Improve coordination

May 23, 2020, 7:10 AM · Hello!

My teacher has recently been telling me to try and improve my coordination.
I've been playing for pretty long so it's no big things she's talking about, so small errors in fact that I sometimes have trouble hearing when my coordination is not perfect.
Are there any good exercises for improving coordination? And how can I "learn" to hear when it's just a little off.
Thanks and sorry for my bad English!

Replies (8)

Edited: May 23, 2020, 7:31 AM · In my humble opinion, you need a better teacher. The order to "improve your coordination" is not an instruction. An instruction shows you HOW to learn to do something new; a real teacher not only shows you what you need to do to reach your goal, but also has a bag of tricks so that if the first exercise does not work, s/he has has 6 more different ways to show you how to reach your goal. A teacher who just says the same thing over many times without giving you a single sequence of actions to replace your 'faulty' ones, well, that's not a teacher!
Edited: May 23, 2020, 7:53 AM · Erin makes a solid point. If you don't have the option of changing your teacher, then you need studies. If we know your "level" (what you are working on, which Suzuki book you are in, or whatever) then studies can be recommended to you on that basis. Of course, the simplest (I didn't say easiest) study is the basic three-octave scale.

Essentially, you need to listen carefully for the little bits of noise that occur when your finger is not really prepared to stop the string immediately before your bow catches it. If you are pushing down your finger while your bow is starting to draw, then there will be a little noise. That is probably what your teacher is hearing. Watch yourself in the mirror and make sure your hand positions are adequate to actually reach the notes. If you have any Simon Fischer book like Scales or Basics or The Violin Lesson, then you will see that he emphasizes this point also. I didn't make it up out of thin air.

May 23, 2020, 8:09 AM · Thank you for your input!
I'm currently working on Bruch 1 and Mozart 3 if that's for any help.
The advice from my teacher has been to record myself (which I have done) and to play it slowly. My question is more about a "general" improved coordination :).
May 23, 2020, 8:37 AM · Kreuzter, last third of the book (but do more of them if you have not done them yet). Dont Op. 37. Schradieck beyond the first two pages and ignore the slurs if you are working on LH/RH coordination.

When that starts to get easy, Rode.

Edited: May 23, 2020, 2:55 PM · I assume you asking about synchronizing the Right and Left sides. To get a clean performance, we actually do some things out of synch with the sound of the music; prepared fingers and lifted fingers, right elbow and hand motions. Try some not-so-easy folk fiddle music with lots of string changes and ornaments, Irish is the most popular genre. Preferably memorized.
Edited: May 23, 2020, 7:41 PM · Joel makes good points. Getting your LH finger there just in time is probably your problem. Needs to get there a little before, which means the hand and elbow often need to get started even a little ahead of that. Or a lot. You can't learn this by watching a guy like Rosand whose movements have been smoothed out since he became a virtuoso 60+ years before the video was made and whose physique is hidden by being a little on the larger side. Better to watch someone like Hilary Hahn whose stage presence is more no-nonsense and whose movement is more deliberate.
May 24, 2020, 11:57 AM · There are some exercises that can help discover what's not working and train the hands to operate together (or as others have pointed out - left before right)

1) Coordination Scales by Ricci (it's in his book Ricci on Glissando: The Shortcut to Technique)

2) The third day of Nathan Cole's Violympic Trials video explains some ways to practice for this:

3) Practicing in doubles or triples. I have a video out that shows it in practice

In general weighting the hand more towards 3 and 4 and less towards 1 and 2 can help as well.

Coordination is a life long project :)

Edited: May 25, 2020, 11:11 AM · My two centimes d'Euro..
I like to play mordants, then longer trills, first slurred to check regularity, and then detached bows for coordination.
I start with a "moonwalk" slowness, to "programme" the left-before-right trick, then speed up until it gets out of sync, then go back a step or two.

I reckon two thirds of our technique is before and between the notes.. (The quality and precision of the audible third depends on those of the preceding two.)

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