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Drew Lecher

Sautillé & Spiccato

February 22, 2008 at 3:50 PM

Sautillé – Often initiated on the string, the bow jumps or hops up from the string in a very excited fashion. It is a more flamboyant version of Spiccato sulla corda/on-theing Spiccato and is accomplished with the use of very small strokes and flat hair. It is generally a grouped series of notes as the natural sequence of strokes is often initiated in patterns of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, etc. As with Spiccato , the bow placement and ratio of height/length determine the character and degree of brilliance afforded to the passage. Higher speed will be higher up the bow and lower speed will be lower down the bow. It is often best in higher speeds when the thumb, 1st finger and 3rd finger are proactively used; the 2nd finger simply releases away from the stick (do not lift as this action is tense and inhibiting); and the 4th finger is also released, hovering over the bow in a natural and relaxed curve.

Spiccato – An enunciated, springing, jumping bow with evenly proportioned action and a clear ringing tone – play each note on a separate bow stroke. More individual then Sautillé , it will take on many characters of interpretation depending upon the point of contact, speed, weight, amount of hair and placement of the bow. From the air (1, 3, 4 & 5) and from the string (2).

1. Spiccato dramatico/Dramatic Spiccato – A more aggressive and excited style of stroke that lends greater individual identity to each note, predominantly done in the lower quarter of the bow using various degrees of Collé for added inflections.

2. Spiccato lirico/Lyric Spiccato – Consists of a brushed and broadened lengthening of the bow-hair contact with the string, tilting toward the fingerboard to the side of the hair, thereby achieved with greater horizontal action and less vertical height. (Lower in the bow.)

3. Spiccato secco/Crisp Spiccato – A dryer, crisper stoke, it has a greater vertical drop and rebound with less horizontal draw of the bow. (Higher in the bow.)

4. Spiccato sulla corda/On the string Spiccato – At higher speeds the Spiccato will be on the string. The stick will maintain a bouncing, springing action – vertical articulation – but the hair will not actually leave the string. As in Sautillé, it is often best in higher speeds when the thumb, 1st finger and 3rd finger are proactively used; the 2nd finger simply releases away from the stick (do not lift as this action is tense and inhibiting); and the 4th finger is also released, hovering over the bow in a natural and relaxed curve.

5. Spiccato volante/Flying Spiccato – A stroke related to Staccato volante but of greater height above the string and individuality of strokes with notes. Also generally done in the upper portion of the bow with the added ability to remain in place or even recover territory traveling towards, or fully to, the heel or tip as needed via the Retake .

NOTE: These types, 1 – 5, often are mixed within the same passage and/or alternate with another bow stroke style to convey the desired effect.

Practice Tips:

1. Drop the bow vertically to the string at various points along the bow – note how it bounces – then catch or control the next drop, gradually adding the direction of the down and up bows.

a. Flatter hair bounces with a crisp, very distinct response and angled hair has a gentle, less distinct articulation.

b. Use the Crescent Bow , even in these small strokes, as this will prevent the usual stiffening of the wrist and elbow.

c. Use a small Thumb/fingers Stroke , adding greater arm motion as required.

d. In faster passages use less bow and keep closer to the string.

2. Set the bow on the string, at first in the middle. Use flat hair , weight the stick down so that the bow touches the hair (not the string) and then suddenly draw the stroke (down or up) and spring up and off the string. Maintain the Spiccato action. Apply points 1a – d above.

3. When done correctly, the bow does 90% of the work.


4. Do not tighten the bow hand/wrist/elbow/shoulder.

NOTE: Accented triplets are very good for developing evenness and control.

Excerpted from Violin Technique: The Manual, How to master… and
Viola Technique: The Manual, How to master…


The various parts of the arm and hand always work in concert together.

Hope this helps —
Drew


From Samuel Thompson
Posted on February 23, 2008 at 4:09 AM
Timely, as always...thank you.
From Jasmine Reese
Posted on February 23, 2008 at 11:35 PM
Hi,

Thanks for these amzing articles as usual.

Can you give advice about Ricochet? I have never had a strong or controlled ricochet. I am guessing it is because I am doing something wrong int he execution of it.

Thanks
Jazzy

From Drew Lecher
Posted on February 24, 2008 at 8:08 AM
Thanks Sam and Jazzy:-)
From Samuel Thompson
Posted on February 25, 2008 at 2:57 AM
You're more than welcome...

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