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    Hello, what a morning of practice. I am 50 years old and started playing last October. I am at Minuet 2 and have been forever it seems. I am fighting those first two measures every day, and was wondering if any of you are or have had the same issue. To get clean string crossings is driving me crazy. Not fitting another string is…wow lol. Frustrating. When I work on my fiddle music and want another string, I get perfect single string notes…when I work on classical Suzuki Minuet 2…double strings. Does anyone have any advice how they got past this? I have been fighting this song for over a month. Last week I nailed it two days in a row, was so excited, but back to the same struggles. Thanks for any advice. I have worked on just the right hand, get it clean, add the left and back to square one. Best of luck to everyone! Bobby

    #15646 Reply

    Dianne Adkins

    Hi Bobby and friends!
    Let’s remember the first rule to mastery. Do you know what it is?


    In reference to Min II, I have a little word game I say to myself that also reinforces the physical action that I want to do during those first 4 notes.

    “Drop You El-Bow”
    D – A – A – E

    As you travel from D to E, notice that your bow elbow drops. Play this lots of times. Keep your bow arm in your mind. Say the words, do the movement as you play. Also notice that each string crossing is UP bow. D – A (A is played up bow) and A – E (E is played up bow). This is a brain twister, because as your bow arm is travelling from D to E during these 4 notes, it moves left to right. But a SUB-movement going on also is a right to left UP bow on EACH string crossing! Ack!

    Just practice this much. Day to day you will find it easy, then have to build it up again. That is normal, so get used to that. It will happen to you all the time. If you become frustrated, put it down and walk away. Don’t allow anxiety to attach itself to this easy 4 note segment. You can do this.

    The next step is to simply lift the bow hand slightly to get the next A. Then return to E (again! on an UP bow!), playing it twice.

    OK let’s talk about strategy using the fingerings. Just try this simple way of practicing the first two measures with the fingerings. Change the rhythm, or what the bow ‘says’.

    So do you remember the Twinkle variations? I call the first variation “Everybody Stop Stop”. Some folks say “Pepperoni Pizza” but you get the idea? Make the bow play that on every note, using the fingers. Easy?

    Now, let’s make the bow say “Run Pony” (the 3rd Twinkle variation) on each note.

    Now, make the bow play each note twice. If you find a spot that doesn’t play out smoothly, reduce it to two notes. The first two notes only. D3 to A1. Then D3 to A1 to A3, adding one note as you go.

    Do you see how you can approach a challenge by lots of different angles to warm the brain up to the actual task? At the end of doing all this. Try the music as written. Two notes first. Then three. Then 4. Then do the circle between A (down bow) and E (up bow) lots of times. Then A E E (down up down, stop, reset, repeat).

    ​I hope this helps!

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