What do you do, when you don't know what to do next?

Updated: September 3, 2021

What do you do, when you don't know what to do next?

This is a simple idea, but it really really works.

If you're practising a piece of music but you're not sure how to make it better, then just ask yourself these questions:

The reason this works so well is that the absolute most crucial elements of the music - timing, frequency and sound, are prioritised.

And when working on these elements, there's usually more you can do to refine your interpretation.

  • Try to really listen to your rhythm and pulse ... think in milliseconds ... is the swing or feel of the music exactly how you want it to be?
  • Focus in on the vibrations of your strings and the exact fingertip placement of your left fingers ... are you hearing precisely the tuning that you want?
  • And what about the sound you are creating? Try to listen objectively ... does what you're playing conjure up exactly the emotion or character that you want to create? If not, try to experiment with the fundamental bow movements (speed, weight, placement) until you find a balance that generates exactly the sound that you want.

Most techical 'improvements' that you make whe playing the violin can more often than not be traced back to the precision and fine calibration of these elements.

So take the time to listen - really listen! - to what you are hearing when you play through (or video record) yourself, and adjust what you are doing accordingly.

Click here to download and print the Repertoire Practice Questions!

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