Violinist 'tricks'

October 17, 2016 at 06:44 AM · I thought I would start a thread where we could all list off some of the tricks we've discovered whilst playing that could make all our lives a little bit easier.

I'll start it off.

If you have a difficult time keeping pages open in thick, paper bound books, you can bring the book into office depot, staples, etc to have it spiral bound. I did this to my Flesch scales book. It took only but a few minutes and costed about $3. Made it significantly easier to flip pages, as well as keep them open!

Replies (13)

October 17, 2016 at 02:04 PM · I've mentioned this in a previous thread, but: Post-It dots and flags (the type that have a colored end to transparent tape), and transparent Post-It tape.

These are super useful for marking up scores where you have to erase markings later, like rented Broadway parts. The flags can also be paired to indicate repeat bookends and the like.

I use the dots to indicate practice spots, places I want to ask my teacher about during the next lesson, etc.

October 17, 2016 at 02:08 PM · That's a good idea. I suppose you could do the same with the piano accompaniments.

October 17, 2016 at 04:26 PM · One thing I learned from my violin teacher is: If a passage is uneven, practice with rhythms.

October 17, 2016 at 05:14 PM · If a passage has 1st and 3rd position fingerings (up to a C or C sharp) I just play in second position. I get flack for trying to be a show-off, but if you can get past that, things are much easier.

October 17, 2016 at 05:30 PM · Play artoficial harmonics with 1st finger applying slightly more than natural harmonic finger pressure.

They end up being clearer and easier to play in a scale of harmonics.

October 17, 2016 at 09:14 PM · When practicing a passage with tricky string crossings, in addition to the rhythm practice mentioned above, practice with a pause every time there is a string crossing. (And NO pause when there is no string crossing.) This can be challenging but it is very effective.

October 17, 2016 at 11:08 PM · Yeah, my violin teacher suggested that too.

October 18, 2016 at 12:59 AM · Rapid, arpeggiated (bariolage-type) passages like you often find in Vivaldi, etc., after often practiced efficiently if you break down groups of four notes into groups of two double-stops. Helps you track down intonation flaws and plan out hand positions. Was very helpful for Kreisler P&A.

October 18, 2016 at 09:33 AM ·

Everyone should see this practice tip video. I believe it was posted on this site a while back, but here is the link anyway.

October 18, 2016 at 09:53 AM · Why don't the links actually work on this site like they do on other sites ?

October 18, 2016 at 12:07 PM · Because this site does not automatically turn links in the text, into hyperlinks.

You can directly HTML-format your posts in order to make things into hyperlinks, like so: See this link.

October 18, 2016 at 01:35 PM · You can "pinch" the string with the bow when practicing up bow staccato slowly, then just gradually increase the speed and try to keep the same method.

October 18, 2016 at 01:53 PM · Mischa Elman had a nice trick. He would throw his bow up in the air and catch it on the way down. I don't think he ever broke a bow, but in any case he always used those cheap French bows so it didn't matter.

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