Friday, February 6, 2009


The orchestra music is not particularly hard, but it is too fast for me in many places. My stand partner (though we have separate stands because I couldn't otherwise see the music!) and I talked about this last night at rehearsal.

I said I would continue slow(er) practice at home and hope to be eventually able to bring it up to speed. She said there were two schools of thought on this and the other one was to work on a few measures at a time and bring them up to speed.

This second method is making sense to me today. I am too slow in fiddle music too, so it would make sense to work specifically on speed in all areas of playing. I'll try this, this week, and would love any comments or advice as to how to increase speed.


Laura Tutino said...

I would take a section at a time, practice it slowly, perhaps three or four times in a row, keeping the same tempo and not speeding up during the parts you feel more comfortable with. Then play faster a few times, and repeat the process. I find that this works with my violin practicing, and then suddenly you find that the passage is "in your fingers" and you can practice it up to speed. Then you will play it really well!!!

Laura Tutino said...

I think we may be slowing the tempi a bit, which will help all of us. Thank goodness.

Maricello said...

Well, that is relief. My teacher said she would find the 138 for a half note section challenging.

Sorry to take so long to respond to your first comment. The increasingly faster metronome technique is certainly effective, but I was looking for something more.

It seemed to me one plays differently at faster speeds: shorter smoother bow strokes, trying to reduce tension, that sort of thing. I also remembered a technique my teacher introduced some time back with extended runs: playing one of the notes longer, to sort of get your breath. She also said she might take the long runs 4 8th notes at a time, on every other beat, resting on the inbetween beats, as a step to getting it up to speed.

Of course you are probably playing 32nd notes while we are playing the 8ths, but it is a struggle, esp. with all the position changes.

Jeff in Atlanta said...

a technique that helps me is to take the section, typically a run of some sort, and change the rhythm around. Play it once with the first note in a section longer, then do the second longer, etc. There are infinite variations, try to be unique as the harder you make it the more you will 'get it in your fingers'. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you try the passage again as written.

Maricello said...

Thanks Jeff, this is exactly what we went over in my lesson yesterday, and you express the process well. I am going to really try to focus on this, this week.