Search

Quarantine Practice, Ep. 1 - The Importance of 4ths and 6ths for the Left Hand

Updated: Dec 18, 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.

~

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.

~

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.

~

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.

~

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

~

#violin#violinist#dounis

27 views0 comments