P3 - B4

Tone quality, sound production and damping

  • Create a warm and clear sound:
    • Play with correct thumb placement and squeezing individual notes/chords to enhance tone, extending hands backwards to project sound
    • Allow notes to resound for their full value before replacing finger(s) on the same notes avoiding buzzing
    • Damp where required and use étouffez thumbs where appropriate
    • Play with a larger range of dynamics, controlling the changes and shaping and defining phrases, taking into consideration tonal impact on the strings
    • Control tone quality when playing arpeggiated figures passing between hands and use an appropriate range of accent and emphasis, highlighting the top note of a chord
    • Control the tonal balance within a chord or a succession of chords

Demonstrate playing single notes and chords, following through with a wrist and forearm movement away from the strings after playing. Follow this with playing the same passage without movement. Discuss the differences in sound with the learner.

Demonstrate the effects of good and poor balance, both between and within hands, and invite learners to comment on the results.

Show learners how to damp in the left hand after playing a passage whilst continuing to play with the right (where there are rests in the bass part).

Introduce the étouffez thumb, demonstrating how to move cleanly from note to note.

Ensure that the hand is flat on the strings, and not raised, for efficient damping to take place.

Illustrate exercises for chordal balance, playing the top note of the chord f, followed shortly after the rest of the chord p, and with the lower notes followed by the top note.

Select, demonstrate and discuss repertoire that uses contrasts of dynamics and various methods (glissandi, arpeggiation, chordal patterns) to create colour and mood, e.g. The Minstrel’s Gallery by Kanga and Graded Recital Pieces by McDonald and Wood.

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