Improving tonal quality in high positions
I am working on improving my tone when playing across all strings in high positions ie 5+. I'd be grateful on insights on how to improve this and what are the differences in techniques for improvements between the strings?
Thanks v much
play slowly. you could practice some kreutzer etudes? also play some 2 octave scales starting on G string 4th or 5th position. good luck
The #1 issue that students have in the high positions is control over the contact point. As Adrian says, you MUST be closer to the bridge. Even the slightest deviation in contact point over the length of the stroke will change the sound quality.
I like your demo Scott!
I completely agree with Scott and Adrian that you'll need to play close to the bridge in order to sound good high positions. Also, make sure your left hand is stopping the string enough to produce a clear note. Also keep in mind that you may need to play more into the string and use more bow speed. Also make sure your bow is moving at a consistent pace.
Simon Fischer also breaks down all of this very clearly in _The Violin Lesson_, OP, if you want to read a thorough treatment.
You hardly need to press down at all at the high end. You just need to touch the strings - particularly on the E. Try it.
I wrote but i couldn't post.
Ella, playing more into the string seems the exact opposite of what I think is right, especially on the e string.
Maybe a less responsive instrument, or a "forte" E-string, needs more pressure high up? I should like to know what top players do!
The amount of pressure depends on the musical requirements of the passage, doesn't it?
I'm very sorry. On the G string, you'll need to play more into the string up high, but not on the E. Sorry.
For me comfort in high positions comes naturally, when I warm up my bow arm carefully. I think in general contact point exercises and bow exercises with different bow speeds readjust the fine tuned motions of the right arm so that a good contact point in relation to the string is found in a more intuitive way. It also frees the left hand. For the left hand as mentioned above, don't press! The amount of pressure needed is usually much less than expected!
Working on your tone is a lifetime thing. What Scott said about contact rings very true in my experience. After all, what would happen if you could magically just move the nut up an octave to play all that high stuff? Where would you put your bow then?
hi Sonia in case you are still reading this, the Sevcik opus 1 book 2 has many exercises in fixed high positions (6th and 7th) which you can work on piecemeal. just pick one measure from such exercise and work concentrated on it for just fifteen minutes, trying to get it to sound as beautiful, clean, clear and musical as possible! initially you will not like it, but it will improve quickly! especially the basic technique of keeping fingers down when changing strings is more difficult in high positions and requires some training of the left hand, the main issue being to keep your last finger joints relaxed! but the effort will be paid back handsomely! plus bowing close to the bridge of course, as already explained above.
I would like to remember that just good violins will sound good on high positions on the G string, in general you will find many wolves and rasped notes there.
Luis, my experience with the G string on my #1 violin, a late 18th century German copy of an S (possibly), is that if, and only if, I use Pirastro's gut-cored Chorda do those wolves and rasped notes disappear; use any other G, including Eudoxa, and they return. That violin is at its best with all gut and a baroque tailpiece.
The difficult region is the 7th position on the G string, mainly the C.
And the b, there are a lot of violins with wolf at bb, b or c on the g string.
Honestly my only experience with wolf tones is on open Es sometimes
Ahmed, a wolf tone is a term meaning when you put your finger down on the string and bow the desired note does not happen but an undesirable sound occurs. I have minor problem with second C note on my G string.