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Drew Lecher

Restart after break/illness/injury.

July 19, 2009 at 2:48 AM

 Question, Drew.


  Thanks to mild Arthritis and an injury to my wrist I haven't been able to play for over three weeks. Now that has been taken care of I'm back to practicing again, but it sound amateurish. Intonation, tone, and articulation are off kilter. Any suggestions into getting back in shape again?
Many thanks,

Hi Ray,

Sorry to hear of your difficulties. In addition to the tips below, I use Glucosamine with Chondroitin and MSM and this helps my joints tremendously.
Do short and very directed practice sessions—even 15 minutes and a short/long break, depending on how it feels.
1. Do some Planes (pg 4) in various parts of the bow with point of contact favoring near the bridge and slightly exaggerating the crescent path—partial orbit around the left hand, or as Buri says, 'smiley face':-)
2. Combine various pulses with crescendos and diminuendos as in Basic I (pg 11).
Left Hand
1. 8va Slides w/Hand Group Sequence (pg 22). In 1-4 the position and Hand Group change thereby covering the fingerboard more fully. Mix it up a bit and work on all strings.
2. O/C Hand Groups 1-4 + (pg 6) with precise, light Rep Hits and slightly accented bow strokes. Do Rhythm #1 at the bottom of page 7 (2-16ths & 1-8th), keep slow, but alive with energy and focus of note direction and tonal support. 
3. Also, some rhythmic and quick type work with Basics II and/or III.
Then do some 4ths (pg 42 #1), 3rds (pg 34 #1 & 3, or further), and 8vas (pg 27 1,4,5 & 8).
Now you are ready for Arpeggios—Root (pg 57 #1); 2nd Inversion (pg 67); and 1st Inversion (pg 62). Do with easy, precise Rep Hits across the strings and slur notes in pairs after the shift up, i.e., Root in Bb #1: 1D to 2F (slur with repeating 2-16ths & 1-8th playing DFD, FDF,DFD,FDF) and similarly F and Bb.
Then Scales on page 76 #1 and rhythmic variations with #2 on page 77.
Hope this helps—
God bless,
The selections above are from my book, but one can apply the concepts within your own technical work and even the repertoire—a very important application.


From Ray Randall
Posted on July 19, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Drew is really hoping I put up one of my thank you replies to him in this thread. Maybe I will after a few martinis. In a serious vein what Drew suggested was right on. My playing is geting back on track rather quickly. The superb teacher I'm working with suggested pages one and two of the Polo doublestop exercises. Between the two of them things are looking up again.

From Lynne Denig
Posted on July 20, 2009 at 3:26 AM

Getting back into playing is one of the most frustrating events in a player's life.  I fell off of a horse 8 years ago and crushed a veretabra, and can say that the process of healing is not according to our schedule.  Our bodies have their own ideas.  I can only say that slow is very important, and that "saying grace" is even more important.  By this, I mean we need to be very gracious and understanding of ourselves.  Just as we would be very understanding of any student who came to us with a similar problem, we need to practice this with ourselves, as well.

Drew, I wrote an article for the American String Teachers in its Feb. 2006 issue entitled: Listen, Observe, and Wait: Or Getting Back into the String of Things.  Because the article is now ASTA's property, I can't reprint it here, but you might consider finding the article in a library or asking ASTA for a reprint at

Wishing you all the best as you recuperate, Lynne Denig at

From Drew Lecher
Posted on July 21, 2009 at 3:58 AM

Ray—go back to practicing, you don't have time to read this:-)

Thanks, Lynne. I will try and find it.


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