I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS ON REQUIRED PRACTICE
A couple of years ago I bought a CD produced by a vintage American string quartet. I read the accompanying booklet with interest. The Cellist said that she couldn't understand why the first violinist was able to pick up his instrument and perform flawlessly after a long abstention from practice . While she had to put in five hours every day to keep up her professional standards .
I realised that if my friends were any example this seems to be the case across the board for musicians . I have my own ideas why this might be the case , but I would like to know if any of you have observed the same thing and have notions of what the causes might be ?
In all likelihood she has higher standards for herself than for the violinist. So she hears the violinist play "flawlessly" but if she had played the same she probably would have felt like she needed five hours of practice.
It would be interesting to get the violinist's own input on this, but I may be able to offer some insight, based on my own experience and what I've heard from some professionals.
Some people simply have incredible muscle and musical memory.
Good points, guys. I do very well without warming up, but that's just me. I think the reasons behind it are due to differences in mentalities.
No idea actually. But, I wonder if some of it could also be habit and what we tell ourselves. As in one person is just used to grabbing their instrument and playing and another person is used to going through a routine before they feel they sound good.
I could maintain a relatively high level of technique without a lot of practice, when I was younger. I can't do that now (although that's probably relative to what one considers to be a "high level"), and it often takes me a few minutes to center my hearing at the start of playing -- i.e., to calibrate my brain to a stable sense of pitch (A = ???) and to force myself to hear smaller differences in pitch.
This is probably more common with young people than professionals, but a lot of people claim they "didn't practise" or "barely studied for this exam" etc. to impress others when they perform well.
Thank you folks . Lots of interesting ideas . I'm sure all of them are near the mark .
The quantity of practice needed to maintain technique and repertoire as an adult, after the training is over is probably highly variable. I read somewhere that Paganini and Kreisler did not practice very much during the second half of their careers. Heifetz continued his practice routine even when completely retired from performing. My technical practice routine, when I actually do it(!), is one hour max. There are some memorized songs (I am mainly a mariachi fiddler!) that have been repeated so many times that I couldn't forget them if I tried. Cello requires more muscle than violin. Violin requires more joint flexibility than other instruments.