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.

Shifting practice

One of the most difficult aspects of scales (besides staying in tune) is shifting.  Well, I should say shifting is one of the most difficult early violin skills to master on anything.  Sure, it’s not as difficult as more advanced techniques like vibrato, thirds, tenths, or left hand pizzicato (or probably a lot of other things), but it’s first thing after simply making a sound that all violinists will have to tackle.

So I’m playing a G-major scale here, and there’s a shift on the A string into third position (third position is when the first finger is in the spot where the third finger would be in first position.  Wait, does that make sense?)  There’s that same shift coming down, so I isolate the shift and practice it a few times:

Notice how I seem to be playing the same note twice at times?  That’s because the second finger in third position is an E, and in fact it’s the same E as the E string, so I’m testing it against the open E string to make sure it’s in tune.  As you can tell, many (if not most ) times it’s out of tune and I have to adjust it a bit.

To help with shifting, Danielle gave me a Sevcik exercise to work on.  Here I only play the opening measure three times in a row:

On the way up, I shift on my first finger, or I play consecutive notes both with the first finger.  On the way down, I do the same thing, except with my second finger.  More to come with this particular exercise.

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