Evva Mizerska - cello expert

Double-stops and bow handling: Study op. 76 no 8 by D. Popper

Learn how to approach the eighth etude of Popper's Op. 76

In this video, Evva teaches you how to study and practice the eighth Etude Op. 76 by Popper, focusing on double-stops and bow handling techniques.

Released on May 11, 2022

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Video Transcription

Hello, and welcome to our study challenge May edition. Today, we are looking at study number eight from Op. 76 Band one by David Popper. The same as two other studies we already talked about, number one, and number five. This study is an easy take on double stops. So for all the beginners to double stops, this is probably a good point to start. The challenge is really in the left hand, as well as the right hand. In fact, you will see that left hand is actually quite easy when you start working on it. It's very often connected with open strings and tuning. It can be... At the beginning feel tricky, but later on, you will find this actually not so difficult.

Sometimes the challenge is to keep the bow on two strengths for notes at a time long slurs. So this is something we are going to look into in a moment. To start with, when you work on your left hand and you are new to double stops and you don't really know where to start, I would recommend learning two voices separately. So you could look at the top voice first and they are all very easy, but when you learn them separately, it'll be simply easier to understand how to play it. So you'll start with the top voice.

And so on, whereas the left hand will play. And then, once you have done that, you can connect them first by still only playing the first voice, but going with the left hand for the bottom voice as well. So let's say that you are going to mimic the bottom voice the way you would normally play it, but keep your bow only on the top voice. So prepare your F and go. Then you can do the opposite, so you'll be playing the bow on D string, but you are going to still play both voices for the left hand.

This way you are going to get used to playing both voices with the left hand, as well as taking care of the intonation. Sometimes it's hard to hear those voices separately while you play them together. So this is a method to learn them in tune. And yet at the same time learn the movement of both voices. So another challenge of the left hand is simply to synchronize those two voices together. Let's look at the next fragment so that we not barely just play the first four bars. Let's look at bar five, it's similar but moves to one string down. So starting with B flat. So you have to make sure that when you go to the F, you are going to release your A the same time as you press your F. So you have that smooth connection. And I don't need to say that you start practicing it much slower at first. So the tempo I would recommend will be this.

And is not a bad idea to separate the bows into... At the beginning too, so that you can simply think of your intonation. The second challenge of that study is to keep the bow on the strings for the four quavers at a time. And I find with my students, is actually, this pose is more of a challenge than the left hand itself after a while. So once they have learned the left hand, it's actually much harder to simply be able to keep the bow on two strings for the entire length of the bow. The best way to approach it is to stop the bow from time to time without retaking it.

Let's look at bar 13. This is where the melody changes, it would be good to look at something different. So you are going to play the first two, then relax your shoulder and carry on with the next two. And similarly here, relax your shoulder, get the contact. Another thing you have to practice is to simply be able to start on two strings at once. For example, in bar 18. This is the next fragment of the study, it's a new material, but it's very similar and the thing comes back after four bars. So let's look at that new fragment. It starts up above, make sure that you are going to start on two strings at once. So position the bow well and prepare it really well before you attempt to move it, so.

And once you start, completely relax your shoulder. So try not to keep it up, but simply... Prepare, but then relax as you move it. And practice. Stop, make sure you're still on two strings at once, relax your shoulder and then go. It's much easier down bow than up bow. And then in tempo. And then. And the thing comes back. So again, if you're struggling with keeping the bow on two strings, make sure you divide it into sections of the bow. Where each time you can do this little check that you are still on two strings, you have your shoulder relaxed, and that should make it much easier. I hope you enjoyed the study and I will see you next month with our new study challenge.
Automatic video-to-text transcription by DaDaScribe.com
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

nobody * VSM MEMBER * on November 30, 2022 @10:02 am PST
This is really good and breaks it down to be playable. Thanks for sharing this!
Halina * VSM MEMBER * on May 11, 2022 @6:48 am PST
Thank you so much, Evva, for your outstanding explanation. Simply, amazing.
Evva - host, on May 11, 2022 @8:33 am PST
Thank you very much, Halina, for your lovely comment. I'm glad it's been useful!
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