Do you know how to time your left hand for spiccato?

January 27, 2016, 4:51 PM · I've put together a new video, using the last page of the Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso that shows how the left hand timing for spiccato differs from the timing for other kinds of bow strokes. Great players know that the fingers for spiccato must stop the string early in order for the notes to sound cleanly and in time. But now you can see it for yourself, up close and in slow motion. There's even a split-screen where you can see the same passage played slurred and spiccato! The audio is lined up but you will see the spiccato fingers moving earlier. It was great fun to make and I couldn't wait to see the slow motion test for myself!

By the way, I have included closed captioning for this video. I often get this request from non-native English speakers and I must say that youtube makes it very easy! Once my video is made, I watch it and type up a text file of the words that I've spoken. When I include that as part of my video upload, youtube automatically syncs the text to the audio and creates the captions. Very cool!


January 28, 2016 at 02:42 PM · Many many thanks as always Nate for this video. Your videos absolutely set the standard for violin videos. My question is rather pedestrian. The very fast spiccato playing that you demonstrate, would other people call that sautill√© or is sautill√© still something else for you?

January 30, 2016 at 04:43 AM · You know, I've never found the distinction very helpful, so I don't use it myself. Maybe there will come a time when I think of these strokes differently, or teach them differently. For me, the big distinction is on the string/off the string, or from the string/from above. I don't think of a division between slow and fast spiccato. Hope that helps!

January 31, 2016 at 01:59 PM · Awesome. I keep trying to get my students to do this. I learned this at Indiana University at the age of 19. I keep telling my students it's easier to learn when you are younger. I had a hard time but the was over 30 years ago now. It makes all the difference in the world. thanks for the video. :) Mary

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