Never have I improved so much so fast, within reason, of course. What did I do? Simple, practiced Yost shifting, scales, and Kreutzer etudes very very slowly using a metronome. What have I been missing? A lot apparently.
I practice slowly quite frequently, but not this slowly. I took the Yost shifting exercises and practiced the ones that would be found in the scales I would work on later, but to a metronome set at 60. Two to three beats up and the same down. Then up and down each taking one beat. Along the way up and down I paid attention to shifting smoothly and taking note of which notes I was passing on the way up and down for future reference. Kind of like marking your way through deep woods so you can find your way back again sometime later.
After that got boring I hit the scales, again very slowly and if I missed a shift by a bit I immediately went back four or five notes and repeated the shift. Then gradually speeded things up a bit. I'm enjoying playing the three octave scales in tune and with good tone to speed it up too much right now.
The big improvement came with the Kreutzer #2, for example, #1 is already slow so I won't belabor that one.
What I found going super slow is a lot of notes
I had not noticed before where I could put a finger down a few notes in advance and just sit on it until it was played. There are plenty of those if you look carefully. Or really getting the feeling of a shift or a big finger stretch, things I had missed before going faster.
In flying a jetliner your brain must be at least about 20 miles ahead of the plane, and sometimes 150 miles or you could end up as a nasty statistic. Keeping a few measures ahead of where you're playing by going slowly also makes life a lot easier. Make haste slowly, you'll get there faster.
P.S., shhh, don't tell anyone, you can play the Kreutzers as doublestops, use your intuitive imagination on that, you'll find them.
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