Friday, November 7, 2014

Pactice Tips for Allegro, No. 8 Suzuki Book 1

     Welcome to the 1st piece out of 5 that Dr. Suzuki composed for this book. Students typically enjoy Allegro because it’s fast and staccato, here are some tips to make it worthwhile:
Playing Position. Go to playing position a few times with your eyes closed. This will help challenge you to get ready to play.

Structure. The piece is laid out in 2 parts. Here’s how they are played: part 1 forte (first line), part 1 forte (second line), part 2 dolce (third line), part 1 forte  (fourth line).

New Skills.
1. Theory. Allegro means fast, live, with energy. Ritardando means to gradually slow down. A Tempo means play at the original speed. Fermata means to hold it out at least 2 times the worth of the note. Tenuto means to play the notes with big bow to have a sustained sound.
2. Speed. At the beginning of part 2 (the third line) you will notice that it has the word dolce, which means sweetly, underneath the notes. To play sweetly musicians usually play with a long and smooth bow at a slower tempo. That is why we see the dashes on top of the notes (tenuto). This is a great opportunity for us to try part 2 at different speeds. Not only that, but at the end of part 2 we have a rit. so we slow down in different ways. I challenge students to hold out the last note of part 2 as long as possible.
3. Always Down. If you look at the beginning of each line, it starts down. So, after the last note of line 1-3 you need to lift the bow and place it back at the middle.

1. Warm-up with the bow exercises, now with an emphasis on long and smooth bows.
2. Play and say the fingerings to focus your mind on the notes that you are playing.
3. Practice making the last note of each line very long and then pause to place the bow at the middle. This way, the bow will be silent as you prepare to start the next line. Over time you will be able to do it quicker and quicker, do not rush yourself because it will prevent you from playing your best.
4. Play along with the Youtube video above and other recordings.
5. Be creative with your playing this week, add dolce to all the songs you know.

What do you think? Do you have any tips? Any questions, suggestions or concerns? Let me hear from you.

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