Shifting exercises: Sevcik vs Yost vs ?

January 24, 2018, 11:05 AM · Hi everyone,

I was wondering which shifting exercises you find most useful and efficient and why so in your opinion. I'm aware of the Sevcik op. 8 and then then Yost shifting book. There is also Mastering the Fingerboard by Yost, which could also be seen as a shifting exercise book although with a different 'ideology' than that of his shifting exercise book. There is also Drew Lecher's book that includes a section on that. Then there is always Simon Fischer as well. I am sure there are others. But globally, which for you is the one that leads t more efficiently to mastering shifting technique. If you find them all equally good then thats just as good :)

Replies (9)

January 24, 2018, 12:27 PM · I did quite a bit of Sevcik op. 1 book III (the other shifting book), in addition to Sevcik op. 8. And arguably many, many etude books are effectively full of shifting work.

For pure drill, I like Simon Fischer's exercises in Basics.

But I think that there are lots of different reasons to use shifting exercises. Someone just learning to shift needs different exercises than someone doing a maintenance technical routine.

Edited: January 24, 2018, 12:39 PM · The Yost and Sevcik op 8 are quite different to work through. Sevcik has you play a little melody that changes position, where Yost isolates the shift. So in Yost you're playing short repetitive motions (finger 1 in 2nd pos up to finger 2 in 4th pos or whatever and then back), so the feel of the exercises is not at all the same. Sevcik is more interesting and feels more like playing music, but the Yost might have actually helped me more in terms of awareness of the mechanics of each shift.

I have Basics (who doesn't these days?) but haven't looked at the shifting exercises yet.

January 24, 2018, 2:23 PM · Sevcik Op. 8 is the most efficient method I know to improve real-world shifting. Note that these should be played in all keys as indicated!
January 24, 2018, 3:51 PM · I like Yost better- I like really broken down drills. I personally have a tendency to shift slightly sharper over time if I don't watch it.

Also, I've played the Sevcik myself and with students for so long that I can do it without thinking about what I'm doing, so I don't think it's beneficial to me anymore.

But that's me, and everyone is different!

January 24, 2018, 6:35 PM · Lydia which exercises in Basics do you find the most "go to" for this?

I've heard so many good things about Sevcik Op. 8 that I think will go ahead and get that one.

January 26, 2018, 7:02 AM · In searching through the archives,I found this thread

scrolling down to Megan Chapelas post, there is this interesting point she makes : "Op. 8 - for shifting; complements Yost nicely in that you move from handshape to handshape, and not just note to note."


January 28, 2018, 12:46 PM · I find #255, in the Uniform Intonation section, to be the single most useful exercise in the book. It's great for getting a feel for where the hand should be in each position, and I find it very useful to do it in the key of my repertoire, or in C as a warm-up.

The exercises immediately before it are effectively shifting exercises, and are also very good.

I find the exercises in the actual Shifting section to be less useful for me.

January 28, 2018, 1:31 PM · I'm quite smitten by Geminiani's example X from,_Op.9_(Geminiani,_Francesco)
January 29, 2018, 1:00 PM · The more the merrier !

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