Extended finger or Squared finger on Shifting
I've been doing shifting for a long time now but it never mattered to me if the shift-to note should be extended or squared finger.
Starting note: F natural on E string (squared)
Shift-to note: A natural on E string
On this first example, I would play F natural on squared finger(Low 1) and what I tend to do when doing the shift is keep my squared finger and land on A(Low 1) but what if I need to land on A sharp?
Should I keep my finger squared and land on A sharp? which then my hand will be closer to the body.
Switch to extended (high 1) and shift to the note?
Starting note: F sharp on E string (extended)
Shift-to note: A natural on E string
If I am to shift to A natural, I would keep my extended finger and land on A but my hand will be a bit further away from the body of the violin compared to shifting with a squared finger.
It never really mattered before until I started learning arpeggios as there are some cases where you play on the same note but use 2 different fingers(squared/extended), I mostly notice these different use cases during ascending and descending, inverted arpeggios, augmented, diminished and so on.
The challenge for using 2 different finger forms is having to adjust your hand/finger frame depending on your shift-to note. It's like having to learn 2 different finger pattern for the same position.
So I guess my question is:
Does it matter to stick to a single finger form when landing on the shift-to note?
It doesn't matter what my finger form is as long as I hit the shift-to note.
I have to vary my finger forms as some pieces/Passage would necessitate it.
For me, the latter is difficult as you would need to adjust your finger pattern and your mental picture of the notes on the fingerboard which is exactly the challenge I'm having right now learning arpeggios.
I honestly am struggling to understand what you mean by squared or extended. To shift, you just need to release some pressure from the note and smoothly glide to your target, where you can then find the minimum pressure you need to stop that note. You don't need to particularly change your finger or hand shape (unless maybe you are really shifting high up).
It's a good question, I believe. I really think it will depend on what you're going to play after the shift. If I were shifting from F to A#, and the next three notes were B-C#-D#, I could see doing a longer shift so that I'm landing in "high" third position so that the A# was not extended relative to my thumb underneath. I believe this is the situation you're describing as a shift to a square finger. But if my next three notes after A# were B-C#-A, I might not want my thumb that far along because then reaching back for the A natural could be awkward, and I think that's what you mean by the other type of shift.
When I first moved here just north of the Golden Gate Bridge 28 years ago, our community orchestra had a violin coach (who also played with us) who had retired after 20 years as Principal Second Violininist of the San Francisco Symphony and was Concertmaster Emeritus of the Marin Symphony (one of the regional professional orchestras). He recommended that when making the really big shifts rather than aiming the finger you were to "land on" (i.e., "sound" after the shift) you should aim the index finger, and thus frame the whole hand. It does seem to work. If I recall correctly, it was when we were rehearsing Shosty's 5th Symphony that he suggested that. Of course, what else you have to do "up there" has a bearing on this.
@Christian Lesniak, what i mean with 'squared' finger is what a finger looks like when playing F on E string, it is curled so the form of the finger looks like square, while extended is playing F# on E string. Basically, it's another way of saying Low 1(F) or High 1(F#).
What is missing is conscious teaching and practice of all the half positions.
It is traditional to first learn the positions and shifting with the 1st finger, but I have found that the 2nd and 3rd fingers are more stable. I have noticed with students that they tend to release that uncomfortable square first finger, lead the shift with the 1st finger instead of the arm, which changes the angle of the hand to the fingerboard.
Joel - so by extension of that thought - there is only one major scale, just 12 different notes to start it on (same for harmonic and melodic minor scales too)? (Would that take care of 300 years of "Western Music"?)
-Andrew,--Yes, one could construct a 3-octave scale manual where each octave starts on the first finger. I think one of the older violinists (Tartini?) did that, but for real music we need a lot more options.
The first shift in the Suzuki series is from a "2" to a "3" I believe, from F# to F# in "Humoresque" by Dvorak.
The first required shift in Suzuki would be in Vivaldi A minor for the ledger line D on the E string. Even the C in Humoresque or the "Lully Gavotte" could be done with extended 4 although I think some (including me) teach the shift in Lully and many more teach the shift in Humoresque (and I teach the F# to F# and all the others as well).
When I was learning Lalo Symphonie Espagnole with Josef Gingold he told me that in the opening 3 notes