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Violin Lessons: America the Beautiful

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[MUSIC]
For America,
also known as America the Beautiful,
we're going to be exploring a few new
challenges.
One is making a beautiful sound on the G
string.
And also playing dotted rhythms which
means unequal bows without accenting.
Without making unwanted accents, because
this is a, a beautiful song and
when you sing it, you know, it's not.
[MUSIC]
So when we play it,
we'd also like to sound beautiful and
smooth.
I'm gonna be playing a couple high third
fingers and we're even going to play
in second position, a new position, for a
little bit.
So let's start at the beginning, making a
sound on the G string.
And the thing to remember
about all strings is that they have an arm
level to go with them.
And so most people are pretty comfortable
with an A string arm level and
an E string arm level.
But some of us aren't always willing to
bring the level up to the D string or the
G string.
So,it's not a high arm, per se.
Some people say, well, you're,
you know, you don't wanna play the violin
with a high arm.
And I agree.
[LAUGH] But when you're playing on the G
string,
your arm will look different than when
you're playing on the E string.
The point is that in general that upper
arm matches the level of the wrist.
And so what I see some people doing is
moving over to the G string with their
hand but the arm drags them down and the
sound suffers.
So just let the arm go along with the
hand.
And this a great thing to practice, just
moving between the four strings.
[SOUND] So we have our G string level.
[MUSIC]
And then you get a nice
round sound on the G string.
Now these dotted rhythms which go
throughout this tune.
You'll quickly see what I mean when you
start playing.
You have unequal amounts of bow.
You have long notes on a down bow, and
short notes on an up bow.
So, if you just play with the same kind of
bow all the time.
[MUSIC].
And I've run out of bow at the tip.
So, most people get smart really quick and
they say okay, well, I'll just,
I gotta make up some bow on the up-bows.
[MUSIC].
Now we're getting those accents that I
saying so not beautifully.
So, are we just stuck?
No, we've got to lighten the bow a bit on
the up-bows.
So, you can practice a light bow.
What I mean by that, less pressure or
quieter.
[MUSIC]
And that's what you do on those
short note, the eighth note up-bows.
[MUSIC].
Here when I explain it very specifically,
it, sounds a little artificial.
But in practice, once you get used to
lightening up a bow,
you can just make it part of the song.
[MUSIC]
And at first don't
worry if some of the notes
stick out a little bit.
You're gonna play this a lot and you'll
refine it over time.
Now one other thing that you can do to
help yourself because you're gonna be
struggling getting stuck at the tip.
When you have a long note like the one I
just ended on, that dotted half note.
[MUSIC]
You can play with a slow bow.
[MUSIC].
So that you don't go all the way to the
tip.
So that'll help you out too.
Right there as well, there's a chance to
match pitch with the fourth finger.
[MUSIC]
And
you see how I have it ready to go down
early.
I'm not [SOUND] just trying to bring it
down at the last second.
[MUSIC]
It hovers over the string and
it's ready to go.
Now two before C you've got a high three.
[MUSIC].
And just as the high two tucked up right
below the third finger,
the high three tucks up right below the
fourth finger.
And so what's a great habit to get into
is to put down the third finger with the
four.
[MUSIC].
Then you're not trying to do it.
[MUSIC]
That's a bad habit to get into.
So you put them down together.
[MUSIC]
Then you've got great intonation.
After E, the third bar, that's where we're
going to go up
into second position just for a, just for
a measure.
[MUSIC]
So when I do that the whole
hand moves together,
hand and thumb.
Just one half step.
[MUSIC]
And then right back down again.
[MUSIC].
And you match the pitch, the D, on the
second finger,
just the same as the D on the third
finger.
[MUSIC]
Now, three after F we've got a high two,
and just like you did the third bar of B,
put the two down with the three.
[MUSIC]
Now we're
coming up on letter G.
[MUSIC]
And this is another great place to
have your forth finger ready to go down
early.
[MUSIC]
Rather than having it way up in the air
and having to strike down like a snake at
the last minute or something.
Finally the next to last bar.
[MUSIC]
You're playing the D with the third finger
and then your playing the A with the third
finger as well.
So rather than picking it up and putting
it down again.
[MUSIC]
When you put it down on the A string,
put it down instead sorta in between the
two strings.
And that way you can kinda lean a little
bit.
You don't have to pick it up and put it
down again.
[MUSIC]
Later on we'll call that covering of
fifth, because that's the interval between
those two notes,
just like it's the interval between two
open strings.
Covering the fifth, that means putting the
finger down in between the two strings.
That's America the Beautiful.
[MUSIC]