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Quarantine Practice, Ep. 8 - Mazas Etude no. 1 for Tone Production

Rediscovering a sense of inner calm which I find is important for tension-free playing. What oft happens is that we equate physical tension (tightening the muscles) with musical tension - certainly have found myself doing so in the past and sometimes even now... Emotional struggle and musical resistance (whether with respect to harmony, gestures, or texture) seems best realized when the body engages in a clear sense of effort and release and the mind engages in a clear sense of proper bow weight, speed, and soundpoint.


Started to incorporate Jacques Féréol Mazas’ Etude no. 1 into my maintenance routine - seemingly simple, but not quite. A good prep for a work like Schubert’s Fantasy, perhaps? Focusing on especially the beginning, middle, and end of each note 😁. In large part, it is a balancing act- to start a note with a cushioned vowel sound, the third finger / pinky / thumb are at the forefront of one’s consciousness. To evenly expand and taper off each note, and overlap the end of that note with the beginning of the next note, the fingers are encouraged to be aware of what specific contact points they have with the bow stick (either the top or the side).


Right hand is definitely leading the left hand, in my case - this mellows down my vibrato, which has the tendency to become too quick for its own good and the good of the Largo character in this Etude.


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