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Violin Lessons: Beethoven - Symphony #3, 3rd Mvt (Scherzo), opening - 2nd ending

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[MUSIC]
The Beethoven Three Scherzo is a so
called control excerpt.
A committee wants to hear that so you
demonstrate one specific thing and
that here is a steady Pianissimo.
Absolutely steady,
absolutely pianissimo, something that they
can imagine an entire section doing.
Getting a great start to this excerpt is
really half the battle.
Most, most of the time when this excerpt
comes off unsuccessfully, it's,
it's because the start was rocky.
So, let's talk right away about how to get
a great start on this.
It should be from the string, as almost
everything is, and
your arm level needs to be appropriate for
the G string.
[MUSIC]
There's the basic stroke.
So, my arm level is appropriate for the G
string and
that means that I don't need to have a big
break in my wrist.
I'm not, I'm not dealing with anything
weird like that.
When the wrist is pretty straight which it
is when the arm is at the right
level then the bow can be comfortably in
the hand and
the whole arm can really just move as a
unit.
[MUSIC]
So I'm barely coming off the string, and
I'm not using very much bow, because it's
pianissimo.
So the important thing to practice here is
exactly how you're gonna start, and
that means all the way from a resting
position.
So I like to imagine that they called the
next excerpt, it's Beethoven three and I
practiced the whole routine from down here
at the resting position to when I start.
The actual impulse that I give for the
first note has to come in
some kind of rhythm, I don't like to just
hang myself out to dry up here,
like
[MUSIC]
and then start.
What I like to do instead is to bring the
bow close to the string and
then give myself a cue, as if I'm leading
something in chamber music, in a rhythm,
in the pulse of the piece obviously, and
then that gets me off to a good start.
[MUSIC]
So when preparing for an audition,
you should practice this many, many, many
times.
That you're comfortable with that whole
routine,
from down here, all the way to the start
[MUSIC]
and once you get that going,
the excerpt is not terribly difficult.
You have to deal with some string
crossings, and
a few other things we'll get into.
The eighth notes that appear in here are
important and
they need to be well articulated.
Many people play them too fast, too fast
to be heard, especially in
a bigger space like a hall where the, the
audition is likely to take place.
[MUSIC]
All those notes important, so
[MUSIC]
the left hand articulation is important
for that to get those eighth notes out.
Now, you need to count the rest
completely.
Let's find a bar that's often, often dicey
with that after the repeat sign about 16
bars.
[MUSIC]
Bum, bum.
[MUSIC]
Bum, bum.
[MUSIC]
Bars of rest like that are almost always
rushed, rather than dragged out.
So if it helps to think of the quarter
notes, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum,
bum, going through those two bars of rest,
that can be helpful.
Some people just prefer to tap their toe
inside their shoe a little bit but,
however it is, those rests have to be
counted fully,
that's big points off if you don't.
The accents that, that come there are
still within pianissimo, so
they should not be exaggerated.
It's, it's overall a pianissimo excerpt
with some strong playing at the end,
but the accents need to be in pianissimo.
[MUSIC]
So, it's again from the string and
just has a little impulse from the hand
there.
To make a crescendo, yet keep the same
stroke and the same sound quality,
what you wanna do is use more bow and it's
a very quick crescendo this one, so
you have to get the arm moving with more
bow in a hurry so that you don't lose
quality trying to, to hammer the bow for
for your forte, fortissimo.
[MUSIC]
That's a quality strong sound
as opposed to something that would be
[MUSIC]
that's just hit a little too hard and
it doesn't multiple well in a section.
So I'll show you the crescendo of
getting into the fortissimo
[MUSIC].
So once those double stops hit, I'm really
moving the arm to get, get some bow,
some hair into the string.
The eighth notes that come near the end,
they should still sound like a melody
[MUSIC]
rather than just
[MUSIC]
totally dry like that.
Many people do not start those eights fast
enough.
They have to come seamlessly out of the
pulse that you've had before.
So right from quarters to eights and also
without an accent.
[MUSIC]
So without extreme effort on
the part of the arm, you need to get it
moving right from the very beginning.
I use a little trick that I would never be
able to use,
when playing this piece in the orchestra,
I slip in a little extra down bow the next
note before
the eighth note start that, that helps
prevent
an accent at the start of the eighths
[MUSIC].
When I do it just as it comes, I find more
often than not that I
put that accent
[MUSIC]
and that's an accent I don't wanna have.
Let's talk just a little bit about the
very beginning one more time.
It's the concept of leaving yourself a
cushion,
leaving yourself a little bit of safety in
the dynamic that you choose.
As you imagine dynamics in an audition are
relative.
When you start an excerpt or, or any piece
you're, you're setting a certain dynamics.
So however you start that's pianissimo and
then you go from there.
There are boundaries for that, you can't
play strongly and
expect people to believe that that's
pianissimo.
But the very worst thing that could happen
is to not get a quality sound
in the opening.
So, you need to get comfortable knowing
your limits,
knowing what's your absolute softness and
taking it up from there.
Because if the committee likes what you're
doing in general with an excerpt like
this, but they think it's a little too
loud, they're likely to ask you to play
it a little bit softer and then, as long
as you can do that you're in good shape.
So when you start, if this is your
absolute softest
[MUSIC]
then that would not be a good dynamic to
aim for in the audition.
Something is gonna happen, and you're
going to be nervous.
So, you use a little more bow, a little
more horizontal,
a little more freedom
[MUSIC].
Now that's comfortable for me,
and that's a great piece about to
start this excerpt
[MUSIC].