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Now, I’d like to demonstrate the basic concept of lower half and upper half legato. As I mentioned previously, it’s very helpful to the student to divide the bow into halves from the middle to the frog is the lower half, from the middle to the tip is the upper half. Now, I would like to show you some basic legato strokes.
If we begin at the extreme end of the bow at the frog end we stay at starting position, you will notice the arching in the wrist and the curvature in the fingers.
As we proceed to the middle, then we need a bow change in order to go back to the lower extremity of the bow.
A basic fluidity in the fingers is essential, not easy to get initially but well worth pursuing and you’ll recall also the Collé stroke I mentioned earlier in this lesson. Let me demonstrate that again and we’ll go to a different string now, the D-string which is the second lowest string of the violin. And so starting position, good curvature in the fingers, slight elevation in the wrist and a relaxed shoulder and elbow.
You can go slightly slower initially when you’re just getting accustomed to using the bow like so.
I will clash in you not to go too slowly because you lose a certain amount of flow and you get in to sort of over thinking. Now let me show you quickly the upper half of the bow, we start in the middle which is generally a very comfortable place to be in the violin bow and there is still a slight elevation in the wrist, although it’s less pronounced than at the frog. So you’ll gradually see the logic applied here as far as the wrist angle is concerned. We begin at the middle and proceed to the tip.
And then back again, middle to tip, back again. If you watch carefully when I demonstrate this one more time, you’ll notice a slight flux in the angle of the stick itself.
And then back again, this we call the rolling motion, and it’s one of the more difficult aspects of bow technique to achieve, but it’s what we need in order to have a seamless transition from down to up and back again.
From here, we proceed to using the hobo and in the next lesson, we’ll discuss parts of the violin and further explore than using the left hand for violin playing technique.