P3 - B4

Quality of sound and articulation: Left hand

  • Listen to the sound produced and adjust as appropriate, with help
  • Play with a flexible, balanced and rounded left hand
  • Increase speed, strength and flexibility of finger action, in preparation for double stopping
  • Play using simple changes of position
  • Play simple exercises as preparation for using vibrato

Provide learners with appropriate pieces/exercises to develop more finger dexterity:

  • perpetuum mobile pieces
  • trills beginning on the upper or lower note
  • simple fingered double stops, e.g. bluegrass, Shetland or old-time music, where one might play an open string as a drone along side the melody

Always Welcome

Begin slowly, and gradually speed up.

Show learners how to develop a vibrato, beginning with simple exercises.

The introduction of vibrato is a matter of discretion but should probably be left until intonation is mainly secure.

Use drones and chords to develop the technique of double stopping, e.g. (on the violin):

  • Play the first five notes of the G major scale, starting with the third finger on the D string. ‘Drag’ the open string below.
  • Practise balancing the bow across both strings throughout.
  • A good piece to practise this is Les Bouffons from Arbeau’s Orchesographie in G. Play the melody, dragging the string below, but whenever C natural is played on the A string add a first finger E on the D string (implying a C chord). For the last note add a second finger B to the G string.