William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

What are Bow Speed Patterns?

Improve your bow distribution with these practical tips

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick explores "bow speed patterns" with practical example applied to the most popular violin repertoire such as Mendelssohn's violin concerto, Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole, and more. This advanced technique will improve your bow distribution with a resulting greatly enhanced expression power.

Released on January 2, 2019

    
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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

In this video Iíd like to explore ways to turn something musical or expressive into something a bit more concrete.† To do this why donít we explore the use of bow speed patterns when changing from down to up or up to down to aid us in understanding how to turn being musical, expressive into something concrete, audible.

You see when I was 17 I attended this chamber music summer workshop and I was assigned during that week a piano trio. Well, I was playing in a class, and what I heard†was like someone pointing a dagger through my back, as I was told by a student that though it was obvious that I loved the music I played, he couldnít hear it! I was totally taken aback by this commentÖ As I walked away with my coach, after the session, he put his arms on my shoulder he said and I quote ďDonít take it so bad! When I was at Juilliard I didnít know how to turn a phrase either!Ē That was it, he turned the exposed knife in my back even further, deeper! Sigh! I was done for.

So with that in mind letís look at a few things we can do with our bow changes. How we can use these things to help us understand how to turn a phrase, how to make what we feel more concrete, more obvious!

So in general we can do these 2 things with our change of bow speeds: we can go for the same speed; to the same speed (you see that); or we can go from a slow to fastÖ did you see that? I went faster, at the same speed going up as I did when I finished going down. Iíll do it againÖ

Of course, you can do it at the frog as well. Or the same. Still the same.

Now these are two of the more common ways to use this idea but those speeds can of course change. I mean, the sky is the limit! But those are the 2 more general parameters. So with this information in hand letís explore a bit how to use them.

What about the Mendelssohnís concerto, the slow movement. Do you know, theÖ Did you see? It was the same bow speed. Same bow speed.

What about Sibelius. The second movement. We are going from fast to fast.

Why canít Lalo?

Do you see it?

How about with Tchaikovsky. Do you see? My down-bow speed and my up-bow speeds are identical.

So are you getting the idea? Can you see how it works? Can you find other ways to do this with your bow speed? Can you see how it would connect to your vibrato? Can you see how it would connect to your point of contact? Can you see the possibilities?

Iím betting that you can!
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Cheryl * VSM MEMBER * on January 9, 2019 @7:54 pm PST
I've often thought it would be nice to have a speedometer on my bow.... and a tracking device! With colors!
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