I’ve given myself one year to master the violin.

As an adult beginner, I should be playing Twinkle Twinkle; instead, I'm playing Paganini's 24th caprice.

Practice makes Faster

I practiced for two and a half hours today.  That’s a lot for me, but I have a feeling that if I want to be successful in this little endeavor I’m going to have to put in at least this kind of time.

There are different kinds of practice days for me. Today was a long, real practice day.  Some days are what I call “hand warming” days–days I get in a quick 45 minutes or so just so my hands don’t kill me when I pick the violin up again.  Most days I try to get in 45 minutes to an hour in the morning and then another session in the evening.  I like to practice in the morning; even if the rest of the day goes completely to hell, at least I got in something.

What’s funny about playing more and more is that it seems like I’m getting worse.  It’s difficult to truly gauge how I sound when I’m playing, but I swear I sound worse now.  Danielle says that I actually sound better, and that it’s pretty common for students to think they’re playing worse as time goes on because their standards go up.  I hope so.

Looking ahead, I’m getting worried about the pace of the piece.  When you listen to Heifetz play the caprice, you’ll notice how fast he plays it.  Honestly, my goal is to get it that fast.  Right now, even if I sounded perfectly at the speed I play (which I don’t) I’m nowhere near how fast he is.  I got through the first eight measures of the Kreutzer etude #2, but I tried to get through a little faster:

I recorded that myself at the end of my long practice session.  As you can hear, I mess up before I get all the way through the first eight measures, but Danielle was actually happy with that little recording.  Miracles do happen.

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