How to make fast slurs sound good.
When playing quick slurred runs, it sounds "mushy" and the notes kind of blend together and it sounds sloppy. What are some good ways to practice to correct this?
Practise detache, then hooked staccato, then with original bowing. Don't forget your strong beats as well. It might help to exaggerate every possible strong note in the beginning and make it more subtle later. And go slowly!
Work on articulation in general. Schradieck is useful for this, done with a metronome. You want snappy finger action that results in a little ping when fingers are set down and picked up.
Mushy notes on slurs ? Let's see: don't stop the bow when changing strings, instead move an extra inch , to compensate for that distance between the strings. If you keep the bow moving, the left fingers will follow. Don't have your fingers too close to the strings, they won't hit with enough velocity to go down all the way to the wood. Don't forget to lift the fingers you are not using right now, you will need them somewhere else very soon. A Cellist's trick that is not needed very often on violin; add some left hand pizz. on descending scales. Because of inertia the string does not want to drop down to a lower pitch.
Energy! Even in pianissimo.
Yea, I guess I should make a schradiek-like exercise out of the difficult parts. My bow definitely does not move fast when I'm thinking too hard about my left hand.
It's more worthwhile to practice this kind of velocity exercise using finger patterns (Schradieck, or the equivalent Sevcik, Dounis, or Fischer exercises) than it is to practice it on specific repertoire because the velocity then carries over to everything you do.
My guess is that your fingers aren't hitting the string hard enough. The faster the notes are within a slur, the harder the fingertips have to "pop" the string in order for the clarity to be there.
I’m trying to do the fast run in the beginning of Zigeunerweisen for fun because my teacher is in China until August and one of the things I wanted to improve is fast runs. I’ve done 3 octave major scales to death so I wanted to try something else that I would enjoy. Funnily enough, the sloppiest part is the e flat on the d string to e flat on the a string. Something about the low 1 and high second finger makes me play unevenly and no articulation.
It's not how hard you strike the string or how solidly you stop it. It's the
Don’t forget the bow. It might take care of itself after the LH drills, but be sure it isn’t skating around, and changes stings with authority. Perhaps keep the bow more vertical (i.e. not tilted forward).
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