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Violin Lessons: Baa Baa Black Sheep

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We're gonna begin our journey with Baa Baa
Black Sheep.
And if you are at all familiar with the
Suzuki method you
may know that the first song in the Suzuki
method is Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
And that's a song to which Baa, Baa, Black
Sheep bears no resemblance at all.
Yeah just kidding there, almost exactly
the same.
But we're gonna be different and start
with Black Sheep because it's a perfect
way to develop basic tone basic pitch.
And bow distribution.
Now that may sound complex but all it
means is that we divide the bow in half.
And sometimes you're gonna use the lower
half of the bow.
The half that's closer to the, your hand,
the frog.
And sometimes the upper half.
And sometimes the whole bow.
You'll keep that concept through your
whole violin playing life and so
we start with it right away.
We're also going to encounter one bow
circle in this song.
And a bow circle just means that
you want to get from one part of the bow
to the other, so.
Maybe you're ending a note here and the
next note begins here.
So you can't just [SOUND] you can't just
travel on the string because
then you're playing another note.
So you do that in the air.
And rather than doing it in the air.
Like that.
We do it in a circle because it's,
a very smooth and very natural way to move
the bow.
So a classic bow circle.
[SOUND] Circle.
[SOUND] Circle.
Those would be circles back to the frog
and now a circle back to the middle.
[SOUND] A smaller circle,
that's all.
So, throughout the time you play violin
you're gonna be making lots of bow
Some will be slow, some will be fast.
Some will end with another downbow.
Some will end with an upbow, but the
concept is always the same.
You circle first, and then play.
And as long as your remember that, you'll
be able to do different speeds and
different parts of the bow.
If you, are looking in the mirror when
your doing a bow circle, you can see that,
the bow is going to stay in the same
plane, and
that's just a fancy way of saying that it
stays straight.
So you know, from watching of the basic
sound production lesson,
that we like straight bows, parallel to
the bridge, rather than.
Like that.
And the same is true when you make a bow
So you end a bow like this.
[SOUND] You don't wanna make your circle
like that.
You want the bow to stay straight, to stay
just about where it would be if you were
actually playing on the string and you
don't have to get too,
too concerned about that right in the very
beginning, but
that's something that you'll keep in mind
So, Ba Ba Black Sheep.
Starts with open strings, so, as long as
you've tuned your violin well,
those are gonna be in tune.
The third finger here.
That third finger should match
your open D.
And you can tell it matches because you
won't hear any of those disorienting,
call them beats in the sound or waves.
So this is in tune.
If I move my third finger
a little higher you'll here
And you know that's not in tune cause you
here that er.
Same will happen if used in tune
Move it a little lower
So just by using your ear you'll hear
whether that third finger's in tune.
Right after the third finger you have what
I call a high two.
That second finger,
because it's high it goes just behind the
They should actually be touching.
If you have.
Really, really small fingers, they may not
But for most of us,
that second finger is gonna be pushed up
right behind the third finger.
So the opening.
And that bow circle and
this one is going to come at letter C.
The basic bow
circle back to the frog.
So now we talk about the bow distribution.
That's your other task in Black Sheep.
Basically, what I'm after is you using the
whole bow to make a beautiful sound.
So we start near the frog.
Now these eighth notes get
just half the bow.
then the half note the whole bow again.
Speeding up that part.
Now a whole bow for the quarters and a
half bow for the eighths.
So you can see [COUGH] when
I play down bow [SOUND] these eighth
notes now will get the top half of the
The quarter takes us to the frog and
now these eighth notes will get the bottom
So, in this tune be specific about how
you're using,
how you're distributing the bow and make a
nice beautiful sound with great pitch.