Ahhhh, that is the secret sauce, isn’t it!
Is it enough to simply practice the notes of our etudes until we can play through them?
Well, that is a fantastic start, and you will boost your playing by the simple act of playing and practicing etudes. This is because etudes are constructed of common patterns and are very idiomatic to the instrument for which they are written. Therefore, by simply playing them, you are internalizing typical rhythmic and melodic patterns that you will grappling with in your repertoire.
However, that is like the gold miner who spends all year looking for gold dust and ignoring the rich vein of gold right in front of his eyes. There’s more gold for the taking in your etudes!
First of all, if you approach each new etude as a sight-reading exercise, you will improve this skill immensely. (I explain how to do this in my new course on the Wohlfahrt Opus 45 Etudes.)
Secondly, you can utilize etudes to focus on ANY problem you are trying to solve. While etudes usually have an intended technique to develop, they are also very versatile and can be adapted to work on any weakness you may discover in your playing, such as intonation, sloppy string crossings, poor left hand articulation, tone production, and more, making them the ideal opportunity to address a deficiency you may have in your playing.
Third, with the right guidance (which you will get in my new course), you will get very good at identifying what the probable technical focus is of each etude, whether it is a left hand technique, a bow technique, or both!
And now, you can enroll in the online course that will teach you in a very systematic way how to approach etude practice using the classic Wohlfahrt Opus 45 etudes as the curriculum. This course will revolutionize the way you think about practicing, etude study, and violin technique!