Transition from spiccato to sautillé
The problem many players have is the gradual transition from the larger motion of spiccato to the smaller motion of sautillé. How do you teach it?
I don't teach, but my son learned it by starting tremolo at the tip and gradually moving lower in the bow. It didn't work great and he didn't really master it until he had to while playing Wieniawski Concerto #2 (last mvmt).
With some students, I try starting from the string, and leaving the spiccato out of the equation first.
A gradual transition as we speed up is tricky,since we must go from a "scooped", lifted détaché towards a near vertical basketball dribble.
It's easier to transition from spiccato to sautillé when the student can do collé well. Then understanding the transition from moving forearm to just moving wrist, in conjunction with balance point and speed.
At what bpm do you think the transition from spiccato to sautille occurs?
That seems to depend partly on the bow.
I do not teach but here is how I was taught: My teacher demonstrated it to me and described it to me. then she asked me to try it. I never figured it out and her attempts to help me were all failing. It was the only such failure in my 5 years with her; she had never before had any problem getting me to "get" whatever she taught.
I think the trick is to realize that sautille isn't anything like spiccato. Really, it's a fast detache, where we let the bow's bouncing take over.
"..grip the bow harder.."
This whole discussion made no sense until Erik wrote. The two strokes are not similar at all and the bow hold for sautille is different. One moves the ring finger farther toward the mark on the middle of the frog so there is more of the finger over the edge of the bow. This gives better control for the very fast detache which is so fast that the bow bounces by itself, which is sautille. One is not trying to make the bow bounce, it does so by itself. I perfected sautille before spiccato because it doesn't require such fine motor control.
I teach sautille by asking students to play rapidly alternating open d and a string (start on downbow) on the string, with a good amount of weight. Work up to sautille speed, and ask them NOT to move their arm, but rather the rotation of the wrist only. Then I tell them to execute the exact same motion (pretend you are alternating strings), but actually stay on one string only. This usually does the trick.
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