January 23 Lesson Notes

January 23, 2012

Due to scheduling conflicts this was my first lesson in two weeks. At my last lesson David suggested it was time to buy Schröder 170 Foundational Studies as I am but on étude away from completing the Lee 40 Easy Études book.

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I prompty bought the new book and started in on my own. For the past two weeks I've been playing the first 9 pieces using my metronome. Starting at 60 bpm and gradually working my way up to 120 bpm. Today at my lesson David was pleased with my initiative and he liked the idea of using these pieces as metronome practice too.

Schröder
My assignment is to play in rotaion the first 9 études using the metronome and drones. Since these are relatively simple pieces I have enough focus left over after rhythm and notes to work on intonation and tempo.

Lee
Continue working on #40. I need to even out the double stops so both notes are heard equally. For the triple and quadruple stops I need to be smoother blending across the strings. For the Eb I need to really stretch my forefinger back to get proper intonation. I tend to curl my 1st finger which gets me two-thirds the way there. At my lesson two weeks ago when he assigned me this piece, David said completing the book was an accomplishment and a milestone, worthy of a pizza out or something. I am looking forward to that reward.

Suzuki
I continue to work on La Cinquantaine. The harmonic A is relatively easy to play given that the harmonic area on the string is rather broad. However, getting back to 4th position (or wherever) after the harmonic is tricky. The 3rd position shifts are difficult for me too. 4th position is easy due to the curve of the neck, but 3rd position is out in no-man's-land. David pointed out that 1st position is also without a physical reference. I countered that I've had two years to learn that position. His response was that "3rd position is the new 1st position."

I'm also working on Allegro Moderato, which is the final piece in volume 3 of the Suzuki method. I've been careful to use the metronome quite a bit right from the start, which has helped to avoid some of the rhythmic pitfalls.

For both pieces he wants me to focus only on the first page which, when combined with my other pieces in progress, is more than enough to keep me busy.

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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.