Some important points to remember when practicing--
LISTEN: You must always hear how your instrument sounds. A pleasant musical sound is desirable.
BE EFFICIENT: Playing twenty notes over and over again when you only need to correct two is a waste of your time.
USE YOUR HEAD: The brain directs the muscles-playing two notes over and over again while thinking of next week's ball game is also a waste of your time.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION: Repetition can become boring. Try different approaches to a problem. Change the bowing, the rhythm, play it at the frog, the tip, in the kitchen, in the living room, while standing on one leg! EXPERIMENT!
REVIEW: Play your old pieces. Concentrate on playing musically. You will hear your progress.
PERFORM: Save part of your practice time for a performance. Play without stopping. Imagine an audience.
MAKE A RECORDING: Record your performance and listen to it objectively. What is good? What needs to be improved? Take notes!
- Hold you bow firmly but gently.
- Make sure it travels parallel to the bridge.
- Don't choke your instrument.
- Keep violins and violas parallel to the floor.
- Keep your left hand fingers close to the strings.
- Keep fingers down when possible (except when using vibrato).
- Play with energy and vitality.
- Listen to recordings of great performers.
- Go to a symphony concert.
- Always play with a good tone.
- Never play like a machine.