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When is it time to move on to the next lesson?
For self taught Suzuki Method students
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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RDP
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November 14, 2021 - 3:53 pm
Member Since: October 11, 2021
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I've been practicing Lightly Row for about a week and a half now.  I'm also going back and playing the finger shifts in Twinkle to try and get my fingers working faster and more accurate.  A, A, E, E, F, F, E_, (shift to 3 fingers on A string) D, D, C, C, B, B, A_.  I just keep practicing the F, F, E_, D, D, C, C over and over again.

I'm still slow and have to pause for the new finger positions.  Although I'm faster than I was a couple of days ago the pause is an extra beat too long between the notes.

 

After warming up in Twinkle I start practicing Lightly Row.  In that score the 3rd bar on the 4th line notes are A, C, E, E.  All the notes are played on the A string so that means going from an open string to 2 fingers to 4 fingers.

I know where my fingers should go, and my tuner screen is green for all the notes, but I'm slower than molasses sliding down a glacier in Antartica.  A lot slower.

 

Should I keep practicing until I can finger the notes in Lightly Row without pausing?  Or move on and hope the speed picks up in the future?

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ELCBK
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November 14, 2021 - 4:50 pm
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@RDP -

Personally, I'd have gone crazy & given up a long, long time ago - if I was only learning one tune at a time! 

...but, that's me - do as much as you can handle SLOWLY. 

There's no rush to be fast at anything.  Don't even think about fast right now.

The more you play, the better you get.  

Maybe once you have a tune memorized, add a new one to learn, but still practice the older ones until you are completely happy with where you are at. 

What makes you completely happy now will change in 6 months, as your skills grow. 

 

 

- Emily

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JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
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November 14, 2021 - 11:40 pm
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I agree with @ELCBK (Emily), only thing that keeps me going is adding new things. I learn different things with each one, and the variation keeps me interested. I've never had a 6 month interest in any musical instrument before this! (Not counting childhood lessons that the parents insisted on). Even if you devote a very small portion of your time on new things, it will help keep your interest and expand your knowledge.

The old curmudgeon!

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RDP
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November 15, 2021 - 4:05 pm
Member Since: October 11, 2021
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I'm not trying to be fast, I'm trying to be smooth and fluid and hoping the speed develops as I learn/practice more.

 

At this point I think I'm going to move on in a couple more days (because I can't let it go).  The next lesson is Twinkle variation "A" - 4 rapid short quarter-bow strokes per note followed by 2 fast half-bows for the repeated note (ie; instead of A, A, E, E, F, F... it's AAAA, AA, EEEE, EE, FFFF, FF... and so on.)  Being fluid on the string changes won't matter for that lesson.

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ELCBK
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November 15, 2021 - 5:38 pm
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@RDP -

I'm sorry, can't remember - are you following the Suzuki books? 

It's one thing to read the notes and play them on the string - just wanted to mention tutorials can also be helpful. 

Have you tried following any of Fiddlerman's Beginner Tutorials? 

https://fiddlerman.com/beginne.....eo248772=1

They aren't in any order and the last 3 pages are more difficult tunes with some group project tutorials at the end. 

Sometimes learning a couple different approaches at the same time helps. 

 

https://brasstownmanor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/music-notes-fall-colors2_COMP-300x184.jpg

 

- Emily

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RDP
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November 15, 2021 - 9:30 pm
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ELCBK said
@RDP -

I'm sorry, can't remember - are you following the Suzuki books? 

It's one thing to read the notes and play them on the string - just wanted to mention tutorials can also be helpful. 

Have you tried following any of Fiddlerman's Beginner Tutorials? 

https://fiddlerman.com/beginne.....eo248772=1

They aren't in any order and the last 3 pages are more difficult tunes with some group project tutorials at the end. 

Sometimes learning a couple different approaches at the same time helps. 

 

https://brasstownmanor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/music-notes-fall-colors2_COMP-300x184.jpg

 

- Emily

  

Yes, I'm following Suzuki book 1 right now.  There's a couple of YouTube channels which have all the Suzuki lessons that I'm viewing so I know what the lessons are trying to teach me.

 

Right now at this moment I'm a bit frustrated.  Practicing Lightly Row today had some strange things happen.  My notes on the strings kept moving around.  I have the fingerboard positions marked but nothing corresponded with what my tuner was telling me.  C# was halfway between the tapes for C# and D.  D was on the other side of C# toward the scroll between B and C#.

 

The strings wouldn't stay in tune either.  I could hear them change while playing.  Checking the pegs to be sure they were seated and tight didn't help.  All I can think of is that the (thick and heavy) fog that rolled in changed the humidity level and that somehow made it impossible to play.

 

Either that or I was accidentally putting my chin on the tail piece instead of the chin rest and pressing down.  Except that should move the notes up the fingerboard toward the scroll and not down toward the bridge.  (I tune with the violin in my lap so if that's what I was doing, it wasn't happening during tuning.)

 

Right now my fingertips are sore and my head is replaying every hollow/whistling note back at me.  I, however, am undaunted and I will learn to do this well even if it takes years.

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ELCBK
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November 15, 2021 - 11:19 pm
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@RDP -

We get VERY high humidity here in Michigan, even with a Carbon Composite instrument, I get changes - especially my bow hair!  Now, I'm going to start having problems with it being too dry! 🤣

What kind of pegs do you have? 

Make sure your bridge hasn't moved, looks straight and the side toward the tailpiece is perpendicular to the top of your violin. 

Your stickers might have moved, too. 

Remember you don't have to press hard with your fingers to stop the string from vibrating.  My fingers were extremely sore when I started (we all press too hard to begin with) - what helped me for a long time, was woven nylon practice gloves for guitarists (amazon).  

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JohnG
Greater Chicagoland
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November 16, 2021 - 12:50 am
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For your pegs, you may need this.

https://fiddlershop.com/produc.....pping-pegs

Peg Drops - Stops slipping pegs

The old curmudgeon!

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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November 16, 2021 - 9:30 am
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My treatment of my pegs is very poor.

In theory you use graphite if they stick and French chalk if they slip.

Or brandname "peg dopes" which have "stiction".

But I just tend to jam my pegs in and use the fine-tuners instead.

I suspect I should buy proper materials and learn to use them.

Andrew

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RDP
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November 16, 2021 - 1:58 pm
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ELCBK said
@RDP -

We get VERY high humidity here in Michigan, even with a Carbon Composite instrument, I get changes - especially my bow hair!  Now, I'm going to start having problems with it being too dry! 🤣

What kind of pegs do you have? 

Make sure your bridge hasn't moved, looks straight and the side toward the tailpiece is perpendicular to the top of your violin. 

Your stickers might have moved, too. 

Remember you don't have to press hard with your fingers to stop the string from vibrating.  My fingers were extremely sore when I started (we all press too hard to begin with) - what helped me for a long time, was woven nylon practice gloves for guitarists (amazon).  

  

The pegs are ebony and the stickers are in the correct places when I tune the violin and double check they play the correct notes when tuning.  That's done with the violin on my lap so I know nothing is interfering with it while tuning.

I'm pretty sure the "problem" is all me and that it just wasn't a good day of practicing.

 

Going to move on with the next lesson tomorrow (give my fingers a chance to heal) but I'm also going to continue to play Lightly Row and try and get my string/finger changes in better shape than they are right now.  I also still have a lot of shakey bow issues (bounce and quavering) that need worked on.

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