William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

Revisiting Rotations

Rotations, revisited, will help with your violin playing

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick gives you a new lesson about rotations and how useful they are for your violin playing.

Released on June 3, 2020

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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

I remember Miss Delay making me imagine that there was a rubber band tied to my finger, wrapped around my finger, just like this one, but it was an imaginary one. She said, it's like your finger goes to the string as if it were being pulled by a rubber band, and when the rubber band gets let go, you see, it goes to the string.

What's interesting about this is that, well, when you pull it back, there's a bit of pressure here. When you let it go, the pressure releases. Maybe it's sort like a release to the string. Maybe that's what's going on. But when I pull it back that way, I go like this, and I pull it back and then I release. Well, let me just look at it a little closer here. When I pull it back, the pinkie by the way, imagine the rubber band, I'm pulling it back and I let it go, pulling it back and letting it go. You see, what happens? This. Pulling it back and I'm letting it go.

I was in a lesson with a student recently and they were putting the finger to the string this way, and I was looking and I went no, no, no, no. You see, you pull it back and you let it go to the string. In fact, I've talked about rotations before, but the rotation occurs from that pulling back, and then you release it. You pull it back and you release it to the string. What that does, I know I've said all this before, but I'm really interested in trying to say it even better, okay.

What happens is, you pull it back and you release it, that's the speed. That's the speed that takes the string and pulls it down. Wow. I'm releasing it to the string. And then I don't feel any tension in my hand once I've released it, once I've gone to the string this way. Here, let's look at it with a violin. I mean, I'm releasing it. I'm releasing it, and this is bringing on this. I'm releasing it. I'm releasing it. Wow.

Okay, I've released it, then you go, yes, but there's not enough weight to keep the string down. I mean, it's just going to bounce back up. As my French students said when I brought it up to them years ago, "Monsieur, if we don't press, there's no sound." I spent a year trying to explain, debating, shall we say, with them about the validity of my position. Well, here's what goes. Okay, I pull it back, it's there, then I still have the weight of my arm, that weight to hold my place, that weight in the finger and the string.

So let's see. We've got that rotation back, or the release to the string, and that weight, which means that the sound that I get ... There it is, that famous Delahey ping. Let me try it up here. Surely you heard that. Miss Delahey used to talk about ping. Well, that ping occurred when you pull it back, released it to the string. So we've understood, then, better, or at least I've tried to explain better, rotations with regards to putting the finger down, but what about taking it off? Let's see.

Well, if I'm to pull it back and go that way, wouldn't I also come back the same way? If I come back and then release, another release. Here we go. Back, release, back, release. Let's see what that looks like. That was a good one. I'm starting to hear something. Maybe left-hand pits can help us to figure out exactly how to make that happen. So I'm here. I'm going the other way, and I release.

So I think I've, or at least I hope I've said it a little better, how to go to the string and come away from the string. Why don't I do it one last time, and I'm going to slow it down for you. Okay. Here we go. To the string.

Here, on another angle.

There. Here. Another angle.

Another angle.

To show this to students I like using Wieniawski's Polonaise.

All of it exists in how we play that opening.

Maybe that would help it.

You tell me. I mean, the things that this could help to clear up, wow, are just so many, I mean ... I guess this is just sort of like a way to be, a way to live, a way to put your finger, take your finger away from the string. Well, I hope this is helpful and clears up a little bit some of the things I've talked about in other videos before.
Automatic video-to-text transcription by DaDaScribe.com
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Mark Feldman on September 6, 2020 @6:27 am PST
Hi William
In the middle 1980’s
I shared a stand with you at a Nashville Recording Session
I told you how much I admired your shifting
You told me you had been in France and had a small study score of the Bach unaccompanied in your case
Our mutual friends on that session , Connie heard, Lenny Height
Thank you for your great videos
I’m learning a lot
Best Regards
Mark Feldman
William - host, on September 6, 2020 @9:36 am PST
Hi Mark! What a surprise! Those were wonderful moments! Thanks for looking and commenting!!!!!
mvhaddad * VSM MEMBER * on June 10, 2020 @5:01 am PST
Thanks for this and so many other wonderful videos. I've been told that there keeping the fingers near the string can be helpful for speed and for intonation. Rotation seems to require distance. Can the two be reconciled?
William - host, on August 3, 2020 @6:23 pm PST
Good topic for a video! Thanks!!!
ismail hakk─▒ soyberk * VSM MEMBER * on June 3, 2020 @8:39 am PST
hii thanks for everything...─▒ m playing this notes with fender fretless bass..
William - host, on August 3, 2020 @6:23 pm PST
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