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Violin Lessons: Schubert - Ave Maria

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In this beautiful arrangement of
Schubert's Ave Maria we'll spend a lot of
on the G-string similar to the Bach Air on
the G-string.
And, when the tune repeats we have lot's
variation in double stops of all kinds and
so, the challenge here is expression in
the shifts,
smooth shapes and then of course,
intonation but
also expression, expression in the double
So let's take a look at the beginning,
and like many other pieces, and
songs that start on the G string,
that start with an appropriate arm level
that nice, rich sound
And like the other Wilhelm arrangement,
the Bach Air G string,
this is apologetically romantic and so the
fingers reflect that.
That's a shift where
you really just drag
the finger
So, any opportunity that you have here
for, for that really,
let's call it, early twentieth century,
vocal style,
that's when this was arranged and that's
what you're after,
if I talk about the next few shifts
This is a shift with the same finger,
but on the new bow
There's and exchange and
now it's another same finger shift
There's a substitution that
you do want to hear
That shift also is on the new bow and so
that's, that's a point worth making.
You wanna be aware of the order of the
shift and the bow change.
Because that determines really what kind
of shift it is.
Let's take that one from first to
fourth position
that shift is on the new bow,
I could also do that shift on the old bow
and that gives, that's a kind of shift
that a singer couldn't really do,
because it sounds, in slow motion
The voice doesn't quite work that way, so
it's the other kind,
the new bow shift that's more vocal
Now our job as violinists isn't just to
copy singers.
Although that's not a bad place to start
when you're playing a song, but
because there are other simply violinistic
things that also sound expressive.
But most of the shifting in this one is
to be imitative of singers
Another exchange shift,
that you wanna hear
this is a great way to get from fifth
position back to third without shifting.
Here we are in fifth and
now just to reach.
And again
So, that's the style of all this shifting,
very juicy.
When it repeats, we've got octaves and
many folks are afraid of octaves,
but you needn't be if you make them part
of your regular practice.
And not only because you need to be able
to play octaves in a piece like this, but,
of course, because it's the best kind of
practice for
the frame of the hand in all positions.
But now here we are just playing straight
I like both fingers to be able to vibrate.
If you're having trouble with that, and
the fourth finger wants to straighten out
practice using the muscles of the left
hand to pull
that palm back closer to the fingerboard,
So from here to there, that's a great
exercise to do to put one and
four down in an octave frame, and practice
moving the hand out and
in using only the muscles of the hand.
In other words, I'm not just moving it
with the arm but it's, it's the fingers
and the muscles in the palm, let's call
them, that are pulling the hand in.
When you do that you strengthen those
and you make it more likely
that you can keep this curve
Here in bar 16 and again in bar 20, I
switch to fingered
octave position so it's one and three
instead of one and four.
That's because I'd rather not hear
and move it that fast.
I want to be able to
So, you'll see it in 16 and
in 20,
and I go back here to one,
In 21 we start getting sixths, and as you
know the difficult
thing about sixths is that to play a scale
in sixths,
either you're going to be sliding around
with the same two fingers, or you're
going to have to do a lot of replacing
So replacing is cleaner but that's not
really what we want in a piece like this.
So it's a lot of glissing
on the same two fingers
and here, there are a really
big series of them
So, when you're glissing around like that,
there are two things to stay aware of.
How far are you shifting each time on your
bottom finger?
That's just the half step.
Half steps and now a major third.
I usually find it more helpful to think of
the bottom finger, whether that's a one or
a two or
even a three when I'm thinking of the
shift distance.
And then, you also want to know whether
you've got a half or a whole step in
between your two fingers, so
That's all whole steps, and now,
half step, back to whole step
Half step, back to whole step
So, there are different ways you can think
about it, that's my favorite way.
Focus on the bottom finger, know how far
it's moving, and
then to know or even to mark when I've got
half steps and
when I've got whole steps in between the
two fingers.
That's the way to get those sixths in
And, those are the challenges but
it's such a beautiful piece you'll enjoy
working on it for
all the time you put into it