I played for a friend today, who mainly suggested I work on my intonation. I suppose it all boils down to that…it’s funny, because unless you are really well trained, you don’t really notice intonation, but the more you focus on it, the more out of tune stuff sounds. So it’s a self fulfilling prophecy–the more you listen, the worse it sounds. But it seems that more drones are in my future, and more scales and arpeggios too, methinks. Always gotta try to be more in tune.

Let me say a few words about my pottery class. I started about a month ago, taking a class at Krueger’s Pottery in Webster Groves with a couple of friends. I am not good with my hands (odd, yet, not odd), but I’m getting better… Tonight was the first night I felt like I was making progress, and tonight was ALSO the first night I got to take something home! Doing a new skill makes me think about what my adult violin students are going through. It’s so easy to want to give up when something gets difficult, and it’s easy to disparage yourself when you don’t get something right away. It’s really hard to be patient and know that the skill you are learning just takes practice. As a kid, you didn’t expect to be able to do stuff right away, often it took years and that was okay, that was expected. As an adult, you can generally accomplish the tasks or skills you want, so a new skill is truly a new challenge. I think it’s great to challenge oneself in a new way, and pottery is turning into a nice creative outlet for me! I hope I can continue to challenge myself in new and creative ways in the future.

2 thoughts on “Intonation”

  1. As regards playing the violin, do we ever finish learning a particular task, whether playing a scale in tune or a whole piece of music without error? As an amateur I know that some days are better than others – perhaps professional players learn to overcome this just as professional writers get on with the job rather than sit looking at a blank sheet of paper (or computer screen of course). This apart, and regardless of the amount of practice each week, I am coming to the conclusion that one has to continually re-conquer the task, including good intonation and every relatively easy and familiar tunes. Fortunately, the challenge is generally enjoyable. I would be interested in your views on this.

    1. I think intonation is an ongoing challenge for most, if not all musicians. For me it certainly is! That’s why we must always continue to practice, as much as it hurts us.

Comments are closed.