Saturday, December 27, 2008


Do any of you have experience with re-teaching yourself to play a musical instrument? I am looking for a three month plan with about 5 hours of practice per week. My goal is to get to a decent enough level to join some other amateurs for a public performance night at a local coffee shop. My background: 20 years of violin lessons, attended a prestigious music conservatory where I studied with, his-eminence, Victor Danchenko. I was playing at a fairly high level when I quit but went cold turkey for 7 years. There is significant rust.

I am thinking scales and arpeggios (played against a drone to check intonation), double stops (thirds, fourths and sixths), and slow bow exercises for the first month. With a metronome, of course.

After the first month, let's hit up some Kreutzer etudes! With rhythms and bowings.

For the third month, I think I'll play it by ear (no pun intended).

I also need to buy new strings and get my bow re-haired.


George said...

your rhythm and sight reading will be utterly shot. Do stuff that encourages good rhythm.

BTW 100% scale/etudes is dumb. Thats for when you are young. Your mold has been set, now its time to reap the rewards from all that technical work you did as a kid. its buried there somewhere, and will come out after a little bit of playing.

Mike Czyzewski said...

While I do think that playing through pieces will help remove some of the technical rust, I think that scales and etudes are far more effective. They're much more concentrated, ya know?

eh007h said...

I'm not really a string player anymore, and I never seriously studied at a college level. But I did stop playing the violin for three years, and when I picked it up again I felt like I had forgotten how to play the instrument, and it took me six months of intermittent practice (ok, just playing in the lessons I was teaching really) to get it back. I would recommend spending some time with old repertoire that you have a lot of familiarity with. That way you will know exactly what your current shortcomings are and it will allow you to devise a method of technical practice that addresses your most urgent needs.