Chan! My friend! The Twinkle Variations video works! I smile while you play! Here are some tips:
You can slow the tempo for practice. If you are listening to the CD, you will notice extremely fast tempos. We are never required to play CD tempo until Book II or later.
On variation 1:
I call this one ‘Everybody Stop Stop‘. I would like to hear the staccato down bow and up bow sound the same, so that if I close my eyes, I cannot tell if you are playing UP or DOWN. Make sure you stop the up bow before you continue playing the next note. If you think of each stroke as ‘STOP’, then you understand, it has the same name, it must sound the same, like identical twins 🙂
On variation 2:
I call this one ‘Yo – Ka | Ta‘. (meaning in Japanese – It Is Good) Now we take the staccato ‘STOP’ bow stroke and apply it to every bow stroke in ‘Yo – Ka | Ta‘. Make sure you don’t play ‘Yo Yo | Ta’. All staccato bow strokes should sound the same as each other. Now we must have identical triplets, regardless of bow direction!
On variation 3:
I call this one ‘Run Pony, Run Pony‘. I should call it ‘STOP’ Pony. Can you guess why? Because we must stop the 8th note bow stroke and make it sound the same staccato as learned in the previous two variations, whether DOWN or UP bow. Please use the same amount of bow for the 16th notes that you use for the 8th notes. You can use less bow if that is comfortable.
On variation 4:
I call this one ‘Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter‘. Yay! No stopping bow required. So I’ll think of something else! Please start by placing bow on E string. Then, rock the bow over to A string while leaving the bow elbow on E string. While playing on A and E string during Twinkle variations, the bow elbow can remain on E string level at all times. It is only necessary to lift the hand to A. The whole arm doesn’t need to raise for A string.
On variation 5: The Twinkle Theme
Well done! At this tempo, it is best to use less bow, perhaps start closer to middle bow and continue to tip, and reverse. It is good to also stop the bow and get a crisp, ‘K’ sound at the beginning of the bow stroke. Make sure the finger is ready before you move the bow so you don’t hear the finger lifting (slurps) after the bow has begun moving.
There is an additional, new variation in newer versions of Suzuki Book I. It is a triplet x 2 on each note. I call it ‘Strawberry, Strawberry’. If you choose to practice it, no stop in the bow is required. Play equal bow lengths, all strokes, upper 1/2 of the bow.
Congratulations! I really enjoy hearing you play! Please let me know if you have questions!