Fingered octave help?

September 3, 2004 at 05:26 AM · I'm playing the first movement of the Wieniawski D minor concerto and am having trouble playing the fingered octaves on the first page up to tempo. My shifting seems to be the problem and am wondering if anyone had advice on how to shift SMOOTHLY. Thank you

Replies (16)

September 3, 2004 at 06:31 AM · Greetings,

this fingering may help:









Some time in fingered octaves it is a question of getting the fingering that keeps the hand most relaxed and open. This one works for a lot of people.

You might also try vizualizing the elbow dropping as you move up. The purpose ois to allow the tricep to lengthen. At the moment you are probably contracting everything in frustration,



September 3, 2004 at 05:03 PM · Look in advance where your next shift takes you. For example if you're shifting from (E string) A to C and you're first finger is on the A string you can prepare in advance by seeing that you have to shift to where your third finger is. That sounds confusing but I hope that makes sense. And also as Buri said-keep your hand relaxed and not nailed down onto the string-you could try pressing more lightly on the string so that you slide up and down easily on the fingerboard.

September 4, 2004 at 04:14 PM · Right, keep your elbow forward so your hand can be on the strings carefully; don't keep your elbow back so you'll need to stretch out your fingers. Also, don't choppily jump from note to note, try "enjoying" the shifts.

October 2, 2004 at 11:17 AM · Try playing it slowly using : 0-2








it's much easier than the fingering Buri mentioned.

October 2, 2004 at 09:08 PM · Try tilting your left elbow, a little towards the right side of your violin, while shifting to the next note, to get a good clean, smooth, shift.

October 2, 2004 at 04:51 PM · All this passage really is is a D melodic minor fingered octave scale. If you practice your fingered octave and chord scales this passage should be no problem.

I would do 0-2 (wholebow), V (upper 1/4) 1-3, downbow (upper 1/4) 2-4, V (whole bow) 1-3, 2-4,1-3,2-4, (down bow/entire bow) 2-4

October 2, 2004 at 05:26 PM · A couple of imaging techniques and a few practice suggestions:

1) Imagine your left hand as consisting of two, rather than four, fingers. You now have a onethree and a twofour finger. These alternate.

2) You're playing an arpeggio, really. Onethree shifts up in intervals of thirds, while twofour "interrupts" the progression of onethree, filling in the blanks. Thus, all you're doing is DROPPING the twofour into the "blanks" left by onethree.

3) Keep your hand position as unaltered as possible, relative to the fingerboard.

Practice suggestions:

1) Make sure to keep your first finger down constantly as you shift up. This helps to keep your hand's "footprint" constant. For intervals of a half step between third and fourth fingers (e.g. a G sharp fingered octave, played 1-3 going to an A fingered octave, played 2-4) DO lift the third finger. But not the first. Do not squeeze nor overly press down the first finger. Only use sufficient pressure to depress the string and then slide on TOP of the string up a third.

2) Practice in rhythms, first long-short and then short-long.

3) Practice in two note legato groupings. Stagger these so that you go through the passage slurring the first and second and then slurring the third and fourth notes, etc. Afterwards, change over to practicing in two note slurs grouping the second to the third note, the fourth to the fifth.

3) Practice a scale in same-finger fingered octaves (i.e. 1-3 all the way up or 2-4 all the way up) as a legato glissando. When this is constant, in other words when you arrive at the top in strict rhythm rather than too early or too late vis-a-vis the beat, add vibrato. This is all a run in same-fingered octaves or tenths really is.

4) Practice the entire run separately using spiccato, if you intend to play legato. Practice legato if you intend to play spiccato or detache.

5) Practice holding down both notes but playing only one voice. In other words, one time through fingering the octave but sounding only the lower voice, and another time through fingering the octave but sounding only the upper voice.

6) Make sure that you can play the run cleanly and FASTER than you intend to play it. Always have a reserve of speed as an insurance policy.

Hope this helps!

October 2, 2004 at 08:52 PM · I'm working on Wieniawski 2 as well! Just started it, actally, and in my lesson this morning my teacher and I got to the fingered octaves for the first time.

His fingering is 3-4-3-4...etc etc, ending on 3, all in one bow.

[I have to try that out...]

October 2, 2004 at 09:29 PM · Greetings,

1)fingered octave success is predicated on a relaxed left hand. This means thta backward strectchign is more importnat than the other way so practice setting up the upper fngers and reaching back forthe lower.

2) You may be anxious before this passage so their is an involantory increase in tension making it seem difficult. Three things to check:

1)did you stop breathing.

2) Does the base of your index finger suddenly tense up.

3) Does your right shoulder contract. You might experiment with dropping it down and back.

4)Keeping in mind tyhe idea of stretching backward you might play aorund with larger intervals betwene the finger sso thatwhen you come to the fingered octaves they actually seem smaller.

5) Practice them using no finge rpressure, then 20 % of what you need, then 40 and so on until you find the minimum.

George, when I suggested that fingering I don"t think I claimed it was easier or better than anyone elses. I said a lot of people find it easier. that is a fact. It certainly isn"t the only way but, my fingering is also easier for me and many of my students than yours. I have played this concerto in public a few times so I am familiar withwhat can go wrong. This being true for a few cases casts some doubt on your statement. That is just your experience, which is equally valid, butnot absolute. It just goes to show that violin playing is really up to the individual to find out what works best for them,



September 2, 2007 at 02:25 AM · when you play fingered octaves, are you supposed to keep the 1-3 fingers down when playing 2-4 fingers? Same thing with thirds too... which is the easiest method

September 2, 2007 at 01:50 PM · tilting of left elbow is the soluion to the problem along with "chain system" I have extensively described in previous threads.



September 2, 2007 at 03:33 PM · Practice Carl Flesch every day for 2 hours on a set... slowly so you can play in tune and relaxed... then you won't have to practice Wieniawski but rather be able to just play it...

September 2, 2007 at 03:58 PM · The way I do it is rather unorthodox, but works for me and eliminates all shifts. (My definition of a shift is when the forearm moves.) Place your hand in 3rd position, extend back with your wrist to 2nd finger and open A then play 13,24,13,24,13,24,24. This essentially means you are extending back from 3rd position to first position. The change of positions is accomplished by a wrist motion. All the other good advice about light fingers, keeping 1-3 down, etc. applies. This technique also works well in the 17th Paganini caprice.

September 2, 2007 at 10:05 PM · so you're supposed to keep 1-3 down when you play 2-4? Does this apply to other pieces too?

September 6, 2007 at 02:29 AM · The great Cajun swing fiddler Hadley Castille sometimes plays an octave between his 1st and 3rd finger, ex. B on the A string to B on the E string. Let's him do cool trills above w/pinky, and long slides. 'Course he has a giant's hand. But the idea of trying out unconventional fingerings, or bowings for that matter, for certain passages is worth noting.

September 6, 2007 at 03:07 AM · Greetings,

probably had small hands before he started using unconventional fingerings...



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