How to move the same finger immediately between strings
Sometime a piece requires the violinist/student to shift the same finger to a different string immediately. I don't know what exercise/tips can help me make a smooth transition when this happens.
For example, in a piece I am currently practicing, 'River flows in you' by Yimura, one note requires your ring finger to be in first position of E string (which is A), the next note requires your ring finger in first position of A string (D). So your ring finger has to shift between two strings immediately.
I really don't know how to make it sound smoothly when that happens, and I would really appreciate if you can share your thoughts. I also don't have fat fingers to press two strings at the same time.
This is the video of a violinist playing this piece. The part that requires ring finger to immediately cross string is at 0:06:
When you go to play that A try to stop the D with your finger at the same time.
My trio (violin/guitar/percussion) plays an arrangement of Celso Machado's
Having cellist's fingers, I generally don't have a problem in cross-string fifths. However, what I have seen among some good Irish fiddlers, is that they "roll" the finger across the fifth from one string to the other, activated by a swing of the elbow underneath. Cross-string fifths are not uncommon in Irish fiddle music, especially in the fast reels, which demand a fairly quick action and good coordination of bowing arm and elbow swing.
One trick I learned from my teacher was to play the first note with the 3rd finger and then shift up one position and play the second note with the 2nd finger (or 2 followed by 1). Obviously depends on the context and works better in slow music. It can produce quite a nice subtle portamento effect as well.
I would suggest continue working on covering both strings with the finger. It does not require fat fingers to do. What about when you have that as a double stop in a piece?
@Peter, actually the finger-rolling technique I described is what I've seen used by some players. I've never used it.
To play perfect fifths with the same finger; If you have wide finger-tips you play the double-stop. Less-wide finger-tips, you put the finger in between, rock it back and forth. Thin finger-tips; You're stuck. You might collapse the finger sideways like a guitarist using a bar chord, but it will be out of tune and mess-up your technique. You shift out of the problem if possible, use an adjacent finger with a 1/2 step shift. Those thin fingers will be an advantage later on when playing in high positions. Avoid perfect fifths with the fourth finger. Same finger for minor sixths or augmented fourths; You can usually avoid that problem by using a type of enharmonic fingering, use an adjacent finger. Cross-fingering on augmented fourths; you may need to put the fingers down in reverse order that you play them, which will seem mentally impossible at first. ~jq
You don't need very wide fingertips to block (place the finger on both strings) a fifth in first position, and that is how I would teach that particular spot. In other words, I agree with Steve and Laura.
Two things would be helpful, assuming your fingers are too skinny to make a double-block realistic:
hi Erik, can't that work too when crossing from lower to higher string?
Jean, it can, but in the opposite way. So one would want to plant their finger in a vertical position for the first note, and roll it over after (without letting the joint collapse, of course).
Thank you very much for your suggestions. I have tried rolling my fingers to press both strings when played. I discovered that it's doable. Sorry for this late reply to my own thread,
Your problem is pretty elemental, meaning that it's faced in the first months, at least in my case. It's just a fifth, and you will find thousands and thousands of times a fifth.
Thank you George and Tim,
I'm repeating what's already been said, perhaps in a slightly different way. If you imagine a string in the middle, between the A and E strings, then this is what you finger to get the double-stop.
Think of it this way: it might be hard (at least right now) to stop two strings with one finger - but it's even harder to move from one string to the next, especially if you want it to sound good. And the double-stop will get easier with practice, while moving the finger (at just the right time) will always be hard.
Slim fingers can be placed between the strings, a little nearer the bridge tha usual, to "catch" the strings with the opposites sides of the fingertip, which can be rolled a little during a slur.
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