Tags: pedagogy, shifting
[Preparatory Shifting Exercises]
compiled by Paula Verdicchio Ailshie
[Key to Shifting: Stay Relaxed. Breathe.]
1. Shifting Exercises by Paul Rolland
“The shuttle” -using good form and motion, the student silently and lightly glides the finger or fingers a top the string without pressure, from 1st to middle to high position.
“String polishing”- same as the shuttle, but with range that is more limited. This can be done in “shotgun” position too, making it fun.
“Arm Swinging”- preparatory exercise teaching the muscles to relax and prepare a shift to the middle and high positions. Fingers remain on the string, lightly, and body remains flexible.
“The Octave Game by Paul Rolland”
a. student plays the harmonic with 4th finger
b. student alternates open strings and their octaves with harmonic
2. Beginning shifting principles by William Starr
“Sequence of movements”
a. mental anticipation- aural image of destination
b. release the weight, lightly resting the finger on the string
c. quick departure
d. smooth shift with even speed
e. returning weight once shift is complete.
Starr stresses to use all the sensory information possible- great for kinesthetic learning.
3. Preparatory Studies in the Third, Second and Half positions
by Henry Whistler
Uses the common technique of playing in 1st, then repeating it in another position. Since it focuses on one position the student becomes comfortable more quickly than with many positions at once. Use singing to outline finger patterns in both positions. Make sure you know the note names, the solfege and the finger patterns in both positions.
4. Playing familiar scales, and then melodies in multiple positions. This is also called the “Slot Exercise.” The advanced student should also combine several key signatures. Make sure to identify all notes in the palate, the range of the melody and which position you are in by playing the full range scale as a preparation. Use the cycle of fifths to get around to all keys.
a.) play the same melody in different positions, utilizing the same fingering “fretting”
b.) play the same melody in different positions, staying in the same key “dexterity”
c.) play the same melody in any position, any key or any combination of the two.