal. By resting your eyes while doing this, your body will relax.

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

Honorary advisor

December 16, 2014 - 4:01 pm
Member Since: November 26, 2014
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I didn't answer before because I wasn't sure about the question too XD

I usually lay down a bit and do some stretches, pet my bird or search for old music sheets I may have in my music folders...  Nothing special :)  

Welcome to the forum btw!

Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil

December 16, 2014 - 5:07 pm
Member Since: November 19, 2012
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usually, I either stretch a bit, take a look at my phone, if I'm reading a score to learn the song I take a look at the score, check my emails, drink some water.. Just rest my fingers for a bit, and then get ready to play again. You should do whatever you feel like doing, whatever it is, really; If you're resting for a small amount of time, there shouldn't be any problems.

Skype: augustoad Email: Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)



December 16, 2014 - 5:31 pm
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It is rare for me to get practice time that is uninterrupted enough to need an actual break.  Things are often busy in my household. 

So my practice routine is broken down into small pieces and any interruption is no big thing.  I also feel the shorter "bursts" help me keep my focus high when practising. 

Sometimes though, things just aren't going stellar and then I will walk around and stretch for a bit while listening to an mp3 of ear training or a song I'm working on.  If it's just not being a good day for violin practice, I may switch over to composing/songwriting for a while or just switch to a different instrument.  Things usually go better when I go back to it later. 

I usually try to keep it to some other aspect of music during breaks until practice time is complete.  I don't let myself play songs/pieces until practice (scales, exercises) is complete.  Then I consider myself on "free time" for the rest of the day, musically, to play whatever I feel like.

I'm an oddball though, I think.  To me, practice and playing are two distinct activities.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

Fort Lauderdale
December 16, 2014 - 6:48 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I drink coffee. :)
Welcome to the forum focused!

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

Poulsbo, Washington
December 19, 2014 - 8:39 am
Member Since: November 15, 2014
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I practice about 45 minutes in the morning before work (or before the rest of the household is up) and then again in the evening for about 1 1/2 hours (occassionally 2 hours).    I do this every day.    By breaking it up into two segments, I find I stay fresh and relaxed better and I tackle memorization items in the morning when I am at my sharpest mentally).    The evening session is long enough that I do take a break mid way for about ten minutes.  I put the violin down, and go make a cup of herbal tea.  By the time I do that, have a few sips and walk about the house getting it done - my break time is done and I am stretched and feeling good. 

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