Student VS 16th NOTES

Stephanie said: Oct 3, 2013
Stephanie Noble-Weed
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Snohomish, WA
5 posts

I need to give advice regarding speed and clarity while playing 16th notes. The speed can be accomplished with only a muddy sound? Would a shorter bow help? We have tried slowing down and speeding up but, it is just hard to get it clear.YIKES! Out of ideas.

Stephanie Noble Weed, MFA, EdAd

Sue Hunt said: Oct 4, 2013
Sue HuntViola, Violin
403 posts

Pat d’Ercole makes it very clear, when she says,

“The faster you go, the shorter the bow,
And you always stay in the middle.”

A great way of getting children to focus on this is to talk about bow length in terms of teeth. An elephant’s tooth is longer than a horse’s tooth which is longer than a cat’s tooth.

Check that the bow shoulder stays soft.

Does the hand shoot forward at both end of the bow stroke? That makes the ends of the stroke kind of messy.

Does the bow stop with a jerk? The words “stopped bow” gives the wrong impression. If there is enough propulsion to play the right length of bow, the friction of the bow on the string should stop it of its own accord.

Also, check that it’s not the left hand that’s getting the right hand into trouble. Remember the way you teach Perpetual Motion. Fingers, then bow. It will always help to revisit it and Etude for “stopped bows” and doubles.

See Review—Making it Fun, Get’s the Job Done for lots of tips on using the pieces in books 1—3, especially Twinkle and Perpetual Motion.

Caitlin said: Oct 5, 2013
Merced, CA
41 posts

I make my students do rhythms with any fast passage. Hold the first note long, then play the next 3 fast, then hold the 2nd note long, etc. If they are doubles, they spend a week doing it in singles up to speed before even touching doubles. It works a lot better than going slow and speeding up. The idea is the brain needs to track every single note by itself, otherwise you will get mushy results.

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