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Violin Lessons: Kreutzer 9

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Kreutzer 9 is a wonderful etude for
developing the hand frame strength and
endurance of the hand and
the fingers, especially the fourth finger.
Basically, the fingers are constantly
moving, but
the hand stays in the same frame.
So, that sounds very nice for the hand.
The problem is that sometimes when we
leave the hand in the same position for
a while, it can get fatigued.
So, it's essential that the fingers go
down only as strongly as they need to.
There's gonna be a lot of finger movement
in this one.
So, one of the key things is to put down
extra fingers.
It is possible to play this one like this
with each finger just
going down as it needs to.
It's even hard for me to do it that
way because I would simply never do it
that way.
What the more efficient way is putting
three and four down at once.
I would say it's simply impossible to play
this one quickly just putting
down the fingers that need to go down.
So, it's much better to build that habit
right from the start as you practice
it slowly.
It's also essential to place your hand in
such a way that three and
four feel comfortable.
It's possible to place a few lines of
this, reaching up maybe for four.
But, it's impossible to get through this
Your hand will simply die if you're
reaching up for the fourth finger.
Much better to reach back for one.
You can see the position that my first
finger is, is the end, and that's normal
and healthy.
My four doesn't have to reach up
If I had it based more on one.
You'd see that my fourth
finger almost gets flattened out.
And, when you're talking about moving it
as much as it's going to move in this
etude, it would, it would die before it
got all the way through.
Now, as for the pitch in this one,
one useful thing is to practice with drone
These you kind of manufacture yourself.
Depends on the finger you use for each
bar, but
in most bars it's possible to put down
either an open string or an octave.
And, that helps also to anchor the hand.
It's wonderful practice for building that
that octave frame between one and four.
And, it also helps you hear to keep your
intonation in check there.
This one it's important to build your
endurance slowly.
So, if the hand starts feeling fatigued,
it's okay to keep playing for
a little bit.
Pain is never okay.
If you're felling a little fatigue, but
it's still possible to play, then it's
good to play a little bit more and learn
how to work with a little bit of fatigue.
Relax the hand,.
There will come a time though when it's,
the, the fingers,
the hand are too fatigued.
And, they won't be able to go down evenly,
and then what you need to do is stop.
Just take a few minutes break, or even go
to some other kind of etude or piece.
You can always come back to this, it's
nice to hit it several times in a day.
The dotted rhythms are especially great
for this,
for getting that four to spring up and
down, lightly.
You'll see even there in the quickest
dotted rhythm practice, I still put three
four down together at once, or for the
bars that start on
a first finger I'll put two and three down
That's very important for building up the
And more importantly the endurance,
because anybody can play a couple bars of
this fast.
It's getting through the whole thing
that's the challenge.
All right, good luck.