Arts & Entertainment, Music

The Color Game

Itzhak Perlman

Lesson time 16:40 min

Mr. Perlman invites his current and former Juilliard students to a game that explores how to change an audience's perception of a phrase or piece by using musical color and other playing techniques.

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Topics include: The Color Game


[VIOLIN PLAYING] - Think of yourself as a painter with a palette full of paints. You have beautiful paints. And then you take one brush and one paint and you paint a picture. So let's assume that you're a pretty good painter. So wouldn't you like to actually take a different brush and try a different color? Well, they are all at your disposal on the instrument. All you have to do is to apply some of the techniques. I mean, if you're going to play with a bit more bow, you'll have one sound. If you play with a bit less bow and you vary the bow pressure, you'll have a different sound. If you play a little bit closer to the bridge, you'll have one sound. If you play further from the bridge, you have a different sound. Sometimes I give classes where I make the kids play certain things in different ways, like play the same phrase and play it like it's, shall we say, very intense, or play it when it's very laid-back, or play it when it's very elegant, or play it when it's absolutely brilliant and very, very, shall we say, romantic, and so on. All of that stuff, obviously, is involved with what you're doing technically on the violin. [VIOLIN TUNINGS] So we're going to do this game where we're going to play something and we're going to have a choice. And I'm going to read you the choices, with passion, relaxed and laid-back, not caring, and intense. OK? So what do you have? - Poéme. - Poéme. OK, so I'll tell you what I want you to do. - OK. If you want to warm up or A, or whatever it is. [VIOLIN WARM UP] [VIOLIN PLAYING] OK, that's fine. You're so stingy. Anyway, OK, so that's it. So stingy. So stingy. OK, so what do you think she was going for? Anybody? What do you think? - I think intense. - Intense? - Intense. - Intense? - Passionate. - Passionate? - Intense. - Intense? - Passionate. STUDENT: Passionate. STUDENT: Passionate. STUDENT: Intense. - Passionate. - I think relaxed. - That's a good one. - I thought intense. - So intense. OK. So what did you do to-- she was going for passionate, by the way. - Sorry. - Yeah. OK, so what kind of things do you think you did to get passionate, technically. - Well first, I thought the difference, to me, between passion and intensity is that passion can be also introverted, so that's where that came from. Technically, I tried to have a faster, but still a wide, vibrato. Yeah. Just tried to convey passion through my bow. - All right. My suggestion-- - Mm-hmm. - Divide the bow. STUDENT: OK. - [VIOLIN SOUNDS] I would divide the bow. I mean, that's always easier. - OK. - I like to divide bows. It's easier and you can still maintain the line. OK, good. Thank you very much. All right, next. What piece do you have? - I have the Chaconne. - Oh, the Chaconne. Oh OK, fine. All right, so let's see what I want you to do with it. Don't pl...

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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