The A String
May 4, 2012 at 12:21 AMThis past week I started vibrato! My teacher wants me to do arm vibrato. Fine with me. I didn’t ask why arm and not wrist vibrato. I guess I have to learn both in time. I slowly move my arm away from my body, keep my wrist and arm in line, roll my finger, bend or unbend my finger a bit. That is a lot of movements that don’t seem to go together so it is rather slow going. But I can hear the sound and imagine what it will be like in a month or a year. Stay relaxed. Keep the thumb in place. Try it with the thumb away from the neck. Move the arm along the neck, but don’t move it laterally. There is a lot to think about, just as with every other skill on the violin. But with practice it gets better.
Only sometimes it gets worse with practice. Why is that? I have been working on the Handel Bourree and for a while it seemed harder to play in tune than it did in the beginning. Now I am supposed to up the tempo. And I have to add more dynamics, always more dynamics!
The staccato for Kayser #3 has improved. I finished that up and moved on to number 4. She want’s me to just play the first couple line and concentrate on intonation. I think that must be her way of suggesting my intonation needs work in general. No problem. I’ll keep it slow and steady and listen carefully, use my electronic tuner sometimes. And this will improve my playing overall.
Now the thing that made me really nervous this time was the question about whether I would play in a recital! I believer her other students are young kids. They could be my kids. I am not really eager to play a recital with a bunch of little kids who could be playing better than me. I’ll be 54 next month. On the other hand, I know it is good experience to share with others. And, I don’t think the recital will be until the fall or winter, giving me plenty of time to get better. Any comments or thought on this subject would be appreciated.
And all this practicing is giving me calluses on my fingers. I have a scar on the tip of my left middle finger where I almost slice the tip of a few years ago. But even my other fingers are getting a little firmer and are feeling tender sometimes. I assume this will pass?
Well, back to the books. Still have to pull out my digital recorder so I can listen to myself and be my own best critic. If I just knew where it was…
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Dave Bazell is from Columbia, Maryland. Biography
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