I’m a sucker for movies and will happily talk myself into watching the box to avoid getting into any serious practise. Being a kid at heart I love those MARVEL films,                (nothing to do with a powder milk substitute). Well, there were two on simultaneously tonight, Batman  Begins, with Christian Bale in dire need of a                Bat-strepsil, and Ironman , a personal favourite of mine. To make procrastination worse, Clint Eastwood was in Unforgiven on another channel. I would have certainly felt the latter had I not dragged myself off the sofa and got into some 4-string action.

I always start with scales, usually with a metronome clicking in the background. Tonight I spent some time on just 1 or 2 scales, 4 octaves, running through the usual basic rhythms. I then like to revitalise particular study, in tonight’s case, a showdown with DONT Etude no.2.  It’s a great exercise for coordinating and connecting the right with the left hand. Again, I just take it in sections, and work with the metronome.

Been asked to play at a wedding in the Czech Republic later in July, so Bach will definitely be on the menu. Those unaccompanied sonatas are never easy so I personally find         pre-scale and study preparation a must..

Anyway, I am always telling my students that you only sound as good as the time you put into it. I better stay true to this myself and lay off those films… well, occasionally.

I do wish my metronome wouldn’t speed up.


About Craig Stratton

Classical violinist (and sometimes pianist) Performs solo and chamber music in the UK and beyond. He has as appeared (usually as a blurred pixel in the background) on countless TV and film productions including Star Wars, Episode 1 and Bridget Jones. Plays also Banjo, Mandolin in the country folk band Pig Earth, who made their debut at Wembley Arena.
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3 Responses to Practising?

  1. I know what you mean – I have spent a large part of today faffing around on the internet and doing lots of cooking to delay doing some proper practice!

    • HI! Something rich and extravagant on the menu I hope! Yes, any excuse not to get on with it.. I’m leading small chamber orchestra tomorrow..should be learning the parts! I’ll do them tonight..honest! 😉

      • Yes I did cook up some tasty treats yesterday. made minimal progress on a new Barber piece and a bit more progress on finishing off some Scarlatti. Today has been a complete waste of time, though. Hope you got a bit more done last night in preparation for tonight!

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