YouTube Symphony Orchestra audition prep – Day 8

The deadline for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra is coming up soon. And unfortunately practice hasn’t been going so well.

Two evenings of having friends over meant I could only play through the Caprice instead of doing a good practice session. I designated Saturday as a day of “rest” (and cleaning the pool), leaving Sunday as the first day in four days with a serious practice session. And even after 3 days of hardly any practice, I could already feel my fingers were not as agile or accurate as my practices on Tuesday and Wednesday last week. Amazing. Plus, Guitar Hero World Tour is definitely not helping!

So on Sunday, I got out of bed, cleaned up, and subjected the house to the high screeching sounds of Paganini’s Caprice No. 20. After I was warmed up and ready, I decided that it’s now time to start videoing myself playing, just to see what it looks like and to pratice doing full play throughs.

And it’s so hard! I’ve really only practiced it in parts so far, and can usually get a run or tricky passage after a few goes. But to get a good video means nailing every tricky passage in one shot! Aaargghhhh!!! After about 7-8 takes, I found that I kept on stuffing up 1 or 2 parts, and not necessarily the same parts. Jumping up to the A-F# double stop near the beginning, the arpeggios up the E string, clear articulation and intonation for the arpeggiated chords across the G and E strings, jumping up to the fingered A and then G# octaves…

I could feel myself getting more anxious about getting a good take and tensing up which didn’t help. But I found doing more takes and forcing myself to play a little slower helped me relax.

The other thing I noticed was that even though I thought I was doing dynamics and providing tone colours in my playing, when watching the video playback, it seemed pretty monotonous. I need to exaggerate my playing more.

I’ve decided to give up on my idea of learning Paganini Caprice No. 24 just in case I can get that up to a good standard and just focus on getting a good take. With hosting two dinner parties, my daughter’s Birthday party, dinner at a friend’s house, an Australia Day BBQ and my daughter’s actual Birthday in the next 7 days, I’m hoping I can nail it soon!

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