Magazine article Strings

Set Your Priorities to Get the Best Results

Magazine article Strings

Set Your Priorities to Get the Best Results

Article excerpt

Concert violinist Philippe Quint says practice is like a jigsaw puzzle

What do you feel you need to do on a daily basis to maintain your skill level?

Depending where you are musically and technically, you must be your own best judge of what needs to be done each day. One must clearly define what the current goals are. While daily practice is essential, sometimes it is also important to have a day or two off for clearing mind, which 1 now find more and more beneficial.

Do you have your own daily routine of scales or technical exercises?

It is important to realize the purpose of scales and treat them not as a tedious daily routine, but as the best remedy to improving your violin playing. There are folks that believe that scales are not important for those with successful careers. I, however, grew up with teachers that asked me to play scales at every lesson. What a wonderful opportunity just to concentrate on intonation, sound, strokes, bow changes, string crossing, shifting, and many more things. I personally recommend four octaves scales as developing stamina in the very high octave on the E string will be crucially important in many of the concert works.

Do you still use etudes and/or study guides? If so, which ones?

My favorites are Kreuzter and Paganini. I feel they cover pretty much all of the most important techniques.

Do you practice scales and arpeggios?

I push myself to do it as much as I can.

How has your daily practice changed over time as you've advanced as a player?

I had to figure out priorities in this practice regimen at all the different stages in my life - what needed more work. Rather than run through the entire piece, it was better to concentrate on smaller sections and then put it all together. A bit like a jigsaw puzzle in which finally you have the entire picture.

How do you know when you need to brush up on fundamentals?

After many months of playing concertos and chamber works during concert seasons, it is important to take a step and go back to basics. …

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