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Violin Lessons: Danny Boy

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Now here, we have a beautiful tune,
Danny Boy, another song.
And this is our chance to experiment with
and at the same time, of course, phrasing
and direction.
There really isn't any music without
And while, of course, you're free to
experiment with vibrato for
any of these tunes here's the first time
we're really going to look at it in-depth.
So look also at the lesson on basic
vibrato and
even the further lessons on vibrato to get
an introduction into this.
The first thing to know is that everybody
forms their vibrato differently.
It, it's even been said, and I believe it,
that if you took the most famous
violinists, the most famous soloists and
ordered them not to vibrate at all, you'd
be hard pressed to tell who was who.
So much of each player's personality is in
his or her vibrato.
And so your vibrato will develop
throughout your violin-playing life.
The only requirement I have for you.
Sorry, there are two.
[LAUGH] Your vibrato should never go above
the pitch that its written.
The vibrato should exist from the written
pitch and below.
So no matter how fast or slow or wide or
the top point of the vibrato is always
the, the pitch that you're after.
And the other requirement is that you do
it without tension, without tightness.
So your vibrato may sound natural to you
in the beginning, or it may sound strange.
But it's something that you'll work with
for quite a while, and
this is a great tune to work with it.
As far as direction, or
what we might call phrasing I've given
some sample ideas here.
And I always like to say there aren't any
wrong ideas,
there aren't any wrong decisions.
The important thing is that you make some
And I'd like to do that without the
Maybe I'll, I'll often sing it to myself.
Maybe I'll play it on a keyboard or maybe
I'll just imagine it in my head.
But I'll make some decisions about where I
want to go, which bars or
which notes I'd like to go toward.
And when I say go toward, I really mean
Because in the end, if you're going to
mark your shapes,
they're going to be crescendos, they're
going to be diminuendos.
And then it's just up to you to make them
So my first thought as to where to go.
Is to that
down-bow slur.
And so if I wanna go there, I need to
crescendo there.
And to make a crescendo, of course, you
can work with your three variables.
There's a lesson on the three variables of
bow speed, bow pressure and
sounding point, how close you are to the
I think the easiest one to work with in
the beginning
is your amount of bow or bow speed.
So to think of using more bow as you get
closer to your arrival point.
So I start with a little bow.
And as I get to that down-bow slur,
I'm using more and, more and more bow.
And then the slur itself takes quite a
And now since I'm relaxing down from that
point, I move the bow more slowly and more
That's gonna be the pattern throughout
this song.
In the sample shapes that I have given,
they tend to avoid repetition or
So square would be to have the same
pattern twice in a row.
And then to do the same thing again.
So instead, in the in
the second group of two bars.
I arrive at
that D instead.
And these are the kinds of decisions that
you'll, you'll get more and
more comfortable making the more you make
So that's why it's important to start
here, just getting a feel for that and
seeing how well you can translate it with
the bow.
So one hint is that it's easier to arrive
on a down-bow.
There, there will be many times when you
need to do the opposite.
But in general, it's easier to arrive on a
down-bow because then you have
the natural weight of the hand.
So in the performance, you'll hear that
I'm crescendoing to my arrival points.
And then just as important, relaxing or
diminuendoing out of those points.
And it'll take a lifetime to perfect
those two those two shapes up and down.
But that's what we do as violinists.
And here, you get a start on developing
your vibrato in
the beautiful song Danny Boy.