Favorite etude to warm the left hand up?

December 27, 2018, 6:58 PM · Was wondering what everyone’s favorite etude was (or anything of the sort!) for warming up those left hand fingers? I’m Looking for some new things to practice with, thank you in advance!

Replies (23)

Edited: December 27, 2018, 7:04 PM · Why, Ernst's Polyphonic Etude no. 6, of course.
December 27, 2018, 9:17 PM · K29
December 27, 2018, 9:22 PM · Kreutzer 2 will warm up both hands.
December 28, 2018, 6:06 AM · Schradiack No. 1 ( from his first book and play over all 4 strings)
December 28, 2018, 6:40 AM · Flesch scale system!
December 28, 2018, 7:06 AM · Scales for me.
To play an etude I need to be warmed up first!
December 28, 2018, 9:20 AM · that was my initial thought too Andrew! working on an etude without having warmed up is only frustrating.
December 28, 2018, 3:44 PM · Kreutzer #9. I play it through 3 times, once at say 94, once at 104, and once at 114 (or something similar). First time - forte, second time, swell between F at the tip to P at frog, the 3rd time at pp trying for smoothness and clarity.
December 28, 2018, 5:42 PM · Ysaye's Scale "Book", the first few pages (not the scales themselves, though playing accelerating scales is good.)

Flesch 1-4.

Edited: December 28, 2018, 6:24 PM · Starting slow I would say. It doesn't matter whether it is scales or tunes or whatever. Just something in slow speed.
December 28, 2018, 6:24 PM · Dont op 35 no. 8.
December 28, 2018, 6:35 PM · Sometimes you can also warm up without playing. Like warm up your hands in various ways like putting them under your armpits. I needed to do that the other day where I was playing at an outdoor wedding in winter. Fortunately the temperture was above zero and the wind was calm.

It was worse for the bride. She was standning in white with bare shoulders. But after a while she did get a white cape over the shoulders.

It was a bit cold but nevertheless a fun experience. The violin kept the tuning surprisingly well.

December 28, 2018, 11:23 PM · Yeah I don't start with Kreutzer straight off. Usually scales first, often scales in thirds first actually, not sure why. I guess because I can only play them slowly anyway.
December 29, 2018, 7:23 PM · If you have only 30 seconds, try the scherzo from Schumann's 2nd string quartet, Op 41-2 -- gets you all over the fingerboard, lots of tricky shifts and intervals, and super fun to play.

But yes, people are right, the proper way to warm up if you have time is scales, arpeggios and then scales in thirds and octaves. For bow warmup I love Kreutzer 8.

December 29, 2018, 8:17 PM · I always start with scales (SLOWLY, try the Galamian acceleration pattern), and then Sevcik Op. 8.
December 30, 2018, 12:48 AM · Now that I am older, it takes very little time to warm up the left fingers. A couple of scales, the trill-prep. exercise in Doflein Bk. 4, some octave shifts. But I do have to be more careful about playing too long, I take a lot of short breaks in the hour. I have read that Paganini and Kreisler did not practice very much in the later half of their career. And I also read that Heifetz continued his practice routine even after completely retired from performing.
December 30, 2018, 8:25 AM · Paganini Caprice No. 16 or a Bach Partita I just finished! I also used to do Dounis Daily Dozen.
December 30, 2018, 8:36 AM · Define 'warm up'. After scales even Wohlfahrt 1 is adequate. Play it détaché to warm up the LR synchronisation.
January 1, 2019, 5:30 PM · The Schradieck op. 1 book 1 first two pages, for basic routine.

Oistrakh apparently used to warm up on the exposition of a Mozart concerto, played under tempo with no vibrato. I find this extremely useful, especially for resetting my ears -- centering my sense of intonation.

January 1, 2019, 5:37 PM · Another vote for Schradieck. Not an etude but it's what you're looking for.
January 1, 2019, 6:48 PM · Lydia, I'm curious why you single out the first two pages of Schradieck as opposed to the whole volume covering various strings and positions.
January 1, 2019, 9:18 PM · I used to do the first of the four-string etudes as well, as good exercise for doing perfectly leveled string-crossings. (And I did do the whole book when I was about 7 years old, I think.)

But for a pure left-hand warm-up? Just selections from the first two pages. Warm-ups should only take a few minutes.

January 8, 2019, 4:46 PM · Paul, I usually do scales in 3rds before straight scales as well. I got a cramp once (probably because my hands were SO cold) when I played a single--note scale just after I woke up (I find the morning to be the most effective time to practice.) And I don't get the cramps if I do scales in 3rds, for some reason. They go away after I do 3rds, 6ths, Flaguettes (I think that's how you spell it - anyways, that's a fancy word for artificial harmonics that my piano teacher, yes, my piano teacher insists I call them that) and Octaves, my hands are stretched out. Then I hardcore shred normal scales (Just kidding, I play them at probably 60 bpm triplets and gradually go up.)
I used to do Schradieck Book 1 first 2 pages, but not anymore. Scales are better.

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