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Violin Lessons: Kreutzer 12

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Kreutzer 12 is great practice for a
certain form of arpeggio,
one that goes back and forth with tons of
matching pitches.
So, it's a real, it's a test of patience,
it's a test of the ear,
because you want to match the pitches not
only as they appear in the same octave,
but over different octaves.
So, you also have to think about the
string crossings, so
that your sound stays the same up bow,
down bow, on different strings.
There's a further benefit here
you get to practice hitting high notes at
the end of arpeggios, with great tone.
This is one of the big challenges in solo
repertoire and excerpts as well,
where you have a big arrival note, it's
the thing you're aiming for and so
often in practice, you don't get a
satisfying ending.
So this is a chance to practice that over
and over again, with aiming for
the top note with great quality, bravado
would be nice.
So, there are a number of ways to go about
The most important thing to remember is
that the hands should always be relaxed.
If you're searching for notes,
if you're trying to put notes in certain
spots, they will allude you.
The, the, the notes will seem to run all
over the finger board,
they're in one place one time and another
place another time.
The hand must always be relaxed.
So, your practice with this needs to start
slowly enough that your ear
can anticipate the next note.
That will send a signal to your hand to go
in the relaxed place.
For each of these notes, I'm hearing the
next note
ringing with that note in my ear, then my
finger falls in that spot.
If my finger happened not to fall in that
spot I wouldn't panic,
I would just repeat.
The hand, the fingers are able to make
adjustments without our direct input, and
that's the best way to get these things
So the slow practice is not to give my
finger time to find the next note,
my finger has plenty of time to find the
next note.
It's to have, give my ear a chance to hear
the next note and
match that with what's going to happen
with the finger and the hand shape.
Now as this gets a little quicker, you
need to anticipate the hand shape.
So, there are reaches involved all over
this etude,
especially at the very end of each
So even that small reach right there, I
like to start reaching my hand in advance.
And especially there at the very end,
there's often a reach of a fourth,
between three and four, to finish these
When you're practicing these slowly,
it doesn't do you much good to do the
choreography like this.
Then when you try to speed it up, it will
not be smooth.
Instead, when you practice slowly,
practice the reaches in a slow tempo.
That way it'll match when you speed it up.
Now this would be [COUGH]
the perfect use for a drone tone,
if you have a metronome or
a tuner that makes a sound [SOUND].
You have to change the drone note for each
arpeggio according to what key you're in.
But that is a great way to hear if what
your ear hears, is the same as what a
mechanical device would hear.
Now that's not a crutch, you shouldn't
practice all the time with that.
You should do some alternating where,
[COUGH] you play with the drone
then you take the drone away, and let your
ear match the drone that it heard.
Another good technique with these is to
practice from the end of the arpeggios.
So, for example, that first one ends on
the A.
To find the note, find the sounds that you
want, it's on an up bow.
Now to add one note backward, that would
be on a down bow.
Always with a great quality sound.
One final note on this, if the pattern at
the end, before the final note,
is major third and then fourth, as it is
with the first one.
Then I like to use one, three, four.
However, if the pattern is a minor third,
fourth as it is for
example, in this fourth arpeggio.
I find it more comfortable to use one,
two, four.
Some people always do three, four,
I like to alternate depending on whether
it's a minor or major third.