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littlefactoryviolin

Kreutzer 42 fingerings

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Currently starting to work on Kreutzer 42...i'm

interested to know if the fingerings (the little position numbers

on some notes) are the same for all editions of Kreutzer? (i'm

using the international ed.; got that one because i like the

classic look of the book compared to another with a green cover,

though the green one had explanations for the exercises. So much

for judging a book by the cover  )

Also, are the fingerings there to be followed exactly (meaning they

have been arranged as such on purpose to illustrate a certain

technique) or do they basically serve as guidelines which we can

modify if don't find them suitable?

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I had a mentor once upon a time, an elderly and very experienced teacher, who felt no compunction about changing those fingerings to suit my smaller hand. I still attacked the etude using the given fingerings. After all, it was an etude and I figured I was supposed to learn something, or at least challenge and try to extend my technique. But the fingerings my guide suggested did make it go more smoothly, and if I were performing it, I'd use the modified fingerings, in service of the music. For an audience I think music is first.

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IMHO the fingerings as set by the editor are only meant as suggestions. In my experience there are sometimes fingerings possible that do fit better for your personal technique. Finally what counts is that you're able to play the etüde. So you have to find out what is most beneficial. I also know that following the different bowings in the Kreutzer etüdes sometimes require to play not the most logic fingerings but only for uniformity in the different bowing exercises. It would be extra difficult to have different fingerings belonging to different bowings.

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I use Schirmer's (Singer) edition. The fingerings are OK to me, although I occassionally make some changes. To be effective, the etude have to be played well at the tempo indicated. Listen to one of the CD recordings as references: 1. Cihat Askin, available from www.tulumba.com; 2. Isralievich.

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Is your International Edition with the Galamian fingerings?

It's worth looking at those fingerings to see what the overall goal is. From what I can see of the Galamian fingerings, the goal is to accommodate the bow hand as much as possible by having the left hand do some otherwise unorthodox things. You may be creeping around the fingerboard instead of doing actual shifts, and you may be stretching fingers out of position to get a higher or lower note. The end result is fewer string crossings.

But the end result may also be a less secure left hand no longer grounded in a "safe" position, 1st, 3rd, 5th.

If you agree with the goal of the fingerings, then use them. If never in your life would you play anything else using those kinds of fingerings, then find more comfortable (for the left hand) fingerings, fingerings that you might use if you were sight reading a piece of music.

If you're not sure whether you'd ever use the given fingerings, give them a try and see what you gain.

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I also play the Singer version. I always follow its fingering because I look at it as a challenge.

Another thing is that I always play it undertempo. In fact, my teacher never asked me to play in-tempo for Kreutzer. Does playing under-tempo have a negative effect? I'm afraid that I can never play fast things.

I often have a conflict between speed V.S. quality. I don't want to sound sloppy but I also want to play fast. My teacher once told me that :"Your standard is too high." Should I give up quality now for speed and quality will eventually come as I progress?

Thanks!

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"Your standard is too high?"

An unbelievable statement.

If ones standard is too low s/he will never reach a higher level! I would try to speed up and the technique will follow soon. What about training yourself at home with the absence of your teacher? There's nothing to prevent you from training whatever you like to train even if it's a faster tempo.

My suggestion: go ahead and find out what you can!

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Nickia,

You ought to practice the etudes with a metronome at the fastest tempo you can while still maintaining quality. Then, click the metronome 1 faster and practice it at this new tempo. Once the new tempo is clean, click the metronome 1 faster. Repeat until you have achieved the desired tempo.

Never give up speed for quality if you don't have to. The speed will come as long as you continually improve your technique. Now here is an important point: If you have reached a point from where you know that you cannot accelerate without losing quality and your teacher still says it needs to be faster, then the issue is technical and you need to play it at the higher tempo so that your teacher can identify what technical issue is hampering your performance. If your teacher still can't identify a problem, then you either need better practice or a better teacher.

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