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How do you approach a new piece?
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June 6, 2015 - 11:47 am
Member Since: July 6, 2011
Forum Posts: 969
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I have been wondering:

When I learn a new piece what should I focus on first?

Playing the right notes? intonation? dynamic? rhythm? tempo? or all at once?

I am pretty good at multitasking when I am doing other things, but when it comes to playing violin, I lost that ability. I found myself pretty much following the order I listed above. If I had problem with one of them, e.g., tempo and/or rhythm then when I concentrated on it, I lost touch with other areas like intonation and dynamic.

I also found that if I learned a piece section by section and implant the dynamic from the very beginning, the dynamic seems to stick with me better in my future playing.

Any experience sharing?

June 6, 2015 - 12:56 pm
Member Since: April 3, 2015
Forum Posts: 22
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When I start a new piece I focus on intonation and rhythm/tempo. After that I add slurs or other bowing. Then I add the dynamics. 


June 6, 2015 - 1:38 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
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I usually start with learning the pitches first, and then working on the timing, unless the piece is something that I see will have some rhythmic challenges that will take a bit of work, in which case I may even start with open string or silenced (keeping all the strings muted with the left hand, rather than fingering notes) bowing, to work on the rhythm first. 

I always find the tempo (slower than the target tempo) where I can play the piece very correctly at first and then gradually increase it in practice.  

I work on dynamics after I have the piece mostly down, and I am developing the "feel" of the piece.

Personally, I do not feel it is possible to start right out with working on all of the elements of a piece at once and really be doing the best job you can.  I am a rather analytical sort of person, so I break it down into elements and work on it that way.  I feel it saves me time in the long run.

"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

California, the place of my heart
June 7, 2015 - 11:25 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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I just jump in like a wild woman.   

I usually pay for it also.   I learned to read notes but I am terrible at counting ... I don't play anything ling or complicated yet... I will be focusing on the. 1 2 3 1 & 2 & etcetera in this year.. I do want to play more complicated stuff.   That is why learning the Thaxcted project was so difficult for me.  

So while writing my reply I guess I do actually listen to YouTube videos of the songs I want to play that I don't know... I play them on my phone in the car on the way home and at least try to him and get a sense of it. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Honorary advisor

June 8, 2015 - 6:41 am
Member Since: November 26, 2014
Forum Posts: 209
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I work rhythm/tempo and intonation first. Without any dynamics, slurs or such, I break the piece into sections and work it halfway through. After some time working on it, I return to the beginning and start adding those elements. Parallel to that, I listen to several interpretations of the piece and try to hear the differences between them and see how I could work on expression. 

Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city

June 9, 2015 - 7:16 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2011
Forum Posts: 2849
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First i learn fingerings -> then timing ->  dynamics and bow distribution -> intonation with dynamics (can't say it in any easier way, for me dynamics and intonation go somewhere near by, and i rarely work them out separately, maybe because i use steel core strings....Thanks for the question, now i have another thing to think about XD)

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