I can't play 3 notes down + 1 note up, repeatedly

Edited: September 13, 2018, 12:05 PM · Hi, I really have a hard time playing sections that include continuous repetitions of 3 legato notes played in a down bow, then one note up bow, and repeat that several times. All notes are equal, so I must manage to recover in one up bow all the 3 notes I've played down. What tends to happen is that many times I can't recover the full bow and end up running out of bow over time, hahahaha. Besides, the legato notes sound a little ugly and weak.

This applies for any combination really, like 5 eighths up bow and recover in 1 eighth down bow, or viceversa. Nevertheless, if I play them with separated bow strokes, I play all of them very well, fast and precise. Of course, I can't "get away" doing that and I want to do it properly.

These passages are normally fast, slowly I can play them without much trouble.

Replies (3)

September 13, 2018, 12:12 PM · Most likely you are using too much bow on the down-bows. A useful way to practice this sort of stroke is with a fractional sized bow, if you have one handy (they are very cheap). I have my children's old fiberglass 1/4 sized bow which I pull out for students who struggle with controlling the amount of bow they're using, or who refuse to play in the lower half.
Edited: September 13, 2018, 2:45 PM · You may also need to lighten the weight of your arm more for that single stroke (or conversely, increase the weight for those 3 notes in accord with what Mary Ellen advised). Because you are moving the bow 3x faster, you can't play with the same pressure as for those previous 3 notes, or you are going to have a huge accent on that one note, and it will be harder to move fast enough. Practice on open strings just making fast whole bows at a lighter pressure to get that feeling, and practice slower bows with more pressure, and then try adding the two together in different up/down combinations.
September 13, 2018, 11:55 PM · You are fighting gravity with that one. The down-bow notes are slow and sticky. The up-bow is fast and light, as if some imaginary puppeteer tried to pull it up out of your hand.

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