Bach's Minuet in C
- My bowing has become really light again, not sure why...my bowing was getting much more relaxed on Etude and Happy Farmer but lighted up again in this piece. I need to remember to rest my bow on the strings to keep constant contact between the string and bow.
- I think it may be because during the previous pieces I was concentrating on my elbow level so I was getting better bow contact with the string, but when I started learning this piece my focus turned to my left hand so my bowing kind of went crazy again. Hmm.....I'm going to have to to test that out later.
- My C on the G string was constantly flat. I could hear it was flat, but kept missing it each time! I've got to remember to stretch my pinky a little bit farther or rotate my upper torso more.
- Keep same tone/feel throughout string changes
- Make sure the notes on my A string match the tone of the rest of the notes on the D & G strings, i.e. I played the notes on the A string so they really stuck out and was really obviously I did a string change since it had a different tone and volume then the rest of the other notes.
- Adam mentioned that phrasing shouldn't be based on my hand position or bowing (or lack thereof), but rather how I would like it to sound, and right now my phrasing is being determined by what I am able to do with my fingering and bowing.
- Smoother more connected bowing
- More connected bowing, though not quite legato, but so there is less of a pause between the notes so it sounds like one long phrase - kind of like this run on sentence...
- Bach should have the feeling of very connected notes with nice flowing phrasing.
- I have to think about not stopping the bow and having a continuous smooth arm motion to make the notes sound more connected. Adam mentioned that I could accomplish this by prepping my left hand sooner for string changes.
- While I'm bowing on the D string, I can move my 1st & 2nd finger to the A string while leaving my elbow at the D string level. Then with the left hand, move my 1st & 2nd finger on to the A string. Make sure my fingers are curved, and then once I bow on the A string, I can adjust the level of my elbow to the correct A string level. This should create a more seamless string crossing.
- Specific measures that I need to work on:
- Measure 17: My fingering wasn't very clean and my bow wasn't resting completely on the string either, so I was getting a fairly ugly sound in this measure! Yikes..
- Measure 2: Should be louder, with a crescendo. Work on phrasing.
- We played this together after going over the piece, and my tone sounded a lot better when Adam played the accompaniment with me. I was using a much "heavier" bow stroke to match his tone and volume which seemed to fix my overly-light bowing. However, I could tell my timing was off because I was ending my notes sooner than he was, and I was a bit off in intonation.
- Overall, I really like this piece and can't wait until I get this more polished! :).
Duet (Country Dance)
- My coworker and I decided to start playing duets together so we could get some practice with playing with other people. We had actually played a couple of Suzuki pieces at work a few weeks ago, and it sounded fairly decent, although the receptionist next door complained that she could hear us! Lol! ;). Anyway, we have to find a place outside of work to practice the duets.
- This has 3/4 timing but has a pickup in the beginning. However, Adam recommended playing it differently that what is written to get a different rhythm and feel.
- He recommended that I feel it on the 1 instead of counting it out as three beats, so I feel the gestures instead of counting it out.
No lesson with Adam next week since he's busy, so my assignment for the next two weeks is to:
- Make sure bow contact is consistent over the strings which may mean a little weight on the upper strings, i.e. as long as I make sure the bow hair wraps around the strings and I don't get a skating sound.
- Keep working on the intonation - make sure I can hear the ring in my 4th finger notes on each string.
- With Minuet in C, Adam wants me to keep the space between notes at a minimum. For now, he would like it minimal since it's easier to put the space back in rather than taking it out. Prepping my left hand earlier before the string crossing will help make it smoother.
- Work on Minuet 2 and try to make it as clean as possible, with a nice articulated sound and no wishy washy floating bows.