Say it as fast as you can. Go!
"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could if a woodchuck could chuck wood."
Did you get it? Chances are this tongue twister twisted your tongue. Some passages in music have the same effect on our fingers, or rather, our minds.
When we first heard virtuoso violinists, their amazing speed and control drew us in. As students, we also want to play fast with the same sense of urgency and passion. However, without the appropriate framework, we fumble the notes.
Mistakes happen when the information pouring in is overwhelming for our brains. Numerous pieces of a puzzle come together when playing any piece of music. We're thinking about sound production, vibrato, rhythm, intonation, bowing, body position, etc.... It's no wonder the mind begins to make our fingers trip over the notes in a fast passage.
At this point, the most obvious solution is to slow things down. We do this to make sure the coordination between right and left hand is equal and fluid.
We can also isolate one hand. If we want to focus on the left hand, we'll just slur the notes, so the bowing is simple. For this tutorial, let's take a look at some points for the left hand.
- Make sure your fingers hover above the fingerboard at a close distance. If your fingers are too far away from the fingerboard, they cannot quickly reach the notes.
- Memorize finger patterns. Instead of thinking about each individual finger, visualizing the overall pattern of a specific group of notes or a phrase will simplify things.
- Use rhythms to vary the finger patterns.
- Always listen for good intonation.
- Pull out a metronome and start working the tempo up - from slow to fast.
- Practice, practice!
After focusing on left hand finger dexterity and patterns, begin to coordinate the right hand. It's important to remember to practice efficiently with the accurate technique. You don't want to practice bad habits!
Watch Fiddlerman demonstrate below.
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