Why Mediocre Intonation (and Other Accuracy Problems) May Not Be a Practice Issue, but a Focus Issue

Why Mediocre Intonation (and Other Accuracy Problems) May Not Be a Practice Issue, but a Focus Issue

Have you ever found yourself worrying about a tricky passage a couple lines in advance? And totally flubbing it when you got to it, precisely because you started thinking about it?

For better or worse, the things we think about when playing have a significant influence on the quality of our performances. And more to the point, thinking too much about a difficult passage is probably going to do more harm than good. Like walking through a food court on day 2 of a juice cleanse.

But it’s not like we can simply zone out when we play. We have to think about something. So if thinking about a really awkward shift is probably just going to make us tighten up, take a wild stab at it, and miss, what exactly is the most performance-enhancing thing to think about when we want to play as cleanly and accurately as possible?

What Is the Most Effective Way to Warm Up for an Audition?

It’s been many years since I was in the market for a new violin or bow, but I still remember how self-conscious I’d be when playing in front of the shop owners.

Why so self-conscioius?

I was worried about being judged.

How would I compare to others who had tried this violin? What would the people in the store think of my playing?