Is insecurity in shifting normal before warmimg up?
I was wondering if it's normal for one's shifting (especially in higher positions) to be not entirely accurate if one picked up the violin for the first time in the day without warming up (i.e. going in cold). I've noticed that was the case for me. However, after a good 20 mins of warm up (Flesch scales/Sevcik op. 8), everything feels much more secure and grounded. Is this what everyone experiences?
Looking forward to hear from you all :)
Octave shifts (such as from the A on the E-string to the A an octave above) are part of my usual warm-up, so it's difficult to answer the question.
Yes. On the second half of strings the notes are only 5 mm apart, 2mm off is grossly out of tune. It is amazing how many violinists can play in tune up there. Part of my warm-up is also octave slides on all 4 fingers, E and G strings.
If this wasn't the case, no one would bother to warm up.
I suspect its yes for most people - but maybe not for those with perfect pitch. I feel as if I have to tune my head before I can play anywhere above ~ 4th position. However, those I've known with perfect pitch simply listen until the shift is accurate.
Scott basically beat me to it.
Yes, of course. Especially if playing without sholder rest.
Yes. For me, especially true in the winter. I find that cold weather not only makes my fingers less flexible but also throws off my perception of where my hand is, so I miss shifts until I'm warmed up. In the summer I can usually get away with not warming up. In the winter I definitely can't.
William Primrose was famous (infamous?) for claiming he didn't need to warm up. There is a story about him coming across some students at Curtiss talking about warming up. He scoffed, took his viola outside (into the cold!) and proceeded to play some Paganini!
That’s what warming up is for, getting back into the motions of violin after hours of NOT PRACTICING;(.
Definitely normal. I used to struggle with lead fingers for 20 minutes into playing but I found a large part of it for me was a mental block. Running my hard repertoire for friends with no warm-up time at all helped me a lot preparing for auditions this past month (there isn't too much time to run scales before you play for the panel).
Elise, from my personal experience I'd say that perfect pitch isn't protective, although it is a really helpful gift. But whatever sort of pitch you own... Perlman and Primrose... simply a different orbit...
Whenever I warm up on the viola after a lot of violin playing I have to recalibrate my shifts among the lower positions by playing some kind of slow piece that has a lot of those shifts.
I have a similar experience to Paul's. Most of my playing now is on my 14-1/4" violin, on which the 3rd octave on the E-string needs a wing and prayer on the rare occasions when I need to access it (Hi there, Pietro Locatelli!). In contrast, on my standard 14" nr. 2 violin, I have no problems in accessing that 3rd octave, but I need to recalibrate my shifts and finger spacing when warming up, otherwise I'll be playing that little too sharp a lot of the time.
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