Jul. 7th, 2008 10:20 am
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So, this weekend I was feeling good enough to dig my violin out of the closet and give it a shot. It was woefully out of tune, and my bow needs to be rehaired (about half the hairs had fallen out), but still functional and no damage. I played for about 5-10 minutes, not long enough to do any more damage to my wrists.

Those 5-10 minutes were enough to show me that not playing in three years has really left me out of violin shape. :( I could feel the weak muscles in my wrist any time I used my third and fourth fingers, and shifting felt really awkward. On top of that I found that I was really out of tune (at least to my ears I was, I don't know how it would sound to someone with untrained ears). My high school violin teacher's voice was echoing in my head saying, "Use your fingertip ears, Jessica!!" I made it through a couple scales and an etude before putting it down.

Anyway, I waited two days after that session to make sure that my tendons and muscles didn't freak out, and they still feel okay. My new plan is to slowly work up. I'll work on scales for about 5-10 minutes every other day until it starts feeling comfortable again, then gradually up my time about 5 min/week or less and start etudes. Every day is probably pushing it for my wrists right now. Now the trick is to sort through my scale and etude books and figure out which ones I should be using. Any violinists out there want to make a recommendation? Here's what I have in my library:

  • Sitt - Scale Studies (appendix to Schriadek's Scales)
  • photocopies of some Dont stuff, I think 4-octave scales and arpeggios
  • Trott - Melodious Double-Stops
  • Mazas etudes
  • Kreutzer - 42 Studies

I might also have Sevcik lying around here somewhere. I seem to remember that I started with Sitt and moved on to my photocopies, and that I started with Mazas and Trott and moved on to Kreutzer, but my memory isn't great. I think Sitt is all three-octave scales and arpeggios. I definitely think I should start with three octaves to avoid stressing my wrist, but maybe I should only start with two?

Anyway, I hope I can get back into good shape with my violin. This is the longest I've gone without playing since I started when I was six years old. Previous to this I'd only reduced my practicing during summer vacations.


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