top of page
PRACTICE JOURNAL

P R A C T I C E    J O U R N A L

Search

Ysaÿe’s Solo Sonata no. 3 - sewing the patches together, slowly but surely. Yesterday, I attempted to run through the section where the main theme / material is presented, and it just didn’t work out. Bouts of physical tension was rampant, probably due to the body trying to cope with combining rhythmic integrity with harmonic intensity. Today, after warming up with with some bow change exercises from both Carl Flesch’s Urstudien and Dounis’ Artist’s Technique, the physical sensations and literal embodiment of phrasing became much more effortless. Probably because I dreamt of the work the evening before 😅

~

There’s something to be said for mulling over a tricky passage - the mind and soul are at work without the instrument and bow, imagining the specific pathways drawn by the fingers, arms, shoulders, back, and ultimately, the body as a whole. Helps so much.

I also experimented with shifting more weight towards the right side of the body, as I noticed that I tend to favor the left disproportionately - almost excessively. The violin as such is naturally elevated, and the right hand has gravity in its favor. Less effort, more friction...!

~

...work in progress, but coming together.

~

#violin#violinist#eugeneysaye







Another session filled with segmented run-thrus for another particularly difficult section of the Ysaÿe’s Solo Sonata no. 3.

~

Spatial choreography and acute awareness of each joint in my arm is helping me work in a focused way... No longer only thinking about the fingers but rather how my body as a whole interacts with the space around me. No excessive movement - rather finding a stable buoyancy coming from the feet, which are spaced hip width apart. Personally feel more grounded...

~

Work in progress - not playing with very full conviction just yet.

~

#violin#violinist#eugeneysaye


A go-to segment of a warm-up routine: picking an etude with consecutive semi-quavers and practicing at checkpoints of bow: frog, middle, and tip. I find this personally helpful to recalibrate my sense of balancing the bow (hence, bow “control”) no matter where I am. Using Kreutzer’s Etude no. 3 as a vessel.

~

At the frog, I find that the third, pinky, and thumb are most important, as they counterbalance the natural heaviness of the lower part of the bow. For the most part, the bow’s natural weight does the job, and one learns to slightly suspend/lift the wrist such that the weight of the hand does not provide excessive force. The bow stick is quite rigid at the frog, and one’s focus is on what is occurring between the more flexible bow hair and the string. At the middle, there is a shift in responsibility to the second / third fingers and the thumb. Additionally, the bow stick starts getting more flexible/elastic, therefore one’s focus shifts to the contact between the fingers and the bow stick. Finally, at the tip, one relies on the leverage the first and second fingers provide and play into the bow stick - simply squishing the bow against the string ends up being less efficient and effective...!

~

I find that these exercises, although simple, help one re-center and recalibrate the sense of balancing rather than holding the bow!

~

And yep, got a haircut in a safe setting 😷😀

~

#violin#violinist#kreutzer

bottom of page