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Mendy Smith

Rubato 201

October 31, 2008 at 3:42 AM

Lesson night once again. Tonight scale warm-ups also included vibrato. One of these days (years) my first finger WILL vibrate in first position. Until then however, I've been given a homework assignment to do "drop and a little wiggle" during scale practice.

So, Back to Bach and Rubato. The experimentation I did over the weekend had good results in lessons. My chosen tempo was approved, as well as most of my choices in where apply rubato. However at measure 20 & 85 he had some other suggestions. First at measure 20 - I had failed to notice the repeating phrase in this measure like the ones before it, which needed a diminuendo and a slight ritard. Then at measure 85 - building up to the trill, accelerating the tempo to "trill speed" in one measure. I had to laugh at how he described me playing this part originally: "Chord!!!! Note note Note note Note note Note note pause TRILLLL!!!!!". Guilty as charged!!!

We also worked on the section with all the arpeggiated chords. I still stumble on the shift from 3rd position B&D to 2nd position B&C. I have two issues here: one is a "simple" matter of finger replacement (Yost shifting time); and widening my reach backwards by opening up the space between my 4th and 3rd fingers. I've been going about this focused only on my 1st finger reaching back as far as I could while trying to keep my 4th finger somewhat curved, and forgetting about the rest of my left hand.

Then my teacher noticed something about my bowing in this section - a slight up-bow on the open G before playing it down-bow. At first I had no idea what he was talking about. Then he demonstrated what I was doing wrong. My turn - I played the measure - agggghhhh!!! Now its annoying! And there I was going along bowing happily, oblivious to what I was doing, until now.

It's always a annoying when someone points out embarrassing habits to you that you never noticed before. Your start focusing on that habit to eliminate it. Well, that is why I take lessons.

My teacher declared the 3rd Suite Prelude in "polishing" mode, so it was time to start on a new movement to keep going on my Bach by 40 goal. We're moving backwards to Suite 2 Minuet. It is the first one that is a challenge with the chords. He said they come as a pair, so I have to also include the 2nd Minuet. He gave me fingerings for the chords, and a few bowings. Now it is up to me to go home and see what I can figure out on my own until next week.

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