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.

All Octaves and no Play…

So I’ve been practicing octaves quite a bit lately.  As we’ve mentioned before, octaves are like pushups–you feel really good after you do them, but really crappy while you’re doing them.  Violin is one of those unfortunate things that makes you suffer to get any better, but there has to be a little fun, right?

So I revisited the theme.  Yeah, I know.  Since starting this project my definition of fun has slightly altered.  If you remember, here’s the theme I played a couple of weeks ago:

Here’s me this morning:

OK, not perfect but some improvement, right?  There’s a little pause before that second shift, but at least the ending is much cleaner.  I also don’t pause as much throughout the second part.  I’m happy for now.  Before the final performance I will need to play it cleaner, and much, much faster.  Luckily, there’s time.

Don’t tell Danielle, but I looked ahead to variation 2.  It’s a cool little tune.  Here’s my first go at it:

I’m actually missing quite a bit of the piece here.  I don’t play any of the, what we call, grace notes.  A grace note is a super fast little note that doesn’t even count numerically in the measure.

They seemed pretty difficult so I wimped out for this first performance.  I’m really looking forward to playing this variation more in the near future.

Sigh.  Now it’s back to those octaves.


3 Comments on “All Octaves and no Play…”

  1. JRV says:

    The sneak peak was fun! And you can count on me to stay quiet — shhhh!

  2. Violin Teacher in VA says:

    Big improvement on the theme! (And not bad for peeking at Var. 2) 🙂 Keep up the great work! That goes for Danielle, too. You’ve clearly got an excellent teacher in her. Watching with interest….

  3. Ryan says:

    You are doing well for a beginner, but you should by no means be trying anything by Paganini. First, you really need to work on your scales. With scales, your tone can improve significantly as well as your intonation.
    It seems that you have started the Paganini before you got serious about scales. That is extremely unhealthy for your learning. It seems that you think that since you are starting as an adult, you can do ten years of work in a few months, but the reality is that you are hurting yourself. You should practice scales at least 45 minutes a day in all positions. (yes, that means all 12 major scales in all positions between the first A flat on the G string and the third B on the E string. Once you can do that at any tempo and with a sound that resembles great players such as Heifetz and Anne Sophie Mutter, you can then begin simple concertos such as the Seitz student concertos and continuation with the Kreutzer. For you, Paganini is a long way off. If you disagree with me, read Violin playing as I teach it By Leopold Auer. You can get that for free from google books. If Danielle really believes that you should be attempting Paganini, you should consider a new teacher.

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