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Violin Lessons: Advanced Spiccato

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To really have control over your spiccato,
you need to be able to control all the
Spiccato passages often have to start
right in a tempo,
and, there's no room for, for easing into
So, while it's fine to explore spiccato
experiment with it in the beginning to
find your, your comfort zone,
your comfortable speed, you have to get
out of that zone, so that you can build
up the kind of spiccato you'll need for
all different sorts of passages.
So, let's turn on
the metronome [SOUND].
Here I've got it on quarter note equals 60
and I'm going
to start with four notes per beat [SOUND]
What I'm after is starting the first note
with the metronome and having my fifth
note line
exactly up with the metronome's beat
[SOUND] Now I like to do fives,
not everyone loves fives but
let's see
six and eight are easier
Now, rather than bumping the metronome
up a long way, I'm just gonna
bump it up a little [SOUND] to 66.
That's gonna feel quite different
That's because,
just the change of six clicks on
the metronome gets multiplied
when you start doing those, those
different divisions of the note.
This is a great exercise to be really
strict with yourself with the metronome,
and it's one of the few things that I
think works really well to gradually
work up with the metronome.
So again, it's, you're not trying to get
spiccato faster and faster necessarily,
although that's, if that's helpful in some
you're trying to get that absolute
control, especially the very start.
You'll notice that I start form the string
for all these and
that's very important for control.
In fact in orchestras it's basically a
you have to start spiccato from the
16 people playing together may drop from
different heights, and it leads to,
leads to mass panic and, things not being
So, I'm starting from the string on all of
these, which we
discussed in the first spiccato listen
That first note comes with the release
from the string.
Now once you're able to control your
various speeds,
I'd like you to control the dynamic and
you do that by changing the amount of bow.
So if you have a baseline dynamic
I want that louder.
I'm going more horizontal,
not more vertical because vertical will
change the type of sound.
So now I'd like that same spiccato even
quieter than I did ai first
Basically the same height off the string
but much less bow.
Now I'm gonna change the height of the
bounce and
that's going to change the type of the
Higher bounce if gonna be more
articulation, a little more aggressive,
a little more brilliant sounding.
That's sort of a,
a concerto spocatto with great brilliance.
Maybe rarely used in the orchestral
repertoire, because again when 16 or
more people are doing it at the same time
that articulation really starts
to add up and it can start sounding out of
It's used, but rarely and
now even the lower height
and you can see that the hair is basically
staying on the string.
The stick is bouncing, but
the hair is staying on the string
This is a very useful, I would say
essential stroke for
the orchestral repertoire because it has
just enough articulation that it sounds
great when a section is doing it, and it's
very controllable in terms of tempo.
It's fine to practice this with a
metronome, but when you're playing in
an orchestra the conductor may change the
tempo or the music may demand
that one passage leans forward a little
bit and another passage leans back.
So you must be at a moderate height from
the string or
almost on the string so that you can make
those changes instantaneously.
That stroke is easier with a little bit of
tilt to the bow.
The stick tilting
away from you
So, when you send me a video on this
advanced spiccato,
I'd like you to demonstrate all of these
I'd like you to show me a basic spiccato
then I'd like you to change the amount
of bow, both greater and less, so that you
can show me different dynamics.
Then change the height, show me a nice
soloistic as you might use
And then show me also something that might
be most useful in a quiet
orchestral passage, where the hair is
basically staying on the string and
only the stick bounces.
And finally, turn on your metronome and
show me how you can do the divisions two,
well, four, five, six, seven if you're
adventurous, eight and then I'll know
you have control over your spiccato