How to Find any Position on the Violin | Violin Lounge TV #307

by | May 8, 2019 | Play in Tune, Position Play, Practice Tips | 6 comments

Lost on the fingerboard? With this exercise, you learn to hit that high note safe and secure.

Learn to find any position out of the blue:

In this episode, I’ll teach you how to find any position on the violin

Position play can be very intimidating. You might be able to play a position once you’ve found it but it’s very hard to find those positions.

If you’re wondering what on earth position play is, please know that it has nothing to do with the kama sutra and watch this video for some position play basics.

Start with imagining the sound of the note you’re about to play

The first step I would like to give you is to have a clear image in your head. If you can hear the tune in your head of the note that you need to hit.

You must know how the note should sound and then your hands will follow.  It’s more a matter of knowing how the note should sound than a matter of motor skill. 

Often motor skills are overestimated and ear training is underestimated

This is exactly why it’s important to avoid mindless practice and always play with a musical goal in mind.

Hi! I'm Zlata

Classical violinist, teacher and bowing technique nerd helping you play the music you love beautifully

So my hand automatically does what I imagine? Yeah, right…

Ok, got you, of course you need that motor skill exercise, but here’s a test for you. Think about the sound of the exact bars you’re a about to play. Hear this in your head like it’s a familiar tune. Best is to sing it. It doesn’t matter that you’re not an opera diva… just try to sing the right pitch.

If you can sing it you can play it!

Now grab your violin right after singing the note and give it a try. Chances are that you’ll get the right note much faster if not in one go.

If you don’t know how the note should sound, it’s impossible to hit it. It’s like driving a car without having any idea where you’re going. How likely is it then that you’ll reach your destination, whatever that is?

Swing Exercise

A good exercise to find a high note in one go, is to play the note, swing your arm, and get back to note. In the video I show you exactly what I mean.

Repeat this many times until you can hit that note reliably. Don’t stop when you got it. You need to practice until you can hit the note consistently, so for example three times in a row.

Now go try out this exercise and let me know in the comments the result of this swing exercise!

6 Comments

  1. LAUREL

    SUCH A GREAT TIP. HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS AND REALLY NEVER TRIED IT. I THINK I CONCENTRATE TOO MUCH ON WHREE THE NOTE IS AND LOSE SIGHT OF WHERE I AM AT WIT THE SONG. SOME DAYS A STRUGGLE AND SOME TIMES IT FLOWS SMOOTHLY! WISH I COULD GET CONSISTENT AND LET THE MUSIC FLOW ALWAYS! WILL NOT GIVE UP… THANK YOU SO MUCH ZLATA.

    Reply
  2. Sherylin

    This reminds me and when you told me that practice makes permanent, not perfect.
    I can also see this helping with learning pitch as well.
    Thanks for this tips Zlata 🙂

    Reply
  3. Larry Long

    Simple, yet great tips!

    Reply

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