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Updated: Dec 28, 2020



*Slow-Motion*! Collé magnet exercises 🧲 - colle, which means glue, is a critical physical motion of the hand that serves as the basis of many articulation strokes! The morion allows sound to be articulated in varying degrees and gives it its consonance and speaking qualities. In my opinion, there are two types of colle movements that align with these qualities- the first type helps one produce a more consonant, crisp, and percussive sound. How articulated depends on what stroke is at play- martele requires more vertical and sustained articulation, spiccato less sustained, ricochet even less- so on so forth. The second type of colle is used for the parlando technique, which gives sound a more speaking quality. Both types demand a quick change in finger joint movements and impulses. Equally as important, both involve passive and active movements.

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In this session, I’m exploring the first type of colle- it is the basis of martele, or an accented stroke that remains on the string. In this percussive colle, two motions are at play- 1) the passive extension of the fingers, and 2) the active retracting / flexion of the fingers. 1): Extending the fingers is passive since the natural, with-gravity movement of throwing the hand from the wrist is utilized- the hand remains somewhat neutral. This motion allows the bow to cling onto (‘glue’) the string, providing that vertical force needed to produce an accented, impactful start to the sound. The bow hair and the strings are like magnets, unequivocally attracted to each other. 2): Flexing the fingers and taking the bow away from the string is an active motion, against gravity. One learns to quickly pry the bow away from the string without the bow slipping by tuning into the exact contact points between finger and bow- when the hand flexes, the top of the bow stick is in contact with the inside creases of the fingers!

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Here I am practicing a series of down and up strokes, trying to effortlessly glue the bow onto the string, actively lift the bow with the fingers, and immediately catch the string again smoothly with extended fingers- the cycle is repeated!

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#violinist#violin#小提琴



Updated: Dec 17, 2020


A deeper look into the Fuga of Bach’s first solo sonata had me thinking about the importance of allowing the natural spring in our finger joints to come into play! Practicing the complementary double stops - fourths and sixths - develops this springiness and “give” in the first and second knuckle joints of the LH. The more adjustable the joints, the more swift the hand can adapt to challenging chords, which are simply combinations of different double stops.

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4ths and 6ths are complementary in the sense that they are inversions of each other- in scales of 4ths for example, each finger must have the ability to move downwards along the arc of the bridge, from a lower string to a higher string: (eg 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, 4-3). In 6ths, the movement is opposite- each finger must have the ability to move upwards along the bridge, from a higher to lower string: (0-1, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4). This means that half-harmonic pressure, cushioned placement, wrist flexibility, and hand structure adjustability is important! The fingers should glide across transversely (across different strings) sinuously.

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Dabbled briefly in Dounis’ exercises for chromatic minor sixths and augmented fourths - found them extremely helpful as they encourage the fingers to refrain from being too high (finger preparation). The hand as a whole is encouraged to be open- sometimes practicing without the side of the first finger touching the neck is useful. Lateral placement rather than diagonal placement naturally results in nimble, instantaneous adjustments required from the fingers.

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Sometimes I like to practice tritones to experiment around with the “give” (natural springiness) in knuckles. The elbow is encouraged to adjust as well to promote sense of mobility.

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Attached is an excerpt of Dounis exercise- practicing softly and slowly at first is key! Saturate them with them slides 😏😉.

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#violin#violinist#dounis