Most effective exercises/etudes?
I was wondering whether anyone had any thoughts on exercises or etudes which give the most 'bang for the buck' so to speak. i.e. which provide a huge benefit (more than other practice).
For example, lately, (past 5-6 months) I have been spending a lot of time practicing arpeggios (almost obsessively) which I never did much upto now (Flesch, 1 string and 3 octave) and I feel like it has made my playing very noticeably easier and better.
When playing a piece I'm not very familiar with, its like I know where the next note is almost intuitively without having to think about it (usually I rely on the numbers written in the score or in higher positions have to stop and find the note first, like which string and which finger etc.)
My shifting is much better as well. The impact feels almost magical.
another example: I think practicing Kreutzer no 7 has improved my string crossing considerably.
So my killer practice tips would be:
1) Arpeggios for intonation and learning your way around the fingerboard.
2) Kreutzer 7 for string crossing
I haven't played them a lot but I also think the Dounis daily dozen are quite good in this sense. seemed to make playing feel easier overall.
Son File I know is really good too though I very rarely do it as its painful and I'm lazy :p
Has anyone noticed any other exercises or etudes which helped you a lot?
Thanks in advance.
Arpeggios in one position are also extremely beneficial as they include "diagonal" intervals across the strings; and they are good preparation for double stops.
Here is my opinion based on my experience as an intermediate player who enjoys working on studies.
Hi Sandeep I'm intrigued to know what you mean in terms of time scale by "almost obsessively"?
@Stephen, also thanks for those suggestions on books, I'll look into those. I tried looking for vamose but was not able to find. I'll keep looking.
I agree with arpeggios. Scales and their fingering systems are more like comfortable slippers, but arpeggios get you visiting every part of the fingerboard very quickly.
Thanks Stephen. I guess you must be talking about this? : Exercises for the Violin in Various Combinations of Double-Stops Its the only Vamos book i could find (Cursory search)
@Gordon Shumway, ha ha... i get your point. I often spend many a practice session exclusively on scales and arpeggios. But then I must admit i am not very advanced and I feel I have a lot of work to do on intonation and shifting etc. and I feel like I need to do the drills before I can play music.
Hi Sandeep, may I offer two more obvious suggestions: (1) play detache etudes with *full* bows, but still at rather fast tempo. various Kreutzer etudes lend themselves to this kind of exercise, obviously 2 and 8, but also for example 24 and 26. the thing here is to play with very fast full bows but still keep everything under control, i.e., it should be fast but still with full control of the situation! initially it seems crazy with the bow flying everywhere, but you soon get the feeling.
"I do feel that after months of playing scales etc, when I do finally play some pieces after a long break.. they sound so so much better."
@jeamn dubuisson, Thanks for the tip. I am struggling with bow control in general and full bows at fast tempo sounds like a good idea esp. kreutxer 2 and like you said! excellent thank you. havent gotten to no 24 and 26 but ill try them out. I play flesch thirds quite regularly. @Gordon Shumway thanks for the message. I play a fair bit of scales. ... more than music or sure. :p
Sammons is very interesting, and comes with crib notes from the author on what to do if you're really tight on time.
I found VAMOS for $24.29 at SHAR
Vamos' book was available on Southwest String for under 20$ (after applying the coupon code)... I just got mine a few days ago.
For bow control: Sevcik, Op. 3, 40 variations.
Interesting thread with great suggestions! For example these masterclass videos by Kurganov are such high quality.
It's Paganini caprice #2 for me. I use this caprice to warm up every day and I found it really helpful from multiple perspectives - string crossings, bow contact point, relative distances between notes, and it stretches my fingers well.