#14817 Reply

Dianne Adkins

Hi Mariko, I’m finally back! I wanted to tell you I LOVE THIS piece! It is a perfect fit for you. I commend your teacher for selecting this piece. It is quite an achievement to play this piece with a recorded piano accompaniment and you did amazing!

Some of the things I loved about this piece.

  1. Its use of ‘moving’ 2nd finger. Sometimes you have to play C natural, sometimes C sharp (on A string)
  2. Its increasing complexity of rhythms and running notes in the melody
  3. Its requirement of use of the 4th finger
  4. Its requirement to plan the bowing, involving lifting/ setting the bow; use of slurs; resting between piano riffs; string crossings, double notes and double stops!
  5. Its ‘finger drill’ like quality, while still sounding fun and musical
  6. Its varied musical style changes.

This piece is so great because it uses all the strings. It makes you use 4th finger on all strings. It has finger drill work embedded in the melody that automatically is prepping your left hand for trills, and for all the difficulties players encounter from the very beginning. Just listening at the beginning, you see a lot of 0-1-0-1 on G string. Then soon after you have 0-2-1, 0-2-1 on E (with a low 2, and then it is repeated double time!) This is genius drill work made delicious! Five yummy cupcakes for you!!

Five Yummy Cupcakes

So, around 2:20, you play the double-stops. I think this portion is worth some unit practice. Right now, it sounds like playing on two strings is accomplished by a bit more pressure (weight) into the string than you use to play individual strings. If you can practice the double-stops section with a goal of keeping the bow weight the same as it is with single notes, your sound will instantly improve. It may help to take away the fingers and play the double strings notes, open strings, with bowing as indicated. This will allow you to look at your bow and perhaps keep weight and speed consistent. That spot is automatically awkward as it requires you to pick up the extra string on the UP bow.

Then around 2:30 you have a repetitive motif that starts on G string, crosses to D string in a rising scale pattern, then is played again after crossing to the A string. This string crossing was a little rough and maybe doesn’t always happen, but solve string crossing issues by taking away the fingers and playing the open strings with bowings as written to see what is required of the bow and fix.

Not knowing this piece intimately, I feel like the doubles at 3:10 should definitely each start DOWN bow as playing doubles UP bow first not only feels backward but looks awkward, too. It is true that sometimes we just can’t get around it, or it’s bowed that way for a specific challenge. But if it were me playing, I’d do a double down somewhere before that to allow me to do the doubles starting DOWN bow as in an orchestra, it will always be done that way.

So, just a few suggestions for an otherwise great performance. Your bow grip is looking good and your tone sounds ringing and rich, so keep it up. After you are done with this piece, I would recommend coming back to it and picking out segments to use as fingering exercises for practice warm ups!