#4431 Reply

William Bickerstaff

I also tend to be a bit too technical at times. I tend to want to play a piece/etude, etc., perfectly before I move on. I also try to play a piece too rapidly too early. All the while those two words come back to me…

“Practice slowly” – Itzhak Perlman

As Itzhak says it, “If you practice quickly, you forget quickly and if you practice slowly you forget slowly”.

C’mon metronome… keep me straight.

I spent a lot of time on scales, arpeggios and etudes every morning for about an hour, then again in the afternoon. I may, but not always, practice on a song. I think it is a matter of balance, and to help out undoing my imbalance I started a practice log. In this log I write down everything I do. This includes scales, arpeggios, etudes, songs and even my stretches and hand/arm exercises for strength and flexibility. As my day progresses I will look at my log and see what I did not do yet today and start working on that.

When I don’t have a violin and bow in my hands and I am just sitting around, I sometimes do what I like to call the “pencil drill” in which I grip an unsharpened pencil in my right hand as if I am holding a bow ensuring my grip is done properly. I will even go through bowing motions being mindful of my grip and the flexing of my wrist and the movement of my right arm. This has helped to be more aware of my grip, especially my worst “transgression” of straightening my bow thumb.