Paganini 20 help

September 27, 2022, 7:30 PM · I’ve been slugging through this piece for about 2 weeks and while most of the notes are there, there are 2 spots that I can’t quite get right.

1. At measure 28(the 4th measure of the second section), it feels too much like a guess on whether I hit the second A sharp or not(my fingering is 1 3 on the a string then 2 for the F sharp and shifting to a 1 on the second A sharp both on the e string).

2. At measure 40(excluding repeats this is 8 measures after the first repeat, there is always a brief but noticeable delay when I jump to the octave, which also feels like I’m completely relying on muscle memory. Is the solution just playing it a lot slowly till I feel comfortable with the shift, in pitch and in time?

Thanks so much in advance for any advice I might get!

Replies (5)

September 27, 2022, 8:35 PM · Try playing the last three notes of m27 on the a string.
September 28, 2022, 7:25 AM · For (1) I think you are doing it right (you are already doing what Buri suggests, if I understand correctly) so it's just practicing. It's kind of an uncommon shifting distance. You can practice the shift also in other positions, e.g., just in first position on the D-string (one octave lower), etc. "Trill" the shift. For (2) you are probably already doing that octave fingered 2-4, right?
September 30, 2022, 3:17 AM · I've recently studied this and I feel your pain... :)

There are no cheats. It is not quite all muscle memory, your aural expectations also make a bit of a difference. In the first spot I would suggest practicing the pattern as a a 4-octave argpeggio for a bit (start 2 octaves below) out of the context of the piece. And then I find it helps to hammer out the final 3 notes with accents, as then you have to commit to it.

More or less the same for the 2nd, practice filling in another arpeggio up to the octave, then practice with the octaves forte accented rather than the indicated piano. They're easier loud then when you have them confident then you can get the musical effect of having them soft.

September 30, 2022, 5:25 PM · Greetings,
as always, it is a question of how you are programming your hands. Repetition at speed won’t help. Incorrect repetition at slow speed will not help. You have to identify the components.
In terms of the left hand, I think you may be jumping for the note. Instead, figure out which finger you need to slide/glide up on and how to prepare it in advance. At what point should it be resting on the string to facilitate getting to where you want to get to? That need sto be programmed in correctly. Then you need to work on the shift itself many times, but not mindless. Before every rep think/hear /vizualization what you are doing. Later , thrilling the shift becomes a useful practice method , but not now. Then one puts these left hand elements together. But there is still the question of coordinating left and right hand so have you practice the crossing from the a to e string as a double stop? Is there tension in the bow arm or jerky movements messing up the left hand. and so on.
Cheers,
Buri
October 3, 2022, 6:56 PM · It may help to relearn it with a completely new fingering. The e string is perfectly possible in this case although it seems likely that Paginini used the fingering you used. I used to perform this using the e string and liked the brilliance.
DC#b 432
a# c# f#. 1 1 4
last: 234
Means you play in half @position as opposed to 4th in the preceding bar.
Cheers,
Buri

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