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Violin Lessons: Sautillé

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>> The sautille stroke is a stroke where
the bow bounces, but
you're not moving back and forth in
different directions.
So, you drop the bow on the string, and
the initial height from which you drop,
and the force with which you drop or throw
the bow at the string,
sets the type of sound.
So, you can have a more gentle sound by
dropping from a lower height.
Or drop from a higher height for more
articulation, generally louder.
Generally the horizontal
speed controls the volume.
Now, some combinations work better than
It's usually true that when you bounce
you also use a little more horizontal
So, in general, you have a lower bounce, a
little less bow for
more quiet, more controlled.
And then for a louder, more articulation,
come from higher off the string.
So, you can do sautille on the same
string as I've just been demonstrating
And that's often accompanied with changing
fingers, which you need to
coordinate with the bounces of the bow, or
you can go across strings.
The four string sautille is used in
virtuosic passages in the literature
including one of them in this repertoire
the third movement of Scheherazade the
concert master solo there.
As well as a three string version in the
Capriccio Espanol.
So the four string sautille also
appears in the Mendelssohn concerto.
That's a technique that, again,
like the original spiccato, tends to,
there seems to be a light bulb moment
where all
of a sudden it works and you, oh, that's
And until then it can seem very
So there are a number of different ways
you can work on it.
You start by dropping the bow and moving
the arm smoothly across
to get your first four notes.
You need then a little bit of new energy
for the return trip.
The bow usually can't last eight bounces
without a new burst
of energy on the upside.
It's just a question of
where that energy is directed.
You need to direct it directly at the
string as if your hand were going to
touch or hit the E string.
If you direct it too vertically or
too horizontally, you're gonna mess up the
Now to get it faster, you bounce a little
lower and
move your arm more quickly to the E
When it gets very fast, again, like the
original spiccato,
the feeling may be one of a bouncing ball.
It's more of a vertical feel at that
You may not need to think about directing
new energy to the E string.
So, when you send me a video of
sautille I'd like to see different speeds.
And also ones where you change fingers.
Like to see different dynamics, too.
And then I'd like to see if you can do it,
a four string sautillé
Yeah, and, and
this is also a good way to work on it.
If you could demo it starting on the
What that does is it shows me that you
know how to direct energy on the upbow,
which is also a necessary part when you
start it down bow.