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.

Variation 3

If you remember, variation 3 is the one with the octaves:

Playing two notes at the same time is pretty difficult.  As one of Danielle’s students put it, “I know I’ll have a good week when Danielle doesn’t make me play octaves.”

If that’s the criteria, Danielle will make sure the next 49 weeks for me are a living H-E-double hockey sticks.

I’m going to have to face it sooner or later, these octave things.  You see, the main problem with them is that they make my hand, arm, and shoulder hurt.  Bad.  Oh well; I’m probably just a wimp.  I’ll get tougher, I promise.  Another thing is that in order to reach really high notes, my arm has to contort to get my pinky up on the D string.  This isn’t a great picture, but here’s what it looks like playing an A:

Notice how the first finger (index finger) and the 4th finger (pinky) are both on strings?  The G string and the D string here are supposed to be played at the same exact time.  Those two fingers pretty much stay that far apart, they just slide up and down the fingerboard.  Here’s a higher note:

My fingers probably aren’t in the best position there, but you get the idea.  Sliding way up like that is pretty tricky.  And keeping the first and fourth separated the perfect distance so the octave is preserved?  Forget about it.  In case you forgot, here’s Danielle on how it’s supposed to sound:

Now, I haven’t worked on it enough to even attempt the whole thing, but that’s coming.  I do tackle the first four measures, except here I do it with just the first finger:

I don’t know what happened with that weird lighting thing going on.  Technical difficulties with recording on my phone.

Now I give it a try with the first and fourth finger.  You can just tell that there’s a different texture to the sound:

And that texture is bad.  Although, I’m actually pretty happy with this one.

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One Comment on “Variation 3”

  1. Ken Elias says:

    Ryan, It’s inspiring to see your progress. And the project is definitely a lot of fun! Keep up the good work!
    -Ken


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