Category Practice Notes

Keeping the Bow in Good Rehair

I played yesterday for the first time since last Monday.  Two reasons – 1) I was out of town for a karate tournament weekend in New York, and, most significantly, 2) when I went to practice last Monday I turned the screw on my bow as far as it would go and the hair was […]

Practice Small

Vivaldi remains my challenge; I confessed to Teacher last week that I feel a bit bogged down.  My complaint is that I haven’t been making as much progress on the piece as I think I should.  I’ve been playing it for months, and the things that were originally challenging feel only more so as time […]

Clock Work

The Vivaldi concerto in A Minor has a lot of As – on multiple occasions I shift up to third position and play A on the E string with the first finger.  The move is really the tagline of the piece – open E string followed by a series of bold, ringing As.  Teacher wants […]

Christmas in July

While making great progress on my Suzuki lessons and my current Book Four Vivaldi Concerto movement, I do practice other things most days.  For a while now, my primary side-pursuit has been Ashokan Farewell, the Jay Ungar composed tune that found ubiquity with its inclusion in the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War.  I continue […]

New String and Muscling Through

I opened my violin case to practice yesterday and encountered a broken A string.  The good news is I’ve long known to keep extras on hand, so I replaced it in short order.  The bad news is new strings always take a while to break in – they slip slowly flat as they stretch out.  […]

Shifting Away

If the final Seitz concerto movement exists in the Suzuki repertoire to help students conquer double stops, the Vivaldi concerto’s job must be to ensure that shifting to third position and back becomes old hat.  I have a whole book of position shifting exercises that I’ve dabbled with – I daresay more focus there would […]

Vibrato.  Double Stops. Palpitations.

Teacher has been gently encouraging me to really hone in on vibrato.  Of course I’ve been working it for a while, but the recent encouragement is doing me some good.  I feel I’ve made some great progress in only two weeks or so, which is rewarding.  I feel I’m on the verge of “getting it,” […]