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.

A tricky passage and the return of a tape

Fine.  I’ll out with it.  I put a tape back on the violin.  It actually wasn’t up to me, as it was a matter of pride to play without tapes, but others didn’t see it that way.  Last weekend, Danielle’s friend from college Ilana Setapen, who’s now the assistant concertmaster at the Milwaukee Symphony, was over and gave me a mini lesson (which I didn’t record for some reason).  One of the things she said was that my third finger was consistently out of tune, something Danielle has also said.  She suggested that I just put one third finger tape on, also something Danielle has mentioned, so it came to be that my fate was sealed.  We used a piece of scotch tape, so it’s practically invisible.  A little better than those loud blue tapes I had on before.  I must say, it does make those shifts to third position MUCH easier–this one part early in the piece that involved a shift gave me problems and is now a non-issue.  Funny.  Hopefully I won’t go through the same pains as last time when I took the tapes off.  We’ll see.

Enough of that.  The stuff you heard me play with Danielle a week or so ago was the stuff right before the 1st violin solo, and after that is a 2nd violin solo.  That’s where I start here.  As you’ll hear, I get tangled up and Danielle helps me.  There’s a second of black in the middle of the video, so don’t stop the video too soon.  Also, Danielle holds the recorder later in the video, which you can always tell because it looks like something out of Paranormal Activity:

Since that lesson, I really have been trying to play with a big sound regardless of whether I’m playing it for the first of 100th time.  I think that’s pretty good advice.

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3 Comments on “A tricky passage and the return of a tape”

  1. B.Rajkumar says:

    In the later part of the video, you were playing beautifully and beginning to sound like bach! keep it up!

  2. Keep up the hard work! I am also an adult trying to learn the violin and I like to read your blog because it is entertaining and reassuring to see someone else struggling with the violin but making progress. Right now I’m working on getting good intonation in 3rd position. Getting the half steps close enough together has been difficult for me but I think I’m starting to get a technique that works.

    • rrvaughn says:

      Hi Shaq, It’s amazing how many adult students there are out there tackling the violin (or cello or viola or banjo or whatever). Keep up the hard work on your end too! How long have you been playing?


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