Perpetual Motions are all about speed. My current Perpetual Motion, the second piece with this title that I’ve played, is the second to last piece in Suzuki Book 4. The first was in Book 1, a very basic piece that I haven’t gone back to in a while.
My focus of the moment is bringing up the speed of the current Perpetual Motion, but playing the notes of the piece is difficult enough – that’s where etudes come in. Wohlfahrt’s etudes book has been with me from nearly the beginning, and recently it has provided me with a C major exercise that trains speedy double notes. Since speedy double notes are exactly what Perpetual Motion calls for, the etude is its perfect training buddy. Playing the notes of the etude is not particularly difficult, so I can hone in on speed.
Specifically, both pieces utilize nothing but sixteenth notes, and in each the quarter note gets the beat. That’s four notes per beat. The tempo marking Wohlfahrt’s etude provides is Allegro, which is about 120 beats per minute. The marking on Perpetual Motion is Presto – about 140. In Monday’s practice session, I’m happy to report that I played the etude successfully through at 100 BPM, a first for me!
In Tuesday’s lesson, Teacher and I worked on speeding up Perpetual Motion too – for the second time she showed me how to work with a metronome app that has a function for automatically increasing the tempo at intervals the user can set. The app makes speed training a little more fun, and the results are quite tangible. For now, speed training is both fun and frustrating. It’s fun to make progress, but at the same time it’s frustrating knowing how far I have to go to get to speeds that composers indicate for their pieces.
Speed, like everything, comes slowly on the violin.
Thanks for reading.