How to study bariolage passages?

January 11, 2019, 5:25 AM · Hi. I'm an amateur who loves baroque music. I am currently studying the 2nd movement of the Corelli Op. 5 No. VII sonata. And I need some help with the bariolage passages, because each time I try to play them, I start crashing sith the incorrect strings, playing far from the bridge and sometimes I even include ligatures that don't exist, which make me end up with a reversed bowing.

There's no need to say these are almost the first bariolage passages I have encountered, and I want them to sound perfect, since they are so beautiful and... "baroque".

Thank you!

Replies (5)

Edited: January 11, 2019, 8:48 AM · I am quite sure you're trying to use too much bow, and you aren't paying attention to exactly where the string crossings occur.

Practice these passages with an articulation on every note, being sure that you're in the correct part of the bow (usually the middle) and using just a modest amount of horizontal motion for each note. For example, if you have a four note slur on a downbow, practice that "down (stop) down (stop) down (stop) down." This will force you to pay attention to where the string crossings occur as well as to how much bow you are using.

January 11, 2019, 8:57 AM · Take Mary Ellen's advice. :-)
January 11, 2019, 8:38 PM · I learned a technique where you play double stops. Say you have a four-note bariolage over all four strings. You can play that as three double stops. This helps more with left hand though, not so much with bowing.
January 11, 2019, 8:54 PM · If you're talking about the part the goes C-E-D-E-C-E-B etc from the Corrente:

You've got to do two things:
1. Change your left hand fingers on the A string while you're playing the open E string
2. Make a clockwise circular motion with your right hand.

Play this extremely slowly at first to get both happening at the same time. Always practice these pianisssssssimo, which deters you from crashing. The moving line (in this case, A string notes) gets a bit more emphasis. Lighten the pressure on the up bow open E strings so it doesn't overwhelm the phrase.

Is that what your talking about?

Edited: January 12, 2019, 8:22 AM · Thank you very much!

Mary Ellen and Lydia: I’ll try to shorten the bow strokes as you suggested and paying attention to the string crossings. Another thing that happens when I try it is that sometimes I don’t change the bow and the note at the same exact time. I still lack some coordination there, but I’ll try your exercise of stopping after each note.

Paul: Thank you. I think my main problem is the bowing technique. But any suggestion is welcome and I will definitely try yours for learning these passages.

Julie O’Connor: Yes. That’s exactly the part I was talking about. It’s called a bariolage, right? Thank you for your help. I’ll follow your advice (along with the others I’ve received) at my practice time this afternoon: left fingers+circular right hand motion+pianissimo+slow tempo.

I’ll tell you how it goes! Thank you for giving altruistic advice to a clumsy amateur violinist like me.

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