Buri, I need your help!
There is someone by the name of Buri who gives very good advice, and I am hoping he (or someone) can help me.
I read one of his comments about needing to use slow shifts during fast passages to actually play cleanly and with better accuracy.
I don't fully understand and want to ask for clarification about how this works, and also ask about how to play fast passages with a clean sound even when there is no shifting involved. Even if I stay in first position for the whole time, I can't play very fast without the LH fingers and bow losing alignment.
Instead of ramming your hand up and down the neck, slowly crawl into the shift. Move your fingers before your hand. It's hard to explain.
Is this the thread you are referring to? https://www.violinist.com/discussion/archive/13909/
Stephen Brivati is my favorite poster here but unfortunately have not heard from him in a couple of years, prior to that he mentioned going through some health issues.
Thank you, Jeff, Albrecht, and Cotton. Please keep the advice coming!
If your bow and fingers are losing synchronicity (you called it alignment), it's almost always because your bow is moving faster than your left-hand fingers in a detache section. I'd have to see the particular passage in question to give more specific advice, but I recommend trying to "hammer" out the part with your left hand only so you can hear the passage only coming from your left hand. This will give you a percussive sensation on the left hand and should even out the kinks that are probably leading to the lack of synchronicity. For open strings that may appear in the passage, make to sure to "reverse hammer" the last finger placed so you still get the sensation of having "made" that note with the left hand (this will also allow you to hear the open string during the finger-hammer exercise, due to the abrupt lifting of the last finger).
Maybe you should read Dr. Steiner's post:
Thanks for the link Gil.
Christian thanks very much, that will be an interesting thing to think about and to try on my violin. Very interesting indeed.
For the Left/Right hand coordination, Simon Fischer has some good exercises in Basics. Your left finger should be placed before the bow moves.
There is an exercise I have been recommended (and have often used): When practicing fast passages vary the rhythm. E.g. play a string of sixteenths in the dotted sixteenth-thirtysecond (taaa-ta-taaa-ta) pattern, limping if you want. This makes every second note in tempo with rests in between the groups to "recover". Then change it around and play ta-taaa etc. You can move on to taaa-ta-ta-ta etc. ("recovering" only on every fourth note). On triplets you'd have to start with taaa-ta-taa etc.
Thank you, everyone! Lots of really helpful replies.
I'll add one thing about shifting: While practicing a section in slow motion, make sure that the shifts themselves are "accented" to a high level of sudden speed. It's tempting to do slow shifts when playing in slow motion, but it's important to have the shifts be approximately the speed that they'll eventually need to be when all of the other notes are sped up.
All excellent replies. I think shifting slowly is for ear training and to learn the smooth travel route of a shift. But to have the hands stay in sync during passage work, the shift needs to be practiced as a quick, light, and in-between-bows kind of thing. Two separate issues at play - intonation and timing. I created a playlist of different ways to practice shifts on my youtube channel (look for playlist 8 ways to practice shifting) in case there is anything you can use there. You might also look at the fast passages playlist. Happy practicing. Here is the channel:
Just curious when Buri last posted on v.com. Anyone recall?
August 22, 2016. Look here: