Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!

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Hello Everyone! I am hoping to gather advice in this topic.

I would like to know:

How long should one practice?

What should I practice?

Scales, pieces, Kreutzer? How long in each of these areas?

I've been taking lessons for about 2 yrs now and am working on

Beethoven's Minuet in G from the suzuki book 2. I have to work on

scales too, but with all honesty, I don't like scales. My teacher

has me practice kreutzer, scales and the piece from the suzuki

book. But I don't think I'm practicing how I should to advance more

like I would like to.


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In my opinion you should practicee everything slowly enough that you can really hear what is wrong with it -- and work on fixing those things; intonation, counting, sound quality, etc. are are not exactly as you want them to be.

Then gradually speed up your practice to the tempos you would want to perform at.

Practicing things incorrectly will not improve your playing.

When I'm trying to fix something, I will try to get it right 10 times in a row, and then not playt it again until the next day. If I can get it right from the start - and 10 times in a row, I figure I have trained my fingers to do THAT ONE right. I think this approach can work for many people, at any level.


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I try to practice every day with the exception of one day off, like a Friday or Saturday. The least I will practice is 30 minutes. The most I can seem to handle is 2 to 3 hours with perhaps one break. Currently, I do not have a teacher, which is not so hot, but I can remember the last teacher I had saying that scales are very important. She mentioned this to me when I had to stop taking lesson due to lack of money. I hope to take lessons again very shortly.

If you are studying from the Suzuki method, then you are really learning by an excellent method, especially if you have a teacher combined with this. That plus your scales and even some pieces you feel may be fun, wherever you get them, is what I was and still am doing. Again, I hope to have a teacher again very soon.

This May, it will be three years for me. I still love it.

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The rule is like this: You practice only on the days you eat. ( I did not make this up)

Seriously, try to practice " Student Concerto # 3 by Fr.Seitz" it is a

combination scale (foundation) and good music (treat), the best of two worlds.

PS. There will be a time that you think of yourself why you did not do

more to practice scale.

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I asked my son's teacher when my son was practicing bits and pieces all over the place. He wrote my son his own practice routine he's been using for over 30 years.

First, scales 20 - 40 minutes including different bowings and double stops,etc.

He said that the scales would help you warm up and loosen your fingers, too. His wife (also a violinist told us if you master all the scales, you can play anything.) Oh, yes.... use your metronome. Like Andrew said, he suggested to repeat any scale at least four times without making mistakes. Then you know you got it.

Second, etudes. This varies with individuals, I guess. My son is doing Kruetzer now. His teacher picks the one that helps my son with the piece (concertos) he is working at the time.

Third, Sonatas and cappricio, things like that if you are working on one.

Lastly, the concerto you are working on.

I agree with Andrew. You should play slowly and clean up first before playing in tempo. My son's been adviced so since he tends to play everything fast and could get messy at times.

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  • 2 weeks later...

How much is not an easy question to answer.

Early stage players can achieve a great deal on even 30 minutes nearly every long as you practice well. Improvement tends to happen exponentialy (i.m.o) so someone who doubles up to an hour can improve at 3 times the speed, perhaps.

At my lessons, it's simply impossible to believe (for the pupil) the type of things that produce the quickest results, and it takes at least a year with me to start to appreciate the things I consider as important.

I always start with a run down of basic technique (checking the violin hold, bow hold, straightness of up and down, that kind of thing). Always a few scales, but ALSO, many, many drills on the finger patterns that make up the key of your piece. At the top of the music, there is a chart written out to remind the pupil of the notes that require "special attention".

For a piece in G.....I might write 0-1-23 0-1-23 0-12-3 0-12-3 and circle the 2 "low" fingers on the top strings. Playing in tune is more about the semitones than the tones!!!

You might find this a little childish, but in the same way as I might try G major all over the Violin for a student preparing to play (in the lesson) Mozart Concerto no.3, you can NEVER take these things as fixed "forever" matter how good your ear.

Improvement requires us all to identify the bad tuning, the poor tone, weak position work, run-away fingers, unsatisfactory stroke and then work on things piece by piece until the jigsaw is complete.

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