My new minuet is quite challenging – as I’ve mentioned, it’s a variation on an “old” Bach minuet (in G major, that minuet is itself a part of this piece too), but the challenging part is the new one. The new one modulates from G major – the third key Suzuki introduces, one with which I’m quite familiar – to G minor. The thing returns to G major at the end, and the key changes are potentially lovely moments, but the G minor scale is brand new for me. It has my fingers moving all over the place, and it’s taking some major getting used to. These minor scales, a melodic minor, in this case, have some idiosyncrasies that make remembering how to play them difficult for me – going up is different than going down – but I’m getting there with this one at least.
And then there’s shifting positions – the G minor minuet also involves two points at which I shift into third position for a moment, then back to first. Moving up the string impacts my tone relatively dramatically. I have a book of practice exercises for shifting positions, but most of the work I’ve been doing from that book focuses exclusively on the G string, and where it doesn’t so far the exercises are all in C major, a decidedly different fingering challenge than G minor!
All told these 20 or so measures have given me more fits than anything I’ve played in a while, probably since that Gavotte by Mignon, which, honestly, I’m still not very happy with. But I’m having so much fun, and I can feel what the increased difficulty level is doing for my playing – on an almost daily basis. Overall tone improvement, for example, is just sort of coming along for the ride.
Thanks for reading.