Goal 04: Virtuosity

Many hours of practice are necessary to achieve the technical mastery which lays the foundation for virtuosity. The ability to lift and drop the fingers of the left hand cleanly and quickly; the ability to keep the frame of the left hand, so that the fingers are always ready to play; the ability to cross strings rapidly and evenly; and the ability to coordinate the hands are important elements of virtuosity. Scales and other technical drills will make vital patterning second nature.

A vexing paradox, however, is that this work can often result in a labored and musically stultified product. The true virtuoso must reach the point where he or she can find an effortless quality in the fastest and most difficult passages. The mental component of this, as in your ability to visualize an entire scale or passage as one unit, cannot be overstated.

Fast playing requires a sense of lightness and even abandon at times. In fact, it uses different muscle fibers than slow playing – which means that ultimately, we cannot learn to play fast by playing slowly!


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