Warming upTechnique and Practicing: what should I do before I start to practice
From Branden Taylor
From Simon Streuffhow you warm up depends on what you are playing and how good you are already. So, what are you playing atm?
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 08:22 AM
From Branden TaylorNow I am playing bruch violin concerto no.1 just put away mozart 3rd
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM
From John CaddLink your fingers together. Turn the palms away and raise above your head to stretch the forearms . Make sure you have enough space for some full round arm swings .Wiggle the shoulders in every direction . Gently roll the head in every direction. Bend and touch your toes to keep the back and leg muscles long. Think like a ballet dancer or a cat for 5 minutes. Lean on a table about 30 degrees to do some gentle pressups. Stretch all the fingers apart and then clench tight half a dozen times . The last one was a Heifetz` warm up for trills . Just before your first note stretch the right arm out like Oistrakh to make sure the sleeve is not tight .He always did that .
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 10:29 AM
From Paul DeckI play scales and sometimes after that some of my older Dont and Mazas studies. I'm hoping for my birthday (ahem!) I'll get Simon Fischer's book which I'm told has a complete guide to this. My fear is that it will not be as relevant to someone who only has about 75 minutes per day to practice, but it might be quite good for an "intermediate" student like you (LOL -- you were too humble to say "advanced"!!).
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM
From marjory langeBefore I start to play, I take a brisk walk, maybe 15-20 minutes, to get blood flowing. Then I do some of the stretches suggested by the first respondent...it's NEVER wise to stretch cold muscles; both of my trainers and my phys. therapist are adamant about that. It's one of the easiest ways to injure.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Even with limited time, Fischer's book could be good--you just don't do it all every day. I have 90 min. max (2 45-min. sessions, while I'm rehabbing my shoulder). I do 1-2 scales, different each day, pre-determined sections of etudes, that sort of thing.
But the walk and stretch are essential, esp. if I practice first thing in the morning, as I tend to have to do on work days.
From Lora StaplesI think it's important to distinguish warm-ups from stretches. I think that warm-ups are critically important BEFORE practice, and stretches are important after practice.
Posted on June 13, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Of course, there are no absolutes, and so I agree that some stretches are helpful BEFORE practice, and some "cool-downs" are important after practice, stretching being one form of cool-down.
Here is a video I prepared for my students on warming up. (not to divert you from this site, but it's a pretty helpful video)
From Simon StreuffI like to start warming up the bow first. Wich means some open strings and maybe some slow scales for sound and different bow speeds. After that some basics for the left hand in first position for intonation and agility. Then one fast scale 3 or 4 octaves (or accelerando scale like galamian). maybe some thirds and sixths... ready to go.
Posted on June 14, 2012 at 09:46 AM
Important to me is to use the metronome at least once a day. An electric tuner can also be helpful to increase the precision of your intonation. Using them for 10 minutes a day constantly will make your rhythm more secure and intonation more stable.
For bruch warming up I would do some rhythm exercises in scales for the 5/16th rhythms for example. Also some arpeggio exercises on open strings or an easy chord could be nice.
I like to implement material of the works I study in my warmup. Not only becaue it makes sence but also because I am bored of playing standard scales and etudes every day. Just exclude one difficult passage from the repertoire (not much more than one bar) and play it differently... in double stops, rhythms, even transposing may be good)
And since you are quite "advanced", I would suggest you to stretch yourself for some really difficult etudes, like Paganini. Not to play them in concert, but to learn new techniques. After working for one hour on an easy paganini caprice (wich doesn't really exist... but you know what I mean) everything else feels more natural and in your technical range. Especially decimes (tenths) and fingered octaves are too often forgotten in technical practice. But they are necessary for virtuosic playing and they also are great studys for intonation.
From Anne HorvathI've been using "Collection of Original and Other Exercises Compiled for Daily Use" by Steven Staryk.
Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:09 AM
It is free online.
I don't do the whole cycle everyday, but a few exercises get the job done. The various fourths exercises are *especially* fantastic.
From Bohdan WarchalYou wrote: "I am a intermediate violinist and have been reading that you should warm up before you start to practice."
Posted on June 14, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Never trust what you "have been reading". You do not need to warm up before practice at all in fact. Why should you need? Do you warm up before driving your car? Before cooking a dinner?
From John CaddSteady on Bohdan . We need to warm up or stretch or do something each day to keep it all loose. It`s a funny distinction to separate warming up and stretching . Warm up is just a broad general heading for what you do to prepare . If you don`t do it before you have to do it after or in between .
Posted on June 16, 2012 at 12:16 AM
I used to cycle 10 miles to work and usually stretched my legs front and back before the early morning trip .Nothing to get too precious about .
From Bohdan WarchalI agree with you, John. Anyway, I am able to accept the idea of warming up before a preformance, but why to warm up before practicing?
Posted on June 16, 2012 at 09:34 AM
Branden, I really believe it is the same as with many other jobs and activities. Did you ever feel you are not warmed up enough for driving a car? Maybe not, but I did. Last time I set out for the long journey on winding road during quite heavy traffic. But my head was still full of my job, I was still in my workshop mentally. I really felt that it would be dangeors to start by my usual tempo. This is why I simply decided to accept the the speed of the convoy, for about 15 minutes and so. I became concentrated during this time and I was able the overtake safely than. Anyway, I did not turn to the rest area and I did not not practice any driving excercies like in driving school. I simply warmed up during my way.
It is the same with violin playing. If one focus on the warming up, his/her play becomes more and more mechanical. Playing is about feelings primarily. You can memory the great feeling of your playing skills at the and of the day before you put the violin to the case. You can recall this feeling of effortlessness next morning again. It really works. Try it.
From John CaddThat`s a good European angle on the subject Bohdan .
Posted on June 16, 2012 at 09:57 AM
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