Lower Intermediate Tenor Lesson 1: Chordal Fingering

Viol Player Book 2
Chapter 4
• P32 Chordal Fingering explained: Keeping different fingers down on the same fret, either 2 and 3, to replace 2-2, 3 and 4 to replace 3-3. You can also use finger 1-2 on the same fret. Barring with 1st and 4th finger is allowed but not with 2nd or 3rd finger.
• Hand shape and chordal fingering. Keeping the wrist up (in a tunnel shape).
• P32. Pizzicato Exercises 1, 2 Try not to look at your left hand!
• No 3. Changing hand shape from chordal fingering to playing a 4th finger. Eyes closed!
• Transferring finger weight to each finger to stop the hand from clamping on the fingerboard with a bent out thumb, so the hand is flexible, supple, relaxed and strong.
• No 4. Playing the top note on chordal fingering first. Eyes closed.
• Tallis’s Canon: Spot the Chordal Fingering: it should feel wrong to play 2-2! Holding fingers down when you come back to the same finger. Although it’s not marked in the book, it should start to feel wrong when fingers come off.
• P34. Bransle de Royne:Preparing for chordal fingering in bar 2. Chordal fingering marked with a bracket so it looks like a fret.
• Placing the bow on the top string: Using breathing in and out to relax the position of your right arm when it’s so far away from your body. Keep the elbow down. Looking at the difference in hand position between barring and playing with 4 fingers down. Feeling where the weight is in each finger to avoid clamping onto the fingerboard. Bar 14 consecutive back bows and how the bow goes forward and back. Preparation for bar 16 with 3 strings to cross.
• P35 Shepherd’s Dance:How long can you hold a chordal fingering pattern? Pizzicato to make sure you have good contact with the fret. Keeping a well behaved bow especially when you play faster.
• P36 No 19 Mrs. Robertson’s Fancie: Looking at Chordal Fingering over 3 strings, then playing secure octaves by holding fingers down across the strings. Listening for fingers coming off when they shouldn’t! Try to finger notes in intervals of thirds. Practising in sections, rather than the whole piece

Lower Intermediate Tenor Lesson 2 Expressive Playing

Viol Player Book 2
• P40 Chapter 5 : Playing on the top string: Exercise 1 Memorise a few bars to check the bow. Looking at the difference between the C string and the top G string.
• P41 C major scale, two octaves: Keeping a high wrist so fingers stay down when string crossing. Looking at the ‘right place’ on the top string and how the place for the bow changes across the strings.
• C major arpeggio, two octaves: pivoting on 2nd finger on the A string. Say the notes allowed when playing them.
• La Bouron: Holding fingers down to find the next note across the viol. 14.28 Error: should say easier for the 1st finger to jump.
• P50 Forqueray: Principles of Bowing: 4th Principle – explained and demonstrated.
• Chap 5 p40 no 1: Experimenting with the use of the 2nd finger on the hair, having a heavy arm and playing loud.

• P46 Italian Ground: Working phrase by phrase: Supporting the bow hair to play quietly and phrasing off where needed. Bar 4: playing consecutive back bows and leaving the string ringing. Planning bowing so weak beats are not accented.
Three ways to apply pressure with the 2nd finger
1. From the finger pointing towards the floor
2. From the wrist in an anticlockwise direction
3. From the elbow with bones in the forearm starting to cross.
Using the skills we have learned to play more expressively with this piece.

Lower Intermediate Tenor Lesson 3: Half Position

Viol Player Book 3
• P1 Half Position: Mrs Nag Viol’s Challenge no 1. Going back a fret and adding a finger to make sense of half position. Holding fingers down when changing strings and for fingering notes so they resonate in thirds.
• Page 3 F major scale. Looking at playing E natural with 2nd finger, rather than 1st finger in 1st position. Arpeggio; Chordal fingering in half position with 3rd and 4th finger. Pizzicato and arco. Play three times and third time with eyes closed.
• Page 2 and 3. Notes on the F string: Notes on the D string
• P4: No 3 Putta Nera Ballo Furlano. Learning one hand at a time, thinking firstly about the notes and secondly playing with dynamics. Demonstrating what happens if your hand position isn’t correct and how affects string clearance. Playing loudly with bow speed and more pressure and playing quietly supporting the bow hair with less bow speed.
• P5 B flat major: keep 1st finger down on b flat, when playing the whole arpeggio. 3 times, 3rd times eyes closed.
• How to handle the bow from to arco pizzicato, in one quick movement!
• No 5 Ronde VII: Starting from bar 9 pizzicato to establish barring with 1st finger. Line 3 needs more practice as it’s faster! Playing the first line f and then p. Looking at the use of 2nd and 3rd finger for dynamics and checking on which fingers need to stay down. Looking at learning notes and then finding them an octave lower.