Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 1: Chordal Fingering

Looking at the technique of Chordal Fingering and how it maintains the resonance of the viol. How do you know when to use it and does it really make life easier?

Viol Player Book 2, Chapter 4 Exercise 1, 2, (eyes closed).

In this lesson we recap on some of the bowing technique learnt in the Elementary Lessons to enable a beautiful sound. Also starting to build a repertoire of good habits! For example:

• putting the left hand on the viol without looking

• putting your bow on the string, breathing in and out, relaxing and sinking into the string with good sense of bow arm weight
• Keeping the same hand shape using chordal fingering in first position using fingers 2-3 and half position with fingers 3-4.

P 33 Fanfare No 33 No 3:
Covering notes for bass lines and putting your left hand on autopilot!
p.38 Rondeau:
looking at changing hand shape from chordal fingering to normal hand position.
Playing with dynamics using the 2nd and 3rd finger on the bow:
• 2nd (or middle) finger can provide more weight (or pressure) on the horse hair, making the sound louder
• 3rd (or ring) finger supports the weight of the bow hair, making the sound quieter.
In conclusion: Chordal Fingering: don’t jump on the same fret with 2-2 or 3-3, just add a finger 2-3 or 3-4.

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 2: How to play elegant dotted rhythms

How to play elegant dotted rhythms. Understanding the relationship between different types of compound time signatures: 6/4 and 6/8 How well do you know your C major scale? Looking at c major in first position with F on the C string. C arpeggio with chordal fingering P38. Viol Player Book 2 Lull me Beyond Thee p37 : Using a 4th finger or an open string to avoid string crossing for one note. The un-cluncky quaver: bow distribution for dotted rhythms and playing short bows for short notes. Skye Boat Song p45 Looking at slurs on 3 notes and bow direction across 4 strings. Bowing long notes and feeling free and relaxed.

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 3: Half position, hand shape and resonance

Half position, hand shape and resonance C major scale: holding fingers down when string crossing for resonance. C major arpeggio; do you have a good hand shape so chordal fingering in half position feels relaxed? Viol Player Book 3, Page 2 Dance: Working on bow distribution, so weak notes have shorter bows. F major Scale: comparing bow direction on the top and bottom D strings and relating the notes on the top D string to the bottom D string. F major arpeggio: Chordal fingering in half position and keeping the hand relaxed by having a left thumb bent outwards. No 7 Helas Madam: Resonant fingering by holding thirds down and starting on a back bow. Playing quietly by supporting the bow hair with the 3rd finger. P4 Mrs Nag Viol’s Chordal Fingering Challenge! Exercises to install the feeling of chordal finger in your hand. For access to lessons 4-10 at Lower Intermediate and 4 other levels, become a Patreon.

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Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 4: Bowing with the wrist

Bowing with wrist and B flat major scale Viol Player Book 3
B flat major scale; holding 3rd finger down, three times.
8 Ronde; teacher’s part. Looking at string crossing and holding fingers down in 5ths.
p9 More of Mrs Nag Viol’s Challenges no 2.
Learning notes across the strings and how they relate to each other. B flat major arpeggio:
Chapter 2 The Beautiful Bow How to bow using a small amount of wrist movement. Thinking of the strong and weak bows as breathing.
How to start a back bow from different places on the bow.
No 1. Wrist movement and keeping bow direction parallel to the bridge.
No 2 C major scale with short notes at either end of the bow.
No 3 Study on the middle two strings of the bow for modern string players who are used to 5ths
No 4 String Crossing and keeping the bow parallel to the bridge.

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 5: Resonant consecutive back bows and melodic minor scales

Book 3 p 20 Bass part Belle qui tien ma vie.
Learning notes across the frets and how they relate to each other. Playing with dynamics. Playing two resonant consecutive back bows.
Theory: understanding how to construct melodic minor scales.
p 22 No 3 playing with chordal fingering and semiquavers using the wrist.
How to play pizzicato holding the bow. p 22 No 12 Goddess Holding fingers down to finger in 3rd to get more resonance from the viol. Seeing music in shapes and patterns to help sight reading.

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 6: Technical review and ‘Why should I move out of half position?’

Technical review

Left hand;

1. Chordal fingering in first and half positions

2. Holding fingers down across 3 or more strings and fingering in thirds.

3. F on the c string, F on E string

Right hand:

1. wrist movement, realizing arm weight.

2. Leading with the wrist on a push bow and the back of the hand with a pull bow.

3. Lifting the bow off the string with the tip of the 3rd (ringed) finger

4. Playing quietly using the tip of the 3rd finger to take the weight of the bow, especially on two consecutive back bows.

p26. Bellezze d’Olympia – second section: chordal fingering as a hand shape

p35. Ah Robin, Gentle Robin: Looking at G and E flat on the same fret with fingers 4 and 3.

How to play resonant rests: leaving notes ringing supporting the bow hair with the tip of the 3rd finger or moving to an adjacent the beat before on a rest.

p 30 Coronation Bells: Why should I move from half position? Looking at how to shift by reducing finger weight and keeping the thumb bent out.

Gentle Robin part 2: More shifting

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 7: More String Crossing and Shifting Position using Chordal Fingering

Chapter 4 Viol Player Book 3 P 27 Gavotte: placing the bow away from the tip for string crossing and using a forward and back bow stroke. Avoiding slurring on a string-cross by adding a finger to keep on the same strings. Triple barring and thumb tension. p29 No 1 and 2: First position revision and shifting using chordal fingering. p31 no 2 Shifting from half position to first position using chordal fingering. p31 No 20 Irish Hoe Hoane: Elegant dotted notes and applying the shifting techniques learnt in the exercise above.

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 8: Bow management with consort playing tips

Playing catch up with the bow and being on the right place on the bow.
p38 Chapter 5 No 25: Whereto should I express? bow management: playing a weak note at the tip after playing a long note; avoiding a bounce when putting the bow back on the string.
Playing scales in different rhythms: G minor melodic.
p41 No 27 Harvest Home
How to make lots of string crossing, in compound time, easy with elegant dotted rhythms. Working on good practice techniques.
p44 Dont vient cela
Revisiting the technique of a weak note at the tip on a back bow after a long note. Consort playing tips.
Lesson 9 Articulation and yet another way to shift!
P47. Galliard d’Ecosse
Pupil part: how to bow a galliard. Looking at how sometimes it’s not possible to have the bow the right way round, but still make the music sound rhythmically correct!
Spot the hemiola!
Looking at articulation for bass playing and how it affects the rest of the consort.
Teacher’s part Galliard d’ Ecosse: Looking at different choices for fingering and shifting.
p48 Another way to shift using crab walking shifts with contracted fingering.
p49 Mrs Nichols Almand: applying the new shifting technique to the top part and a quick example of different articulation on the Teacher’s part.
p54 Scales and Arpeggios: how to practice them.

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 9: Articulation and yet another way to shift!

Lesson 9 Articulation and yet another way to shift!
P47. Galliard d’Ecosse
Pupil part: how to bow a galliard. Looking at how sometimes it’s not possible to have the bow the right way round, but still make the music sound rhythmically correct!
Spot the hemiola!
Looking at articulation for bass playing and how it affects the rest of the consort.
Teacher’s part Galliard d’ Ecosse: Looking at different choices for fingering and shifting.
p48 Another way to shift using crab walking shifts with contracted fingering.
p49 Mrs Nichols Almand: applying the new shifting technique to the top part and a quick example of different articulation on the Teacher’s part.
p54 Scales and Arpeggios: looking at different ways of practising them.

Lower Intermediate Bass Lesson 10: Sight Reading Techniques, Which Position is Best – Half or First?

p32 More Chordal Fingering with 2nd and 1st fingers. Looking at the basis of advanced techniques in the study: More Chordal Fingering – Yipee!
p50 No 36 My Love gave me a Cherry – Looking at key signatures and accidentals to define which position. More crab walking shifts with contracted fingering across two strings starting with pizzicato. Then arco with a reminder to check the position of the thumb.
p52 Mad Tom: Techniques to help sight reading: scan (a quick look!) a piece by looking ahead, spotting accidentals that would necessitate a shift and then deciding which position (half or first) to play in, before you start. Looking at how some phrases are so much easier to play in either first of half position. How the bass player in a consort is responsible for keeping the consort together rhythmically, with good articulation.