Friday, August 22, 2008

Warming Up

So everyone always says that you need to warm up before you play and all this stuff, and most people seem to suggest that scales and other exercises are the way to go ... I think that's ignorant, and a bad idea ...

Warming up is getting the blood flowing through the body, stretching out & loosening up the tendons, and raising your level of focus to the appropriate level

So far I've come up with the following warmups that I find very effective:

1. Stretching (particulary the touch the floor w/ your fingertips stretch)
2. Double stop Glissandi - go as slowly as you can (without interrupting the flow) all the way down & up the fingerboard w/ 1/2 2/3 & 3/4 ... maybe even other combinations ... apply the same concept to the bow, but change bow as needed ... this gets your lower back rotating & opens up a lot of the larger muscle groups in your back, which consequently leads your arms to have an easier time (after all, they are connected to your upper & lower back, and there should be a flow of power from one to the other)
3. Pick a chord any chord - pick a chord shape on the finger board w/ your left hand & hold it ... go through each string crossing in different rhythms/combinations of slurs ... eventually you want to cross all 4 strings in one bow - this loosens up your right shoulder a lot ... hanging on to the chord w/ your left hand should force you to relax it after a bit & let it hang into the fingerboard
4. 1 finger scales - Do it on the C string, b/c this is the thickets, and will build up your callouses the most (maybe even do it in double stops) ... hold each note for 4 beats & gliss. into each next new note ... whole bow per note ... this eventually reinforces proper shifting and it loosens you up (I find)

If anyone's got comments or further ideas on this, let me know ...

btw, for those of you who followed what I wrote during Summit & left comments, thx! Glad to know that my posts were of interest ...

Also, in new news, I have another student, and may have a 5th soon (really exciting!)

School starts in 2 days, and I have a recording to do the monday after it starts (lots of very good reason to practice a lot!)

So many things to look forward to...

1 comment:

Emily said...

You really have the makings of a fine teacher, Mr. Mike. Just like a good speaker doesn't just think of things, but rather things to say, a teacher thinks about articulating the process, and not just the end result. Impressive! And even if you don't become a teacher by profession, thinking along those lines will strengthen your own practice because each one becomes a lesson you teach to yourself. :)