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Ryan Vaughn

So here's the entire theme

April 21, 2011 at 5:41 AM

I really don't know why I'm stuck on getting the theme up to tempo, but I just am.  One of the most important things for me to practice right now is to play things slowly and try to make them perfect, and trust me I do that also.  A huge concern though, as I've mentioned before, is to be able to play things fast.  Since I have to play this thing in 10 months, I don't exactly have time to dilly dally, so that's where I'm coming from here.

First off, my rhythm sucks.  Perhaps that's a little dramatic, but it's certainly not great and the theme has sort of a tricky little rhythm.  It's basically an 1/8th note followed by a 1/16th rest then a 1/16th note in the first beat, then four 1/16th notes in the second beat, then that pattern continues.  Doesn't sound too bad, does it?  The hardest part is knowing when to play that first 1/16th note after the rest.  It's supposed to be right before the next beat, and the beat starts with the second 1/16th note.  Does that make sense?  It's supposed to look something like:

BUM  bum BUM bum bum bum BUM  bum BUM bum bum bum BUM...

Timing when to play that "bum" right after the rest is pretty hard.  Also, I tend to speed through the four 1/16th notes and make the too long.  Metronomes help, but when the going gets fast, it's difficult for me to even tell if I'm with the metronome.  Another metronome problem is that infernal noise box right next to my ear drowns out the sound of the metronome, so it makes it even harder to tell if I'm with it.  Danielle devised a little solution to that last problem.  This is not a joke; she was quite proud of herself and actually wants to invent this contraption.  I'm practicing the Kreutzer:


I've been working with the metronome on the entire theme and also targeting just the 1/16th notes, trying to get them as even as possible.  It's certainly not perfect.  Here's me playing the theme:


So the first part doesn't sound too bad, but it gets a little rough around the edges later on.  Oh well, room for improvement isn't entirely a bad thing.

Read the whole story at

From Andrew Freidin
Posted on April 21, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Hi Vaughan,

Good on you. It is coming along steadily.

Also loved Danielle's reverse hands 'beginner' demo. Sounds pretty much like me!

Best wishes,


From David Glowasky
Posted on April 22, 2011 at 6:16 PM

 Hi Vaughan

Seems like you are getting bummed out with the Kreutzer. I've seen your video and can recommend a few things. First of all, I hope you don't mind me offering you some advice but I am a professional player and teacher so have some credibility. If you put your metronome on a very fast setting so you can sub divide the counts and find out exactly where the sixteenth notes go. That will help, then after a while you get into the feel of playing the passages perfectly in time. Don't get ahead of yourself. Your bowing with the slurs has to be synchronized with your fingers playing the notes exactly in time. Same thing goes with the other piece that you posted. If you subdivide into the smallest note value and stop your bow so that the second sixteenth note is truly a rest with no sound you will be more precise in your playing of the passage. I find that your fingering is not right as well but can help you on that if you wish. I can be reached at if you want to have a chat....Have a good Easter and hope that some of this makes sense and helps you out....regards...Dave Glowasky

From Mendy Smith
Posted on April 23, 2011 at 2:05 AM

I'm a huge fan of the "Body Beat".  It is basically an electro-shock-therapy type of metronome.  OK, not really an electric shock, but a vibrating / pulsing sort of gadget that hooks on your belt (think pager on vibrate mode).  No worries about being able to hear it over your playing, you literally feel it.  IT has helped me to internalize tempos and rhythms like no other metronome....

From Bart Meijer
Posted on April 23, 2011 at 12:17 PM

It's BUM--ba BA ba ba ba etc. Paying attention to the third note in every row of four sixteenths makes it easier for both the player and the listener to find one's way in the music. See, for instance, this video.

From Rebecca Hopkins
Posted on April 24, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I can't help but think your wife is an amazing teacher. Congrats on your accomplishments so far, at first I thought when I read of your plan"oh no" but now am enjoying your postings of your progress!

You must be working very hard, I look forward to checking in to see how you are doing, and reading the suggestions posted.

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