Ben Chan

Conquering Octaves at Fast String Crossing Speeds!

April 18, 2015 18:03

Hey violinists!

My student who has been working on the Wieniawski D minor concerto 1st movement is getting ready to perform it at a solo festival called "NYSSMA" in a few weeks.

One of the hardest parts for him right now is the last page octave runs with string crossings. So I created a YouTube video to help him practice and addressed it to everyone hoping to help someone else out there!

I'll be the first to admit that my octaves aren't perfect, but I do think the techniques I discuss in this video are applicable to everyone regardless of where you're at skill-wise.

In summary:

RIGHT hand:

- Tilt the bow as little as possible when moving between the two strings.

- Move closer to the lower middle part of the bow to access more natural bow weight/gravity to produce a nice sound without having to work too hard

LEFT hand:

- Use your 3rd finger up against your 4th finger to help push it up. Keep your 1st and 4th finger forming an octave (hand frame).

- Practice RELAXED. If you practice relaxed all of the time, when performance time comes you can continue to relax and things should continue to work! It has done wonders for my own playing - good-bye to the vast majority of my stage fright!

Best of luck to all of you! Please let me know if this helped you and if you have other suggestions for the rest of the violin community as we all struggle with (and hopefully conquer) this very difficult set of violin techniques!

-- Ben Chan

12 replies

Applying Music Theory to a Hard Musical Passage

April 4, 2015 17:13

Hi everyone!

I'm still enthralled with Wieniawski's D Minor Concerto since my student is preparing for a recital. While teaching him last night, I taught the principle that I share in this video.

Enjoy, and thanks for all of your feedback!

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3 replies

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