Monday, July 21, 2014

Practice Tips for Minuet No. 2 in Suzuki Violin Book 1

     You have made it through Minuet No. 1, now it's time for Minuet No. 2 by Johann Sebastian Bach. This piece has a lot of interesting details, be on the lookout for them. Here are some tips that a student of mine put together with me to help learn Minuet No. 2:
  • Key and Fingering: The piece is in the key G major, which means it is written from the G major scale. One way to get warmed up is to play this scale a few times. Remember, there is a low 2nd finger on the E and A string. You only play F sharp, which is 2nd finger on the tape (a high 2nd finger), touching the third finger, on the D string. Keep an eye out for accidental sharps;  there is a D sharp, high 3rd finger on the A string, in measures 23 and 24. Use the 4th finger where it is written to make the melody sound more sweet.
  • Bowing: play smooth and connected (legato) with the bow. With a proper, relaxed bowhand it is easier to make the bow flow legato.  The notes that have dashes on top or on the bottom (tenuto) are meant to be played with big bow and separation between them. There are lots of slurs and hook bows in the piece, which calls for a distinction in the bowing. The slurs are to be played smooth and the hook bows more choppy.
  • Dynamics: measures 17 to 20 are played soft (piano) and one way to get a soft beautiful tone is to use less bow on these notes. There is a crescendo in measures 16 and 40, which means you will want to increase the amount of bow being used. On the accented notes make them more separated and use more bow to bring them out.
  • Repeats: watch out for the repeats at the end of each section.
  • Take your time so that you get comfortable with the details and can enjoy the piece. 
  • Play along with the video to get an idea on how it goes then try it your own way; get creative!
What details do you see in Minuet No. 2? What has helped you play the piece well? Subscribe for more updates and see you next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Now it's your turn, what do you think?