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Suzuki Book V -- Country Dance by Weber


Janabanana
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Okay. I was just looking at this for the first time last night. How in the heck do you play all those 8th notes on one bow w/staccato??? Is it really necessary, or could I just play them "normally"? Problem: I run out of bow after one measure, let alone three!

And, to answer your question, NO, I don't have a teacher. To be exact, other than one other girl (who I used to teach), I'm the most qualified teacher in the county:) (scary, I know)

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

Jana

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Sorry, there is no other helpful suggestion to make except... get a teacher. You will never learn proper right-hand technique, including staccato, without one. In all likelihood a competent teacher would find it necessary to send you back a couple of books for a while before letting you tackle Country Dance. I'm sorry if you find this advice annoying, but facing the truth is always better than denial.

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There are two kinds of staccato. (1) On string (like martele on one bow )and (2) Flying staccato (very advanced, jump fast off string on one bow.) If you don't have a teacher, you have to watch DVD or tape of other playing it.

My guess why you ran out of bow is that you were using (1) to do the job of (2). /yuen/

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http://violinmasterclass.com/staccato.php

For me, watching the flicker between bow stick and hair is informative. Our present-day moviemaking equipment still doesn't keep perfect synchonization between the magnificent sounds and the fleet fingers of the players in the most advanced examples.

In the beginning examples, there is emphasis on the fact that there are choices as to manner of execution. The impulses are largely internal. A common belief is that the nature of each person's slurred staccato is determined before birth. It's always been interesting to note that many fine players don't have a good staccato, and that many mediocre players have a very good one.

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Thanks Yuen and Marie for your suggestions. I'll be sure to go through the master classes on the web page you gave me, Marie (though I think I need to find someone with DSL or it will take hours to load them!)

Steve, as far as the suggestion to "get a teacher", didn't you read my post? In order to get a teacher, the best one I know of lives 2.5 hours from here across a two lane highway. With four kids and bad health, I hardly have the time, money or energy for that one. If I did, instead of ME taking lessons, I would be taking my two kids (oboe & bassoon) somewhere for lessons, as there are no teachers of those instruments here, either.

I'm a self-taught violinist, and I have a BA in music education, so I did have some lessons in college, though not from the best teachers. I have played Mozart concertos, among other things, so I don't think I'm completely illiterate. I even made it into the Philharmonic Orchestra at Brigham Young University when I was in college. For a school of 25,000 students and hundreds of music majors, I felt that was no small feat. I also have nearly 40 years of piano experience, so I do have a good musical ear, which is part of my problem on violin -- I don't have the patience to make it sound like I know it should! (You know, I think it should just happen!)

I almost gave up violin completely, as I had a pacemaker/defibrillator implanted 3 1/2 years ago, and playing is kind of painful with that little device right under the shoulder rest. I also have severe anxiety after being "struck by lightening" (the defibrilator) while performing one night. However, I'm getting braver and decided maybe I should try to improve just for me, even if I'm too scared to play for anyone else (I do play at a care center every now and then. Low pressure from those old folks!)

So, now that you all know my history, maybe some of you won't be so quick to judge in the future. Nothing would be greater than to be able to have lessons from a wonderful teacher and actually have the time to practice sufficiently to make it worth the time and money, but it's just not possible at this point. Kids come first!

Jana

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I don't think one needs to learn everything ( I mean everything) from a teacher.

For example, research. (i.e. to find (to learn on your own ) it out by investigation and study) We learn the most basic and easy things from the teachers. I had four violin teachers, none taught me flying staccato. Should I wait for a teacher come along? /yuen/

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1. I'd have to see your flying staccato before being ready to congratulate you. 2. The relatively slow on-the-string staccato used in Country Dance (it does not call for flying staccato- that would defeat the whole pedagogical purpose of assigning the piece) is essentially an elaboration of martele- one of the most important skills in basic bowing technique- which needs to be mastered first; someone with deficient bow control would have a lot of work to do before tackling Country Dance, and a diagnosis by a competent teacher is important in that context.

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Hi Steve,

Now, I know what are talking about (1) firm staccato (on string) and I am talking about (2) flying staccato (off string), different bowings.

My view was to use (2) instead of (1). Why it has to be (1)? (when you play Country Dance,by Weber, in Suzuki book 5) /yuen/

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It has to be 1) because teaching slurred staccato is the reason Suzuki put the piece in the book in the first place. And in turn teaching that stroke is important because, while a really rapid staccato is a virtuoso bowstroke that not everyone will master (certainly not I!), learning the more relaxed staccato used in Country Dance is an important element of basic right-hand technique- as I said, it's really an extension of the martele which is as basic as it gets (Galamian had his students practice martele until their thumbs were sore).

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Quote:

Okay. I was just looking at this for the first time last night. How in the heck do you play all those 8th notes on one bow w/staccato??? Is it really necessary, or could I just play them "normally"? Problem: I run out of bow after one measure, let alone three!


SAVE THE BOW! Use VERY little bow as possible during the first two measures of the staccato. The bow hair needs to bite into the string for each note, making a little "click" sound each time. Also, make sure that the LEFT hand knows the notes backwards and forwards, especially the locations of shifts. DO NOT deviate the left hand fingerings once you settle them at all.

As for gaining the speed, use the metronome EVERY TIME. Starting very slowly, using as little bow as possible for each notes, then increase by one click at a time when the speed becomes comfortable.

I would also recommend practicing the following etudes:

Kayser op.20 Nos.15 and 33

Kreutzer No.4, 5 and 8(with staccato bowing)

Dancla op.73, No.12

SCALES with staccato bowing!!!!

There are more advanced staccato studies by Rode, Wieniawski and Paganini, but if you can play the Kayser, Kreutzer, Dancla and scales mentioned above well, you will develop pretty solid control for staccato bowing.

Good luck!

T.

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No exagerations, please. There are no more than 10 consecutive notes strung together in any of the up-bow staccatos in the C.M. von Weber Country Dance in Suzuki Book 5.

A large function of this piece is to train the student in bow placement - in placing the bow properly before each of those staccato runs so that they can all be performed in the same way.

Suzuki introduces upbow staccato much earlier in the books - these may be a few notes longer, but the principle of playing them is the same. Each note uses very little bow and in played into the string and released. At the required tempo this is pretty easily done by applying an releasing index finger pressure on the bow.

Some people prefer to tense and release the right forearm - but this also tends ot tighten the right hand - and all this requires much more work than using a ercussive right indexfinger implulse that also lets the bow release and the string "ring" each note (a bit).

A teacher (even if just to help one time with this) is definitely recommended, but I suspect a really tight bow hold standing in the way with lots more problems - now and future.

Andy

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In addition to what Toscha (and Andrew Victor -- Andy and I were posting at the same time and I didn't see his post) said, be sure you start the slurred staccato at the TIP of the bow. You can practice the upbow staccato stroke out of context starting at the tip of the bow and work on that problem, and then work on finessing the bowing in context so that the down bow stroke before the staccato ends at the tip (ready to start the staccato). Use very little bow on each staccato note (and I use a pressure/release at the same time, to make a bite at the beginning of each of the notes). There really aren't very many notes on those staccatos, but it is a technique that is different than what has gone before in the Suzuki books (I'm a trad. teacher who uses them for repertoire -- maybe an official Suzuki teacher would have done things to prepare for it, but to me, it seemed stylistically out of the blue from what precedes it). Some students get it right away, others have to work at it.

Are you near Moab? I was there last fall and noticed that they have a summer music festival. If you're not too far from there, maybe you could connect with one of the violinists and explain your situation and ask if s/he would be willing to work with you in a concentrated way -- then start saving up your questions. I had an adult student who did that with me for a few years (we'd work together 2-3 times a week for 2 or 3 weeks in the summer)-- it was a different way of studying than usual, but she felt that she got a lot out of it, and I noticed a lot of progress. Maybe just a couple of sessions would answer some of your questions and give you food for thought for further work. My ultimate goal as a teacher is to enable my students to teach themselves once they have a solid foundation. Even when students are taking weekly lessons, they spend most of their time away from the teacher.

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Quote:

I suspect a really tight bow hold standing in the way with lots more problems - now and future.


I suspect exactly the same, and I think the track record of students of any age fixing such problems, without the help of a teacher or at least a little guidance and feedback from a competent player, is pretty poor. That's all I've been trying to convey.

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Hi,

I just finished the Country Dance in bk 5, the trick is to do them quick, and at the tip of the bow, so you don't run out of bow. My teacher said that it is a motion of the wrist, moving up.

I am not to good at explaining, so I don't know if this will help you, but I hope it does!

You'll get a break with the German Dance next.....it's much easier!! med54

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