improve playing in 3rd position

3rd position on the violin

master 3rd position on the violinThis month I will be mainly focusing on improving in 3rd position. Last month I started to really work on third position. I am using the book Master 3rd position with finger positions by Heahter Broadbent. It’s the book I won for participating in the book-a-thon. You can see my previous post about it, in case you missed it. :-) There are seven finger patterns in the book and I have been practicing the first finger pattern this month. Each pattern starts with separate exercises for each string. Then there are exercises across all strings. These I found pretty hard. Here is a before and after video of me playing the first finger pattern across all strings.

So far my update about learning 3rd position. :-) I will now get started with the second finger pattern in 3rd position.

Suzuki Book 3 pieces

So what else will I be practicing this month? My plan is to finish Suzuki book 3 as soon as possible so that I can start learning the Vivaldi Concerto in A minor (which is in Suzuki book 4). This month I will be practicing Humoresque by A. Dvorak and Gavotte by J. Becker.

Swan by Camille Saint-Saens

Also I hope to be able to learn to play this beautiful piece Swan by Sant-Saens this month. I found the sheet music on with piano accompaniment. It uses 3rd position too and it will be a great piece to work on my vibrato and musical expression.

Here is a beautiful version of the piece played by Joshua Bell!

The notes are not hard but playing it beautifully is not easy at all!! I think it’s more of a challenge than the Suzuki pieces I will be learning this month. So, I’m very excited to see how this will go. :-)

Good luck to you all this month! :-)

10 thoughts on “Improve 3rd position – My goal for October

  1. Your third position sounds prettty good from what I can tell! You’re making really nice progress.

    As for the swan, I can’t see the video because youtube is being evil again. In Germany some videos are blocked because of music rights etc which is super annoying and is the case with this video.

      1. Yes I can watch this one. It’s beautifully played but not really among my favourite pieces. In general I prefer faster paced music but there are some exceptions. I wish you good luck with practicing it! It’s probably rather difficult to get it to sound that pretty.

  2. Congratulations once again with finishing book-a-thon. I see that the price was really outstanding. Your third position has improved really quickly. Love the progress you made. You play in tune, so you didn’t have any major intonation issues in third position. I never used any book to learn 3rd position, so I still have some problems with the fingerpatterns, when I’m sightreeding. That’s why I’m working on Wofahrt op.45 now. I’m still in book 1 and I hope to finish this part till the end of this year.
    The Swan is ourstanding piece. I never looked at sheet music of it, but I always seen it like really tough, since it hits one of my weakest points – vibrato. I wish you good luck with it. Have a nice time practicing it.

    1. Thanks Emma, yes the 3rd position book is really great! It’s easier now for me to read 3rd position and know where my fingers should go. :-)

      So, I guess you’re working on etudes 30 and up? Because the first 30 etudes are in first position, isn’t it? Good luck with your third position.

      The Swan is hard to play indeed. I can play it already, the notes are really easy. But I have no idea if I can make it sound beautiful anytime soon. We’ll see, it’s a real challenge! ;-)

      1. As it comes to my etudes, I’ve alerady finished several at the very begining and approaching 14th etude now. I’m trying to work at several of them during my practice session – mainly one easier, that is already finished to not forget it and work on something harder.
        Now I hardly manage to find time to practice – I woke up at 5.30 am, took bus to uni at 6.30 am and come back home at 9 pm. I have practiced a little, but I felt like I am a robot – wasn’t able to think about what I’m doing. What do you do in such days? I have practiced everyday for a month straight and I don’t want to lose any day, becouse it makes me really demotivated to work. One day equals several days for me. I hope tommorow I will came back home earlier.
        There are many slow pieces that are really hard to play beautifully. I very like playing slow things, but my duo partner can’t stand slow pieces. He’s a showman and he prefers technical fast and impressive things. I really want to develop a beautiful tone, but I realised that my bow changes seem very ackward – they’re not smooth enough. I will have to find out a solution of this problem.
        Anyway Bach solo Suite and Swan are waiting on my to do list. Both of them seem very demanding for me and I’m really impressed that you play them.

        1. Woow it must be difficult to find time to practice with such a busy schedule… Is the university so far from your home? And do you have classes all day long? We sometimes had a couple of hours without lessons or sometimes we only had lessons in the morning (although I remember now that was only so in the higher years, the last 2 years). If that’s true for you too, then maybe you can plan to play more on those days. And on the busy days just do 15 minutes or so focusing on one specific thing? It’s better to be well focused on one thing than do a lot but without focusing. For example instead of playing an entire piece a couple of times, just focus on the difficult measures. You can do the other stuff anyway, so no need to keep practicing that.

          I really liked this video by Heather Broadbent about practicing efficiently. It might help you too now that you have less time.

          1. Thanks for nice comment. Today I came back from Uni at 7 p.m – 2 hours earlier than yesterday. Tomorrow I finish my classes at 3 p.m, but I have to go to city centre to pick my ordered bus card. Fortunately some of subjects (like my last one in Monday) is schleduled only for part of semester (I have only 4 weeks left – I’m so happy about that).
            Uni is about 1 – 1.5 hour by bus from my home. I have big gaps between my lectures, lessons and labs (sometimes to 4-5 hours). I try to do as much of my learning and homework during those breaks and in the bus, so I have more time at home.
            Yesterday I played the third page of Haydn and the cadence. It’s the weakest part of this piece – I haven’t worked as much as on first two pages. I’ve played something from Wolfahrt and Tarantella. It have been about 30 minutes practice – not that bad, but I were so tired (plus I’m sick) that I barely concentrated on what I’m doing. I will try to watch this Hearher video tommorow after my classes :) Thank you for the link :heart:
            I’m comming back to my anatomy. I have entry exam from sylabus tommorow, so I want to be prepared well.

              1. Exam went quite well – I’ve got 4.5 out of 5, so I’m really content with this grade. Thanks for nice words. The first week was very intense, but I think it will get easier with time.

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