Search

Practice Notes, Ep. 27 - Explorations of Left-Hand Pizzicato



A comeback after a month's hiatus away from blogging? A discussion of left hand pizzicato - to help circulate the blood in the fingers; build strength and springiness in the joints; develop light calluses for tactile stability! Usually one thinks of left hand pizzicato as having the pizzing fingers trace a simple diagonal line (from the player’s point of view- top to bottom, right to left). I experimented around with a few exercises from the Dounis collection and realized that alternatively, and more helpful, one can imagine the finger tracing a tiny arc... almost like a letter “C”. In other words, the pizzing finger feels the potential energy stored as it sets itself on the string, leaning towards the player before the actual act of pizzing (kinetic energy) and snapping in the opposite direction towards the scroll.

~

To create more leverage, the thumb moves forward the higher the finger involved in the pizz. Naturally, the hand supinates slightly, to the extent that in certain instances (on lower strings), the fingers themselves are placed almost if not completely perpendicular to the string.

~

These two factors (the trajectory by which the finger follows while plucking the string and the position of the thumb) liken left hand pizzicato to finger snapping. When snapping, the thumb and second fingers move as oppositional forces- thumb to the left and second finger to the right. The same actions happen in left hand pizzicato, just more subtly. The thumb is an important component in pizzicato, and because it is the strongest (and longest) finger in the hand, one would be remiss to not take advantage of it!

~

Spending just under 3 minutes a day working on pizzing can help with building up pliability and strength, especially in the pinky. Taking it easy so as not create blisters - but, mild calluses are more than welcomed and good for intonation. I needed it especially today, as I felt the pinky was feeling a little wobbly while working on pieces. Dabbled with the 12th exercise in Dounis’ Daily Dozen, a section from his Fundamental Trill Studies, and finally applied to the 9th variation of Paganini’s 24th Caprice😊

~

#violin#violinist#dounis


44 views0 comments