Trill exercises

Example 1: When playing trills make sure that the lower finger contacts the string firnly enough and the trilling finger lifts to a consistent height. Lift the finger up high at quarter tempo. Although the finger does not lift as high at tempo it must retain the energy of lift needed for clarity. Look for…

Finding a violin hold

Example 1: We need to bring the violin to the body not the other way around. This helps you keep an upright stance, with your body evenly balanced on both feet. By holding the violin with the right hand we can avoid the common trap of raising the left shoulder and pushing forward with the…

Martelé – various exercises

Example 1: In martelé the bowhair grips the string at the beginning of each note. This contact is released as soon as the bow begins to travel along the string. Prepare left-hand fingers in advance. Example 2: In this excerpt from Kreutzer’s “Study No.7” Fintan uses practice breaks and the martelé stroke to improve whole-arm string…

Collé – various exercises

Example 1: Bowings like collé, which start with beginning clicks, are good for practising intonation and articulation. Collé is also a good practice bowing because the right hand has to be in the right condition (open, giving), and because it helps you to achieve the correct right-arm levels. This is Bars 20-21 from “Preludio”, Partita…

Exercises to improve bow division: pulsing and travel bowing

Example 1: pulsing Use this practice technique to improve: – Bow planning. – Maintaining friction through a legato bowstroke. This is the opening of Kreutzer’s “Study No.5”. Example 2: pulsing This is a practice technique for passages that combine slurs with separate notes and therefore require thoughtful bow division. Pay special attention to the clarity of the…