Minuet by L. Boccherini

January 10, 2011

In five weeks time my teacher is having a recital for his pre-college students. I'll be playing the Minuet by Luigi Boccherini from Suzuki book 3 at that performance.

I've been working on the piece since just before Christmas, and I have the rough structure of it now. There are several things I'd like to improve between now and February 18th, and I'll be devoting a large segment of my daily practice session to these items.

The piece requires that you shift to high second position repeatedly in order to place your second finger on D on the A-string. My ability to do this accurately varies; some night's it is hard to even find D on the A-string. So I'll be doing a lot of fingerboard bingo in the coming weeks to really cement where high-second position is so that I can trust my intonation.

After the trio section, the cello accompanies the piano (or second cello, or whatever) for several measures. There are lots of rests as a result, and I need to be better about counting them. At my lesson yesterday I did a good job on the first line, but lost track of the count on the second line. Playing this by myself it's easy to count, trying to keep the count while someone else is playing is more difficult.

Like the shifts to high-second position, there are several places where you have to extend backward with the first finger to reach either an B or an E. I need to make sure that I fully extend so that these aren't B# or E#.

I'm still playing the piece at a relatively slow pace, perhaps eighth note equals 72. Time to increase the metronome speed.

At the recital in five weeks time I'll be playing with David's accompaniment on his cello. I need to practice the piece against another player so that I get used to hearing something besides myself.

In addition to these five items, I'm sure that I'll discover more rough spots or areas needing attention. This will be only my second recital; the first was last spring. It should  be a good experience all around.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.