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.

The whole magilla

Assuming that’s how you spell magilla, of course.  You know what I mean.  After my last post, I was pretty jazzed about playing nice and slowly, in rhythm, in tune (sorta), all that.  So, what happens at my next lesson with Evin?  She cranked the metronome up and had me play quarter notes at 72 bpm.  That might not sound like much to you, but for me that might as well be Paganini.  It was a huge struggle getting through up to the first violin’s solo, but I did get through it.  After that, it went downhill.  It was a good eye-opener, and a good teaching strategy:  just when the student gets comfortable, throw in something new.

Oh, and here’s the bummer:  I have my last lesson with Evin tomorrow 😦  It was fun, but the school year is coming to an end and she’s going to Aspen and I’m going to Danielle’s camp and then Luzerne Music Center like last year.  I’ll get some footage from our final lesson.  Hopefully we’ll make it through the whole piece.

And as for making it through the whole piece, Danielle and I played this together the other day, and for the first time, I got through it all!  I can actually routinely make it through the entire thing by myself (without metronome – I can usually only handle metronome for smaller snippets because once I get off, I’m through) at a modest tempo, but I hadn’t with someone else.  Now, before you watch, it isn’t without fault (is anything I ever post?).

It goes downhill in the middle, and of course I screw up my solo.  But I get it back – a little.  It is my fault, though.  We played through almost whole thing a little earlier than this and it was better.  The difference was the tempo.  If you’re not familiar with the piece, the first movement starts with the second violin playing and then the first violin comes in and they play together for a while and then the second violin drops off, giving the first violin a solo.  The part before that solo I have down a little better than after, which of course should make sense since I’ve played it longer, but it’s also a little easier.  So we practiced the part after her solo, which means she started and I came in.  The important part was, she determined the tempo and she decided on a more practical tempo.  When we tackled the whole piece, not only was it just MORE music, making my little handy tired, but I began, so I determined the tempo and I was a bit, er, ambitious.

Before you watch this, then, watch it like you’re watching your little 6 year old niece giving a recital.  What’s the one thing you’re hoping?  For her NOT TO STOP!  We’ve all seen it:  the cute little 6 year old comes to a hard part, messes it up, stops…and then the tears come.

So watch this as if your only hope for my success resides in getting through the whole darn thing.  Maybe I’ll make a few good sounds here and there and maybe I’ll play a few notes in tune, but let’s just consider all that gravy.

When we were smack dab in the middle there, my hand was sweating, slipping and sliding all over the fingerboard, and my hand was getting really tired, not wanting to move very fast, but it just somehow did.  It literally felt like I was on a freight train going out of control.  And unfortunately it sort of sounds like it at times there too.


5 Comments on “The whole magilla”

  1. B.Rajkumar says:


    You have come a long way from the days of tapes on the finger boards. Now you appear to be more confident. Your shifts are beautiful.

  2. JRV says:

    Bravo, dude-boy — and keep on freight-trainin’ down the line —

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s