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Newbie Question
Question about suggested fingering for the Brahms Lullaby
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sus49
Vancouver Island, BC Canada
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April 28, 2015 - 7:34 pm
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Hello!

Can anyone tell me why the suggested fingering in the Brahms Lullaby for the A is 4 instead of open string?

Thanks!

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DanielB
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April 28, 2015 - 8:06 pm
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Fingered notes and open notes sound slightly different.  Open strings tend to ring brighter and a bit louder.  So in some places the A is 4th finger on the D string and other times it is an open A.

It's good practice to use both, IMO.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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sus49
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April 28, 2015 - 8:28 pm
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Thanks!  My instinct is to use the open, unless it is the slurred 16th note, just to check my pitches. 

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DanielB
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April 29, 2015 - 12:12 am
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Well, you should get in at least some practice with the 4th finger.  Scales at the very least. You need that so it can get stronger and more accurate.

Otherwise you can get too used to playing with 3 fingers and dodging around the 4th, and it just makes it that much more of a hurdle when you'll want to be able to move out of 1st position later so you can use more of the instrument.

Another consideration is when you maybe decide to add a little vibrato later.  Those 4th finger A notes in the first few measures are half notes and half notes are the longest notes in this piece.  Vibrato could sound nice on those, and you can't properly vibrato a note on an open string.

In the end, it is your choice, of course.  It is your violin, and your sound. 

exactly

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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sus49
Vancouver Island, BC Canada
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April 29, 2015 - 2:33 pm
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Thanks DanielB!

I agree about getting practice with that weak little fourth finger!! I need it... It is just that first F# might be a little bit off and with the fourth finger I don't notice it, because I play the whole thing a little bit off and then when the open string gets played OY VEY!!!!!

I have another question about the Brahms... It says in bar 12 to upbow the  D on the 3rd beat and down bow the D on the AND  which means that I am UP bowing the high D at the start of Bar 13 and that sounds lame...  It sounds better when I down bow it!   Will that just improve with practice?  Is there a trick to bowing that or is it just practice.

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