April 2013

Whistling E Strings

April 29, 2013 10:10

Nov_17_2012_046 1_BlackWhite2

Whistling E strings can be a royal pain in the neck but there is hope and help. In this video, I discuss what can be contributing factors to the whistling E string. Make sure to replace your E string regularly. Old E strings will whistle - I replaced my E string right after this video. If the E string is more than three months old and you practice or perform on a regular basis be sure to change the E string at least every three months. E strings tend to get worn out before the other strings.

I also discuss "Going Tubeless" and how to "Go Tubeless" with your E string in this video.

Enjoy the video :)

Happy Practicing!

Heather Broadbent

Subscribe to my newsletter for playing and teaching tips

and to my youtube channel

3 replies

Pizzicato - How to Go Quickly from Arco to Pizzicato

April 22, 2013 05:27

Nov_17_2012_021 1

Pizzicato - A technique easily overlooked.  In this video, I discuss how to go quickly from arco to pizzicato.  Sometimes there is not a lot of time to go from using the bow (arco) to plucking the string (pizzicato.) I demonstrate the last measure of Gossec Gavotte before the D.C al Fine, from Suzuki Book 1.  In order to expedite the transition, I demonstrate plucking without changing your bow hold but just freeing the index finger.  This puts strain on the pinky and if you do not have a strong pinky in your bow hold be sure to watch my videos about bow hold strengthening exercises.

Left hand pizzicato is also great tool to have in your toolbox for these situations.  A great example is the famous excerpt from Midsummer Night Dream Scherzo where the pizzicato occurs without a rest from the arco.  Enjoy the video:)

Bow Strengthening Exercises, filmed overlooking beautiful Gabrovo, Bulgaria.

Another video discussing pizzicato using the piece "Surprise Attack" in Evelyn Avsharian's book, New Skills.

1 reply

How to Cleanly Execute Double Downs, Lifts, Circles, and/or Retakes :)

April 4, 2013 07:11

Nov_17_2012_020 1

Circles, Lifts, Retakes, Double Downs are different words for the same action. In music you know when to do this when you see two down bows one after the other – usually with a rest in between or you also will see  two up bows one right after the other again with a rest in the middle. If the two up bows are without a rest then they are a usually a different technique with the bow and are more of a hook but that is another topic for another day. In this post I focus on bow circles.

I will start with explaining down bow lifts, circles or retakes and from this point I will refer to them as circles. When you first learn down bow circles the easiest way is to put a small sticker on your bow just below the middle of the bow. Play a down bow starting at the sticker and after you pull your down bow reset your bow back at the sticker.

The secret to successful retakes............yes there is a secret:)

The secret is to set the bow first and then pull the bow. When you set the bow you eliminate what I call crash landings – when the bow lands and bounces out of control. Start in slow motion – pull a down bow starting at the sticker reset in the exact same place and be sure to set the bow and then pull.

When one first learns double downs it is very difficult, at first, to produce a very clean attack on the second down. Many times these "crash landings" occur because the bow is flying way too far from the string. Also, be careful of where you start the bow strokes. If you try to do double downs or double ups in the middle part of the bow, close to the balance point, you may have a bouncy bow because this is where the bow likes to bounce. So for your double downs stay below the middle of the bow.

No matter if you are doing up bow circles or down bow circles the secret is the same.

If you are using the sticker method, the technique for up bow circles is the same. Start at the sticker and play an upbow, reset the bow at the sticker and play another upbow.

Enjoy the video and Happy Practicing your bow lifts :)

In this video, I discuss and demonstrate the very important secret to a clean double down, circle, retake or lift. The double ups discussed are slow double ups - fast double ups are a different technique and will be discussed in another video :)

This video is a great supplemental teaching video for "Song of the Wind" and "Oh Come Little Children" in Suzuki Book 1
or for the folk songs in Solos for Young Violinists Book 1.

Heather Broadbent

Subscribe to my newsletter for playing and teaching tips

and to my youtube channel

3 replies

More entries: March 2013

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Virtual Sejong Music Competition
Virtual Sejong Music Competition

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases



Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins


Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine