Woodshedding JJ2

The second part of etude 2 is one of the most difficult ones in the book for fingers.

I'm "living" with it awhile, because I've already learned it once, and I want to improve on what I did in those YouTube videos. (see Practicing Jeanjean 2nd Etude)

Besides the basic methods of practicing technical passages (shown in pic- click for larger view), I am practicerhythmsnoticing carefully 1- how my fingers move 2- how I "voice" each passage 3- choosing which fingerings are best (left or right, and other alternates) 4- where my hand/arm tenses up more 5- where my air tenses, etc.

Please refer to the next pic below for the whole first page (click to enlarge) I'll discuss fingering choices here now.

In general, I am using a lot more Left fingerings than I used to. In one earlier practice, I tried ALL Left fingerings possible, and it was revealing. At times it made things easier, because my overused Right hand got a break. Also, since the right hand holds up the instrument, it tends to tense more, so using left balances things. But assimilating these new fingerings will take some time. This piece goes by very quickly, and there's no time to "think". It has to be automatic, in my body.

In m 1, I use R C#. It's comfortable and easy. Left is fine, just not necessary here. In m 3, I use R C#, then L C-natural. (Anyone know where the natural symbol is in Windows? It's not in character map) IN m 4 I use L again in the second beat. This is an example of L being easier on my right hand and arm. On to m 17 (6th line), where I use R C, then L Cb. I occasionally switch fingers like this to help my body remember the different feel of the two licks.

jj2pt2closeIn m 21, I had tough choices. The passage is very awkward at high speeds, so as to be "clunky" sounding, even when well played. In my previous performance, I used both "false" high d, and c#. (overblow open g for high d and overblow f# for high c#). But the false c# is SO flat I have decided to try to use a better alternate, high c with 2 side keys, easier than the real fingering. For the high d, I will still use the false one, since it is nearly in tune. I played around with all combinations and found this result pretty comfortable. I'll let you know how it fares in more practices.

M 22 is a gnarly lick! I have marked L in this pic, but I may use R in the fist two beats, then L R as marked for the next two beats.

As I said, I'm still wood-shedding these licks. I'll have a practice audio take up in a few days!!

Side note: I am baffled by the numbers JJ put over certain arpeggios, which you can see in m 2, 3, 6, 11, 13, 15, etc. I thought he was pointing out different arpeggios to note all covered, but then the same arpeggio is marked with a different number as in the last line, where there is a 13 over the same arpeggio as 1. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as far as I can tell. Does anyone else have a clue?

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2 comments for “Woodshedding JJ2

  1. October 22, 2009 at


  2. Ted
    October 22, 2009 at

    Hi David,

    You could try installing this font onto your computer. It has the natural symbol along with all types of musical notation symbols. http://bit.ly/2IuvVB

    Good luck with it.

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