If there’s something about my passion for playing that is prone to waning then I have yet to notice. Quite the opposite, in fact – I’m finding myself developing more passion for the violin the longer I’m engaged with it. Yesterday I practiced for probably two hours, and spent much of the day listening to violin music. I even used a concerto for my workout accompaniment.
One factor is my playing – I’m continuing to make progress to a degree that surprises me; the better I can make this thing sound the more fun it is! I’m slowing things down, working on tone, struggling for perfect bow hold with my right hand and creating the proper cradle for the instrument’s neck in my left. I’m working on my finger positions, trying to relax everything as much as possible – it’s time to get more nuance into my playing. Stop pressing the bow, start allowing the weight of the arm do the work.
I’m closing my eyes and listening. I sway. When Beethoven sends the piece skyward, I’m trying to get my chest there too. Dynamics are rising to significance; just getting the note isn’t nearly enough anymore – it’s about the quality and its place in the music. I’m occasionally able to feel like I’m making music, versus trying to play notes. I find myself moved by the music.
The new Boccherini minuet – the final piece in Book Two – is coming along; each new piece is easier and easier to approach. I’m able to remember more and more, and I’m better able to read the music. This one is in A major, a new key for me – in first position it utilizes one fingering pattern on the G and D strings, and another on the A and E. I’m enjoying working with the fun and complicated new scale, trying to play it quickly – it runs from the first finger on the G string to the third on the E – practically the whole darn instrument.
And I ordered Book Three. I’m still a few weeks away from needing it, but it’s time to start listening to the songs so they can start to lodge in my brain. Book Three promises all sorts of things, technically speaking, but I think I’m most excited about vibrato. The technique is a major part of good tone production on the violin, and will help me take this thing to the next few levels.
Thanks for reading.