You Never Outgrow Your Need for Czardas!
January 27, 2009 at 4:36 AM
Over the years, many great violinists and violin teachers have developed warm-up exercises. The ingenious exercises by Charles Dounis, Otakar Sevcik, Carl Flesch and others come to mind as great examples of warm-up and technique-building routines which can give the violinist and violist greater strength, range of motion, endurance, and protect him/her from injury. Yet, many violinists and other string players do not warm up, or do so sporadically. Students find most warm-up routines too boring, or too difficult, or too time consuming, and find any one of a hundred reasons to avoid warming up. They simply take the violin out of the case and to practice or perform. The results? Unhealthy playing, injuries, and frustration.
I am currently conducting a survey to determine what percentage of string players warm up, and the types of warm-ups used at all levels of experience and in all age groups. This survey is readily available online at:
I would like to invite you to participate by taking a few moments to complete the survey. There are a few simple questions which identify the type of violinist or other string player is providing data (student, professional, teacher, etc), and about 15 questions which identify shoulder rest use, type and length of warm-up, history of playing injury, etc. Violists, cellists and bassists can take the survey as well, and there are a few questions about cello/bass warm-up routines, end-pins, sitting or standing while playing, etc. Your participation will be greatly appreciated and a copy of the results will be available for those who request one.
The project is titled “You Never Outgrow Your Need for Czardas” because I have developed an efficient and effective warm-up routine based on the melodic patterns and technical demands of Monti’s Czardas. Using “Czardas” patterns distributed across the four strings of the instrument, a violinist can quickly and pleasurably warm up small and large muscles, relax and warm up the shifting and vibrato mechanisms, practice double-stops, modulated left-hand touch (harmonics and artificial harmonics), spiccato, etc.
Thanks for your participation!
From Benjamin K
Posted on January 27, 2009 at 11:46 AM
I took your survey and noticed it mentions a Herseth Edition of Czardas, which appeared to be a simplified arrangement. I tried to search for it but couldn't find anything. Would you mind telling us more about it and where one could order it? thanks
Robert, you have to promise to come back and share with us the results of your survey and project!
Hey, I played in the Southwest Michigan Symphony way back in 1990-91.
Regarding injuries-I had a muscle overuse problem (left forearm) in college. That was not one of your choices.
It's nice to hear from you. I didn't think about the possibility of a left forearm injury, but of course the pronation in the left arm can certainly cause a stress injury. I'll try to incorporate this in the survey.
Yep, me too. "Tennis elbow". Actually, Wohlfahrt made it worse, because I clenched my hand so hard as I wrestled with him (not to mention my teeth).
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