1. Hello, this is Terry Ewell. This study is in the wrong place in the 50 advanced studies. It is far too difficult to be number 11! Weissenborn originally gave this study number 57 out of 60. He grouped this study in a section titled “Studies of Virtuosity.” It is one of the most difficult studies in the collection.

2. In addition to practicing with rhythms you will need to do “sprints.” Sprint means to run very fast in a short distance. Similarly in music I practice small segments at very fast speeds.
(Example line 2, five notes)

Line2 five notes

line 2 five notes b
3. I then connect these smaller segments to make a larger segment.
(Example line 2, nine notes)

Line 2 nine notes
4. Each of these larger segments is then connected for even longer sections.
(Example line 2, thirteen notes)

Line 2 thirteen notes
5. Observe that I started my practice from the end of the segment not the beginning. Playing the ending more often gives me confidence that I will finish it well. The endings are often more difficult because our concentration is strained after so many notes. In this way I finally work the entire study at the faster speed.

6. Often playing something rapidly is not only a matter of good practice habits but also a proper mental construct. For example, the way in which you think about the notes can help you perform better in rapid passages. In the last three measures of line 3 I find it particularly helpful to think of the ascending scale—just the first notes.
(Example play scale, give scale example)

7. I then concentrate on that scale and the fingers follow with the downward notes. However, it is still difficult and I didn’t perfectly perform it at the end of this video!
(Example as given)


8. I use two alternate fingerings in this study. I use this fingering in line 3, m. 1 for F#4. For the C#4 I use the left hand fingering only.

9. This study was inspired by a portion of the Symphony in B flat by Robert Schumann. Students should practice this also. Move the phrase—drive—to the accented C sharp. Here is that segment performed:


10.“Vary the musical stress in each practice session. Don’t concentrate on a single piece or passage for long intervals;…” (William J. Dawson, Fit as a Fiddle, p. 46).

11. I have purposely presented the material on healthy practice habits in prior reflections to prepare you for this study. If you have not seen the reflections for lesson 9 and 10, please consider them.

12. Long sessions of practicing rapid passages such as the one in this study can lead to injury. It is important to limit your work on rapid fingerings to short, intensive sessions. In the span of 50 minutes (my usual practice session) I might have three sessions on a passage such as this. I will work various portions of the passage intensively with different practice methods. I will vary the method of practice in each of the sessions and work on different passages. Then I will move on to other practicing with phrasing, melodic material, or tuning with drones.

13. Practicing just this passage for a long period of time will not only frustrate you but it could lead to an injury. Musicians are athletes—micro athletes. The muscles we work are much smaller than a swimmer or a runner; however, these muscles can be injured with over use or incorrect practice techniques.

14. My monograph Wind Performer’s Guide to Increasing Endurance provides further information on the muscles we employ to perform. It also supplies practice regimens drawn from research with athletes. This information may help you to practice more effectively.