Lower Intermediate Treble Lesson 1: Chordal Fingering

Viol Player Book 2
Chapter 4
• Review of Posture and holding the viol. Whether to use a rubber cloth to help make the viol feel secure or not? Practising long bows to maintain a good tone.
• P32 Exercises 1-4 How to spot chordal fingering by recognising intervals of a 4th. Discussing how it’s easier to go from the lower note to the upper note, than it is the other way around. Starting with the upper note in chordal fingering means having to add a finger first. Giving time to consider bowing technique when learning something new in the left hand.
• Chordal fingering and hand shape with a well behaved thumb. P32.
• How to hold the bow and do Pizzicato at the same time.
• P37March starting with chordal fingering. Playing with the bow and breathing preparation to start a piece. Playing with dynamics: how to play piano support the hair on the bow with the third finger. Realising the arm weight to play loud, rather than tensing up. Finding the ‘right place’ on the string to make it ring.

Lower Intermediate Treble Lesson 2: Forqueray’s Principles of Bowing and Dynamics (42)

Viol Player Book 2
Chapter 5
• P40 G major scale 2 octaves – holding fingers down on string crossing and looking at hand position on different strings. Keeping a ‘tunnel’ in your left hand shape. Learning new muscle memory.
• P40 Cotillion: String crossing over 4 strings and leaving the string ringing. Holding fingers down and recognising when it feels wrong if you lift your fingers where you shouldn’t.
• p51 Forqueray’s principles of bowing; principle 4. Looking at how much pressure to use with the second finger and where it originates or how you feel it originates in your body. Three options:
From the 2nd finger directly
From the anticlockwise wrist rotation
From the elbow and the turning of the bones in the forearm
• P44. Ronde [28 mins.10 secs Error should say 3rd finger on the bow hair to play quietly].
• 2nd finger the loud finger and 3rd finger quiet finger. Looking at each finger having a specific role in terms of dynamics. Learning to play with dynamics and phrasing so it becomes an automatic reaction when there are no dynamics written in the music.
• An introduction to Italian Ground.

Lower Intermediate Treble Lesson 3: Half Position

Viol Player Book 3
Chapter 1
• Half position Exercise 1 page 1 – holding fingers down. No 3 – holding 2nd finger down , No 5
• P2 Dindirin – dynamics and text
• C major scale in half position – eyes closed! C major arpeggio in half position with 3rd and 4th finger.
• P 5 Mrs Nag Viol’s Challenge no 1 – holding g and b flat down together.
• Playing dotted rhythms elegantly. P6 Notes on the e string in a compound time signature.
• Jenny Pluck Pears. Learning a piece thinking of the left and right hand separately; putting each hand on ‘auto-pilot’ to free up thinking space for the other hand. Sometimes, just play and not think – let your body absorb what you’ve learnt.

Lesson 4 Playing with a Flexible Wrist & 10 Technical Points for Bowing (44)

Viol Player Book 3
Sticky dots and their use especially for violinists, where the thumb might wander off the back.
Hand position and keeping a ‘tunnel’ for the bow to fit into. How to practice to improve your ability, focusing on the left hand, then the right hand.
F major Scale and looking at playing an E with a second finger
F major arpeggio x 3 times, with Chordal Fingering in half position.
Why bother to do scales? It helps with sight reading especially if the key signature can be remembered.
P8. More notes in half position on the D string; Playing
B flat major – The ‘three fingers scale’
B flat major arpeggio
B flat major scale with slurs.
No 3 Mrs Nag Viol’s Challenges. Measuring across Playing B flat in octaves by holding down fingers down.
Chapter 3: Playing with the bow with a flexible wrist: Demonstrating the wrist on a push and pull bow. P 12 Exercise – just the crotchets. Looking in the mirror to check bow direction. Bar 5; dotted rhythms and how to avoid confusing finger movement on the bow (jelly fish bowing) with moving wrist. Bar 10; quavers then semi-quavers.
P38 Chapter 5
10 points of bowing so technical issues can be put on autopilot allowing more complex left hand technique.
Each piece has an open string version enabling bowing technique to develop without having to think about on what string the left hand notes are on.
Pavan d’Angletere: looking at moving the wrist starting on a back bow. Supporting the hair on the tip of the third finger to keep a string ringing
No 25 Where to should I express:
Open string version, starting with a back, a crotchet worth of bow from the tip. Learning more skills with the bow: leaving the string ringing in the next beat, taking the bow off the string and replacing it at the tip on a pull bowing, and working down the bowing using Z bowing.
Chapter 2 p 15
Excerpt: Lachrimae Antiquae : Playing quavers right the tip of the bow (the delicious end!)
Playing a crescendo on a back bow. Playing diminuendos supporting the hair to play quieter.

Lesson 5 Easy Melodic Minors & Playing Elegant Dotted Rhythms (45)

Viol Player Book 3
P21 Book 3 Melodic minor scale in three easy steps.
1. Ascending: Play G major scale
2. Then play g major, but lower the 3rd note a semitone
3. Descending: Come down in the key of the lowered 3rd note; b flat major

G minor arpeggio: Chordal fingering across 3 strings.
P22 Mrs Nag Viol’s really quite simple exercise, once you know the notes!
No 1. Looking at the position of the arm on when playing the 5th string g. Push with a pronated wrist on a push bow and opening out the hand with a back bow.
No 3. Demonstrating wrist movement on semiquavers.
No 12. Goddesses
Looking at identifying the key of the piece. Starting with pizzicato for first 8 bars and getting used to playing an e flat. Holding fingers down on string crossing and how it should feel right. Preparing to play with good technique before you start. Playing quavers with right hand orientation. Playing on the bottom string and looking at how the hand supports the fingers.

Chapter 5 p41
Harvest Home; Open string version. Playing elegant dotted notes. Playing away from the tip because lots of string crossing. Playing pizzicato and looking at where to hold fingers down including a barre. Bar 8 arco: rocking the bow across the strings. Add dynamics and play quicker.

Lesson 6 Playing Trills & Shifting with the Left Hand (46)

Viol Player Book 3
p 28 Rigaudon First position revision. Looking at phrasing across the bar and playing slurs. Staring with chordal fingering and holding the 3rd finger down when playing open D, with a good left hand shape. Looking at good technique on the top string, by keeping the right arm heavy, with the elbow down, using some wrist movement. Supporting the hair with the 3rd finger at the end of a phrase to make it quieter. How to practise to improve the sound and left hand dexterity. Trills; how to practice them and co-ordinate the bow. Trill exercise; 0101 2424 0101 3434, slurred in 4s. Double the speed of the notes and slur 8 notes to a bow, then try 16 to a bow! (except I say 32!) How long is an appoggiatura?
P29: Shifting from first to half position using chordal fingering.
Using 3rd finger as a pivot to change position. The thumb dictates which position you play in, and it is always under the 2nd finger. Coronation Bells; releasing weight in your hand when you changing position for smooth shifting by measuring the distance. Putting shifting on auto-pilot and focusing on the bow.
P31 no 1
Looking at shifting forward from half position to first position with chordal fingering and keeping the 2nd finger over the thumb.
Chapter 5 p42
Bear’s Dance
Open string version: wrist movement on the quavers. Relaxed up playing at the tip of the bow on the top string. Good practising techniques: first line of the open string and first line of the tune, pizzicato first, then arco. Giving time to learning bow hands together and improving on the technique of both together.

Lesson 7 The Subtlety of the Bow: Tensioning the Bow Hair (47)

Viol Player Book 3
P32 More Chordal Fingering Yippee!
Chordal Fingering on fingers 1 and 2 and when to move the thumb. To avoid using excessive use of 1st finger 3 times. Exercise across all the strings. Looking at hand shape with Contractions and how it turns back in this context. Thumb shape to keep a relaxed thumb.
P33. Giga
Bar 13 Looking at shifting back to half position and then playing a tone between the 2nd and 3rd finger. Practising the tricky bits with eyes closed. Elegant dotted notes and having a shorter bow for the shorter notes. Semiquaver joined to the note that follows. How to play a long note and then follow it with another push bow. Saving the bow, but tensioning the hair by one of three ways:
1. Finger tensioning hair by pushing towards to floor
2. From anticlockwise wrist rotation
3. From the elbow
String crossing on the correct place on the bow. Playing short notes half way down the down and then at the tip after a long note. Starting to feel when if you don’t do Chordal Fingering, if feels wrong. Options for putting a stopped note or an open string and the advantages and disadvantes of both.
Working on:
1. Bow distribution: the note value length and the amount of bow used
2. Wrist movement on short notes
3. Tensioning the bow hair depending on the dynamic

P44. Texted music and playing legato Dont Vient Cela
Playing from texted music and making the bow sound like a voice. Playing legato and making the string ring. Demonstrating wrist movement for legato bowing. Phrasing off by supporting the bow hair with the tip of the third finger and then lifting the bow off enough to make the string, without taking the bow off the string too much. Looking at where to be on the bow and what happens if you use too much bow and get in the ‘wrong’ place. Dynamics – putting in your own, depending on the text. Also changing the dynamic depending on the musical line; crescendos on ascending lines and diminuendos on descending lines. Consort dynamics and communicating with each other for homophonic writing. (Everyone moves together).

Lesson 8 Minuets, Galliards and What’s a Hemiola? (48)

Viol Player Book 3
Chapter 6 p46 Minuet; Playing a minuet in 2 bar phrases. Where to stay on the string with a 4th finger, or change strings. Wrist movement for the quavers. Playing tricky passages pizzicato first and then arco. Increasing the tension on a back bow for a crescendo. Playing a diminuendo and supporting the hair with the third finger. Elegant slurs by phrasing off the second of each pair. Holding fingers down: when it feels wrong to lift them. P40 Sinkapace Galliard Starting a Galliard on a back bow by opening the hand. Practising the open string version first, careful practice on bar 6, with two consecutive back bows. Practising the first line only of the open string version, then the first line of the whole piece with the left hand. Open string version of the second line and then with the left hand and so on. Playing slower when music gets hard for both hands together. Looking at the difference between 6/4 and 6/8 and how each bar is divided into 3. P47 Galliard d’Ecosse Starting playing with the bow, having done the bowing in the last piece. Looking at fingering choices for 4th finger or open string. Keeping push bows weak at the end of the bar. Consecutive back bows at the end of a line and starting with another back bow on the next phrase. Shifting before you need to so you don’t leave it to the last minute, if possible. How to play a hemiola.

Lesson 9 Contracted Fingering for Shifts & Bow Direction on the Top String (49)

Viol Player Book 3 p48. 1, 2, 3
Mrs Nag viol’s crab walking shifts with contracted fingering. A very useful way of getting around the viol! Transferring weight into different fingers to free up the hand and move the rest of the fingers and the thumb to get into a new position. This technique can also be used on string crossing as well.
P49 Mrs Nichol’s Almain with a crab shift
How jumping from 2nd finger to 2nd finger should start to feel wrong in your hand, when using 2nd and 3rd finger in a chordal fingering position should start to more secure and preferable. Useful practice technique: orientate your thinking/learning to right hand and then left, or vice versa. Always try to finger things for thirds to resonate.
Position of the arm on the top string at the tip: keeping the elbow down as a heavy arm equals a loud arm. Holding fingers down and how it should start to feels wrong if you take your fingers off, especially if you are coming back to the same finger.
No 34 The Flat Pavan p49
Starting with the open string version of the music by playing on the string that each note is on, but leaving out the left hand. Planning bowing and for controlled slow playing. Looking at how the 2nd finger on the bow is the loud finger when it presses the hair downwards and the 3rd finger supports the bow hair to enable the string to ring when playing near the heel of the bow and to be able to play quietly. Legato bowing and wrist movement for the quaver passage at the end of the piece.

Lesson 10: Building Confidence with Shifting Position (50)

P50 Viol Player Book 3
More contracted crab walking shifts. Transferring weight to a single finger to free up the rest of the hand to enable a smooth shift.
Keep an eye on your frets! It is necessary to move them slightly to tune them for 2 reasons: 1. to set a temperament, 2. Where strings are starting to wear out and they stop sharp or flat.
No 37 P 51 Recercada I
Building confidence with shifting from half to first position. Some shifts work with contracted fingering, others are simple shifts, moving the whole hand. Including dynamics when shifting becomes more automatic, so no thought is needed with it. Remembering that when string crossing, it is on the move that moves.
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