I am playing three new pieces for my recital in May. Back to very slow practice to try to get each of the pieces clean. There are triplestops and high positions. I am playing a Lament this time so I am working out the ornamentation. I will probably try an improvised section in the middle.
I have been practising the bowing patterns and almost have it. But the strathspey bowing is difficult with stops on each bow stroke. Its hard to do this while keeping the tone. Gets a bit harsh sounding unless you are very careful. I am practising first without the notes and warming up by getting the tone and rhythm right before actually trying to play the tune.
I am practicing string crossing and doing scales with vibrato. I am a late vibrato learner. It isn't used much by many folk players and some people feel it shouldn't be used at all. But, actually, many of the famous fiddlers, for example, Scott Skinner were first classically trained. They probably would have used vibrato when it was appropriate.
I am also playing a borders reel. It sits under the fingers better than the reel I played last time.
We are playing The Ghosts of Brandenburg and Fiddle Faddle. I have been trying spending time to get the bowing patterns of Ghosts of Brandenburg. There are some quite tricky and fast sections. The bowing seems quite odd to me at times coming from the folk side.I still find the sight reading and bars of rest tricky. I like the piece though and it feels as though its coming together. Its fun to play. I don't really like Fiddle Faddle. It might be good for those playing solos. I'd describe it as a classical sort of fiddle piece rather than actual folk music which wouldn't usually go into the high positions etc. The second part is basically syncopated crotchets all the way through with the odd run and pizzicato here and there. Ah well. Its tricky to get it tight.
There are also folk band pieces which are good and Improvisation on top of that. I will be performing the Ghosts of Brandenburg and folk band pieces in March.
And I have been playing in the Canon's Gait session on and off. Its a lot of playing and I have developed a sore shoulder and neck. I can still play but I'm trying to give it a bit of rest.
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