February 20 Lesson Notes

February 22, 2012

I had a good lesson this week. My intonation was "on" which makes everything else better.

Schröder
The 6/8 time étude number 20 went well. David said he won't need to hear it again but he suggested that I continue to review it. As it was considerably harder to master (and I'm not convinced I've mastered it yet) than the previous Schröder études, I will take his suggestion to heart and continue to practice this piece for the time being.

Suzuki
Both La Cinquantaine and Allegro Moderato were much improved this week. The intonation drills that David had me work on helped. There are two problems I display with intonation. First, when playing in extended position, I tend to curl my 1st finger (forefinger). This has the effect of making the 1st finger note sharp. The second issue comes from shifting. I tend to relax my hand, thus losing the spacing between my fingers, during a shift. This is particularly troublesome when shifting back to first position. I need to focus on my hand shape and on moving my thumb when I shift.

Minuet No. 3
We spent some time on the second page of my competition piece. There were several places where my "curled finger extension" was causing intonation gaffes. By slowing down and really stretching my 1st finger back I hit the right tone. David watched my practice video and was pleased with where I'm at. I need to play it bit faster. The competition is now just a week from Saturday, so I'll be focusing on this piece a lot in my daily practice session. I'm also doing two scales for the competition so I have been practicing F: and A: daily. I need to play the scales with the tuner on to double check my intonation.

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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.