Bruch violin concerto exposition!
I am in the middle of learning the Bruch concerto and am having trouble on some of the chords, double stops, and octaves on the first page. (I am using the Schirmer Edition)
4th line: B flat +D and A+C chords, D +B flat chord
Both octave passages
Triple stops section (line 7)
For the octave passages, I feel like one of my fingers is always off and I don't know how to fix it. In general, I don't know how to practice these chords and octaves and feel like many of them are slightly out of tune. How do I make this sound clean?
Find an anchor finger and build the chords around that.
I haven't played the Bruch, but the following should still be relevant.
One scale exercise that might help is to play your scales as first-finger followed by the 4th finger harmonic (on the same string) to get both the fundamental and the octave as the harmonic for good 1st to 4th finger positions; then the octave scale with 1st finger on lower string and 4th finger on the next string; finally both 1st and 4th fingers and both strings at the same time as octave scales.
For octave passages, also practice them as 1-4 harmonics. The distance between 1-4 has to be exactly correct for them to sound at all, and it forces you to do the correct thing, which is ; lead with the first finger, the 4th finger stays light.
I'm currently working up the first movement of the Bruch to perform next weekend, so I feel your pain!
If i recall correctly when i learned this concerto last year, I think the secrets to tuning octaves is to not move any one of the fingers independently, or else it'll be out of frame.
Frank - what does "help the shifts with wrist movement" mean? If you mean moving the wrist and hand together from the elbow, surely that is what a shift is in the first place? Or do you mean moving the wrist joint so the hand ends up in a different position - if so how does that help?
I had a teacher once for whom octaves (and scales in octaves) were the key to all intonation. He made me practice those scales as practically the only non-repertoire material. He said you have to have have your hand position correct with 2nd and third finger on the string beside the fourth, then move the hand to shift and make sure both strings keep sounding about equally. Then your ear will correct the intonation "by itself". Alas, my ear heard how off I was but that was all it did.
@Chris Keating - yea i think by shifting i just meant moving to different notes. Anyhow, my previous mistake was to rely on the 1st finger to move around, but it doesn't really play in tune. Using wrist helps locking the hand frame in place
continued-- Agree with Andrew V. For me, the intonation challenge happens between the octave pairs, caused by friction while shifting. The 1-4 harmonics variation trains the fourth finger to be light, but to train the 1st finger, do this: 1st finger down to the wood, then lift just enough to come off of the wood, but stay in contact with the string, then move to the next spot, then set the 1st finger down to the wood. This trains the hand to release immediately before shifting.
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