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Concerning Hobbits
and other scores where shifting is required.
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Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between

February 17, 2019 - 7:14 pm
Member Since: November 2, 2014
Forum Posts: 455
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Okay, So I've been watching @Fiddlerman video on this tune and know he's jumping down to the third position. So far I have only done third (or fourth) on my A string (Viola). but on the video, he remains in third on both the E and A string (violin).  Is there a method to decide when to stay in third across multiple strings or is it a level of sight reading/ experience I have not hit yet?

Fort Lauderdale
February 18, 2019 - 9:02 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15608

In some of these videos I play easy third position. In other words, not what is best but what is easiest for a new 3rd position violinist. I shift up and down easily and would normally automatically choose positions that work well both musically and to avoid strange string crossings, etc.
When you choose your positions, try to pick them to avoid awkward shifts, audible shifts, unnecessary shifts. Try to avoid unnecessary string changes if possible and when possible, without sounding bad, stay in position until you can find a safe, quiet place to shift.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Honorary advisor

March 3, 2019 - 4:13 am
Member Since: March 25, 2018
Forum Posts: 456
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I am just taking the very first steps into 3rd position right now.  I feel like I did when I first picked up a bow.  It's all new stuff.  

How I love this instrument.  The variety and versatility.  Just when you think she's shown you all she can, you turn a corner and there's another world for you to explore.   

The challenge now for me playing 3rd is smoothly coming back to 1st.  It's the transitions.  

@fiddlerman do you have any advise for making this work well?  Thank you!

- Pete -

Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor

March 3, 2019 - 4:57 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1586
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Third position is sort of easy, but there is one caveat: -

You have to know where the notes are (as in first position), and not just search the fingerboard for them. In other words, don't slide around until you find a note. I find the shifting is the easier part. Otoh, I have fat fingers. Thin fingers have a distinct advantage in higher positions.


Fort Lauderdale
March 4, 2019 - 4:04 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15608

Coming back to 1st position you need to make sure that your holding pressure doesn't drag on the neck and you need to find a comfortable guide for hitting 1st position in tune.
I always use the thumb to the curve by the scroll/peg box....
As for the smooth shit, just practice going up and down. You don't even need to be playing for that.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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