#8385 Reply

Dianne Adkins

Dear Yinmui – Splendid job at playing Bach, and isn’t he the best? I love his violin pieces and this is one of my favorites! So, I have some feedback for you.

1. Please consider using a shoulder pad. This piece ends Book III Suzuki. But there are many wonderful challenges ahead in Book 4, including third position. And I am sure you’ll want to start using vibrato soon! So to shift into higher positions and use vibrato, you must hold your violin with your head only. Your violin already looks stable, but your violin hand is tense and will not be moved when third position is required.

2. Listen to the CD that comes with Book III and has this piece. Listen to this piece over and over again. I know you already do. There are some clues that indicate more listening could help. It will also help you memorize, so you can be more aware of what your hands and bow are doing. You already play a steady, slow tempo and good rhythms. There are some mistakes in intonation that are easy to fix because you have a good ear! Listen to the piece for tone, too. The more advanced you become, the more clues you get from listening to music!

3. There are three things to consider for tone production. Weight, Speed and Contact Point. All three concern the bow. How much weight is best? How fast should the bow go? Where should the bow play on the string? That’s a lot to have to pay attention to, so maybe work on tone production on a very easy exercise, like the Tonalization, which you can find at the beginning of Book II. I always have my students start by playing 2 full bows per note, slowly. Usually each person has a problem with one of the three problem areas. If the Tonalization is not working, just try open D, open A and repeat. Work on control of the bow, maintaining a consistent weight, consistent speed and consistent contact point from the beginning of your bow stroke to the end, all the same. This means eyes on bow! Still don’t like what you hear? Get in front of a mirror and watch how the bow is working.

You play so well Yinmui! Dr. Suzuki always said, ‘You play so well, you can play better!’ and this is absolutely true for you too. 😉 Happy practicing!