January 22, 2011 – Kayser Etude #10

I have recently been playing Kayser Etude Number 10 (International Music Company No. 3078) to work on two very difficult techniques. With the left hand, this Kayser etude explores using chords. In the right hand, there are two different styles of arpeggiation of the chords that facilitate flexible right hand fingers.

Practice suggestions included with this piece include blocking the chord as half notes and slurring four notes. I find that the four note slurs are more difficult than the written bowing in the first three measures. With the slurring of four notes, the right hand must be flexible in order to achieve satisfactory tone on this etude. The chords should be practiced with ghost notes in order to loosen the left hand from the tension than can develop from playing chords. Chords should also be played with a release of weight after the initial note has spoken to allow time to move to the next chord. Bowing chords all down bow will give the player extra time to change chords.

I suggest the bowing be played on open strings. Various parts of the bow can be used for this, start at the frog to achieve solid finger motions and move it out toward the middle for use of more grandiose right hand finger flexibility. Keep the bow moving closer to the bridge for big sound as you crescendo and through forte passages. The figure eight pattern should utilize all “sides” of the string to allow for very smooth changes of strings.

In order to focus on tuning of chords, you should allow the left hand fingers to be picked up and placed by putting weight down (not diagonally) on the fingerboard. Pulling the finger diagonally with force the chord out of tune. Each finger of the chord should be placed at exactly the correct place on the fingerboard.

You can look to the Internet Music Library Project to find a Schirmer edition of the 36 Studies by Kayser.

 

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