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A humble stab at Repetition Hits.

April 23, 2008 at 6:33 AM

Greetings,
I can understand the confusion many people are having about Drew`s infamous `repetition hits` (RH) because I was also confused about what was intended. I think I have sorted it out so I am going to write my interpretation and hope that Drew will jump in and correct what could be the most embarrassing blog I have ever written. Hah!
The reason I had an initial misunderstanding about RH was because I have steeped myself in the notion of preparing the left hand before the bow plays the note. In particular I have worked a great deal on inaudibly measuring where a note is on the fingerboard prior to playing by playing various scales and position changes inaudibly so I can hit a note dead on without obvious preparation such as the idiotic plucking that even some advanced players use.
The RH threw me because the concept is a little different. As is fundamental in violin playing –the left hand leads- A left hand finger is the trigger of the gun and the bow is the bullet it shoots. But the finger does not begin -on- the string . It is the act of placing which stimulates the bow to play. So if one wants to practice first finger on the a string then the finger begins above the string. The rhythm one begins with is two eight notes followed by a quarter note. The first finger drops from the base knuckle and activates the bow which plays a –staccato- 8th note. The finger then releases up rhythmically and drops again. It is this second drop that triggers the bow to play another short note. There is no intermediate open a string. The finger pops up again rhythmically IE in the tempo you have set yourself and drops again for the quarter note which triggers the bow to play a sustained long note. At the end of the long note the bow stops and the finger pops up again ready to begin the whole sequence over again.
The point is to begin sufficiently slowly that one can pay great attention to the bow stopping and not playing any intermediate open a strings. This is very intense coordination work of value to any level of player. As one gets more proficient one can gradually speed up but the goal is always the perfect coordination of left leading right and effortless rhythmical release of the left hand finger upwards. Many books and teachers tell you to use extra effort to lift the fingers from the base joints because of gravity. I think this has been a great mistake in the teaching of relaxed playing.;)
Once one has done with the first finger leave it resting lightly on the string and repeat the procedure many times with the second finger and so on. Remember there is no intermediate sound of the first finger.
After some time spent mastering this simple rhythm try quarter note followed by two eights, syncopations and anything else that takes your fancy. In sum, the basic difference between this and regular technical practice is that the finger comes form above the string and there must be total coordination between hit and bow stroke. This is what makes it an infinitely more powerful practice technique than playing passages very rapidly in the left hand but with legato bowing containing many notes. this practice has great value but it does not work on coordination in the same way. Thus pages of Schradiec doing 16 notes to a bow or whatever develops facility of left hand but neglects coordination to a large extent.
Have I got it yet?????
Cheers,
Buri


From Drew Lecher
Posted on April 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM
Bulls eye!!!!!!

Prunes can assist the release, in given situations…

From Tara S.
Posted on April 23, 2008 at 6:32 PM
Oh! Thank you so much, Buri!
From Ray Randall
Posted on April 24, 2008 at 12:17 AM
Nuts, wish I hadn't had that glass of wine with dinner, I'd get this a lot faster.
From PM Rolf
Posted on April 24, 2008 at 1:12 AM
Thank you Buri!
From Anthony Barletta
Posted on April 24, 2008 at 5:36 AM
Yes! NOW I get it. Senility sux.
Thanks Buri!
From Drew Lecher
Posted on April 24, 2008 at 6:00 AM
Buri,

"Once one has done with the first finger leave it resting lightly on the string and repeat the procedure many times with the second finger and so on. Remember there is no intermediate sound of the first finger."

A most important ingredient to the recipe!
D.

From Teresa Colombo
Posted on April 24, 2008 at 1:24 PM
I reckon Drew should patent his RH system!
From Drew Lecher
Posted on April 24, 2008 at 4:41 PM
Can I? :-)))))))))
From Ray Randall
Posted on April 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM
Can someone post a quick video of this. I do better by watching. I'm not
QUITE sure what you're gettig at. Almost, but not 100%.
Are you saying drop the first finger, play the note, raise the finger, drop it again, play the note?
Still would like to see it.
From Teresa Colombo
Posted on April 25, 2008 at 6:27 PM
Drew ... maybe not, but you SHOULD be able to!! I am so excited, my left hand has never been so precise, tension free, improved co-ordination with bow, articulation, etc ... and I thought this was mainly about helping my pupils!!
From Drew Lecher
Posted on April 25, 2008 at 6:34 PM
Ray,
Check out the Comments on "Did you just call me a violinist?"
Published: Apr. 22, 2008 at 7:49 PM

The last one — PM gets it! Good luck:-)
Drew

From Ray Randall
Posted on April 25, 2008 at 7:17 PM
I'll check it out, thanks, Drew. That's why when we're in Chicago later this Spring I'll have to schedule a lesson.
From Drew Lecher
Posted on April 26, 2008 at 4:38 AM
Teresa — what a delight to hear!!!

Ray — I look forward to it:-) Perhaps I'll dream up some special tortures for you…

From Teresa Colombo
Posted on April 26, 2008 at 6:44 AM
From Buri's blog:
"It is the act of placing which stimulates the bow to play. .................... The finger then releases up rhythmically and drops again. "

I think one one of the things RH does is to make you aware of when the rhythmic release is NOT happening, ie in fast semi-quaver passages this is why I sometimes feel tension in my first finger ...( Paganini 5 is a case in point)...it is when the rhythmic pop-up is not happening!

I also was coming at things, as Buri said, more from the 'finger, bow, go' concept (if I am understanding correctly ...?) and I think that can also can lead to fingers holding down strings before they need to and thus more tension, and less co-ordination.

Anyway, I am still analysing myself and I think this is what is happening, and I am very excited!

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