Monday, June 02, 2008


A busy lesson (#51)

Scales - start working on the E-Major and Ab-Major scales. Work on the minor scales.

Extensions - keep the thumb loose and use it as a guide when making extensions.

Shifts - pay more attention to the target notes, even if they aren't played. Practice moving to these target notes.

Vibrato - work on fourth finger "owees", use the elbow.

Bowing - keep the bow perpendicular to the strings and try to stay within a small band between the bridge and fingerboard. Use a mirror for a while to watch my bow.

Bow with intention - I'm too hesitant - this causes squeaks, scratches and a thin, tinny sound.

Bow the Moody harmonic pieces with more force. [Edit (see Terry's comment below): Also, harmonics must be bowed closer to the bridge.] The fourth -finger -extended -third -position harmonics are not as strong as the octave and fifth harmonics.

Begin working on the first three or four pieces in Moody's "Double Stops" book. Take my time and concentrate on accurate intonation and intervals.

Hold off on starting Suzuki Book 4 for now; work on getting the final pieces in Book 3 "performance ready".

(Also a lot of discussion and tips about the various sticking points in some of the pieces.)


Bow harmonics with more force? You probably know this, but just in case, or for other readers, the point-of-contact for those harmonics must be much closer to the bridge than if you were fully stopping the string with the left hand. Instead, the point-of-contact should be the same as if you were playing that high note way up the fingerboard.

Higher notes require a bow that's closer to the bridge; we can't escape it by playing it as a harmonic.
Thanks, Terry.. My teacher had discussed this point about bowing harmonics, but I'd forgotten to include it here. (I've now edited that in.)
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