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Mendy Smith

Common Theme

April 16, 2012 at 2:05 AM

Things are starting to become "interesting". Privately I'm working on a very baroque piece, with my ensemble a Beethoven trio, trying to tackle "fiddle rock" for the Rockin' Fiddle Challenge, and beginning this week a Broadway/Vegas style musical.

Did I bite off more than I can chew? Maybe, maybe not. These "easy" pieces are a blessing in disguise.

No matter the style, there is a common theme: clear & crisp tone production, relaxed posture, economy of bow, good intonation, perfect rhythm and fingerboard mastery. I have the opportunity to evaluate every nuance of movement, change in strings or bow direction, beat-less intervals, internal rhythm, etc.

It is a good thing to re-focus on the basics.

From Ian Salmon
Posted on April 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM
I fully endorse Degraff's music for both their brilliance and technical challenges! I have several students who have just started his arrangement of Amazing Grace. They love the jazzy element through his chromaticism and I love their new attention to playing fifths in tune! I think that students and teachers can find such a breath of fresh air in their playing through new styles incorporating these same difficulties that one would find in solo Bach.

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