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practice tips on Minuet #2
First 16 bars of Minuet #2 - practice tempo and almost up to speed - advice, please.
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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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August 31, 2018 - 2:56 pm
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OK, so I've been yoyo-ing on Minuet #2 for 2 weeks now. Here are the first 16 bars in practice tempo and the same 16 again almost up to speed. My teacher's strategy is that I should just learn what I can from it without seeking perfection and then loop back later when I my general skills have improved.

That makes some sense since, at this point, I'm just repeating the same mistakes. On the other hand, I think that if I knew what I should be focusing on in practice tempo, I could put in another week or so of work on this before moving on.

So, practice suggestion season is open. Thanks, Holly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....AOg9lS6Z9c

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 1, 2018 - 9:53 am
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@bocaholly - Yes, getting the "feel" of a piece isn't always easy, especially when you'e working on so many things at the same time.

I sometimes use "good quality" YouTube recordings on occasion, not so much to "copy a player's style" - that's not the point - I mean it in the sense of really getting a feel for what a "good performance" of the piece could (not necessarily should) sound like - we always bring a bit of our own individuality to the piece.

You tube is good for this - under the settings cog-wheel you can change the speed (the audio stays at the same pitch) from normal,to 75%, 50% and real slow 25% - heck you can speed it up as well if you want - and then use THAT as your play-along.  Personally I found doing that sort of thing quite helpful on occasion.

If you haven't seen this one already it's maybe worth checking out - Minuet 2 performed pretty cleanly indeed ... vl=en

This MAY distract you from your specific study/learning plans - but it is just another way, and another learning tool to add to your repertoire.   Perhaps use this mechanism to closely observe bowing control / bow / direction changes, timing and so on on a particular (well played) YT piece...  just a thought...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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mookje
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September 1, 2018 - 10:43 am
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Practicing slow is learning fast ?

In the beginning I always started at the beginning of the song. Now I always start with the difficult phrases, that’s the speed/tempo where I start. Then speed up this part little by little and the rest of the part follows. 

I practice with a metronome, but when I think I can play the whole song I don’t use it so much. So I play not always the right tempo, speed, timing because I play on my feeling. And I can’t count during playing ?

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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mookje
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September 1, 2018 - 11:46 am
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Sometimes it’s difficult for me to say in English what I mean, maybe what I wrote above isn’t clear enough. New attempt, my focus is on the difficult part. The speed where I can play this part good enough is the speed where the whole song starts. Then speed up this part little by little. 

For me this works because my experience is that I played the easy parts better and better, faster and faster,  but the difficult parts always stayed behind.

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 1, 2018 - 12:18 pm
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🙂 I (and most likely all of us) understood you perfectly @mookje - no problem!

Yes, you're right when you say 

Practicing slow is learning fast 

 Yup.... exactly !

  And to go back to what you were saying - yes it helps to pick out the "difficult parts" and the way I look at it is from a phrase/saying that J'son Kleinberg uses - "Loop it" - i.e extract a difficult phrase, a few bars, a single bar, even a few notes, and repeatedly play that ( you may want to add some kind of linking-note or notes to make it flow ) - but sure "isolating" the problem and looping ( not looping an audio track - just "repeating" over and over that set of notes / bar / phrase ) is really useful...

And, as you say, once you have the difficult part up to speed, usually the rest will simply fall into place...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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September 1, 2018 - 12:49 pm
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thank for the feedback, @mookje and @BillyG.

You were perfectly clear both times, mookje 🙂 I think I have to take the "practicing slow" and in small chunks idea more seriously and not move forward until the notes & strings I'm hitting are cleaner. (Looking at the video again, I think it's actually more of a bow control problem than a left hand problem.)

Revelation, BillyG. I had no clue that there was a speed control option on youtube... awesome, thanks for the tip!

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
September 1, 2018 - 1:06 pm
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🙂 yeah, the YT slow-play thing - took me a while to notice that as well - more likely I saw someone mention it somewhere and drew it to my attention - don't recall....   anyway - the slow-mo play can be useful, but only with a real well played and well intoned piece, otherwise you'll be copying the errors...

EDIT: that was @bocaholly - well also anyone interested.. 🙂

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

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

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Irv
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September 1, 2018 - 5:41 pm
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Hi bocaholly (and others).  The only recommendation I can give from viewing the video is that I would practice bowing the open strings (I do a set of twenty on each string and then go up and down them a couple of times) at the start of each practice to gather muscle memory to keep the bow at a 90 degree angle to the finger board.

I just purchased that book on eBay so I can give that piece a go.

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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September 1, 2018 - 5:57 pm
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🙂 that last message, @BillyG fits your signature perfectly!9pAAAA9kAAMBxbW1vZAAAAAAAAAYQAACgLgAAAADQ5e4AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA==

 

 

On a more serious note, after I got your initial feedback, I looked at the Minuet # 2 excerpt again and found my bowing cringeworthy. Not fishing for compliments either. I was seriously all over the place and felt pretty frustrated. 

Then I went and started my practice session for today and the bow felt almost alien in my hand... like I didn't know how to hold it. But YT is our friend and I found none other that Itzhak Perlman demo-ing the basics of a French/Belgian bow hold:

About 35 seconds in, he talks about where the index finger should contact the stick.

Eureka! My index finger was making stick contact one joint closer to the tip. Now, not saying this is a panacea, but making that correction does feel way more natural... and gives me more control over the bow plane. Here are the before (top) and after (bottom) pics of the change I'm trying to make. 

aQAAAPZAADAcW1tb2QAAAAAAAAGEAAAoC4AAAAA0OXuAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA=

Does that make sense to anyone?

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mookje
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September 2, 2018 - 10:40 am
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I can’t help you with this Holly. I struggled  a lot with the bow holding myself in the beginning and there are so many different explanations. It made me more and more confused. I didn’t want to think about it anymore so I just pick it up, thumb bend and play. Now I’m relaxed and playing feels natural. Well, maybe it isn’t quit the right holding but for me it feels good ? 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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September 2, 2018 - 2:46 pm
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OK, thanks @mookje, this wouldn't be the first time I'm over thinking something 🙂

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Fiddlerman
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October 1, 2018 - 12:32 pm
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bocaholly said
OK, thanks @mookje, this wouldn't be the first time I'm over thinking something 🙂  

exactly but it's a good thing. 🙂 You learn a lot and fast....

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

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