Category Archives: #Progress Tracking | Violin

#ProgressLog | May 2017

Hey everyone,

 

I am a bit late, sorry for that! I have something big to announce, though!

Here’s my practice plan for May; what I did there and how it went

 

Let’s start with the guitar:

Technique:

  • Etude: Fernando Sor Op. 60 No. 1
  • Scales: C-/D-/E-/F- Major Scale
  • Chords: Open Chords (revised) + some inversions of C + D + E
  • Rhythms: Some Waltz Rhythms
  • Techniques: Harmonics (more to come in June 2017)

I started my first classical etudes with Fernando Sor’s Op. 60. Those studies are some of the finest I’ve come across so far and I love them! They sound beautifully, they are short and they allow me to practice certain areas in depth.

For the scales, I’ve actually revisited my common major scales because I am currently working on more arrangements of classical songs and those are mostly written in the key of C, using the major scale for their melodies. That’s also the reason why I chose to revise those open chords again.

The waltz has been something I wanted to look into, particularly for what I’ve planned for July! That’s the point where I finish my “beginner”-level stuff and move on to the intermediate section. I just want to be sure that I cover everything I set for myself as a “beginner” before I move on.

Last, but not least, the harmonics. This neat little technique is something I’m so fond of! I really love it! At the moment, I’m trying to incorporate it as much as I can, writing songs and using it for my intermediate arrangements.

Theory:

  • Chord progressions
  • Classical Era
  • Fernando Sor biography
  • Harmonics

Repertoire:

  • Irá al jardin inglés (recording)

 

 

 

Now, let’s move on to the piano:

Technique:

  • Etudes:
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 1
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 2
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 3
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 4
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 5
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 6
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 7
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 8
    • John W. Schaum: Finger power 1 No. 9
    • Béla Bartók: Makrokosmos 1 No. 1
    • Béla Bartók: Makrokosmos 1 No. 2a
    • Béla Bartók: Makrokosmos 1 No. 2b
    • Jelena Gnessina Etude in C
    • A. Schmidt: Etude in C
  • Scales
    • C Major Scale
    • D Major Scale
  • Chords
    • Major Chords: C – D – E – F – G -A – B
  • Rhythms:
    • 4/4 – all 4th notes
  • Technique:
    • Velocity

Theory

  • Classical Era
  • Russische Klavierschule Band 1 – p. 1-21

Repertoire

  • Ode to Joy
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb

 

 

Violin

Technique

  • Etudes: (unknown) basic bow strokes
  • Scales: C major scale
  • Bowing: détaché
  • Rhythms: 4/4 4th rhythms + 4/4 alternate
  • Technique: Bowing technique

Theory

  • Classical Era
  • David Garrett biography (documentary)

Repertoire

  • Ode to Joy (own arrangement)

 

 

#ProgressLog| Summary/Update: April

Hey everyone,

April had been pretty intense. I managed to get a ton of things down due to the remaining days of my semester holidays. In this post I like to share with you what I achieved, what I planned on doing and what I have in mind for May 2017.

Let’s start with a summary of April for the individual instruments.

 

SUMMARY

Guitar

A. REPERTOIRE

  1. Ode to Joy (L.v.Beethoven): Own arrangement
  2. Mary Had a Little Lamb: Own arrangement in Am
  3. Twinkle, Twinkle little Star: Own arrangement
  4. Irá al jardin inglés (Lukas Wedrychowski): Original piece

B. Theory

  1. Music History: Temper,
  2. Background knowledge: how sound waves work
  3. Scales: C, A, Am, E, Em
  4. Chords: Open chords (C, D, E, G, A, Dm, Em, Am)
  5. Key signatures: C, G, D, A

C. Technique

  1. Sor Etudes
  2. Scale Picking: C, A, Am, E, Em
  3. Chord Practice: C, D, E, G, A, Dm, Em, Am (+ 1st inversion)
  4. Rhythm Practice: T+2-3-2-3-1-2-3-2 | T+2-3-2-3-1-2-3-2
  5. Technique: Vibrato

 

Explanation

As you can see, I’ve managed to get quite a lot done this month. I was able to get my first arrangements going after having learnt the basic skills of orchestration. This is so much fun to do! I really love it and I am definitely going to embed this into my own songs as well, to make them richer and to see what I can explore within the frames of what I want to tell with them. I’ve also managed to finish my new piece which I’ll record soon (once the settings are done). It is part of a huge project that I have set for myself 😉  New updates soon!

In terms of theory, I was focusing on rather historical background knowledge, such as, how does sound travel and how comes the measure Hertz was set at a=440hz. Besides that I’ve been practicing my chords, which chord tones they include and what progressions they belong to etc.

From a technical point of view I’ve mainly been practicing the chords that I needed for my own arrangements of the songs. Most of them were open chords but with some inversions in them. It would technically still be called open chord because I didn’t need to barre anything, but ye… 🙂

Anyway, here comes a short overview of what I’ve planned on doing. I cannot say yet, how my schedule will exactly look like but there are some pointers that might give you a hint on what is supposed to be included.

Generally, this month will be a busy one, since I need to finish my huge project (again, soon more information about it), meaning that I have to finish my three new songs in progress while transcribing my others (in fact it’s just: Will of the unknown; Still in my heart). Once this is done I will announce what I’m planning to do and how it turns out :^)

 

Piano

A. REPERTOIRE

  1. Greensleeves: own arrangement
  2. Etudes: (various) – mainly dedicated to finger strength and dexterity
  3. City of Stars (La-La-Land): piano accompaniment
  4. Ode to Joy: own arrangement

B. THEORY

  1. Chord extensions: (some Jazz chord as well as chord progressions)
  2. Artist study: J.S. Bach and L.v. Beethoven
  3. Scales: C, D, E, G
  4. Reviews: Comparing various methods (reviews coming soon)

C. TECHNIQUE

  1. Etudes: Dexterity and finger strength
  2. Scales: C, D, E, G (both major and minor)
  3. Chord Practice: C, D, E, F, G, A, B (major + minor)
  4. Rhythm Practice: Odd rhythms (11/16; 7/16) etc.
  5. Technique: Damping (I’ve got a new pedal to test out this function; I’ve never had one like that before on my digital piano)

 

Explanation

As you can see, on the piano, I’ve also been experimenting with own arrangements, although it doesn’t yet feel as natural and intuitive as on the guitar. Anyway, the remaining stuff was mainly focused on experimenting with chords, with rhythms as well as my new pedal which is meant to damp the sound a bit. I’ve never been using one until now and I want to give it a try. I read that this one isn’t necessary so I just wanted to test it and eventually send it back if I don’t see any use in it.

May will also be quite busy since I have to finish my project (mentioned above in the guitar summary). For this I have to finish my two new pieces on the piano to finally be able to make that huge step…. Can’t tell you how excited I am…. 🙂

So for this month, my focus will mainly be on these two pieces and all that comes along with it. As I said, with the summary of May you’ll get everything you need to know but for now just stay tuned.

 

Violin

A. REPERTOIRE

  1. Ode to Joy
  2. Twinkle, Twinkle little Star
  3. Greensleeves: (at the beginning of it)

B. THEORY

  1. Hold and Posture
  2. Finger Placement 1st Position
  3. Bow sounding points

C. TECHNIQUE

  1. Etudes (bow strokes and first finger placements)
  2. Scales: C, G, D
  3. Rhythms: 4/4 (1-2-3-4; 1-2-3-4+; 1-2-3+4+; 1-2+3+4+; 1+2+3+4+; 1+2+3+4; 1+2+3-4; 1+2-3-4; 1-2+3+4)
  4. Technique: Détaché

Explanation

On the violin I’ve been slowly but surely moving towards pieces that cover the full range of the first position. I mainly focused on proper technique, getting a feeling for the new bow and the new violin (without any markers and tapes). That’s pretty difficult which is why I keep on returning to my other violin with the markers still on. Anyway, this month will also be focusing on repeating what I did during April to get a better control over my bow.

 

#PROGRESSLOG | VIOLIN (Y0/M2/W1)

Alright,

now that my exams are over I’m finally able to write again. The last two weeks I’ve literally just been practicing on my basics as long as I found time in between my studies and work.

The planning for the next week (also marking the beginning of March 2017) will be the following:

Violin Practice Schedule – (Y0/M2/W1)

Repertoire:

  1. Ode to Joy – by Ludwig van Beethoven
  2. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Theory:

  1. Posture and violin hold
  2. Bowing arm
  3. String crossing
  4. Thumb and Left Hand Placement
  5. Finger Action of the Left Hand
  6. Finger Action and Finger Pressure
  7. 2-3 Finger Spacing Pattern

Technique:

  1. Warmup etudes (Playing in the middle, at the tip and the frog of the bow)
  2. Scales
  3. Rhythm
  4. Intonation
  5. Bow strokes (middle, frog, tip, half strokes, whole strokes)
  6. Spacing Pattern

#PROGRESSLOG | VIOLIN (Y0/M1/W1)

Year 0 – Month 1 – Week 1+2

Violin | Update week 1

  • Repertoire
    • Basic etudes to practice bow division and basic rhythm pattern
    • “Ode to Joy / Ode an die Freude” by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Theory
    • Thumb and left hand placement
    • Finger Action of the left hand
    • Finger action and finger pressure
    • 2-3 finger spacing pattern
  • Technique
    • Warm-Up:
      • Open bow strings & “Bordun-Marsch”
    • Bow distribution
      • Playing in the middle of the bow
      • Playing at the frog
      • Playing at the tip of the bow
    • Adding the fingers to the bow strokes

 

Alright then. I slowly start to get a feeling for the bow and the tone it produces though it is far from being perfect. I’ll continue with the schedule from above since I feel it contains a good amount of techniques that I need to work on. I very much like the exercice in which I focus on the different parts of the bow. I’ve learnt “Ode to Joy” as an accompaniment and now I’m going to work out how to play the melody line (it’s written as a duet). Once I’ve got this down I will try to record myself playing the melody line as well as accompanying myself with the piano and the violin!

#PROGRESSLOG | VIOLIN (Y0/W4)

I just noticed that I had kept this one on “draft” for the whole week, thus the late publishing. 🙂 Sorry !

 

Year 0 – Week 4

Violin | SUMMARY

 

 

  • Repertoire
    • Basic etudes to practice bow division and basic rhythm pattern
    • “Little Suite” (Bordun-Marsch) by Franz  Kanefzky
  • Theory
    • Repeating the fundamentals from above
  • Technique
    • Warm-Up:
      • Open bow strings
    • Bow & violin hold
      • Playing in the middle of the Bow
      • Playing at the Tip of the Bow
      • Bowing at the Frog
      • Playing at the Frog and Tip
      • Thumb and Left Hand Placement
      • Finger Action of the Left Hand
      • String Crossings
      • Whole bow strokes

 

Alright, this week was pretty good! I managed to practice a lot despite my huge exam coming up in about 15 days. I’ve practiced on keeping track with the bow, playing mainly in the middle of it. Also keeping the box up all the time was also quite a bit of a challenge since I had to adjust my arm movements quite a lot.

I’ve once again read through the fundamentals, feeling pretty confident now that I’ve got this down. I’ll move on and get some new stuff on the agenda, namely the other parts of the bow as well as basic finger spacing pattern.

I’ve also managed to learn a new piece together, consisting only of very easy and basic notes. “Little Suite – Bordun-Marsch” by Franz Kanefzky is a fine tune that I will most likely use as a warm-up or bowing etude from now on.

That’s for my first month! I’ve recorded some stuff but will only be able to publish it later on once my exam is over so you can see my progress.

 

#PROGRESSLOG | VIOLIN (Y0/W3)

Year 0 – Week 3

Violin | SUMMARY

  • Repertoire
    • Basic etudes to practice bow division and basic rhythm pattern
  • Theory
    • Repeating the fundamentals from above
  • Technique
    • Warm-Up:
      • Open bow strings
    • Bow & violin hold
      • Playing in the middle of the Bow
      • Playing at the Tip of the Bow
      • Bowing at the Frog
      • Playing at the Frog and Tip
      • Thumb and Left Hand Placement
      • Finger Action of the Left Hand
      • String Crossings
      • Whole bow strokes

 

I’ve started with some guided practice (i.e. with a backing track and sheet music). I feel that my tone improved over this week and by working with that backing track. That’s pretty cool. However, there are still some slight mistakes. I’ll try to improve upon it by adding a small, very easy piece to the next week. It’s a violin duet so I can easily play the second violin. I’ll see if I can get the permission to record that piece. That would be great!

 

Year 1 – Week 4

Violin | PLANNING

  • Repertoire
    • Basic etudes to practice bow division and basic rhythm pattern
    • “Little Suite” (Bordun-Marsch) by Franz  Kanefzky
  • Theory
    • Repeating the fundamentals from above
  • Technique
    • Warm-Up:
      • Open bow strings
    • Bow & violin hold
      • Playing in the middle of the Bow
      • Playing at the Tip of the Bow
      • Bowing at the Frog
      • Playing at the Frog and Tip
      • Thumb and Left Hand Placement
      • Finger Action of the Left Hand
      • String Crossings
      • Whole bow strokes