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Violin Lessons: Brahms - Variations on a Theme by Haydn Var. 1

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So the Brahms Variations on a Theme by
Haydn each variation presents different
challenges of course.
And in this the first variation what
you're looking for is a sound that's
totally smooth and even combined with a
great intonation of course.
The fingerings you choose are gonna help
that, but
let's talk first about the bowings.
The written bowings, of course, are phrase
marks and
you don't need to follow them exactly.
So when you change you need to hide it.
It may help not to
change the bow on a beat,
you may be able to sneak
it in somewhere else.
You just try and see what's smoothest for
So it's after the repeat sign that the
intonation get more difficult.
So let's look some fingerings there.
At the subito piano where there's a fifth,
that I like to reach back for.
So the bar before
the subito on three,
two, four, three.
Now, of course,
the scariest note is the high B flat.
I have a way that I can find it visually
because there isn't much time to find
the note and hear it.
If you're looking at your violin, for
those who haven't discovered this already,
you can look and see where your first
finger contacts the instrument,
compared to the rib there.
And on many instruments it corresponds
exactly to an octave above the E string.
So if I put my finger down to where my eye
sees it intersect with the rib here.
It's directly there.
So I can just find that visually with any
finger without testing it first.
So if I find the first finger on that E,
then I can reach up to a B flat easily.
That comes in very handy when you have
to find high notes quickly as you do in
this excerpt.
So that last shift
has a guide finger.
So that you're not trying to shift and
then put fingers down right after it.