August 2014

Frequency of the string and length of the string: opposite ratios Harmonics and double stops

August 19, 2014 01:48

Intonation and Ear

Frequency of the string and length of the string: opposite ratios
Harmonics and double stops


The origin of the word 'violin' came from the word 'violine', in which '-ine' means smaller in Italian. Therfore violine came from the word 'viola' and the fusion of the two makes: viola + ine = violine. Hence, 'violin' in English derives from smaller viola, violine.

Historically, there is no doubt that the viola was used long before the violin was created.

As the two instruments evolved, however, the viola became used more for chamber and orchestral music as the violin came more into the foreground as a favorite solo instrument.

In the twentieth century composers have written progressively more for the viola and the cello as solo instruments, but the repertoire for either instruments cannot yet compare to the vast repertoire for the violin.

The question that arises may be 'why did people prefer the high registered instrument such as the violin.

One of the reasons may be that the stimulation of the sound quality of the violin on the human ear may be more intense than that of lower register instruments.

When one becomes excited or upset one tends to raise the pitch of the voice. Female voices tend to carry further and sound louder than that of the male voice.

As a result of these natural tendencies, the violin has established itself as one of the most played instruments.

Frequency of the string and length of the string: opposite ratios

When we use the metronome or tune the piano we use describe the notes in terms of frequencies.

The concert A that most countries refer to has been set at 440Hz. However, in many countries such as Japan and Germany, the concert A is now 442Hz-445Hz. This is to raise the intensity and excite the emotions.

These days the A is so sharp that on recordings it is sometimes difficult to tell whether it is tuned to A or Bb.

In my opinion this is commercial method rather than anything else and in the long run does not make a big difference to the music itself. I personally tune my violin to 440Hz.

Therefore even if the piano in the concert hall is tuned to 442Hz, it makes little difference to the way I perceive intonation.

On the other hand, if students tune the violin to 445Hz to practice, he/she may run into many problems trying to adjust to a lower 442Hz tuning.

Naturally the ear can easily react to tuning up to a set intonation but has physical reaction to tuning down.

A note is created by a shock or wave from a material travelling in the air. 440Hz denotes the number (440) of waves in one second.

Therefore if this number was multiplied a similar shaped wave as A is formed, such as 440 x 2 = 880 which would result in an A an octave above, and 440 x 1/2 = 220 would result in an A an octave below.

In such manner the Pythagorean theory became today's seven note octave. His experimental instrument was of a very simple kind which was used to study the properties of the string.

The stringed instruments of today have the same principles.

If one plays a natural harmonic above the open string, the note produced would be an octave above and this is placed half way on the string.

If a note two octaves above the open string was desired, one has to place the finger so that the string is a quarter of its length. Therefore all the harmonics on the string is a multiple of the Hz of the open string.

The wave lengths measured in Hz identifies the name of the note but it also identifies the exact intonation of the note.

The violin is a difficult instrument to tune, perhaps even more than other stringed instruments.

This may be because the normal limitation of the human ear is only 200Hz-4000Hz. But a well trained ear is very sensitive and can identify the slightest change in the note's wave length.

The smallest movements on the fingerboard are made by the tip of the fingers.

Although the strings themselves speak out the specific notes, the resonance is enlarged by the body of the violin.

Harmonics and double stops

Harmonics can be divided into natural and artificial harmonics. For the purpose of intonation it may be useful to practice the artificial kind.

The harmonic will not sound if the note is even slightly out of tune.

Famous violinist such as Zino Francescatti found scales in harmonics one of the most essential exercises and this shows in his performance.

Another significant part of a violinist's daily practice should be double stops.

Double stop exercises can train the hand shape to anticipate the intervalic space between notes and can help to build up good left hand habits.

Although very difficult, one can improve the hand by combining both harmonics and double stops.

3. Practice methods for scales
What does it mean to practice?
Scales: Different variety scales and Method of practice

What does it mean to practice?

What does it mean to practice? Before we begin with the issues involved in the act of practicing, I would like to briefly discuss how we view the word 'practice' itself.

The method in which we repeat in the practice can be the making or failing of the process of practice.

But another important factor in the practice process is the 'memory'.

Most knowledge and intelligence is generated by the faculty of memory but this is an area of brain function that can be improved.

In English the word 'memory' has a conotation to 'keep'. Very much like the way one programs many data into the computer, the human mind has more potential to input and process the information that the brain discovers.

Can human beings pocess inifinite potential to learn?

In my opinion the answer can only be 'yes' as far the mastering of the violin is concerned.

In this case the equation of 'practice = potential' is possible.

There are two ways of training the brain to memorise: the first way would be to through understanding and awareness of the materials at hand and the second way would be through repetition.

Generally human beings are enormously affected by their surroundings and more importantly by their situation in life: the amount of knowledge or skills acquired depend very on how much one wants to learn.

Therefore, the act memorising can be a matter of mental concentration. One of the common feats of young prodigies like Midori or Sarah Chang is their excellent memory.

Of course their fortunate environment, the wonderful quality of teaching and talent played a huge role, I believe that their rock solid memory was an absolute reason behind their success stories.

Scales: Different variety scales and Method of practice

Let us compare 'playing with marbles' and a 'basketball game' to intonation of the violin.

A basket player who shoots well from the circle is considered a player with good merits.

On the violin it is also important to retain tactile memory of the distance between two fingers and between two positions.

The priority of an accurate shot in a basketball game and an accurate left hand is without precedent in the technique of playing a game or the violin.

However the tedious problem behind trying to attempt this is the daily repetitive effort needed to master both these skills.

In order to strengthen and train the physical and mental memory one needs to be prepared to invest a lot of time and effort, as well as develop patience and stamina.

Of course other skills and knowledge will come and the student will find that with time he/she has mastered the necessary know-how.

For example, once one has mastered 'up-bow staccato' or 'trill', one does not need to practice them on a daily basis. Great performers such as Heifetz had a strict regimental plan to practice scales everyday throughout his life and this may be the secret behind his legendary career.

Therefore, one can infer that 'tactile memory = scales', but one may ask, "is there not an short cut to this road?"

Everyone must look for the most direct route to mastering the instrument but if one cannot find the most direct route, one must investigate after what is the nearest road.

Reflecting on my personal experience, the fastest or shortest road to a memory that might come even near that of Heifetz's is through practicing scales.

In that case let us look at the different variety of scales.

There is an enormous array of different kinds of scales.

By simply grouping them, the list may look like this: chromatics, single stops, thirds, perfect fourths, perfect fifths, sixths, sevenths, octaves etc. These can be used as intervals within a single stop scale or can be applied to double, triple or quadruple stops.

Intervals extending above an octave, such as nineth or tenths, can be compared to a long shot in a basketball game, and demand agility and flexibility.

More complex arrangements of the above mentioned scales can be combinations of single/ multiple stops to harmonics but once the students has mastered focusing a good center for intonation, learning to play the complex arrange is not so difficult.

Arpeggios and scales in thirds are often practiced in triplet rhythm in order to improve fluency of movement and to regulate the fingers.

For young beginners it is essential that they train the fingers to be rhythmic: this is as important as intonation training at this stage of learning.

I think that regular practice of scales in triplet with the aid of a metronome would be of great help.

There are many theories about how exact intonation should be acquired but in my opinion there is no shortcut except for continuous vigil and care.

As Heifetz once said, "there is not one violinist in the world who has perfect intonation".

All we can hope for is to always aim and practice for better intonation. Left hand training is the most finicky.

What is available in the violin literature for students of different levels of development?

There are some things we need to take into account when choosing pieces for students.

First, the teacher needs to be aware of the level of the student and know what would be suitable and possible for the student.

Second, the teacher needs to think of what would be helpful and useful for his/her improvement on the instrument,

Third, it is more useful of the teacher has intimate knowledge of the piece at hand so that he/she can demonstrate to the student.

I will list a few of the literature available to the beginners.

Among the well-known books are:
- Hohmann C.H. Violin School, Op. 31 - Suzuki Violin Method

Some less known material which can be just as good are:
- Albert Bachmann Violin Method - Siegmund Bauer Practical Violin School
- Jacob Blied Elementary School - Karl Hauer Elementary Violin School
- Karl Hering Elementary School,Op. 13 - R. Hofmann Elementary School, Op. 84
- A. Houfflack Easy Method, Op. 32 - H. Kling Easy Violin School, Op. 453
- L.J.Meerts Elementary School - T. Rehbaum Elementary Violin School
- E. Schmidt The Rudiments of Violin Playing - Karl Wassmann New Violin Method
- Ferd Zimmer Elementary School, Op.2 -C.F.A. Zimmermann Practical Violin School

The intermediate level would require works such as:
For scales:
- J. Hrimaly - Carl Flesch

The better known studies are:
- J. Dont 24 Studies and Caprices, Op. 35 - H.E. Kayser 24 Exercises, Op. 37
- F. Mazas - R. Kreutzer 42 Etudes
- P. Rode 12 Etudes

The lesser known studies are:
- D. Alard 24 Etude-Caprices, Op. 41 - Ch. de Berio 187 Exercises
- A. Bloch Scales, Studies and Double Stops - Jos. Bloch 12 Caprices, Op. 8
- Franz Coenen 12 Etudes - E. Despas 20 Etudes, Op. 105
- Ch. Hering 12 Caprices, Op. 18 - Gustav Hiller 12 Etudes, Op. 47
- Ch. Kleinecke 12 Etudes, Op. 18 - Th. Kleinecke 24 Etudes, Op. 12
- A. Lefort 12 Etudes - P. Libon 30 Caprices, Op. 15
- Carl Machts 10 Etudes and Caprices - Clemens Meyer 15 Etudes
- Rene Ortmans 25 Etudes, Op. 8 - Pietro Rorelli 12 Caprices, Op. 3
- Hans Sitt 24 Etudes, Op. 80 - Lidwig Spohr 12 Studies
- Georg Wichtl 25 Studies, Op. 115

The studies that are universally used by highest level would be:
- F. Fiorillo 36 Studies or Caprices - P. Gavines 24 Studies
- N. Paganini 24 Caprices - O Sevcik Studies (5 volumes)

Other less known but equally efffective studies are:
- Leopold Auer 12 Characteristic Preludes - A. Bachmann 6 Caprices du Vitrtuosite
- Ch. de Beriot 6 Etudes Brilliantes, Op. 17 - David Ferd 6 Caprices
- F. A. Durand 6 Caprices, Op. 15 - J. Eichoberg 24 Technical Studies, Op 80
- H.W. Ernst 6 Grand Etudes - Ivan Galamian High Technical Method
- Carl Flesch Etude Collections (3 volumes) - Ed. Hermann 6 Concert Etudes, Op.6
- Jeno Hubay 6 Etudes, Op. 63; Op. 64; 10 Etudes Concertantes, Op. 89
- Franz Kneisel Advanced Exercises - N. Krouszevski Etude de Concert, Op. 1
- John Palaschko 6 Concert Etudes, Op. 14 - E. Pente 6 Etudes-Impressions, Op. 18
- F Prume 6 Grand Etudes, Op 2; Op. 14 - E. Sauret 18 Grand Etudes, Op. 24
- H. Vieuxtemps 6 Concert Etudes, Op. 16 - H. Wieniawski Etudes Caprices, Op. 10

- Anton Witek Fingered Octaves

For those of us who want to learn to play the violin as a hobby, how far must we study until we are able to just enjoy playing?

In my opinion the violin is a too difficult an instrument to learn without receiving at least one or two regular lessons a week. After perhaps a year of receiving lessons, the student may be able to play simple hymns at sight.

What are the special points I need to remember when I am purchasing a violin?

The prices of violins can vary enormously, depending on the age, the maker, the condition, the popularity and of course the sound quality of the instrument. Machine-made instruments are relatively much cheaper than those made by hand.

Of the machine-made violins, those made in Germany are somewhat superior in quality than those made in Japan.

There are some good quality hand-made violins produced for around 5000 US$ Of course, of the 'old' Italian instruments, there are violins which are priced a few million dollars.

One must be weary of fake instruments, as well as instruments in bad condition. There have been many cases where the dealers have been even imprisoned for falsifying and forgery.

One must ask for advise from a reputed violin repairer or dealer.

How long should my daily practice should be?

The hours of practice should depend on the age of the student. For students aged ten or below should not practice more than three hours.

Students who are older should, health permitting, practice a little more than three hours if the student would like to aim to become a professional musician.

(Of course, it is not the number of hours that matters but the quality of practice which should concern the students. As a student begins to become more familiar with instrument, the practice should become more efficient.)

I remember over-practicing for 12 hours a day in my youth: 4 hours in the morning, 4 hours in the afternoon and 4 hours at night.

(It is also very important to take regular breaks so that the muscles and tendons are not damaged in any way.)

How early should a child start playing the violin?

Many children in the West start to play when he/she is only four years old. Today, there are parents who begin their children at the age of three.

In cases of prodigies like Midori and Sarah Chang, they also started at an early age but their success is a culmination of excellent teaching, high awareness and talent.

When is a good time to begin 'vibrato'?

Of course it would ideal to begin as soon as possible. However, I think that the student should be able to read and distinguish the notes before beginning work on 'vibrato'.

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Effective pedagogic methods

August 19, 2014 01:46

Posture and technique for teaching beginners

Effective pedagogic methods
Performance posture
Basic technique on the violin
There are no cardinal rules in the bow technique


One can not deny the fact that the violin is one of the most lovable instruments ; anybody would be moved to try at least once. Unfortunately, one has to invest many hours and much effort in order to reach a level that one can enjoy a performance.

And so this course of study can be compared to a strenuous mountain climbing. From the first step on the mountain to the top, studying the violin seems like a constant uphill and one is faced with difficulties all the way.

Therefore it is not surprising that the violin is often called as the most attractive and lovable instrument yet at the same, one of the most difficult to learn and to perform.

Let us explore the features of this instrument; an instrument which we cannot ignore.

Effective pedagogic methods

Like in mountain climbing, the beginner should take particular care to prepare all the equipment when thinking of starting the violin.

The violin itself should not be too small or too big and should be chosen according to the age, or for the physical size of the player.

If one is purchasing a full size violin, it is adviseable to choose it with further use in mind and purchase a good quality violin in good physical condition.

The same applies to a bow as it is also available in different size: a full size bow should be flexible, strong but one with a stick that will not bend out of shape.

It is important to choose one which will last years of use.

It is sometimes the case that the early years of a child's learning is neglected with words of complacency, or is left unattended without nurture or care.

Instead of letting the child think of the violin as an object to be feared or dislike the act of practicing, the teacher should allow the child to enjoy the practice and have fun when relating to the instrument, then result could be that the child will want to practice more and the relationship between the student and the teacher will begin to strengthen, blossom and eventually both will be able to reap the benefits.

When teaching children it is adviseable to divide the age bracket into bayhood and childhood so that the child is not overtly pressurized and a suitable didactic program is created for the child.

For children under the age of six whose muscles are yet underdeveloped, the goal of the lessons is to give them a early start in their education and therefore the beginning lessons should be like a natural process of learning a language.

Hence, the very early beginnings the lessons should like when one learns the native tongue for the first time: the playing of the instrument should not be but the child should explore the instrument naturally.

Although this is by no means an easy task to achieve, it is nevertheless possible, as it has been already seen in other branch of the arts and sports.

In swimming, dance, gymnastics etc. early babyhood education has been actively pursued and have been successful in many areas.

It can only be concluded from this that it is possible to reap good results if care is taken.

So, should we regard these children as the children they are, or should we emphasized regard them as subjects in a experimental cases.

This question should be carefully considered depending on each child but for the purpose of this paper we will consider them as 'students'.

The reason for this is that however young the child may be, if purpose is learning, one should concerntrate in the act of learning.

The most characteristic reaction of the babies to the violin is their unfailing acceptance of the instrument as a plaything rather than as study instrument.

Therefore it is often effective to teach the violin in a fun and fascinating way: it is the most natural method of learning for these younger students.

The teacher should accept this and 'play' with the child during the lesson so that the child's relates and grows with the instrument in the most natural manner.

Of course it is unnatural to continue this kind of treatment indefintely but as long as the child adapts to the violin at a young age, then it could serve its purpose very well.

So, just to recap, instead of explaining in words how to hold the bow or use the left hand, it may be much more effective to tell a story to make the technical aspect of the learning interesting and fun.

If the child does not respond or fail to understand the basics, the child should not be forced to listen and understand, but rather through repetition in a natural manner the child should be allowed to realize by himself.

I will now explain how 'solfage' can be easily thaught to children. By characterising each name of the solfage with a member of the family, for example, 'do' as mam, 're' as dad, 'me' as sister, 'fa' as brother, 'sol' as me, 'la' as cousin and 'ti' as dog. By equating these names to the locations on the violin, the child learns the notes, and the memory is reinforced by repetitive and reversed questioning.

Methods such as these can help the child understand about the violin with ease. It is also possible to mark the fingerboard with colored stickers or crayons but as the violin is a tactile instrument, it is important to avoid such methods. In some cases such markings could confuse the child.

If any visual aid is needed at all, it may be better if the teacher could enlarge the score and above it draw a diagram of a violin to indicate the location of the notes.

A typical problem of the bow for beginners is the sliding of the bow: to be more exact, children tend to bow off centre and cannot keep a straight bow.

Instead of insisting on a straight bow, it may be more fun if the teacher and the student play a game to see who can keep the bow in a straight line better. The child will naturally try harder to keep the bow straight.

From students who are six years old or less, an accurate sense of rhythm cannot be expected. Therefore it is more benificial to teach them simple, easy to learn song with which they can also sing along.

It may not be an exaggeration to say that how well the teacher guides his/her students may depend heavily on how well the teacher plays with and has fun with the young student.

Of course, a specially gifted child must be taught with a little more care, but the basic method of playing and having fun with the student still remains the same.

Children of seven years and older needs a little different care. At this age most children are starting to read and are developing stronger muscles to play sports. Their physical development can change on a daily basis.

Although all students are different, it is at this stage that the child's intellect and physical development require an order.

At this age the child is getting used to the act of learning and if the child is to endure and succeed in the fight of learning, the child needs to feel stimulated and enjoyment in the act of learning itself.

The younger the child is in this age group, the more the child will naturally revert back to his/her young age reactions but it is important to foster curiosity in the mind of the child.

To explain more simply, the teacher should instill a little resistance in the student.

For example, by enforcing them with words such as, " D..... was praised also in his response to the same question" the student should be guided into self-teaching.

As the student becomes older he/she should be more strongly enforced but never to the point of extreme.

For students who are using full size violins at high school age, the teacher should encourage and explain in detail rather than enforce.

Performance posture

In this section I would like to explain the posture of the beginner regardless of the age.
The posture learnt as a beginner becomes the posture that one will assume for life: therefore it is very important to be carefully aware from the start.

I'm comparison to other instruments such as the piano, cello, flute, etc. the violin is a very uncomfortable instrument to play.

The left arm is twisted on one side, the neck is in constant contact with the violin, the shoulder supports the violin and the bow constantly holds the bow while it moves up and down the strings.

The posture looks as if the player is being punished.

The shoulder rest is used to make the holding of the instrument a little more comfortable up the discomfort remains. Even wind instrumentalists can keep bad postures when the instruments droop down low.

This is because the posture at the beginning was badly taught. As a rule, the violin should be held in parallel line to floor but in reality the violin is often held slightly higher than this while performing.

The reason is because in order to press the left hand the instrument is pressed down also and in order to draw a straight bow the violin needs to be held a little higher than the parallel line.

In order to avoid discomfort caused by the raising of the left shoulder, a shoulder rest is used and is adjusted according to the shape of the body: a suitable shoulder rest is acquired depending of the shape of the chin, shoulder and the chest.

As the physiche is an individual feature, the bone structure also depends on the individuals also and the right choice of shoulder rest could determine the violin technique of the player.

When the player faces the music, the violin should be held at a 45 degree angle to the stand. In this way the angle of the player and violin naturally becomes 90 degrees when the player is performing and the music is easy to see.

This is also another reason why the music stand is placed at a 45 degrees when the performer is facing the audience: the stand is not placed right in front of the player.

The result is that the violin is parallel to the audience and the the sound from the f-hole travels to the audience with ease.
In many cases, beginners continuously move the violin towards the music stand.

Children often just rest the scroll of the violin on the music stand itself when their arms are in pain. This should obviously be avoided because these kind of habits can develop many bad habits.

I will explain the movement of the left hand in more detail. If we call the tip of the finger that define the notes the head of a hammer, then the rest of the joints on the left arm ( even the shoulder and the elbow ) plays the role of the handle of the hammer.

But if the left hand is unnaturally twisted the movements will obviously be restricted. There will be pain that will result from this kind of bad position and as a preventive measure the player should do so me simple exercises.

Each joint on the left arm should be exercised: the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knuckles, finger joints should be equally isolated so that each joint is prepared in the warm-up exercises.

For example, the 360 degree possible in the shoulder, wrist and the knuckle joints together with the restricted movement of the elbow and the finger joints should be moved so that the movements are smooth.

In day to day use, the knuckle is only used in two ways to close and open the hands. Therefore it is not surprising that many find the movements needed for the violin difficult and unnatural.

The fact that the wrist is twisted in an odd, unnatural position can cause discomfort at first but the initial pain can be overcome with in time with practice after the beginner stage.

It is easier of the player understands the function and the possibilities of each joint at the beginner's level.

The same kind of understanding is adviseable for the bow arm.

It is good to assume the bow as an extension of the right arm. A good analogy would be the way we use every day utensils such as forks or chopsticks.

When we study the way the shoulder, elbow, wrist function when we reach for food placed near us and food placed in the distance, it gives us a clear indication as to how our arm works.

Perhaps the way the asians use chopsticks helps the agility of the fingers and the arm in general and explain the rise of many oriental violinists in recent days.

Basic technique on the violin

I would like to explain the details of the basic bow technique. It is my opinion that the basic bow hold should be taught properly right from the beginning in order to minimise any future problems.

There are two basic bow holds: the Russian and Franco-Belgian techniques.

The Russian hold has the first finger protruding from the rest of the hand: it produces a strong, deep tone but lacks subtlties. The Franco-Belgian hold empahsizes comfort of the hand: the first finger is held naturally and its second joint area touches the bow.

The tone production is not as strong or big as the Russian hold but more detailed and flexible playing is possible with the Franco-Belgian bow hold.

Yet most twentieth century violinists use the Franco-Belgian bow hold. It can be said that Jascha Heifetz, who passed away only recently, is one the last generation to have used the Russian bow hold.

The Russian violinists of today after David Oistrakh's generation all use the Franco-Belgian hold.

Let us look at the Franco bow hold in more detail. The first thing that comes to my attention would be the position of the thumb.

In my opinion the mid-point between the first and the last finger is the best place the thumb should be placed.

The reason for this is that the function of the first finger is to apply pressure on the bow whereas the function of the last finger is to raise the bow.

Therefore, the levering function of the thumb should be placed in the middle of the bow for the 50/50 ratio of the application and release of pressure of the second and last fingers to be equally distributed.

The second and third fingers should lie easily between the first and last fingers. The force of each finger is equally divided in the bow hold to aid in the natural use of the bow.

The position of the elbow and the wrist differ according to the technique needed: especially when playing spiccato, the focal point should be in the last finger while the elbow and the wrist control the weight of the bow.

In order to achieve this, one should divide the bow into three sections of the balancing point, the tip and the frog of the bow.

By doing this the bow should always keep a straight line at the change of the strings by controlling the wrist. In other words, the pressure that the bow receives should not replace the comfort of the bow hold.

The pressure on the string will differ a little depending on the change of the string but in general, the bow arm should always be relaxed.

One should always remember that the pressure of the bow is applied by the weight of the whole arm.

Because the bow arm functions most effectively when it is the most relaxed and comfortable, it is very important that beginners learn to hold the bow in the right manner from the earliest stages.

The three technical points, 1.pressure, 2.speed, 3.sound point, should ease the process of explaining the movement of the bow.

A good analogy would be the properties of a triangle. Like the triangle, each points are closely related to each other: for example, when more pressure is applied, the speed and sound point naturally must change with it.

It is these three points that are adjusted if there are any problems concerning the bow. Therefore by adjusting the pressure, speed and the sound point, one can produce the tone that is desired.

Let's discuss the pressure of the bow in more detail.

I will discuss this by dividing pressure into three different terms; 1.pressure by force, 2.pressure by weight, 3.pressure by gravity. The first finger can apply pressure by pressing it onto the bow at the middle to the tip of the bow.

Force can be applied at the tip of the bow by controlling a combination of the natural weight of the frog area of the bow and the weight of the arm.

Pressure by gravity changes according to the angle of the bow on different strings.

'Speed' of the bow can be defined as a fixed length of the bow in a fixed rhythm. A good analogy would be a travelling car.

For example, when thinking of the start and finish of the bow, one can apply the same principles to the start of a car. Compare a sudden start and a normal start of a car.

By using a ratio of the accelerators and brakes, one can control the manner of starting and stopping of the car, according to the driver's technique and temperament.

This is exactly the same with the use of the bow. The speed of the bow as well as the 'stop' and the 'start' of the bow... When practising one should use the metronome to divide the distribution of the bow so that the the bow travel is constant.

To practise with only with open strings can be boring, so it is adviseable to use this method in Kreutzer study no. 2.

Then by setting the metronome to quarter note equals 60, the student should divide the bow into two, four, eight, sixteen parts etc. and utilize many other ways to equally distribute the bow.

The sound point is a very important factor in the way one uses the bow. This is because through this the character and the actual sound can make many changes.

In other words, the 'sound' that results from this 'point' is what we define as 'music'. Therefore, in order to produce a good tone, one needs to keep a constant vigil on the point of bow contact on the string.

Theoretically speaking, when there is a lot of pressure and less speed, the sound point should be near the bridge. When the pressure is less and the speed is applied more, then the sound point should be near the fingerboard.

This is basic fact about the nature of the bow and the exact amount of the pressure or the exact location of the bow is left up to the performer and is not taught to the player.

Therefore the result is a whole range and variety of performers, very much like the singers. Like the singers, the personality of the performer is shown through the different ways the performer decides to use the available techniques.

It is often said that the violin is naturally best played if it sings like the human voice and the performer can understand the origins of the technique better.

There are no cardinal rules in the bow technique

The bow technique has been carefully studied over many centuries but there is no fixed rules.

Of course the basics in the use of the bow is universally same but the high level of bow technique used by the world class performers use a unique way of using the bow that is extremely individual.

This can only be superficially copied.

For example, Milstein's style is based on the focus of the shoulder, whereas Perlman utilizes his big arms and hands in a chopstick style. Gidon Kremer creates a unique sound by using the whole bow in fast speeds.

The way these great players include these techniques into their style does not mean that we can isolate these features and parody them to produce equal results: many other subtle factors are needed to make a sucessful performance and it may be to the detriment of the student to parody these features for the sake of emulating them.

Although the variety is infinite, it is better for beginners to follow the text book basics in using the bow.

At any level the infinite choice of the bow and the problems that follows with it will always exist.

I always advise my students to find a bow technique that suits them the most. When great violinist play the exact same piece, they use different fingerings and bowings because they use what is the most comfortable and effective for their playing.

Yet when advising a young player who cannot make an independent decision, one needs to be careful.

Therfore it is important that the player is able to experience theoretically correct bowing/fingering and one that suits their physical features and is able to make a good decision in making the necessary adjustments themselves.

If the student is critisised too heavily or put down too much, the student will not be able to find what is right for themselves and will increasingly lean on the teacher.

Even if what they are doing does not work very well, the student should be encouraged to do better rather than critisised.

In the past I have personally experienced that when I was constantly practicing a certain aspect of playing, the improvement seemed slow and unnoticeable.

Yet when I practised with time and ease, I showed vast improvement and understanding. It is more so of young players who are constantly growing and changing. Same goes for adult students.

If one diligently practices, one can show enormous improvements. At this point of a student's progress, the use of a mirror is important because one can monitor the angle of bow on the string as well as one's general posture.

After having first checked the angle of the bow, one should then feel the pressure within the bow at that point of the bow.

We cannot know the sound that will be produced before playing and therefore must practise to rely on our tactile instincts. The problem occurs when all too often a player starts to play without any preparation of any kind.

Therefore, one should check the angle of the bow, feel the pressure (or even just prepare the pressure in the air) and then adjust the speed accordingly.

At first it takes a lot of mental effort and time but with pratice this whole process can become second nature as the reflexes will take over. It is essential that the metronome is used.

We will now look at the problems that occur with bowing techniques. When spiccato bowing is difficult due to very stiff wrist, the first thing that needs to be worked on must be relaxing and releasing the tension in the wrist.

Without the bow the wrist should be exercised consistently by turning it 360 degrees. Then the wrist should imitate brushoking motions by moving it in up and down movements.

If these simple exercises were carried out consistently in any spare moments the student had (regardless of time and place) the stiff wrist will become more agile like a well-oiled machine.

Of course the extent of the wrist movement depends on the speed of the spiccato bowing and as the speed increases the distance of the string and the bow becomes smaller.

The wrist movement becomes more spring-like. Although the wrist is relaxed, it is important that the fingers that are holding the bow should be firm and not be too loose. It is easier to understand if one thinks of the finger tips as an extension of the bow.

The first finger controls the direction and angle of the bow and therefore should not press the bow at all. Meanwhile, the last finger is very important as it controls the lever (the thumb) of the bow. A triangle is formed by the first, last and the thumb which predominantly controls the bow.

Here, the issue of smooth change of bow will be discussed. This is a universal problem that any beginner comes up against.

It is best to begin by asking the student to distinguish the different sound quality of a up and down bow and then asking them to make them sound the same. If the student cannot do this, he/she should diminuendo at the end of the bow.

The rough quality of sound in the middle of the bow can be improved by using a metronome: start with a slow tempo and increase it to a fast one by counting.

Also by placing a small sticker to indicate the middle of the bow the student can identify the distribution of the bow better, and therefore adjust the balance of the speed and pressure of the bow.

The change of the bow or of the string should be so smooth that it is undetectable. When changing strings, the point of change on each string should be fixed so that the change is as smooth as possible.

For example, when changing from G to Eing, the leap is very large.

The two strings inbetween will not be touched if the point of change is decided upon.

Another problem that performance can bring out is the change of fingerings.

Players with large hands have a constant problem of pushing away the fingers in high positions in the Eing, like Perlman, whereas players with the opposite problem of small hands face difficulties in playing perfect fifths, chords, stretching for notes and wide intervalic leaps or shifts.

One must adjust according to one's own physical limitations. But none of the above mentioned gets in the way of building up technique and experience.

Great performers such as Kyung-Wha Chung has suceeded with hands a third that of Perlman's whereas Perlman is giving beautifully detailed performances despite his large hands.

Chung has said that she uses the fourth finger constantly to give natural, expressive emphasis in her performance: it is important to use the relatively weak fourth finger to strengthen it instead of changing fingerings to accomodate and avoid the fourth finger.

Therefore, in order to produce a performance where the fingering is not an obstruction to the music, no finger from the left hand should have preference over the others.

To build a left hand that is equal in its use of the fingers, the student should practice scales and trills in three octaves.

Each finger should anticipate the movement and be close to the string , ready to play.

Economy of movement is important.

The pressure of the fingers should be not too weak or too strong: one should make the adjustment by judging the sound.

If the left hand is too relaxed there is not enough strength to articulate but on the other hand, if the hand is too firm, the player will experience pain. One can only find out through trial and error.

Anything that is natural is beautiful. It is my belief that any movement that is the most suited to the physiche of the individual player is the most natural.

Music is a product of human nature, together with the rest of the arts, and that is the reason that it has been revered fever since the ancient times.


Let's consider one of the features of the left hand. In many cases one can feel that the vibrato equates and defines personality of the performer.

I do not agree. One cannot judge the musical personality of a performer based solely on just one of techniques of the left hand: the whole performance that includes interpretation and musical judgment must taken into account. Of course the vibrato determines a part of the tone color and is a part of the player's personality.

But the whole nuance of the performance is a culmination of the whole technique of playing and the vibrato will or should change according to piece.

Intonation must be adjusted according to the nature of the vibrato and therefore the choice of intonation and vibrato goes hand in hand.

One of the most frequent questions that I am asked concerns the speed of the vibrato.

This has been studied from many years ago. Some say that the fast vibrato shows energy and therefore is the best: some say that the slow relaxed vibrato is best.

I think that it is best to have both kinds of vibrato but if a student is inclined to one or the other, one should always focus on the other kind of vibrato that the student lacks so that one can aquire a good variety.

The width of vibrato depends largely on the different makeup of the hand.

It is, of course, best to balance the width and the speed of the vibrato but in many cases students tend to use the wrong balance.

In other words, the slower the vibrato, the smaller the width should be: the faster the vibrato, the larger the width.

It is common that students do the exact opposite. A beautiful tone is created by a combination of the ratio of the speed and width of the vibrato.

The physical characteristics of an individual player will enhance the quality of the tone but in many players the vibrato will change throughout their lives.

Just like the face and the body changes even in adulthood, performers experience changes in their playing.

Oistrakh's monumental tone and vibrato came into fruition after his forties, as did Szeryng's and Milstein's pearly tones.

Of course these player maintained a wonderful sound throughout their youth too but the performances after their forties were that much more polished and outstanding.

The only player who sustained the same sound was Heifetz.

Most performers and students must be challenged by improvement of technique and tone throughout their lives.

Tone production and intonation is subject to endless investigation and as the left hand becomes stronger, the right hand will naturally follow.

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Explaining High Tech: 35 Exercises (Exercises 26-35)

August 17, 2014 04:19

Here is the last in a three-part blog series that contains my 35 High Tech Exercises, which are meant to challenge, stretch and strengthen your left hand. Here I have given links to sheet music for each exercise, along with an explanation of how to do each one. Click here for Part 1: Exercises 1-12, and here for Part 2: Exercises 13-25.

Be careful, and enjoy!

Eun Hwan Bai

High Tech: 35 Exercises (Nos. 26-35)

Exercise 26 Sheet Music
Exercise 27 Sheet Music
Exercise 28 Sheet Music
Exercise 29 Sheet Music
Exercise 30 Sheet Music
Exercise 31 Sheet Music
Exercise 32 Sheet Music
Exercise 33 Sheet Music
Exercise 34 Sheet Music
Exercise 35 Sheet Music

* * *

Exercise 26 Sheet Music

This exercise is a method for training '3 string chord' and '4 string chord', with using all possible fingerings allowed by each combinations. From the beginning, you have to master the vertical interval first, and then, you need to move the scale upward as well as written here, of course, it will not be easy. However, if you have found some measure of preferential intonation, in order to find the distance against movement of the pitch, any two or more chord notes must be repeated reciprocal movement several times to master the distance.

The difficulty of intonation can be overcome through the stretch, but for the smooth movement between the positions, it is important to check the status of movement of the multiple fingerings simultaneously. Particularly, simultaneous movement of chords with 3 or 4 fingers is no joke, is not easy. It is not absolutely impossible to play, but at the same time, it is like a computer, movement of sound is in fact, virtually depending on the each finger's sense of distance in advance. Especially, in the first chord, 4,1,3 fingering, when 4 and 1 for the 3rd, and 1 and 3 for the 6th, that would be very inconvenient.

However, if you understand and train the 'pre-contraction' in advance, it is not so much difficult to do. The opposite of stretch, the fingering of the opposite shrinking phenomenon; the contraction is a part of a very important 'know how'.
Particularly, in the chromatic scale; you need to continue to practice with only 1 and 4. Even in the chromatic scale, start the first note with 4th finger and next note with 1st finger, so, practice to shift repeatedly; which is necessary.

Using 4 strings chord, leashing 4 simple notes is an example, but the 4 string chord can be very difficult depending on the fingerings or the based on sequence of the notes. Almost infinite combination can be possible in 4 string chord, by use of careful fingerings, the composers can apply this order of sequence notes. Sometimes, however, a well-known violinist and composer, deliberately composed the following chord of the 4 string chord, for special personality and artistry of one of Schubert's violin solo, 'ErlKing', made ??the arrangement by Wilhelm Ernst.

Especially in his 'Last rose", the 4 string chord and other fantastic techniques, such as, one string melody, double harmonics, left-hand pizzicato, are covered all over the music. In the fast part of the melody, such as 'ErlKing'(piano accompaniment part, noisy sound of the carriage) with 4 string chord is need to be played at the same time, and in order to do that, as soon as the stretch of the left hand, must pull 4 simultaneous strings, as well as using the right hand shoulder of the bow, as a motor in the miraculous technique.

In the shape of the symbol of 4 string chord are in the lower part, in practice, based on the bottom note, you can imagine and emphasize the bass sound with arpeggios notes using the 4 strings. Then, if possible, try to draw the 4 note chord at the same time, and also try '4 chords bowing' at the same time.

Exercise 27 Sheet Music

As you can see, you must draw the 4 strings at the same time with the whole 4 string chord. Of course, it is the concept of simultaneous, 4 notes will try to make a sound as soon as possible using bit of a curve by the fast bow. The question is how to hold these 4 notes at the same time, in fact, your finger must be like a Classic Guitarist using almost all the length of the finger, on the side of the finger, straight line at 90 degree angle. In this way, even the other 4 fingers must be straighten at the same time, like the index finger's value, which end up playing like the guitar's left-hand, in fact, even this is very hard, the left elbow must be turning far inside all the way.

Of course, the intonation must be perfect because it is written perfect 5th, as originally should be clean notes, but although, the best of your ability, the finger lines must articulate each string and touching parts, and the fingers must be able to press properly. At first, the first touching part of the finger can be a little uncomfortable at this time, which you do not touch some part for the purpose of these efforts, but the 4 strings must be swallowed at once as a function of the strings and it must got to be very challenging to have confidence .

Starting with the second line, even though the appearance is a sign for the bottom of 4 simultaneous notes, it is based on perfect 5th increments all other above like a Guitar method. In other words, all bottom notes act as a guide in G string, and automatically lead the rest of the sound symbol in the shape of the perfect 5th increments, so, of course, you must make sure the note is recognized to sound which you practice of any notes.

In the lower part, you are not supposed to make the 4 note sound at the same time, but as you are used to the lower part of the ear, you must learn to make perfect 5th harmony with 1234 fingering on the basis of sound by using one string to stretch with arpeggio, so, between the notes, you must stretch a lot to make these perfect 5th arpeggio. In other words, if you are playing only with G string, although the note view is very difficult to identify, but in order to make sure,use the Guitar technique and first, 4 notes must check out in advance what the scales are made of and then, practice with fingering 1234 4321 1234 many times to stretch notes.

This level of stretch, the degree is in fact, so difficult and like a jump, but the each finger must connect the sound taking in turns, just like a calm, flexible walking. Of course, sometimes you lose the notes, in that case, you use all 4 strings again, and with the guitar method, try to confirm the notes and try that on G string only. Of course, as you go up, it is hard to confirm the intonation like no where, but if you keep repeating many more times, you can eventually input both the color of the intonation and construction of the 5th arpeggio in your brain as the automatic reflection. Even though it is very difficult to succeed, but try it, you will find a miraculous phenomenon.

Exercise 28 Sheet Music

As you can see, using all possible fingerings in each string, this exercise is an application of the combination scale method. First, only with 1st and 4th finger, try the chromatic scale on G string, but in fact, if you continue to climb up to the highest place of G string, as far as it can possibly draw the sound, even allow to leave only the bow hair space, until the sound is the sound of an extremely high sound, you can go up to 3 octaves with no problem. In other words, if it can climb 12 half steps in one octave, it is '12 semitones, 3 times’, 36 notes up and comedown with 36 notes, combine together, 72 half steps.

Same with D string, with 1st and 3rd finger, roll up and down the the scale, with 72 semitones (no need to be exactly the same) try high enough of the extreme place. If bow draw space is about 10 centimeters, leave only 1-2 cm long for the bow space and use the rubbing alcohol to wipe off the rest of the string with tissue moistened, but be careful not to touch the body of the instrument. Using water for a temporary wipe off is also acceptable.

With two fingers, going up and down with all half steps,
there are only six types of pairs, 12,23,34,13,24,14 in each string which probably the best training. Also the bottom is a diatonic scale, whole tone scale, which notes are consisting of whole tones in distance. This also helps if you continue to challenge to the top of the 3 octave climbing in one string.

At first, one octave, then two octaves, gradually move up this way. If you try not only all the available combination of each string, but also, hold the perfect 5th with 2 strings at the same time, you will certainly have the 'one stone, two birds effect’.

Exercise 29 Sheet Music

This is all you can think of all the common scales and arpeggios with fingers holding 2 strings at once, using naturally occurring perfect 5th. The problem is, of course, the high position and the location of weak 3rd finger and 4th finger that you have to overcome which is possible. Because if you think of the classic guitar and the cello, compare to their situation, we are just a nothing.

No matter what, your fingers can lay down in a high position like a guitarist and no matter what happened, your fingers can stretch like a cellist when you need to spread them apart. If possible, put your left elbow as much as possible toward the chest and the left wrist must be twisted counter-clockwise as far as it can play. It is always normal to have the combination fingerings to be changed infinitely.

If you only practice the perfect 5th scale persistently, it is just alright to have 'the intonation worries’ naturally. So, for the precaution, practice not too slow but slow enough to indicate clearly the conscience of the intonation to be in tune as much as possible, basically no need to be totally perfection but it is OK when it is more than 80% relief. The last note of the first line and up to the 2/3 of the next line, one is black, one is empty, purposely represented. They are certainly indicated as signs for the distinctions.

In the end, musical skills need the basic techniques as much as possible, so, the perfect 5th exercise is the main support and the measure of basic training. It is like you are trying to memorize a right words, “Oh-uh, what was that?” after
trying to memorize a few times, but it needs to process it again and again. So, intonation is a technique which needs to sharpen the skill for a lifetime refining.

Exercise 30 Sheet Music

This is showing the ultimate finger stretch method, but of course, if you are a fan for an old favorite Paganini’s famous exercise, still only a few masters have mastered this method, and almost normal players have to give up the attempt. In fact, I remember when was a student, I was shocked to see and reading the Paganini Biography book, inside, there was Paganini paintings, manuscripts of his music and a fake imitation picture of his playing of this technique was described.

Inside the book, at the first time looking at, it was almost impossible to figure it out, the 5th position holding the 4 E notes in octaves, even though, it's a well-known and admired, it was so weird, what a difficult memory. After decades later, a little by a little, I’ve got used with this technique of discipline, now, it is really easy to catch. Now, I can play in any fast tempo and any speed of this 4 octaves arpeggio chord up and down. It is interesting and fun to play with this technique on an easy song or a hymn, which is truly a large effect. If somebody shows this difficult technique at the first time, it is an eye-popping. But once you master this technique, you can have the stretch, flexibility, accuracy, power, and creativity to develop infinitely.

So, more then a wealth, a success, this effort of the true technique is the best training for you to learn to love the world, like you want to show musicality to serve as an important motor. This is a nervous phase of the score, even dare to challenge. However, dancers, martial artist, they train this whenever they can to stretch, even though this is not a joke to stretch, until the fingers are really flexible, you must stretch each fingers to put a fist between each finger and start to stretch even whenever your fingers can, even when you watch TV.

With Film canister, coffee cans, bottles, etc. insert it and stretch in between muscles and nerves, in priority. The problem is the pain in the left hand, especially 3rd and 4th fingers are weak. Sometimes, especially at the end of the 3rd finger, the very place touches on the side of the finger which can be trained like a stone until it solidify. Of course, 1st and 2nd fingers are all the time toward back sides, next to the fingertips to touch them, but specific reason is, 'Because of its strength'(^ ^), it is no problem.

First position from the beginning is the most difficult challenges, but first,
challenge from the high position, of course, without a lot of training, you can handle easily a 'high narrow 4 A’ position. Yet the intonations, at the first time, I do not care so much about the overall intonations, but flexibility of the fingers is the one you should care, if you succeed, and then, come down one by one, by half steps to automatically extend the fingers to give a little bit of distance.

Continue to do so until the final destination of a chromatics, come down to the 1st position one at a time (A Flat, also ^ ^), which of course, the success is possible only by constant effort. It helps on each finger to hold on to the perfect 5th except E strings the 4th finger. Always, a habit of taking each fingers to hold the two strings, a habit of the right hand milling by figure 8 characters, you must always keep both in mind and never forget to master. Perfect 5th must be practiced in all scales, particularly, must be conquered including in scales using only two strings up to the most high position. Of course, try with the fingers holding 4 strings using the arpeggios, in the bottom sample.

Exercise 31 Sheet Music

As it shows the bow is jumping two octaves alternating between the G string and E string, at the same time holding the left hand position and using distance among notes only with sound. In other words, arising form of the left hand which the dimensions of the hand is fixed to get the same effect as a chord, at the same time, so you will learn the horizontal note changes of two octave which are produced upward. In easy words, you feel the distance of alternating 2 notes, between 'bass and hi 'note’s changes, keep feeling the repeated vibrations of the sound, so, the ear is adapted to frequently varying training also helps to improve agility.

If you look closely at the formation of the consistent scale, learn the distance through the spontaneous alternation of fingerings, while forming a Mall of the hand in group chord shape which two effects are expected with one stone. The accuracy of the notes is in fact, still depending on all 4 strings which you are holding each notes with perfect 5th on both 2 strings. It is the mute sound, but for trials to draw a shape of the notes, in the form of D string and A string, try to have a good perfect 5th effect with mute string also.

Of course, the blurry intonation phenomenon will happen for the place of perfect 5th. Especially, it is very hard to draw perfect 5th in a high position with 4th finger at the same time, on E and A string, But still try to pick up the classic guitar hand shape as much as possible, with the finger stretched out with 4th finger using straight line to hold the 2 strings in the form of right angle. Unfamiliar at first, but in fact, learning the secondary technique through eventually bypass the natural habit, is the basic source of all technique.

Exercise 32 Sheet Music

As you can see, this is a natural harmonics phenomena which is a very simple form of perfect 5th away, that is 'one-third of the string distance', reports to create, slightly touch the upper perfect 5th note with the 4th finger, and tighten the bottom note slightly stretch and touch the upper 5th, to make a effect. However, generally resulting the sound of two octaves above perfect 5th, slightly touch your fingers toward the finger tip than the normal (personally thickness is different) to make up the distance (!), to the inside of the soft flesh of the finger, helps to make the finger generally straight line as much as possible, which is the best way.

As in the case of the natural harmonic sound, the 4th finger of the artificial harmonic sound of the bottom note, in this case is the same way, after the base note is firmly fixed, you have to learn the distance of upper note, at the same time, for the accuracy of the hand, stretch to find the place for both normal finger tip and harmonic finger tip. If possible, for the easy way to stretch, twist the left hand wrist in counterclockwise direction, put in deeply inwardly as much as possible. So, in advantage, you will get a good form of hand in convenience and easy to stretch. In addition, for the accuracy of the horizontal movement of each notes, you must be aware of the distance between the notes, at first, slowly, repeat and compare only 2 or 3 notes in rounds(!), several times to confirm the location, also must be noticed the distance of each shifting.

In fact, depending on the performance of the brain, at least it is usually a normal to memorize in 5-6 attempts temporarily, buy for a life time to remember, you have to at least memorize more than100 times, in rounds. The art of practice is made this way. So, this practice is one of the best examples of art represented in training of perfect sound, which is very effective and helpful.

Exercise 33 Sheet Music

Basically the first note is fixed note and by using the rest of the combination, at the same time, stretch exercises as much as possible, the aim is to develop accuracy of the note and flexibility. This is also used for the perfect 5th and perfect 5th finger action to relax at the end of the finger tip, and at the same time, in order to to help to remember the correct distance between the fingers, you must learn the well tempered chromatic halftone scale as much as possible.

So then, 'adjusting intonation’ is controlled for a personal taste for the color of the melody depending on the purpose of the regulation at the interval, but in general training, 'well tempered half tone’ has to be mastered evenly. In the the gap of the note to note, by raising or lowering the pitch, it may stimulate the sound might requires a separate exercise, which helps to raise the concentration of musical fundamentals, but to raise the effect of basic training, it’s no particular need to exercise this.

Because if you repeat the automatic controlled 12 half tones, which constantly move up and down like a printing machine, is an important goal. So, the practice one string with imaginary parallel melody of the sound, is for the formation of the melody and distance of the sound, so the best way is to try the arpeggio with all keys, with all combinations. This method is just a sample indicate merely based on the mind of anyone to practice which can be practiced in any notes, in any way of changing the position. With any string, any note, any position, any temp, any fingering,...., you must follow and understand the system of all places and situations can be changed, even with all kinds of bowing to look for help.

All combination means not only for the calculation, but follow the situational judgment at the end, fits the song, for the best advantage. Particularly, in the case of the exclusion of shifting, use deliberately stretch only, like a bottom sample, the 1st finger is fixed, and with rest of the fingers with a free speedy tempo by purposes of the maximum stretch, of this experience is good.

Free tempo means in fact from very slow, to the super fast speed of the free movement of self-control, like a tempo with all-speed trains, move slowly and getting faster and faster as you can adjust. In fact, if you are sure of the notes and intervals, it is all possible and easily done. Like when you play the harp, the arpeggio is moving instantly fast, colorfully, harmonically, like lightning.

Exercise 34 Sheet Music

First, in order to understand this exercise, definitely you need to know the purpose of double stops. When you draw two strings, you have to know either dissonant or consonant in intervals relationship and even you have to tell the difference of the harmony between the notes in the horizontal relationship and must be checked whether dissonance or not.

Yet it is easy to strengthen the left hand of on the perfect 5th training for a complete understanding of the perfect 5th, but instead, might be misunderstood when the fingers consequently lose the rough feeling. For perfect tuning, if possible, you must have the complete co-ordination of the notes, a noise can not be ringing until crisp perfect resonance, not only just like tuning sound blindly for picking up perfect 5th,

but also in relation to the elbow, horizontally must put inward to tune in and out slowly until it can be confirmed, and if you do not have time, just adjust the angle of the fingers and try to catch the perfect 5th. Until you complete all four fingers with perfect 5th, you need to invest heavily which this case is very helpful.

This exercise needs stretch of the fingers with required strength and flexibility at the same time, you have to maintain the angles as much as possible until the force is no longer hard to strive to. The reason of use of arpeggios with repeated broken arpeggio, is to know revalidation of the notes as notes are repeated to confirm to fix by itself. If possible, you need to conquer the highest point of high position, but when coming down, be more careful here too, even though it is shifting less, like a stretch, be careful not to loose the note.

Also same way in the fingered octaves, internally put the first finger in perfect 5th way, and stretch with holding the 3rd and 4th fingers at the same time, with the distance of the notes, and the check will be repeated. At first, it might be hard to relax, but pick 2nd and 4th finger up in the air, then keep hammering down so hard to get the speed and strength to back up the narrowing of the air gap.

Under the bottom, this type of method is described in more difficult way which is Unison arpeggio, for 100% accuracy and flexibility of the notes, if possible, it is worth to try with fingered 10th arpeggio, and if you overcome with the stretch, you will have tremendous flexibility and speed, and accuracy of a stone which is extremely effective. After all, when you can make a comfortable stretch, strength, flexibility, and accuracy, even at the same time, a good vibrato will be developed into yours.

Exercise 35 Sheet Music

There is no better exercise then this for intonation study. Because ‘harmonics' means, in fact, 'natural harmonics’ is a phenomenon due to the wavelength of sound. However, the black square shaped bottom note on the basis, is surely holding with the first finger, and the distance between the notes in proportional state, must be 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6 of the string length.

Simply, one octave of note, if you slightly touch with 4th finger on above half distance, the sounds is accurate one octave above the note. If you slightly touch the perfect 5th above the note, the sound is on the 1/3 distance of the string,
and 1/4 is the one you frequently use, the 4th above, if you gently place it, the harmonics sound is two octaves above the note. Because a such place is hard to find the accuracy, you really should look for the harmonic sound like the fingers of a microscope and carefully making sure to have the discerning ear.

If you keep repeating the success, the sense of success is input to your brain and at the same time, you will have the enhancement of skills. One must not be satisfied with just one success. With all notes, with all keys, you must continue to repeat the feeling through the infinity of sound that you can be a genius of the intonation, if you really apply this. It is easy, of course at first, to ignore the fact that 'use of common sense to the theory’ of the actual practice. With applying theory to this practice in the harmonics, the sense of the fingers cant be more accurate than the computer.

All virtuosos are enthusiastic about the 'double harmonics exercise', because it is confirmed that is true and realistic. Of course, you must practice along with the stretch, it matters, once you set the 1st finger fixed and even the 4th fingers is apart, the 1st finger is never shaken. Of course, for a short distance of the harmonics, if you are looking for good sound, slightly touch with the 2nd or 3rd finger. Even for the octave above the note, you can try to stretch with the 3rd finger.

For your reference only, it is simultaneously effective, if you are holding two strings with harmonics, for example, hold the perfect 5th harmonics with 1st finger with two strings, at the same time, slightly touch the 4th finger at the distance of the perfect 5th sounds above, with two strings to find the full perfect 5th double harmonics, that is very effective If you try in this way 'with all harmonics with two strings’, the effect is great, like 'two birds with one stone'.

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Explaining High Tech: 35 Exercises (Nos. 13-25)

August 17, 2014 04:13

Here is the second in a three-part blog series that contains my 35 High Tech Exercises, which are meant to challenge, stretch and strengthen your left hand. Here I have given links to sheet music for each of those exercises, along with an explanation of how to do each one. Click here for Part 1: Exercises 1-12, and here for Part 3: Exercises 26-35.

Be careful, and enjoy!

Eun Hwan Bai

High Tech: 35 Exercises (Nos. 13-25 )

Exercise 13 Sheet Music
Exercise 14 Sheet Music
Exercise 15 Sheet Music
Exercise 16 Sheet Music
Exercise 17 Sheet Music
Exercise 18 Sheet Music
Exercise 19 Sheet Music
Exercise 20 Sheet Music
Exercise 21 Sheet Music
Exercise 22 Sheet Music
Exercise 23 Sheet Music
Exercise 24 Sheet Music
Exercise 25 Sheet Music

* * *

Exercise 13 Sheet Music

At first, the distribution of fingering should be understood. Because at first glance, it looks like several lines of chord distribution is drawn as a line, but in fact, you only stretch on G string, with 1234 4321 extends as training. Of course, all except the few notes in the beginning are played as chord. The in following practice, a line of chord is really drawing upward on D string with 2 octaves and will continue to try until you can afford to sound and the downward is also the same.

Third exercise is synthesized chord practice on G, D string and D, A string with 12, 34 alternately fingered sound. This also can be trained with a variety of different applications, it can be moved on each string and on each key. In fourth exercise, the 4 octaves is carried out on all 4 strings, and it was developed by maestro Paganini a long time ago, but the main goal of training is to be carried out in every position even in the 1st position if possible.

Here, because it starts from the 4th position, you can make the scales up and down without much of problem, but in order to challenge from the1st position in advance, you must, without the instrument, stretch fingers each day ceaselessly to make the flexibility and strength. Fingers can be twisted in many forms, if you put it under your pillow before going to sleep(of course released in the morning) in a few months, the effect will be great.

The following exercise is a method through twelve semitones up and down in one string with the training of all keys, this practice is to make a team action, that is, in 12, 3 groups are created to make four notes in a group, think of the 1st note of the group as a team leader and while upward or downward, encourage to move to make sure the team leader's report. Of course, you can make two groups with bunch of 6, or 4 groups with bunch of 3, but usually composers work in the form of 3 groups with bunch of 4, which is much more appropriate.

The following exercise is glissando, but without making sound, deliberately drag up and down like a siren and the your goal is to make a very slow slide from the 1st note to the last upper octave. Identify the difference in speed, different sense in every tempo, deliberately select the slowest tempo and raise the speed gradually. The following exercise is a method by applying the double stops with glissando up and down on each key, so, a number of exercises can be made by themselves.

Exercise 14 Sheet Music

In this exercise, you will know how to practice. But, in fact, when you are repeating the same note many times, each shifting finger is absolutely necessary to have 'know-how' to become smooth. Of course, to be waiting for the next in line between the fingers with slowly shifts (^ ^), wait for the stand and give the replacement as deflected into the place to fill. The problem is that there is no empty space in between the notes, if you do not create a vacuum state, other noise will be heard. In order to prevent such a noise, you can really make the vacuum phenomenon at the moment of replacing fingers, so, keep contact very close and almost come in between the tight fingers and stick to the waiting fingers deflected.

It is hard to explain in difficult words, some of very few moments make a sound really deflected but it should be recognized as arbitrarily unavoidable natural phenomenon. In other words, a tree upon a tree, when we build a house with a technique use of the connection called, 'DoveTail', it is literally shaped like a dove's tail feathers, so the wood does not fall out with each other, so, it is a 'never to weave' technology. As usual here, it is good to have in a very tight connection as much as possible, while preparing, make wonderful hand shape in the state of a standby, line up with full force with feeling of little tight feeling on each four fingers. Particularly, toward high position, the replacement of fingers will cause 'replacing sound' heavily.

However, despite all of the notes, other noise must be waterproof. Especially, if order to have the safe waterproof production in moving different notes, it need to be concerned with the balance of the bow, string changes, bow direction movement with smooth movement as a part of the music like a melody line, are imagined and practiced. It is a very good method to keep repeating it many times without moving the note until it sounds easy.

Exercise 15 Sheet Music

The first line is just like Bazzini's 'Round of Dance', which is fun and very good practice for jumping ability, stretch, and flexibility. For a while, because of Heifetz's great performance, almost nobody had challenged the piece until the child prodigy, the 'genius' Menuhin came along to play the piece, whom received a rave review. Since then, almost all of the great performers favored 'fairy dance' as their 'Encore', and the part of reason is the lines look like a circus and spectators are watching and enjoy the scene.

In fact, the culmination of great technique, commercially successful, startled by Paganini's visionary art was so advanced that he planned to have a recital for the first time in music history to try and he wowed all Europe. Since then, younger musicians, composers were copying, Bazzini was one of them. W. Ernst also wrote the popular 'Last rose','ErlKing', and he gained the popularity and fame in circus art. Eventually the 'master of technique' is the best way. All roads lead to Rome, but in return, you must raise the skills of the circus in order to be, in a way to be a 'Master'.

Then next 3rd, at first glance, this looks like a regular 3rd, but in fact, this is a very different 3rd exercise that I have developed(Paganini might have tried). The sound is just like regular 3rd, but it has the role of the opposite fingering, totally opposite to normal catch. If you look closely, fingering on the D string is in fact on the G string, which would be very surprising to the fingering required. The role of two strings, using a huge stretch to the contrary with this fingering is one of the extreme trainings. This is also a kind of circus with the stretch, and after the training, you can see the ears development as well as the left hand is very flexible enough. In the bottom, at a glance, the double stop of 2 octaves is almost hard to imagine, so huge stretch. This is not my invention, Paganini made this exercise that he already had tried that method a long time ago.

"This is a Pinky Zukerman's favorite exercise method", a famous musician said, told me directly; (But of course he could not stretch^ ^) since then, I think of that whenever I try to stretch sometimes.

Exercise 16 Sheet Music

At first will feel right's a good exercise. In fact, the idea is so simple but in practice, actually you will feel the left hand touch is very insecure. Jascha Heifetz made sure, and emphasized to his students that the warming-up of touch exercises with sensitive hammering is important. This approach is emphasized several times, that the students do not have their own application to practice, but if you lead, let the imagination happen, it becomes much more effective exercise and interesting method.

In addition, endless development of rhythms can be even more creative, so students can reduce the boredom. The most important thing is the touch, because the pitch is always open to liable to anxiety, so it does not need the string touch is much too hard or any longer. It is helpful that if possible, the finger motion in the air can be landed to short a distance of catches, and the shifting must be focus on the distance.

As opposed to the action, you can learn to select the rhythm and the skills of balance by deliberately, stay for a long moment in the air, and touch the fingerboard very briefly. If possible, try to stabilize the pitch in a high position, it is the best effort until it is good. In application, it is a very beneficial practice to all the keys and left open to the possibility in all the strings, and all the arpeggios. It must be noted that the bow pressure control can be unstable due to anxiety of intonation, but you need to train the two part of brain can prevent and help each other no matter what the pressure of the bow adhesion is or how difficult the left hand is.

If possible, a long bow is deliberately used at the same time, out loud with many notes in a bow, this makes the best bow technique and the best left hand training. More than 100 notes, clean and fast in a bow, with complete perfect intonation can be made, and this effort is absolutely necessary. With all keys, very slow speed, you can set goals to digest in a bow to sound as much as you can and start with a small number and gradually increase the number, then eventually, more than 100 notes can come to digest.

Exercise 17 Sheet Music

At the first, of cause, you may think that you play the arpeggio in mix of two strings. However, the high-tech is the based on the ride in one string. That is, if possible, line of the note must be in one string for the full scale of their connection to the melody, so it can be resolved in one color. In other words, the performers take turns instead, so, the vocal line is changed by the bass, tenor, elto, soprano, by turning the song one string at a time.

However, at first, on the basis of the first phrase, one singer has to sing the line in one string to naturally start to become a singer, rather than changing strings, and even though it's little too difficult, if the melody of the violin perform on one string, it's much more impressive. So it became generalized in interpretation of the music using the slide or shifting as description of vocal line.

You should not use the shifting too often, because direct fingering without shifting is the most advanced fingering, so, here is the advanced exercise. All fingerings except the open strings, you must put in the order of 1234,4321, and next order is automatically set for the shifting of the range because it leads much easier. So, attempt to try in all strings and move around in all keys. Range of movement is available in the shape of the arrow, only displayed the bottom and the high note, so, it becomes easier to understand, and medium part is optional, but all the arpeggio must be prepared in any scale type might be.

If you use the perfect 5th using the application in the same way, after the training, the formation of the left hand will become in group form which is very effective. Especially in a very extreme rough representation, try to be a line of each octave is allowable to find a place until each string's top line(where the bow draw) to try to use some representation of arpeggios of four-octave jumping.

Although such a practice is a huge technical training, but after the polishing process, all the scales will become so easy and play it by itself, all due to the training.

Exercise 18 Sheet Music

At first look, it seems difficult to understand, but it is actually a very simple thing. When you create a range of the hands, X-shaped configuration is formed. That is, in the concept of the position, on the first basis parallel line creates to use two extreme points of the G string and E string, than also, when depicting the concept of catch, the sound is very helpful to the understanding of the stretch. In other words, according to the direction of stretch of the 'muscle pain stretches' (^ ^), on the basis of two different lines of G string stretch relative to the other lines making of E string, is completely different feeling. Rather, when you expand, first, the top of the stretch, put the fourth finger down, and other fingers must stretch backward becomes much easier practice.

So in some cases, once the 1st finger turns almost look like a straight line, the index finger is placed next to almost at the side of the fingertip. Here is the case, with all four fingers while picking up all the possible places of the fingers, should be used for the next two strings, so naturally catch the two notes even without sound, feel the perfect 5th internally, which it is excellent to catch. In this way, X box, (named) it is using the each position and each range of the distance of each 2nd,3rd,4th,5th,6th,7th,8th positions diagonally, this method of exercise feels very excellent.

At first, especially when the dissonant pitch is coming chaos by the pitch to the pitch,which makes you uneasy, but, do not give up, continue to unrest and continue to use the uneasy sound to practice the dissonance for the formation of color, eventually, later the intonations will become rather easy to listen to. If you train with stretch exercises as a group for each position, then you will realize one day, you feel the fingerboard comfortably like one position. So, because of the constant training, the music of all the masters, is in very comfortable feeling of the freedom, due to the masters have been highly stretched for the perfect intonation.

By continuing training, you must try to the maximum limit of the perfect intonation, it certainly seems to be endless, but you can not deny the fact, truth is, each level is made depending on your efforts.

Exercise 19 Sheet Music

If explaining briefly, this training is for instinctive jump skill development. The ability to test the limits of human potential, momentarily instinctive reflexes is the easiest to test. If somebody suddenly throw stuff towards your eyes, at the very moment, at least either avoid the stuff, at the same time, you will close or blink your eyes for sure. So, the instinctive action is to avoid the risk.

If you are slightly scratched a bit, even it hurts with a little blood, after a few days the skin will comes back to original normal state. Indeed, even if your flesh is badly torn, the skin will be sawed and mended, so, the flesh will be turned instinctively stuck each other in recovery function which revives the muscles.

If the violin training exercise of the use of this technique which makes full healing of reflexes of instincts, it is very effective. One of the most easy note to identify the pitch, is an octave. However, it is hard to visually verify the jump from one string, also it is even more difficult to understand if you calculate the position. If you use unconditionally, with the octave shifting and glissando techniques, it is rather easy to find the note and place.

Shifting, there are only two kinds, way of playing, the French and the Russian. Of course, the attempt to exercise both sides, so, the weakness must be avoided and keep the balance. In particular, if possible, in the upward shifting of the natural movement, the tone of the scale is preferably unchanged, and also when you inconveniently change the strings to move the position, it may cause the noise which must be avoided.

So, the bow must be slightly, carefully up lift, so, you can get rid of the uninvited noise fundamentally. As you move, start from a new string, climbed up to the high position as much as you want, and then fall back positions with changing string at the same time. In order to prevent the inconvenience and confusion of the movement of position and changing of the strings,
the exercise must be very slow and deliberately pick the moment and focus on that practice and repeated.

The next practice is a 'high level' exercise for using same two strings to stretch fingering only 'octaves and 5th'. 3rd and 4th finger are hammering in the air, in the role of pre-prepared to deal with, pitch accuracy and flexibility, and speed, so, this training is for 'your ability is in good hand'. Then next practice is the same, two strings with bottom perfect 5th, and trills with 4th finger octave above, so, this training is a really good medicine.

The last, 5th arpeggio with using simple fingering, 123 123 scale to simplified 5th as double stops is for the horizontal, parallel intonation relationships, shifting, and speed. Certainly you can become a master, if you train with all the strings and all the keys in this way.

Exercise 20 Sheet Music

Many years ago, at the time of writing this exercise, I have a special memory of live internet broadcast.

Every day, I wrote this exercise about 30 minutes before the broadcast, because in a hurry while writing, I scanned it directly to the system which showed no type or philosophy of exercise. Just an instant information was explained in the commentary. Please understand the funny signs, such as wrinkles, it means the chromatic scale. Even there is no such scale is written here, but there is no limit of the string(bow drawing area), if you can try to go up to your best ability, this chromatic scale can be very effective.

In addition, you must use the speed, with the vibrato and the glissando in two ways, both upstream and downstream of all 12 semitones in an octave. In the beginning,12 can be little too hard, but you can divide the groups in six, in four, or in three, so, you can master it. But the best approach is to create groups of 3 with 4 notes, all groups of 3, are in the same place, identified as upstream and downstream station, to serve as a confirmation of the move.

This method can be effective in almost all the songs for glissando. If you train this exercise with perfect 5th in two strings, it is much more effective, and better.
Particularly, the reason of this bowing exercise is to help to sustain the two strings, and give control of perfect sound of the two strings, because the pressure of the bow and the bow is catching constantly milling direction (figure 8 characters).

Hold the perfect 5th on the basis of two strings, and it is very effective to try the scales of chromatic, diatonic, minor 3rd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, diminished 5th, perfect 5th, minor 6th, major 6th, minor 7th, major 7th, octave, minor 9th, major 9th, minor 10th, major 10th, proceeding up ward. Theoretical scale and practical training course can be different, but if you can repeat it up to '2 octaves'(!), it can still exist. The such scaling method is drawn here and described in the scale. You must always keep it in your mind the application, 'knowing one and get to know ten', is the way of study.

Exercise 21 Sheet Music

It is a little hard to understand it at first, but if you look it closely and you will catch the system. Mainly the bottom part is drawn with music notes and other part is drawn with symbol figures on the top. The symbol is described in brackets in the middle of the exercise of the method displayed. The first string of the 4 octave chord is first, for solving one of the finger exercise, it can be symbolic, but before you try the rest, if possible, stretch them as warming up.

If you some how get used with the stretch, try one by one as described the following lines, then first, try to understand the sign in parentheses. Arpeggio is the bottom note which is literally the main note of bottom of the keynote, then, try in one string (G string) continuing 1234 4321 fingering, using the method of stretching. Then move the notes in the same way of the main keynote, So, it is a natural formation of the the away with 1234 4321 fingering, it is also the kind of movement that continues to the rule of the connectivity in scale.

And you can use the chromatic scale of 1234 4321 fingering with semitone relationship from the same formation of the stretch except this would be a contraction. However in the case of minor 3rd, in the same way of 1234 4321 fingering, the distance of the fingers will create the minor third interval relationship which is very familiar to the ears of the scale practice. The major 3rd follows the same way, and also the diminished 5th is just like the same way.

This octave Scale is very special, because, one by one, increase the distance of notes eventually really falling octaves of the distance, which is a great stretch exercise for very good ear training, particularly, for very good jumping ability.

Finally, the glissando scale, which you can apply the glissando to all scales above, slide all the way to the top of the scale with speedy vibrato, with using only one finger, 1st finger, 2nd finger, 3rd finger, 4th finger only,
with glissando and vibrato effects with full speed which therefor it is really the extreme exercise.

Heifetz's playing 10th scale using the glissando technique in Paganini 24 caprice, it is absolutely possible.

Exercise 22 Sheet Music

The symbols are also used here but in the end you will understand the symbols soon. Fingering 1234 4321 is stretched away with arpeggio for how to climb. Of course, the first look at this exercise, others may not know what it means,
but if you try other etudes as you can look at the arpeggio of the way, you will see the geometry of the method. And, you soon understand that 'apply together with perfect 5th', is the way.

Be sure to go to the vertical position each string, and first, master each requiring position vertically and horizontally so that the interval lining is just like a checkerboard pattern, or just like a fabric weaving machine, so this program is very helpful to the confidence of the intonation. Double stops, as well as other practice, this also you can just try with vertical and horizontal exercise, if possible try at the same time with you always need to create your own exercise program.

Of course, until where to find the good looking point of the fingerboard, has no limit. Even you have to draw the line in the part of 'the wiped area with alcohol deliberately', you will capture the point(^ ^)to find the good intonation. Particularly, the pitch point of the E string, just below part of the line of the bow drawing, is almost hard distinct the pitches among the high notes of the high-pitched sounds, the result is almost like sand sound, but you can find them through by 'imagine the pitch of your thoughts' of the high notes.

Theoretically, the human speed has limit, but you must try to speed up to the maximum. Even though, you do not use it in the performance, but for the training course, you are required to practice your maximum speed to see just how far you can handle. And if you can control it, that is a success.

Bottom sign is the same reason but using the trill, the pitch distance of the fingers and the fingers will be well trained, over and over again. Trill has also the maximum speed limit, but for overcoming the limitations your practice, try your best stretch, accuracy and speed of the notes, so, these efforts are the basics of inner power. The last line is a special exercise, of perfect 5th between the notes and the note of each fingers are in arpeggio format.

First, try trill type of exercise and slowly try 1234 4321 way. Until speeds up, you can sensitively use the jump some extent, but if you are comfortable with the speed, you have to stretch as a group and role the 4 fingers in a box almost at the same time.

Exercise 23 Sheet Music

This is a very beneficial method, of the state of 'perfect 5th', through the 'stretch' and 'glissando', you will also get up to the speed. In order have a good trill training, first, while using agility and elasticity of the fingers with maximum comfort, you need to lead and reflex it smoothly, and evenly like a motor, with a light touch automatically. To do so, as the first line of the example, you have to train the contrary rhythm of the fingers each other at the same time, to pursuit a good rhythm and space.

Especially, If you put an unnecessary power with the fingers, that is causing slowdown in the speed, preferably so, you need to put efforts to have the instantaneous elasticity with the relaxed muscles. Once you have comfortable relaxed trill movement: try the trill with stretches to connect to the sound, subsequently you will conquer the fingerboard. Then that is why the next training is very suitable, which is to stretch out with arpeggio, and also if you practice with holding the 2 strings with perfect 5th, the effect of exercise will be twice as much.

Of course, even if you can not expect the accuracy of the intonation from the start, but preferably, try to make a clean and full use of the tidy intonation. Application of all kinds of double stops is possible, with glissandos with all the exercises with each strings with each key to catch away with every stretch of this arpeggios with 2 strings. If you do this exercise, 'the fingerboard conquest is possible', but if you only give a few tries, you can not absolute master it.

Much the same with an old saying, 'if a drop of water continues, it will get through the stone.', so, the steady training and practice will lead the way to become a great master. This type of exercise, the method requires maximum difficulty and maximum patience at the same time, but you must fight against your own spirit.

The road cost that much, but once you master that level and win the battle against the world, then, all things will come along with the rest. So, it takes 'patience, perseverance and persistence' to master it, but, the results is 'You are a Master' of the most valuable technology you can not exchange with anything in the world.

Exercise 24 Sheet Music

In between the 2 octaves, a chord for all possible combinations of the four strings is enclosing which is a very good training exercise. A chord with 4 strings, the first vertical grip is not easy, and the 4 string chord has to move to up to the high positions and downward to the level which is a very difficult course. However, as if the cement hardens in a mole, from beginning, you have to carefully make a form of four vertical strings firmly, so, the chord to the shape is giving quite a bit of the power of the chord, and the brain must remember the effort.

Most of the people, give up the grip of 4 strings at the same time, but somehow you must be able to create a job. In fact, actually, nothing is impossible to catch right here. But, only four fingers are vertically stretched to have a fixed interval in 4 strings, which must be fixed, because the fear of slipping will keep it unreliable. In order to prevent an error, the same notes are played among the bottom and the top in two octaves, so, that was deliberately created.

In the meantime, you have to carefully fix and hold in between pampered harmonies, that must be set in octaves, or in relationship with 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, so, the four basic harmonies must be evenly distributed to all together. In other words, if the 3rd and 6th are at the same time of the notes, the middle note must be satisfied both sides evenly with well tempered intonation. That is, 3rd and 6th together make an octave harmony, so, the 2 octaves also make just same formation of harmonies between notes.

Therefore, if you are ready to control the intonation of 4 vertical chord notes, you will gain and master at least 50% of success. Horizontal movement is so formidable, but if you try with 2-3 notes in groups, it will probably be helpful.
It narrows down toward the top of the climb which is not so easy, but you must control of the intonation. But still, have the patience with 4 fingers, very carefully and slowly, when coming up and down they must moved at the same time.

That requires very intensive mental training but once you pass it, it is very helpful to master the Paganini Caprices No.1. In fact, at that time, Paganini himself has mastered his amazing technique, by working through this kind of exercises, and it was composed in such a subjective conviction by all means.

Exercise 25 Sheet Music

This exercises is very helpful discipline for harmonic stretch and flexibility and at the same time, to study the accuracy. In order to have this much of stretch, the fingers need to build a gradual inner strength to become a significant advance of training for the stretch. From the beginning, you may not be ready for a big stretch, so, first, try to stretch of your own limit from the significantly high position, and slowly come down backward one by one.

If you want to start a stretch from the first note for a challenge, like you have to warm up as much as possible before the first pre-swim, put your the left-hand against the wall or floor, and suddenly spread across each fingers in node status to try to stretch for more than 5 minutes, and endure it, this will turn up a good looking practice . The distance from bottom note and one octave harmonic in 1st position in one string(G string) means that a string length in one octave distance is a half of the note in string distribution.

So, the natural harmonics of the sound is possible, and it is called 'artificial harmonics'. The bottom not is deliberately fixed with the 1st finger, then the distribution of note is used for a various sound of mathematical basis of all scientific reasoning for the the technique, and the application of the technique is already used by Paganini in his several pieces

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Explaining High Tech: 35 Exercises (1-12)

August 17, 2014 04:06

After editor Laurie Niles wrote about my lecture at the 2014 Primrose Competition about my High Tech Exercises for the Left Hand, many people expressed interest in those exercises. Here I have given links to sheet music for each of those exercises, along with an explanation of how to do each one. All the exercises are contained in three blogs. Click here for Part 2: Exercises 13-25, and here for Part 3: Exercises 26-35.

Be careful, and enjoy!

Eun Hwan Bai

High Tech 35 (1-12)

Exercise 1 Sheet Music
Exercise 2 Sheet Music
Exercise 3 Sheet Music
Exercise 4 Sheet Music
Exercise 5 Sheet Music
Exercise 6 Sheet Music
Exercise 7 Sheet Music
Exercise 8 Sheet Music
Exercise 9 Sheet Music
Exercise 10 Sheet Music
Exercise 11 Sheet Music
Exercise 12 Sheet Music

* * *

Exercise 1 Sheet Music

This is considered to be "double stops", E notes should not be mistaken for symbols. However, "D string and G string only" tells you that you should thoroughly research and practice in order to fully understand the method. First, Hold the two strings with first finger continuously, and time to time, the shape of the finger, moving finger and fixed finger, will be changed in the double stops depending on the state of the stretch. Most of the time, one octave above the first and stretched finger is almost a straight line. In order to check the accuracy of the pitch, both strings should keep sound without stops and lined up in ideal comparison of the two notes which are forced to sound based on intervals. The efforts should be identified and comes automatic ,if you do make hard and painful pitches, it should not bother you to catch the wrong pitch sounds or impure intonations as you keep paying a little attention. So, the 1st finger is firmly fixed and the sound should not ever be shaken as much as it possibly can.
Most of the time, the state of finger stretch is almost strait lying down and touching the side of the fingertip.

In fact, here is an example of the application of each key, thereby literally holding the D string and E string which such notes are often acted as traffic cops to keep the pitch, but also act as the central pillars to keep your finger on the great benefits of a flexible core.

To maintain the degree of adhesion, the pressure of the bow need to continue to maintain the pressure constantly to the end of the bow, and the index finger should put certain the amount of pressure toward the end of the bow and must be raised progressively.

Bowing is more difficult to control more slowly. The speed and the pressure and the location are mainly needed to keep the certain balance that can be maintained to even the sound.

Pitch intonation and sound quality have to make the best possible and as much as possible by practicing slow and to make an effort, it should be practiced as listening through a microscope.

Practicing slow is difficult process, and listening hard really makes your mind and body tired. However, you can have a tidy through cleaning every corner in the advent of a patient. Training of the left hand has to come with your right arm moving very slowly, and your judgment becomes more accurate. Particularly, a good practice needs using a stretch slowly as possible and the inner muscle often occurs pain. So, in order to release the pain, you need to take frequent breaks.

Without the accuracy, the power and flexibility of fingers, you will not become an absolute master with few tries. The concentration and quantity of exercise, with through the innumerable failures as much as possible, get through the challenge manually, will be the way to the mastership.

Exercise 2 Sheet Music

This is a 'octave' practice. However, in reality, 'fingered octave' is more profitable.

First, by making constant building octave interval blocks, the arpeggio is naturally automatically shaped. The brickwork is formed automatically according to arpeggio, even the fingers hit each other, but the shape of fingers becomes fixed in accordance with the purity and accuracy of pitch . For example, the middle note of triplet acts as a bridge that connects the 1st and the last note of the triplet with even tempo and right pitch, at the same time, it gives the basic foundation for the present to next following.

In other words, it continues to ensure the notes that has to be right sound, therefore shifting is like a footprint, at the same time, it has the stability of the positive role of the safety pin when you climbing a mountain with the rope.

As it continues to connect, the shadow and footprint will remain a shape and distance as a map with arpeggio in your mind. So, this is like 'making a cloth', due to the automatic reflex in the shape of triplets, with a big picture of the connections drawn in your left hand which will feel a mole sense.

Based on the triplets, the bowing must be slowly used up to the end of the bow, including the vibrato and perfect intonation should be polished in the best sound quality.

The finger octave has the advantage of speed, so, you may speed up immediately when you just feel the octaves with certain familiarity or comfort occurs. Of course, it is impossible if there is no flexibility, speed and pitch of any to speak of accuracy. But, it is possible to grow flexibility by giving large twist your fist knuckles whenever you can. It is possible to change the direction of 360 degrees in the fist fingers, this training will influence the success or failure of the violin playing in your life.

You can become a high-level player if you maintain flexibility of the left hand by only practice; almost every day, like a habit, always stretch. Even in your sleep, this training will help; put your fingers crossed and put in your pillow, and your fingers will be automatically released.

The purpose of the triplet is evenness, the bowing has to be close to the bridge as possible, just above the bridge, while you bow slowly. If possible, keep a large volume and you should have the patience to continue all the way. Gradually raise the speed when you feel good and challenge yourself with making toward your top speed, You can maintain your ability when you always challenge for improvement of skills, for even the most difficult stuff.

Exercise 3 Sheet Music

This exercise is consisted of only the 3rd. But the main training supports 'the 5th down' internally while 3rd double stops move octave up and down repeatedly.

You need to get a new concept to catch perfect intonation on the basis of 'the 5th down' in all double stops as compared to be stable. The intonation and the color of 3rd will be very effectively improved with 'the 5th down' concept in double stops.

The first finger should serve as a pillar, also other fingers are compared to be 'modified' for the distance and you really need to learn to slow down for perfect adjustment. The triplets are main building format in this exercise and learn to use the fingering with 12, 23, 34,13, 24,14, followed by good sound with all six combination evenly.

Speed can be a little bit up gradually, only if naturally when the intonation of connection is somewhat not that difficult to connect. Until you are comfortable solving the intonation training, if possible, you should always keep using vibrato, sound quality oriented, better pitch, vibrato care, including better the sound.
If the speed going to be all right, the vibrato and sound will come together. So, from the start, you always have to practice slowly, vibrato and bowing, both are in close contact with the natural good sound quality with care.

I believe the function of intonation and sound quality depends on the perfection and completeness. However, you should be trained with the orientation of the bow which has the law to regulate the dynamics, feel of the sound. This 3rd arpeggio exercise is just a technology development and application of the Carl flesh Scale System rather than in any form. This arpeggio with 3rd can be made but also other applications are possible on different intervals. For example, arpeggio with 6th, arpeggio with 5th, arpeggio with 4th can be possibly made.

Finally, it's a good attempt that the octave arpeggio can go through this procedure. Even more, the best training can be made if you keep attempt with more stretched intervals to come up through. Eventually this process with chromatic scale will be the exercise that makes your ears familiar with all of harmonics.

I believe repetitious process of this kind can make delicate intonation pitch such as cloth making, and the interpretation of freedom is fully accomplished in music.

Exercise 4 Sheet Music

This exercise is consisted of only 4 octaves. Paganini discovered this exercise a long time ago, the invention of a descriptive way, but very few masters ever to fully mastered this technique. If you only to look at the score, four fingers consisting in between the octaves, it is a crazy idea. However, this training is necessary.

Also for the flexibility of the fingers, for the strength of the fingers, for the accuracy of the fingers, for the speed of the fingers, such self-control training is a great reference to endure when one passes through the process and will be very great reward.

"Many birds with one stone effect" can be obtained from such training. The truth is "pain is certainly a blessing". Stretch slowly and deliberately practice often. As a point, you are able to find, that even if the intonation is similar in the first position, you have to approach over and over again to get them confirmed in tune, then the result of training would be very excellent.

Even from the beginning, you will eventually stretch of the first code, but in the future, as long as you do not give up the violin, you expect sometimes 'grabbing repeatedly' effect can be very useful. 'Flexibility', 'accuracy' and 'power' will not occur over a night, but if you have enough patience and unremitting efforts, just like the dust collecting for big mountain, building a 'life long skills' can be expected.

With all kinds of key, with all kinds of bowing, and with all kinds of tempo, you need to create your own applications for exercise and method which is a natural requirement.

All the scale scores eventually communicate with the configuration of sound made by only a composer's ideas which are parts of. The use of a metronome; Do not use it often, but I need to use it for not only to raise the tempo for gradual chromatic scale training but also for the method when you want to get even sound, sometimes getting help with machine is needed.

Exercise 5 Sheet Music

This scale is made up with 'triplet'. The reason is, for the sake of the note's evenness, which identified as the triplet listed, notes are done spontaneously automatic because triplet beat evenly. If four of the lists is done mainly it become sixteenth notes, but in this case, thanks to the three listed as triplet, helps to pick and force the tempo evenly and at the same time it leads the beat evenly. After all, even if you play any tempo triplets consecutively, it has tendency to be a long boring because in reality the nature of songs, mainly four note setting is used more to raise the speed.

However, for the purposes of training, so that a continuous sequence of notes are purpose to train, the three notes setting, the triplets are very helpful. In this particularly case, for each key, one by one for each start-up note and the last note, they formed part of the same design, because the purpose is, they are made ??of natural connection between the keys. Triplets are mainly focus on the purpose of adjust, but if you are looking at the left hand vibrato, due to laziness you do not vibrate much.

So, start slowly and deliberately vibrate, so that triplets will have the vibrato evenly and gradually speed up, this habit always must apply to the scale with 100% sure.Vibrato has to have the value of no limit of the tempo until there is no need to continue to keep the injection. No matter how fast pieces represent anything, even when the difficult passages emphasize the group's technique efforts, vibrato should sound even more impressive when it vibrates.

The accuracy of the note always depends on checking with open strings, even in this comparison, at least check the keynote in every octaves. And 'perfect 5th note' dominant has to be checked each time, so the sound is good when it arrives.

Exercise 6 Sheet Music

This practice is continued to use the two-octave sound using the G string and E string line to the high position in scale up and down, at the same time, the bow move is very effective study.

For speedy flexibility exercises, the right elbow preferably fixed against the wall, so, the right hand wrist is forced shaped the circle motion by moving the ones(samples), the bowing must be understood until you feel the effects of exercise.

Of course, the accuracy of the intonation is the issue, because you need to move at the same time, but for the instantaneous sound of the chords, you have to continue to memorize the pitch and move fast and quickly hear the sound of two octaves as much as possible so that you instinctively raise the accuracy.

Like a railroad line, 1st finger and 3rd finger need to be fixed to ensure the stability of the pitch as if both fingers are just in next sidebars which should be fixed to perfect 5th with 1st finger holding with D string and the 3rd finger is holding on with A string grabbing two lines to make the security of intonation.

Next, there is a unique practice of drawing, all four rows of perfect 5th, which the chord is formed to create a fingers to lie down as much as possible. Like Classic guitar, in order to make each finger to cover the fingerboard, the left hand has to lie on the side of fingers and it must be guitar shaped most of the time lie down.

Four strings are meant to be covered, and by doing this, because the cover action is also very inside of the left arm, the elbow will be entered into the deep stretch exercises, which are very helpful.

Particularly, in this way, even 4th finger has the 'training of 4th' after picking up the perfect 5th, especially, as part of the Paganini Caprice No. 24 Finale, inevitably the power is very beneficial.

Twisted lines are displayed on all four strings of perfect 5th notes, although all the notes are not drawn, you need to confirm the names of the notes of the commandments.

Particularly, in high position, notes should be deliberately known until you are familiar with the commandments and memorize them and even if the notes are listed loosen, the ear should be accustomed to release and speak the notes automatically.

So If you imagine to jump the 5th interval in one string, the note could be easily found and identified, along with shifting it is very helpful to increases the accuracy of the pitch.

Prior to the ear to such training, due to the natural habit of moderately pressed 5th, it is identified as a very weak sound, so, you need more effort to put the perfect 5th firmly to make complete catch and pure sound.

Especially, for use of high notes with 4th fingers, you need to keep good sound quality even with these efforts, and there is no absolute success without expecting this training.

Always you have to try the better sound quality and more accurate pitch.

Of course, on a daily basis, it is important to keep a variety of training continued with each key combination, with all kinds of bowing.

Exercise 7 Sheet Music

This is for 7th Exercise. By coincidence, training 7th is at No.7 exercise.^ ^

In Harmonies, the role of the dissonance is as important as general ones. The world of all things is made of the Major and Minor. Notice even in ancient time, under the sun, in the role of the shade and shadow, wise men's invention of the sundial is based on all the basic elements. Because of dissonance, regular harmonies fully shine. However, in general, training scale is completely focused on regular ones.

In "3rd, 6th,10th, and octave" your ear is accustomed to regular ones and it is not too difficult to discern them definitely in tune or not. Of course, training for the exact perfect intonation is also another issue, but it is not so difficult to discern the higher and lower pitch. However, without training, it's hard to hear dissonant 2nd, 7th, 9th, because your ears are not sensible to hear the high and low state.

First, in order to get acquainted between harmonies, relate to dissonance, you need to listen repeatedly. So until you get used to dissonance, continue to do the scale 7th only with 7th until completely satisfied, continue to do the scale 2nd same way, and the training should be repeated separately.

In fact, good ear is not a joke until you really should cultivate patience, you do not hear well because you give up easily on the painful sound, practically confronting the dissonance which is usually the reason. But the fact is speaking to any hurts, there is no torture physically, no harm is done to your ears.

Just accept the fact that you are accustomed to consider the pain a little patience, and consider this as the restorative. Dissonance is really pretty, if you get somewhat familiar with the sounds. So after you do intensive 7th training on No.7, you will really have the Master's ear (^ ^).

As you can see, the scale is based on Carl Flesh system centered of the A key to all the arpeggio even included the chromatic scale intensively. Particularly, the keynote was focused and displayed in black for understanding the notes. Double stops must be trained by all of the six combinations using 12, 23, 34,13, 24,14. Particularly, bowing must be trained in triplet, attempt to put maximum number in one bow, at least, literally it aims to maximize the training very effective

Exercise 8 Sheet Music

Hopefully you realize and understand that black rectangular shape pillar shown here is the basis to the intonation. This allows very accurate pitch and speed that you can own high technique which shows the primary key components of power and speed.

It is a car shifting function; shifting in position movement , and 1st finger as reinforced role in the movement are absolutely critically needed for other fingers' movement. So it is shown here to remember the basic scale with 'building brick walls' more detailed shape. Just simply apply to each key, and you must be careful as much as possible, the 1st finger must not move except the shifting movement.

You do not feel the need of vibrato because it moves quickly and also because it moves more notes in one bow. Because, the1st finger is being held, even when you want to know the accuracy of the pitch with trying to slow down, keeping the 1st finger fixed is helpful for training. Of course, the 1st finger can be lifted in slow speed for natural vibrato if you are playing a popular melody line. Perlman, sometimes, his 1st finger is turned back down fully, when he focuses on vibrato with his 4th finger. For that reason, in performance, normally only if you have the 1st finger as a fixed pole, the technical part of the scale is stable and reliable, so speed can be raised.

In the first attempt, the open string and the fixed 1st finger, drawing both together will make the effect of double stops, and for sustaining of the bow which allows two rows, put maximum pressure on the bow to ensure the health of the sound. In fact, all the basic scale has to play forte while maintaining the volume, if possible, slow down the speed of slurred bow while the left hand notes are more busy, which means, raise to the maximum.

Particularly, sustaining the fingers continued in two strings in a high position can be very difficult, but, need to overcome and make it familiarize yourself, so the advanced technology can be obtained. Even at top of the fingerboard, with fingering 1234, with all four fingers holding two strings at the same time comfortably, this is the highest level of technology of Paganini Caprice, and it is a key element of the technology to become absolute master.

In fact, the difference between strength and power is just only a concept, real technology is using a law of power with no power. There are two forces, one; like a fool to waste power unnecessarily, force to force, two; indeed without any power, relative force (induction), use the forces of nature (gravity, elasticity) as a result of seeing the best effect wisely, of course, the latter is the true power.

Exercise 9 Sheet Music

Just by looking at No.9, most of you may think the fingerings and the black square symbols make no sense. But the basic idea is fundamentally through the arpeggio of 'brick building' (term coined ^ ^), preferably, at the same time, you will get the consistency of tone and color (even color picked out in a string) which is a very good training. So, the open string sound is painted in black rectangle, represents a whole note effects.

In other words, due to continued drone notes, it's a verification process, of brick building of arpeggio in the bottom or above. Because, while raising the accuracy, space of intervals, chords and double stops, even rhythm are forced to speak with open string.

Most of fingerings are unusually using stretches (^ ^), but the combination can create much more than this. For example, 123 123 123 432 432 432 may be simplified manner, 124 124 124 431 431 431 stretch and contraction may be used together. Fingerings posted here are only brought out one by one, because it is a little confusing. Anyway, feel free to use the fingerings, which is possible to find a creative color.

Noise occurs when you draw two strings, first, when you draw bow, when you change fingers, when you change the strings, the unwanted fundamental noise happens, so, silence (soundless)is the best way, not to make any sounds. Because, simply noise is a bow touch by unnecessary animation or the left hand's touch on strings by another unnecessary cause, so, if you want to make a silence, your left and right hand must not move any strings or bow.

To explain again, if you understand the "art of waiting" (words made up ??^ ^) which has the sense of there should be no unnecessary urgent motion or the brink of moving or reducing the movement of the left hand and bow, it is very helpful technically or musically. Even when you change your bow at the frog or at the tip, wait in advance without bumps before next note.

And also if the fingers before the following notes (double stops must be ready in advance) move around, rhythm can be broken and you may create unnecessary different notes. You must seek the basic of the pure sound quality only.

Exercise 10 Sheet Music

As you can see, the reason No.10 is carefully drew up on every scale one by one (^ ^), is intended to describe accurately. The explanation includes there is no fingering difference in between minor and major scale. Of course you can also choose to be different on purpose. But here explained reasoning, all of the key's fingerings are the same from the start to the end to simplify on purpose.

Once you start, all except open string in G minor, G major scale, at the beginning of the keynote, 1st finger is used consistently up and down to the base note. The reason why not bother to show the rhythm is you can create odd number with the triplet rhythm also create the even number with four notes per group.

While understanding the concept of rhythm of even, odd situation, you can actually perform accordingly and able to change freely. The changing various key and fingerings are free. But first, the basic fixed fingering is needed (!) and gradually nurture and cover the ability to all the rhythm and speed with flexibility.

One bow up and one bow down in slurred on purpose, of course, the tempo in one bow can't be slow. So at the beginning, you have to start slow to afford to put enough number in one bow for resolving weakness, gradually get used it and preferably it is helpful to practice to include bunch of multiple notes in a slurred bow. After all, no matter how difficult in the left hand, even a lot of notes are in the bow, you must not give up the volume, the degree of adhesion of bow and keep the even sound; that is the most advanced technique.

Double stops are also the same, always evenly draw the same concept of patient and degree of adhesion to the maximum, that is, must be attached near the bridge. Heifetz played the most so close to the bridge and in the maximum adhesion, it is almost as cool as sushi knife, owing to its degree of adhesion, such as martial arts, such as a laser beam, it is the highest level of bow skill.

Heifetz method is the best , he has the best bow technique and the best left-hand without a question. In Heifetz class, all this in addition, you have to practice the slurred staccato scales (down, up); Eugene Fodor said.

Exercise 11 Sheet Music

It should be noted, in practice, rather then the unconditional movement of the fingers, one by one, while with feeling in the note's change in the number of vibrations of the sound, it should be confirmed that up and down of the sound need to be together with the tip of the fingers movement.

In other words, the effect of the glissando of bel canto, singer's singing sound is like a very gorgeous decoration of arbitrarily kind of technique, also the sliding (^ ^) seems to handle the great tone, as well as, along with supporting the back phrase, is one of the fundamentals of violin playing.

When you play the melody mainly, with this technique, it represents one of the expression of emotions, but if possible, too much glissando (a kind of shifting) may be rejected, so, you should try the proper amount of the sensitivity and feeling of the material in order to suit the atmosphere. As you can see, of course, the symbols are in a straight line, but in accordance with its own, the tempo and bow can be very different moves. So at first try, almost as if as the semitone scale, the intonation must to be evenly raised in a chromatic scale(in fact, the frequency of sound).

If possible, find the confidence to speak the vibrato is recommended when upon the target of one octave has arrived. All scales, "In fact, must be included with vibrato", makes a true master (Henryk Szeryng claimed ^ ^). All the scale means all double stops, up to all including even the 4 octave code, because of that, we always think of the broad concept of scale whenever we (^ ^) will need to be prepared for a challenge.

As you can see, the wavy arrow is a method of the distance of twelve semitones, using glissando with vibrato technique in use. In other words, with a good understanding of vibrato to the motion itself, you must use the recoil of the up, down movement made in ??full. This technique is featured in Wieniawsky, Tchaikovsky, Paganini, so, it is favorite colorful essential skills for advanced cone technique of performance, so, you have to naturally practice the octave into 12 quickly, accurately counted by 1/3 or 1/4 or 1/2. In other words, 12 = 3x4, 12 = 4x3, 12 = 2x6, 12 = 6x2, you must be aware how it is calculated and how it is distributed at any time, with any notes, in your head for your performance.

Mainly you may practice, groups in three, groups in four,(Carl fresh way), but generally in the practice, playing Bach Partita in G minor, Presto, the final movement is thought to be distributed in various approaches. Each time you are emphasized, with all keys, with all arpeggios, with all combination of the fingering can be trained according to your own choice.

Exercise 12 Sheet Music

Uh oh...if look at No.12, it becomes chaos. But look closely to discern the sign of the form, as it means, one with empty note(whole note), one with full note(quarter note), at the same time, they are painted as double stops, but that's the intentional display for ease of division. Throughout the complete No.12, starting to stretch with the perfect 5th to the 13th, promote (^ ^)every line one by one. However, if possible, you have to practice only up to your limitations that how much you think it is good to try.

Glissando, up to more then 10th, can be so hard that you should be careful, so, it is better to wait until your sensitive fingers becomes flexible. In Paganini Caprices, 'wide-open 13th' often emerges in places (No.3, No.12 Caprice). So here, 13th is trained, but it is not the only one to catch, that continues to slide up and down, using a chord with up and down can be very intense training, and it is fearless , because you must have a tuff practice in spirit of 'Sparta Training'(^^). In fact, if you do this, you sleep well at night, because you do a highly technical training of the violin.

So, when your fingers in fact suffer from difficult experiences, your mind and body state is just like you ran whole day of a marathon. So, through 'hand acupuncture' (put needles in hand), it can be a way of curing the body. Yes, once I experienced this several times, hand acupuncture, which (like porcupine needles in both hands for about 30 minutes with hundreds of sets) the memory of the effect was very good one. Thanks to many masters who have the training of strings in deal with the left hand to exchange for a long life, are well known.
It is also seen here virtues with cultivating patience.

Of course, at first time, you should not give up at all for the concept of patience, but once you try, try until it worth the effort, so, itself makes a very valuable skills and also ensure the unmistakable add with the depth of inner power. For the accuracy, the pitch, the ear improves by opening, obtaining the ability to discern the tone easily, and it is not possible to easily distinguish the notes from the birth without all the hard training. That is why you have to overcome, like even

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