Welcome to your lesson notes page Coralie!
Sat 11th Sep 2021
Note reading: the notes in the gaps spell FACE. Remind yourself to name notes in your practice so you get quicker at identifying them.
Take the finger stickers off your fingerboard.
- Practice G major one octave first to get really comfortable with your bowing pattern. Remember to use short bows on the crotchets!
- When you’re comfortable with the bowing, add on the second octave. Remember not to repeat the top note.
- Practice the finger independence exercise, sliding your 2nd finger along the string between 1 and 3.
- Choose each practice whether to play it with minims on the key notes or all crotchets.
- Practice the arpeggio too, starting with one octave, thinking about the 3 notes you’re playing and then adding the second octave.
- Start by counting “1,2,3,4,1+2+3+4+” and clapping the first 2 bars.
- Practice the first 2 lines pizzicato until you’re happy with them, then add the bow.
- Try to remember the bowing pattern down up up down up. Starting in the middle of your bow will help!
Fri 27th Aug 2021
After practising each piece, take your mute off and “perform” to your neighbours!
Generally for good sound quality, have a heavy feeling in your shoulder, and let the bow really sink into the string, like a big comfy armchair!
Low D High D
- Play the first half a few times to warm up.
- For the harmonics, remember to use your little finger.
- Remember to use alernate bowings for the harmonic bars.
Ode to Joy
- Play a D major scale and arpeggio a few times to warm up. This will warm up your finger placement and can also warm up your rhythm and counting.
- In Ode to Joy, try to make your gap between 3rd and 4th fingers as big as the gap between 1 and 2.
- When reaching with your 4th finger, try to relax it rather than straining to reach it.
- Practice bar 14 several times until you don’t hesitate on it, starting with an up (push) bow.
- Sometimes play through only focusing on doing the slurs.
- Talk yourself through the finger numbers before you play.
- Use one run-through to focus more on the bowing.
Thu 5th Aug 2021
- Concentrate on a straight bow on your first note (keep your shoulder relaxed!).
- Keep the bow about an inch away from the bridge.
- Bow out in front of you.
- Practice long down bows and long up bows aiming for a stright bow.
- On the up bow, bend your wrist towards your nose.
- Start speeding up your scale and arpeggio, floating your bow more.
Low D High D
- Remember the harmonics on line 3 are on the D string.
- Practice trying to place your 1st finger on both strings.
- Keep your bow light on the slur.
- Practice the bowing for bar 5 on an open string to get used to how the arm movement feels.
- Here is the circle of fifths to help you get to know your key signatures.
5 ways to change dynamic
- Bow weight.
- Sounding point (near bridge for loud, over the fingerboard for quiet).
- Tilting the bow or using all the hair.
- More or less bow.
- Bow speed.
Sat 17th Jul 2021
Twinkle Twinkle Variations
- In variation A, think of Piccadilly Circus.
- In variation B, keep all notes super short – listen for silences between the notes. You might find it helpful to practice this slowly. Practice playing the whole tune, going back to bar 5.
- In variation C, keep the quavers staccato too.
- For variation D, think of your name to help with the triplets.
- In E, think of Piccadilly.
D major Scale
- Remember to start with a long straight bow.
- Sing “please, can I have a piece of cake, can I have a piece of cake” in your head as you play it to help with the rhtyhm.
Ode to Joy
- Try adding some 4th fingers (get it ready before you start!).
- Keep your right arm relaxed as you play the slurs.
- Practice putting your 1st finger on both strings at bar 14.
- Keep listening for any times when you graze the string next door and adjust your elbow height.
Start looking at Round Dance.
Sat 26th Jun 2021
Bow hold: choose a small cuddly toy to cradle in your right hand just before taking hold of the bow. Aim for string but soft curved fingers, checking the little finger, ring finger and thumb.
Fiddle Time Scales
- D major scale: forget about the slurs for now and remember your minims.
- Arpeggio: Use the middle secction of the bow for this. Practice this with open strings first, noticing how your right arm feels before adding the left hand.
- Fingertips: keep the angle between your string crossings small. Work on keeping the left hand fngers down (swinging the left elbow forwards will help). For now, focus on one hand or the other!
- Low D high D: for the first two lines, focus on rhythm (especially the quavers). Start with your 3rd finger on the string, and hover it over it’s place when it’s not needed. For the harmonics, place your 4th finger exactly halfway between the bridge and the nut. If it doesn’t work you’re either too light with your bow, the finger is pressing too hard or the finger isn’t quite in the right place.
- Start looking at A major scale and arpeggio if you get time.
Twinkle Twinkle Variations
- Use the middle of the bow.
- Careful not get too close to the bridge (check at the end of every line).
- Imagine stopping roller skates with your toe to achieve the staccatos. A tiny squeeze from your right index finger will help.
- Try to move the arm from the elbow instead of the shoulder, and keep the shoulder low and relaxed.
- In variation B, say the beats first: 1+2+3+4+ before making 2 and 4 silent.
- When playing, remember to stay on the same note for one more note after the quaver rest.
Start having a look at Ode to Joy in your Grade 1 book.
Fri 11th Jun 2021
Your first lesson with me! 😄🎻
So great to meet you today and see how you’ve been getting on with violin. Here are some things to be thinking about til next lesson:
- Great left hand set-up! You can use the video below too help improve your bow hold:
- Start every practice with some long straight bows, thinking about how your upper arm should come forwards as you move into the upper half of the bow. You can tune your violin at the same time!
- Remember not to press too hard as you approach the heel on your long up bows.
- Try to sing the tune in your head as you play.
- Practice the start of the 2nd line the most, as this is the only bit that doesn’t get repeated.
- Practice the scale using full bows on the minims and half bows on the crotchets.
- Keep your 3rd finger super close to the 2nd.
- Start looking at the next page from this book too (the piece called Fingertips).
- Use these to help with your note reading – maybe start with the G string Notes and G String Pieces sheet.