Welcome to your lesson notes page Roderick!

Sat 26th Sep 2020

Try not to sit too close to your desk so that you can bow freely out in front of you, all the way to the tip.


  • Play the strings with a long slow bow so the tuner has time to register the sound.

Castle on a Cloud

  • When warming up with C major, make sure you use 1st and 2nd fingers to help you tune your first note.
  • In A harmonic minor, aim for a higher G# on the D string. Use the tuner to check your first and last notes.
  • In the piece, start in the middle of your bow to help with the quiet start.
  • Careful of the repeating rhythm you have at the start (quaver, two semiquavers).
  • In the second section, make the dotted rhythms a bit more precise.


  • Use a melodic minor scale, just ascending, to prepare for your first bar.
  • Retake for line 3.

Eta Cohen Scales

  • In the semibreve scale, aim for a consistent tone all along the bow (not too heavy-handed at the heel) and curl your little finger as you approach the heel.
  • In 2, start with a tiny bit of air bowing so that you really touch down lightly at the start of the crescendo, then make sure each note starts the same dynamic as the previous one finished.
  • In 5, use the full length of the bow, pulsing slightly to define the crotchets.

Study in C

  • A slightly lighter bow.
  • Look ahead so you read scales, arpeggios and direction changes rather than each individual note.
  • Start to try some bowing variations.

Fri 11th Sep 2020

In general when sitting at your desk to play, make sure you have both feet flat on the floor and sit on the highest part of the chair (is that the front edge?) to keep good posture. You should almost be mimicking standing from the waist upwards.

Angry Tango

  • From b.11, test how quiet you can go! You could try out some vibrato here too, but we can work on that together in the next lesson if you’d prefer.
  • In 19 and 20, imagine the notes are staccato except the accented note. Try a double up bow in 20 to help with this.
  • Careful of the tuning of you last note.

Castle on a Cloud

  • Count yourself in out loud with a bar of 3 and a bar of 2. Try to keep counting in your head throughout.
  • Start in the upper half near the fingerboard to help achieve pp.
  • From 12, keep the bow smooth. Watch out for dotted rhythms vs. straight quavers.
  • To work on the end of bar 13, practice just the last note of bar 13 going into the first note of bar 14 – start near the heel despite it being an up bow.


  • Warm up with D harmonic minor and F major scales, going as high as B flat on the E string.

New Book

  • Try the different bowing variations on any scales you play this week.
  • Learn the notes in Study in C – we can add the bowing variations once you are familiar with the piece.

Thu 27th Aug 2020

Here is the vibrato video. Take it slowly and gently and always make sure your whole arm is relaxed throughout.

Sat 14th Jun 2014

Your first lesson with me! 😄🎻

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