Violin Journal: #3

This week, I have been working on arpeggios and minor scales. I have also put into practice much of the feedback received from the more advanced violinists following my progress...

If you have a keen eye, you may have noticed that my bow was less taught than in previous videos, and I now have slightly more bend in the bow. Thank you to the guys on the Violinist SubReddit who pointed this out to me.

I found transitioning from major scales to minor scales fairly easy due to the movements being largely the same, just with slightly varying intervals. Rather than learning as individual notes, I just worked with the interval rules for natural, harmonic and melodic minors.

Major – T, T, S, T, T, T, S

Natural Minor – T, S, T, T, S, T, T

Harmonic Minor – T, S, T, T, S, T+S, S

Melodic Minor (Ascending) – T, S, T, T, T, T, S

Melodic Minor (Descending) – T, T, S, T, T, S, T

* T = Tone S = Semitone

This way, a greater number of scales are available to me than with the traditional graded approach. Additionally, I am learning to play by feel and theoretical understanding rather than pure muscle memory, allowing for greater flexibility and control whilst playing.

Similarly, learning major and minor arpeggios from the interval rules makes for an easier learning experience.

Major Arpeggio (Ascending) – Major 3rd, Minor 3rd, Perfect 4th

Major Arpeggio (Descending) – Perfect 4th, Minor 3rd, Major 3rd

Minor Arpeggio (Ascending) – Minor 3rd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th

Minor Arpeggio (Descending) – Perfect 4th, Major 3rd, Minor 3rd

Top Tip #4

Tighten the bow correctly!

“A rule of thumb that my teacher told me was to use the pencil rule; i.e. the middle of the bow should be about a pencil’s-width between the hair and the bow.” – Chadsomething (Reddit)

“It is only supposed to be able to barely fit your pinkie in-between the hair and the curve. (Curve down not up or straight).” – Popyetyty (Reddit)

Next Week…

I’ll be working on all of the things I’ve learnt so far; namely scales, arpeggios, bowing, and sight-reading. I’m looking to improve my technique and resulting sound so that the videos I’m posting are a bit more pleasant to listen to. I’ll be posting some sight-reading next week, recording the first play-through of each piece! I promise that it won’t be as bad as it sounds.


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