Edited: June 17, 2020, 4:56 PM · Hello!

Can somebody please explain the collé motion and how to practice it to me? No matter what I do, I cannot execute it.

Thank you!

Replies (9)

June 17, 2020, 5:08 PM ·

Maybe you can reference a video and time to clarify what's going wrong?

June 17, 2020, 5:32 PM · (I think the bowstroke essentially is useless in performing music. However, pedagogically speaking it is very useful.)

Colle´ (pinched. Literally, glued)

1. Initially taught on the string in the middle of the bow , then in the lower part of the bow.

2. The finger motion in up bow is virtually identical to picking up a soft, pliable object (such as a piece of cloth). However, on the violin, the motion is made very quickly .

3. Before an up bow colle´ the fingers should be in up bow position (the fingers are extended). The instant the bow touches the string ”pick up” the bow (using the fingers only) from the string so the fingers go into down bow position.(suppination) fingers curved, balancing the weight of the tip of the bow with the little finger.)

4. Before a down bow colle´ the fingers should be in down bow position. The moment the bow touches the string, shoot out your fingers to up bow position, (like throwing away the piece of cloth in No. 2).
5. Because of the pressure exerted by the bow on the little finger, it is advisable to initially practice this bow stroke holding the bow at the balance point.

6. This bow stroke teaches up and down bow position and controlled flexibility of the fingers.

June 18, 2020, 7:20 AM · I've heard this stroke described as "pizzicato with the bow." You need to generate a moment of significant friction followed by quick release. I've never seen it spelled out in the kind of detail that Prof. Berg has done for you, but it sounds like what I'm already doing (not that I do colle especially well, but that's on me).
June 18, 2020, 10:33 AM · Lucien Capet recommended this as a good energising preparation for spiccato: like saying "ta" rather than "tcha" or "tshwa"? A clean, crunch-free attack.

William Primrose pointed out that on the viola, most notes need such an attack, even in pianissimo.

June 18, 2020, 10:58 AM · Yes ... the viola is comparatively unresponsive.
June 20, 2020, 2:51 PM · Roy Sonne's video on Mazas 3 explains very patiently how to play collé ( For my taste he takes the etude considerably below the ideal tempo; he is generally a patient person, requiring us to be patient too.

My edition of Mazas wants you to play martelé in those sections of #3. Which seems to prove Dr. Berg's point about the musical uselessness of the collé stroke. I prefer to play differently depending on dynamics: Martelé in forte, collé/spiccato in piano.

Edited: June 21, 2020, 4:40 AM · The link Albrecht gave is mistakenly that of Roy Sonne on Mazas #2; here is the one he intended:

Mazas Masterclass - Etude #3 with Roy Sonne from the School of Violin Artistry

You just have to love Roy Sonne for the fatherly way he teaches.

June 21, 2020, 6:56 AM · Thank you for correcting the link! What I like best about Roy Sonne is his insistence on "artistry" and "musicianship" as he calls it. But I have to say that he puts a strain on my patience at times.
June 21, 2020, 7:42 AM · Thank you for the responses, everybody!

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