Kayser 36 studies for violin no.31 Allegro molto agitato

Very often, students have difficulty playing m. 15.
I’d like to explain 3 things on Kayser no.31:

    1. How to practice m.15
    2. What you need to think about for m.42-43
    3. Character of this etude


kayser no.31 m.15

    a. First, just learn the notes. Play each note slowly. Be familiar with the notes.

    b. Check some pitches with open strings.

*You need to lower 4th finger and play G, so play it with an open G string to check if your G is in tume.

*The same idea can apply when you play the D notes with the 3rd finger, where you can check the pitch with an open D string so that you can play it in tune.

    c. How are the fingers placed?

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers are all next to each other. You have to be aware of that.

d. Work on the intonation as a chord (or a part of a chord)

In order to improve your intonation, I recommend to practice as double stops.

kayser no.31 m.15 practice as double stops

You will move your left hand when you transfer A to B.

At the beginning, finish playing the A section, take a slight pause if necessary, and move your left hand to new position to play B, then start the bow.

Do not play with the bow if your hand is not ready.

In another words, you need to control your left hand and the bow.

In order to train your ears and hand/fingers even better, you can add the following practice as options:

*Go back and forth between the first double stops of A section and the first double stops of B section.

*Go back and forth between the third double stop of A section and the third double stops of B section.

*You can play all the notes of A section as a chord, and then play all the notes of B section as a chord and repeatedly go back and forth.

If you add this practice, your hand and fingers will be strengthened.

d. Once you understand and feel comfortable with the intonation and finger placement, play it slowly as written. You may notice the difference from the way you played it before you started the process of practicing (at practice a.) .

e. Now you can check if you are playing each note clearly, as well as the evenness of each note. Every note has to have the same length; not some short, and some longer.

f. When you play fast, you need to use less bow, but never lose the contact of the bow.

g. Finally, you can try crescendo. You may like to move the sounding point to be away from the bridge to closer to the bridge gradually, in addition to using more bow.

2. What you need to think about for mm. 41-42.

kayser no.31 mm.41-42

This section has to be played remaining on 5th position as indicated.

Do you know when you change the position?

Yes. At the 3rd beat of m.42 (the second measure of the music above), you come down to the 3rd position with the 2nd finger.

If you come down at the wrong place, like the second beat of the m.41, you will have a little difficulty at the 4th beat, like you did, when you played. 🙂

3. The character of the etude 

If you can afford to, please think about the character of this etude.

At the beginning, it says: Allegro molto agitato.

Allegro means lively, so it should be somewhat fast (but not too fast).

Molto means very much

Agitato means agitated.

Allegro molt agitato = somewhat fast and very much agitated.

With these key words in your mind, what kind of tempo would you take? And how would you play this etude?  Please do think about it.

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