How Fast to Play Etudes?

February 29, 2004 at 10:30 PM · Assuming that all tonal, technical, etc. problems have been overcome, how fast should you practice an etude before it is considered mastered?

For Example...In Dont Op. 37 exercise number 18, it is marked Allegro. It is an exercise with slurred sixteenth notes...8 notes per bow.

Do I really have to work up to a speed of 120 to 152 beats (for the quarter note)? This seems to be extremely fast. In the past I have always started out an etude at a speed that I was comfortable with...say 80 (or even 60 beats to the quarter note), then I increase by one click on the metronome each day, until finally, after several days, I am up to the correct speed.

But, some of my etudes have recommended metronome settings, (I like when they do that), and a lot of times, the recommended setting to work up to, is lower than the music is marked. For example...a Wolfhart etude (which was again, all sixteenth notes) was marked Allegro, but the metronome goal was 108 beats to the quarter note, which actually falls into the moderato range.

I'd like to hear your advice, and how you all know when you have mastered an etude.



Replies (4)

February 29, 2004 at 11:50 PM · it seems to me like it depends on what you're looking for in that particular etude.

March 1, 2004 at 05:22 AM · I see. So, if it's speed I'm looking to develop, then playing it up to that speed should be the goal. Duh, I answered my own question.



March 3, 2004 at 05:35 PM · Personnally, I use etudes to look at technical things of course, but after warming up with scales, I'm looking to bring the "artistic" side of things into the picture. So, I look to play etudes like a beautiful piece of music - that way, when encountering technically challenging passeges in repertoire, I don't fall back on a tendancy to play it like a study (ie. monkey see monkey do playing).

March 4, 2004 at 06:49 AM · Yep, I do the same thing to. Once I have tackled the technical problems in an etude, I try to play it as a artistic piece of music, rather than just an exercise.


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