I would like to hear what pieces are you practicing just now and what do you think about them! Maybe we can do some kind of practice diaries here.
I have been working with La Cinquantaine from Suzuki cello book 3 couple of weeks now. I love it, it sounds so beautiful! I found this from youtube played by Rachel Xu, and fell in love immediately.
I think I’m done with this and it’s as good as it could be just now. I need to improve my vibrato, and return to this later. Maybe I'll make a video of this to critique corner, I’m considering it.
I want to play this with piano accompanient too. Unfortunatelly I don’t know anybody who could help me with this, because no one of my friends plays piano (good enough). I have practiced some of my pieces with virtual-accompanient found from youtube, but it sometimes frustrates me because I can’t choose the tempo.
I started Chanson Triste from Suzuki book 4 yesterday. It proved to be actually very easy, there is no difficult shifts except one passage, but it’s not bad at all. I tried this also with accompanient from youtube, and it was ok. But also this definitely needs more vibrato, so I’m stuck with that same thing again. However, this can be played so slowly that I can easily practice it too.
I have also some other projects going. My teacher gave me one book with more challenging songs, so I wouldn’t get bored during summer I already started with Sicilienne by Fauré and Bourrées from cellosuite 3 by Bach.
I actually never focus just to one piece, I really like to have some different projects. One should be extra hard to make the others feel easy
Sicilienne is my extremeproject this time. I can play it, but can’t keep right tempo yet. I always get confused at the same point where is that pizzicato. I don’t know why my fingers can’t remember that part.
Cellopedia is super! He has helped me a lot, especially with Dotzauer etudes but also Suzuki pieces.
I took a look to Bourrée II today, but not focused to that. I have a book where is no fingerings, but I found this that probably could help a little.
Ps. What is the most funniest piece you have played so far?
I loved Danse rustique by W. H. Squire. This was my goal when I did 100 days of practice -challenge. I will definitely go back to this also later.
Right now I am practising the Bach double concerto (BWV1043) V2 part, to be found at the end of Suzuki 4 and also the Corelli Op 5 no9 prelude with Geminiani's ornamentation to be found in last year's ABRSM grade 6 syllabus. I couldn't perform anything at this level. I'm just trying to avoid a diminishing returns scenario and get out of intermediate and into advanced.
The marking is Largo, but it's surprisingly quick, especially with ornamentation. That guy is far more advanced than me - he has a nimble left hand, but I'm disconcerted by his right hand, which follows the music's bowing instructions dutifully and mechanically but without any expression: also he has no dynamic variation. I attempt to be a lot more expressive, but that gives me bow-management problems. I'm due a lesson on the 18th. I haven't had one since March 11th.
I started to practice Sonata in C major by Breval (found at Suzuki cellobook 4). There is a lot of tricky parts, but I love challenges!
The hardest point in this song are the triplets, there is a lot of them and I can’t handle the rhythm yet. I feel like my fingers are moving faster than my eyes can read the notes, so I totally mess up where I am and what I’m doing. There is also one passage where is jumping between G and A strings, it was almost mission impossible first but then I found a great video that explains how to do it. (Abigail McHugh-Grifa did a great work!)
I think I will have nice project with this piece for a while... And the more I play this the more I like it, because there are so many techniques to learn. Triplets, trills, double stops etc.
Please forgive my intrusion (I have too much time on my hands right now), but I've been curious about what I can learn from other bowed string players (besides violinists). So I've been reading all your comments.
As we get older and certain body parts deteriorate I find myself trying to figure out the best ways to use what I have remaining!
One inspiring quote I found (before I decided to play the violin) was by Jake Shimabukuro (great Ukulele-ist) - "If you can hum it, you can play it."
I want to share a video I believe is more about "how we learn" a string instrument, rather than just about violin.
Do any of you memorize your pieces before playing them?
I'm thinking of starting a new thread on this subject...
cid - I hear you! Humming didn't do it for me either.
But, getting it stuck in my head did!
Probably because it helps me be a little "ahead" of the notes to play and what that note (I'm playing) is supposed to sound like. Even just playing to a click track I have a delay between what I hear and play if I don't memorize it.
My Grandmother used to do all sorts of word puzzles and number games to keep her sharp, but I'm trying to keep my (shot) memory going.
I realize lessons are different. I have some quick tips that helped me - to use while you're driving or doing other things around the house - or before you go to sleep at night (some music has put me to sleep).
#1 - ask "Alexa" (or similar device) to play the piece you're working on & after it starts ask her to repeat it (it should then loop for you).
#2 - if you can find a performance on YouTube - you can "right click" the video to select loop & even somewhat adjust the speed in the video "settings".
At 1st, I had to listen to a piece more than I can count, but it is soooo much easier now that I've been doing it awhile.
Very complicated music can easily be done in sections. I've just video taped what I want off the laptop screen with my phone, then loop it (most smart phones can). This is also great if you can capture someone performing so you can see fingering.
Let me know if any of this is helpful.
I always try to find a video of piece I’m working on, and I look and listen it so many times it is stuck in my head. That really help me to learn it. I have strong photographic memory, so I can quite easily memorize also the notes and see them in my head. When learning a new piece I like to listen it with the sheet music front of me, so I can look them at the same time. This is the best way for me to memorize quickly.
I also often practice my pieces in sections. I pick the hardest parts and loop them over and over. (Then my husband or daughter comes and asks would I play something else... 😂) Just now I’m doing that with the triplets of Breval Sonata. I also figured out that it helps with the rhythm if I repeat some word in my mind while playing them.
Cid - your technique lessons sounds good. I would like something similar when I will go back to my lessons in August. I have learned many new pieces during this break, so it would be a good idea to improve them before going further. I know which techniques I need to improve, I just need help with it.
I feel like I’m a little lost, I don't know what to practice now. 😔
I look forward so much to my lessons starting. (I'll know it next week!) I feel like I can't start anything new anymore, but all the old pieces have already been played so many times that I don't have enough motivation for them anymore. 😳
I've done a lot of few simple etudes and tried to think carefully about the bowing. I’ve had problems with my right thumb, it gets tired easily and somehow turns into wrong position. I really hope that this problem will soon be solved with my teacher.
I probably echo most people's sentiments when I say the lockdown is demotivating.
I'm supposed to be working on the/a Schubert Allegro Vivace, but the progress is poor. Maybe it's a bit too hard and I should find something with similar bowing demands but at a slightly lower level, although I chose it because the bowing is typical of what a 2nd violinist in an orchestra might be expected to be able to play in their sleep.
So the other day, distracted, I found myself sight-reading my entire book of Children's Bartok and something else that I've now forgotten, and yesterday I spent most of the afternoon working up Tea For Two. I've got a Trinity book with an arrangement at grade 5, but I didn't like it much - the intro is too short and 6 measures not 8(!); there are passages where they have edited an 8-measure section arhythmically into a 9-measure section (!); there are places where their own bowing doesn't work because they've chopped one single note out of a sequence, so I chased down the original in IMSLP and decided that my own jazzy improvisation on it was going to be the best option.
Trinity's is in Bb; the original is in Ab. I haven't yet played it in Ab to see which I prefer.
I've ordered a new preamp and October is my 2nd anniversary of violin playing, so I'd better choose something to record and upload. Tea For Two may be a good choice.
I guess most people in this thread aren't talking about cello stuff any more...
My practice time has been limited since 2018 because of chronic shoulder injuries and further limited in the last two weeks by whiplash from a car accident. (Not bad enough to stop me from playing completely, but I currently only practice 30-45 minutes every other day and have to ice my neck and shoulders after practicing.) It forces me to be extremely focused and efficient with the time I have. At the moment I'm spending the vast majority of my practice time on scales, arpeggios, and technical exercises because I'm in the middle of a 6-week viola technique workshop. Virtual orchestra projects get a little practice time, but I'm recording each one on less than an hour of practice in total.
Prior to the accident, I was polishing Bach Cello Suite No. 3 (in transcription) and resuming work on the Walton viola concerto. Since the accident, I've spent about 15 minutes on the Walton and none on the Bach.
When practicing, I do not play through pieces from beginning to end at all, except that a virtual orchestra project may get a reading with the click track when I get the music and a play-through with the click track the day before I record. I just pick tricky spots and work on them.