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Violin Lessons: Artificial Harmonics

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Harmonics result when a string is
divided into parts by something that's
stopping the string only part of the way.
So, natural harmonics result because the
string is stopped by the nut in
the bridge.
And then, your finger lightly divides the
string in different parts.
With artificial harmonics, what we're
talking about is a shorter string.
Instead of the nut stopping the string at
the bottom, it's one of your fingers.
The most common artificial harmonic is
one that sounds two octaves above the
stopped note.
So, here we have an E.
by placing my fourth finger lightly,
we get the E two octaves above.
So, it's dividing the string into four
Of course, the further up the string you
the shorter the string starts, so the
closer the four must be.
But luckily,
you already know all about that because
you are used to playing perfect fourths.
When you play those,
you're used to the fourth finger getting
closer and
closer to the first finger, so the same
By the time I'm up here,
the four is twice as close to the one
as it is in first position.
So, you can practice this actually by
practicing octaves because then
the one and the four are in the same
They're a fourth apart.
So by practicing octaves, you can really
lock in [SOUND] the placement for
your artificial harmonics and vice versa.
Now, it's a little bit of a myth that the
fourth finger, or whichever finger is
stopping an artificial harmonic, needs to
be very light on the string.
In fact,
it should be down as strongly as possible
while still maintaining a harmonic.
[SOUND] So, I'm putting a little pressure
on that string.
The, the finger isn't just riding or
floating above the string, it's,
it's really making contact with it.
Now, the bow has a role to play in this
Generally for a nice, strong harmonic it
should be close to the bridge, and
it should be a pretty slow bow speed and
strong pressure.
The same variables that you would use if
you were trying to sustain a loud note.
[SOUND] That kind of bow is going to give
you the cleanest harmonic.
[SOUND] Now for your video to me, I'd like
to play a scale up on one string of an
octave with
artificial harmonics, maybe it would be g
And if you do that for
me on all four strings, and then pick one
two of the strings and show me a slurred
so that I can hear how you release the
fingers in a sustained bow.
Remember, it should be just the same as in
where instead of rolling on the finger, it
moved like that.