Everyone was a bit slow to get going this morning, I think as a result of the fondue last night! It was wet and rainy for most of the day – perfect weather for good solid practice sessions.

Once again, I need to keep reminding myself to look at what I have improved on over the last three months. Though all the various Reichert and other warm-up exercises aren’t perfect, they’re definitely faster and more fluent that even just a few weeks ago. Though the minors with lots of sharps and flats continue to frustrate me in Taffanel and Gaubert-style scales, on the whole they’re faster as well. I’ve been trying to spend less time on each individual exercise and jump around a bit more, in the hope that it will encourage me to play from memory more spontaneously. So far it seems to be helping, and I’m playing things correctly the first time through rather than making silly slips.

My feeling of achievement today was that I managed to get through all the Moyse finger exercises at crotchet = 128. The experience wasn’t exactly comfortable, but all the notes were there and even. The Boehm study, which I’m trying to memorise with the aid of a lot of mental practice, is getting there. Eb, Ab, Db and F# are still a bit hit and miss, but the others are sounding alright. Now it just needs to be faster!

As for studies for this week…all of them need to go very fast. Andersen no. 10, which I’m playing again, has an awful lot of accidentals but needs to sounds easy with four in a bar. At the moment I can do that for all the bars with few or no accidentals, but then I’ll hit a wall of D, E and F double sharps and it will fall to pieces! Today I practiced only the hairy bars with the metronome set to where it just felt uncomfortable. Hopefully I can still maintain the same speeds tomorrow. As for the Altes studies, they’re less scary and more just an awful lot of notes to get under the fingers.

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