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.

So here’s the entire theme

I really don’t know why I’m stuck on getting the theme up to tempo, but I just am.  One of the most important things for me to practice right now is to play things slowly and try to make them perfect, and trust me I do that also.  A huge concern though, as I’ve mentioned before, is to be able to play things fast.  Since I have to play this thing in 10 months, I don’t exactly have time to dilly dally, so that’s where I’m coming from here.

First off, my rhythm sucks.  Perhaps that’s a little dramatic, but it’s certainly not great and the theme has sort of a tricky little rhythm.  It’s basically an 1/8th note followed by a 1/16th rest then a 1/16th note in the first beat, then four 1/16th notes in the second beat, then that pattern continues.  Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?  The hardest part is knowing when to play that first 1/16th note after the rest.  It’s supposed to be right before the next beat, and the beat starts with the second 1/16th note.  Does that make sense?  It’s supposed to look something like:

BUM <rest> bum BUM bum bum bum BUM <rest> bum BUM bum bum bum BUM

Timing when to play that “bum” right after the rest is pretty hard.  Also, I tend to speed through the four 1/16th notes and make the <rest> too long.  Metronomes help, but when the going gets fast, it’s difficult for me to even tell if I’m with the metronome.  Another metronome problem is that infernal noise box right next to my ear drowns out the sound of the metronome, so it makes it even harder to tell if I’m with it.  Danielle devised a little solution to that last problem.  This is not a joke; she was quite proud of herself and actually wants to invent this contraption.  I’m practicing the Kreutzer:

I’ve been working with the metronome on the entire theme and also targeting just the 1/16th notes, trying to get them as even as possible.  It’s certainly not perfect.  Here’s me playing the theme:

So the first part doesn’t sound too bad, but it gets a little rough around the edges later on.  Oh well, room for improvement isn’t entirely a bad thing.

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4 Comments on “So here’s the entire theme”

  1. Gail says:

    Remind Danielle that we gave her a metronome
    called the “Body Beat” that has a rhythm
    pulser attached to it so the musician can
    feel the pulse instead of hearing it.
    Maybe try that out, too?
    Link that explains it is below:
    Peterson BBS-1 BodyBeat Sync Wireless Pulsating Metronome

  2. JRV says:

    Absolutely not — room for improvement is always a good thing — having nowhere to go but up elicits nothing but FREEDOM!

    And while Danielle knows what she’s talking about when she says you’re “off,” to me, you are sounding very groovy indeed, and are riding high on that light switch moving up, towards “on” — yeah!

    • rrvaughn says:

      I agree – room for improvement is good, and hopefully I’ll be much better at the end. But I have to say, if I play the entire thing at this level, I’ll be pretty happy!


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