Trills with pinky?
For the life of me, I can't make trills that rely on the pinky in the higher note. It comes as a pathetic woble. I don't have so much trouble with the vibrato on pinky as I do with this.
"just do it and practice" has not showed any improvement in the last months. Is there any recommended exercise or change of posture to make it go faster?
One example below. I trip in each trill asking high note pinky :-P
Hello again Carlos. For the fourth finger trill release the first and second fingers--off of the fingerboard. To get better leverage and better angle, rotate the wrist a little bit towards you. Pianists do something like that; I have heard the word "topping". Don't try to trill too fast. All-that example is from Tartini's "Art of Bowing", which is more about trills and ornaments than bowing.
Thanks Joel. I'll practice that. Yes, that's the work. I picked it up precisely for practice of ornaments and bowings, but -among other parts-, those trills became a big wall.
I do believe that some of us simply lack the ability to move the fourth and fifth digits independently, for anatomical reasons that are pretty much insuperable. Back in prehistory I cultivated a vibrato-like shake (to the disapproval of my teacher) and still use it!
Vibrato trills are a legitimate technique, aren't they?
I don't have 3rd and 4th finger independence, but I have no problem doing a 4th finger trill. You don't need to move the finger very much.
Carlos the more you work on an effective left hand position with nicely rounded pinky with flexible final joint, finger independence, fingers moving from the base joints, things like double-stopped thirds, the works; ...magically at some point you will suddenly be able to execute fourth finger trills. At least that was how it went with me. The art of bowing is a fun etude book!
I know it's wimping out, but I always use 3 instead of 4. There's always a way to refinger it.
"Vibrato trills are a legitimate technique, aren't they?"
To be fair, it's everyone's weaker finger, and I don't believe most players with a few years in the instrument will master them right away. Indeed as Mr. Cole stated, many would refinger a passage instead (it's not wrong if it sounds good.)
I think the Schradieck approach makes sense - Work on your 4th finger-falling technique in general and apply that to your trills. You can also work trill specific etudes in Kreutzer, but always slowly. The issue may be exacerbated by your hand position - If your hand isn't positioned in a way where you can pull your 4th finger back relaxed, then that's something to look at. You may also be squeezing your thumb or doing something with your wrist - make sure to keep it straight and relaxed.
Nathan Cole has two videos about trills and pinkies:
--The vibrato trill sounds great for east europe folk styles, but is too sloppy or wild for Mozart. There is a short exercise that I call "taps and lifts", published in several places, including somewhere in the Doflein series, that works just as well as all those tedious pages of etudes. Focus on lifting the finger. The muscles that open the hand are naturally weaker and slower than the muscles that close the hand; who else besides musicians need to do that motion with any force or speed?
I can't do the youtube implant thing but this is my favourite example of what some androids can do with their pinky that mere mortals can only gasp at:
Mazas # 13 is designed for exactly this.
Make sure your third finger is not pressing too hard on the string.
Yeah, I'd just choose a fingering that allows me to use 2 + 3 in almost all situations.
Thank you all with the answers and suggestions. My teacher has also added the suggestion (or corrected me) to do the trills with the pinky stretched (and adapting the hand for that) instead of bent as I did.
I would be using a lot of 2nd position in that piece, definitely. If it's my goal to make the piece sound as good as possible, then it would be my decision to use trills that I'm most competent with.
hi Carlos, yes and yes. yes to working on etudes the way they are meant, also if that means fourth finger trills. but on the other hand, yes, on that piece I suppose the normal thing to do for this "F G A Dtrill" pattern is to play FGA in first position and then place second finger on D to do the trill, although there are many more options of course.
Adalberto's comment about "Utter relaxation of the hand" is of paramount importance. A really fast 4th finger trill is more like a fast fluttering of the very relaxed finger on the string.
Thank you all. I can't mention everyone, but I'm reading each comment and I feel (more than listen) ease on the exercise.