Arts & Entertainment, Music

Advanced Bowing and Left-Hand Techniques

Itzhak Perlman

Lesson time 17:36 min

Building on bowing fundamentals, Mr. Perlman moves into advanced bow strokes and playing techniques, such as double-stops, harmonics, and higher positions.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Bow Strokes • Playing Positions


[VIOLIN PLAYING] TEACHER: Detache, spiccato, legato, and martele are some of the strokes that I use. And they're very, very helpful. [VIOLIN PLAYING] Legato is you connect two notes together. And then if you have the-- you have-- that's all separate. If you want to do it legato, you go-- So that's legato. That's one that has two notes as a slur. If you want three notes as a slur, you go-- So that's a legato, you know. And of course, legato, if you play certain pieces of music, it's all written out for you, you know, as a phrase marking. So you know, I get back to my favorite example of the second movement of the Mendelssohn Concerto. So if you were to play it without legato, the beginning, it will sound like this. But if you play the legato, so the second, and third, and fourth notes, you slur. It goes-- You can go-- you can play two notes into one bow and so on. I always feel that legato is good for phrasing, but sometimes, you know, you've got too many notes per bow. I feel that you should feel free to divide it, so that if you have four notes per bow, playing two and two as opposed to all four, because then you may run out of bow. So anyway, so legato basically is a slur of-- you know, you take several notes, and you play them all into one bow. So-- It's legato as opposed to detache, which means that separate bow on the string. That's a detache. So now comes one of my favorite, you know, bowings, which is the spiccato. The spiccato is you bounce your bow off the string. Now spiccato is an interesting stroke. It's a pain in the neck kind of a stroke. Why is it a pain in the neck? Because it's a question of how do you do it, and what part of your bow do you use? So here it is. I remember when I was talk-- when I was reminding you about making sure that your wrist is not stiff so that it doesn't look like the wrist has, you know, like a cast over it, all right? So if you go with spiccato, you want to spiccato with your wrist-- and slightly with your fingers. And just think about if you want to say-- you want to wave goodbye. If you wave goodbye like this, you know, that's the kind of spiccato-- so that so if you want to play it faster-- but always feel that there is a kind of an action going up and down, up and down. So another thing about to spiccato is make sure it does not come from the shoulder. So you go-- the minute you go, there's always a tendency, some people, to go like that. That's bad, because it only makes you tired. And it doesn't really give you a bounce. So what you have to do is relax your shoulder. You know, just relax. So you see. You notice-- notice in my wrist how my wrist is working, as well as my fingers. And I'm not really giving a lot of effort, you know. Also, make sure that the bow is in the nice point of contact, you know. Make sure that it's right kind of in the middle, that it's not here, and that it's not there, sort of in the middle. Another thing that I can tell you abou...

About the Instructor

The world’s reigning virtuoso violin player, Itzhak Perlman performs for presidents, royals, and classical music lovers around the world. Now the beloved Juilliard instructor and 15-time Grammy Award winner brings his passion for teaching to a wide audience for the first time. Learn fundamental techniques, practice strategies, and how to add richness and depth to your sound. Give your most dynamic performance yet.

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Itzhak Perlman

In his first-ever online class, virtuoso violin player Itzhak Perlman breaks down his techniques for improved practice and powerful performances.

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