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Strengthening the Weak Spots

Very few of us are not conscious of our weak spots. The man who is ignorant of his weak spots is in a pitiable state. Not until the great weakness is realized and remedied is success possible. Some make the mistake of trying to fortify themselves in a manner obviously impossible. Take the case of the student with a very small hand. We have known of many well-meaning students who have been able to play very creditably, but who have made the great mistake of believing that they could improve their playing by extending the grasp of their hands. Their enthusiasm has often led them to permanent injury. In such a case it is better to make up for this deficiency, or weakness, by reinforcing some other point. The Kaiser of Germany has had a withered arm since infancy. Despite this he has so strengthened his right arm that he can not only do practically all the things which any man can do, but he does them in many cases far better.
The summer is a splendid time to think over your weaknesses. Do not be deceived. If your scales are not what they should be, if you have always had difficulty with the double trill, if you are weak in your harmony, musical history, your phrasing, or your pedaling, don't waste this fine time to strengthen these weak points. You may not have the chance next winter.

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You are reading Strengthening the Weak Spots from the August, 1910 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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