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Violin Lessons: Fiocco Allegro

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The Fiocco-Allegro is
a landmark piece in the Suzuki books.
If you're if you ever studied the Suzuki
Method, at a certain point in book six,
you would reach this piece and that sort
of, maybe you'd heard some older kids
talk about it, and send shivers down your
spine and are, are you on Fiocco yet?
Can you play Fiocco?
How fast do you play it?
And it really doesn't need to be that big
a deal,
but it does have its challenges especially
depending on the tempo at which you play.
So here I'm, I give two performances at a,
at a nice fast performance clip and
then a slower one where you can see a
little bit more the finger action and
the string crossings because that's really
what this is about.
You do need fast fingers but maybe not as
fast as you think.
More important than that is the
coordination between the fingers and
the bow, and that takes a lot of work by
the ear.
And then there are a number of string
crossings, which,
as you'll remember from Irish Washerwoman
and other tunes,
those work best when you're putting the
least possible effort into them.
So, when you're working between the A and
E strings, for example.
To play in that string level that's
right in between the two strings, almost a
double stop.
So in that case you won't
see the right arm move much at all.
Just between two strings, it'll be mostly
little motions of the hand, and
when you combine that with the
coordination between the two hands and
the separate notes, you get the challenges
of the Fiocco-Allegro.
The other challenge here is the turns, or
mordents, notated with a little
squiggle there, and I like to play just
two kinds of them in this piece.
When they're written on an eighth note, in
other words when there's time to do
a little bit more, I do two turns, that's
from the upper note.
So, If I play the very beginning, you'll
quickly see what I mean.
So it's just four notes, simple as that.
Any time it's on an eighth note.
Now when it's on a sixteenth note as
you'll see in the middle section
I just do one turn and it's from the, the
main note or the lower note, so it sounds.
And the main note
comes on the beat.
That's the easiest way and
the clearest way I think there is to, to
imagine those.
When it's in tempo, it just, they sound
like decorations and
they don't sound like as big a deal as I
just played them.
Now, in the very beginning of this and
you want to leave left hand fingers down
as much as you can.
That's really the only way to play this
comfortably in tempo.
So, in the very beginning in fact,
you can have both the three and the two
down, maybe even the one.
And just like you would do
in the Dont Etude Number Six which,
which I hope you've looked at in
preparation for this.
It's the exact same thing and so the,
the more practiced you are at leaving
those fingers down,
the less you'll have to actually move the
fingers fast.
One way to improve the steadiness and
the coordination of this is to practice
with dotted rhythms.
And the opposite.
That does a number of things at once,
which is why it's my single favorite
practice method for this.
It helps get the 16th note steady, just in
relation to themselves,
that daka-daka-daka-daka-dum, and
it forces both hands into faster
Faster than you'll actually need when you
play this, because when you're playing
those dotted rhythms and you've got a
really quick notes.
The left hand has to be exactly
coordinated with the right,
the right hand has to coordinate with
those string crossings.
So it increases the challenge during the
quick note, but
then you get to rest during the long note.
Then you do the opposite dotted rhythm,
and you're covering all your bases.
It really improves things in a hurry.
Now the middle section here with those
turns can sometimes be a challenge and
I love to practice without the turns to
And then up to tempo.
Because then it really
doesn't seem so hard.
When you put the turns in there, you're
just decorating the note.
Many people get into trouble because
they're not consistent with the turns.
They don't always play the main note
first, so
that's why it's great to practice without
the turn first, so that you,
you get used to playing the main note.
Cuz they're not really trills, just turns.
Now, it still is useful to practice trills
because a turn is a mini-trill or
a trill is a bunch of turns put together,
so you can also practice.
The important thing if you're going to
use that practice method is to end the
trill and
go right on to the next note, so
it won't do you much good just to
You need to turn
that into the next note.
So you can make the trill as long as
you want but then it needs to go right on
without delay after that.
So, a few different kinds of challenges,
namely the string crossings,
the coordination between the two hands,
and then those turns,
and the nice thing is you've got, it's
So you've got a long first section, a
shorter middle section, and
then the end of the piece is exactly like
the beginning.
So, you double your rewards for your
efforts there.
All right, enjoy Fiocco.