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Martelé bowing
Do any of you know how to do Martelé bowing on the violon?
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cid
August 23, 2019 - 7:04 pm
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I had my first violin lesson with this instructor today. It was very good, but I was wondering if any of you have done Martelé bowing. If you have, how did you get yourself to relax so you could do it?

@Fiddlerman, I was looking for a Martelé video on your site, but I didn’t see it. Would it be possible to do a video with Martelé and an explanation as to what you are doing with your index finger on the bow? I understood it in class, but I can’t seem to get it right at home. I have Googled but have not found a good video that is only showing it on a violin.

If anyone has seen one in Fiddlerman’s wide selection of videos, could you please provide the link?

In the meantime, I will continue working on it, and looking for more videos and information on the net.

Thank you so much, everyone.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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AndrewH
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August 24, 2019 - 1:43 am
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Martele is where I think leading from the wrist is especially important. I don't know if I have a particular way to practice it, because it was one of the easiest bowing techniques for me (which makes it harder to explain), but... I think the key is leading with the wrist and rotating your wrist to lean into your index finger.

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Gordon Shumway
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August 24, 2019 - 2:01 am
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Interesting you should ask this, cid, as my teacher went for martelé in lesson 1. But I think it was because I had already got into the habit of diffidently bowing sul tasto, and she wanted me to bow confidently and with sufficient pressure for bow speed on sounding point 3 (lol, I'm assuming that reference means the same to everyone). All she wanted, I think, was for me to feel the confidence to "let rip".

Since then we haven't used martelé at all, except on one accented note in Ole Bull's Shepherd Girl's Sunday.

Andrew

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wtw
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Gordon Shumway said
she wanted me to bow confidently and with sufficient pressure for bow speed on sounding point 3 (lol, I'm assuming that reference means the same to everyone). 

As long as it's 3, I guess it's fairly clear that you mean the middle point… would have been a different story if you'd said 2 or 4, though ;).
I'm trying to play with more pressure and father from the fingerboard too (and getting used to the richer sound). On a viola I find it somewhat harder "physically speaking".

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Gordon Shumway
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wtw said i'm trying to play with more pressure and father from the fingerboard too (and getting used to the richer sound). On a viola I find it somewhat harder "physically speaking".

 Buy a heavier bow! (lol)

Andrew

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Jim Dunleavy
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August 24, 2019 - 4:52 am
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The teacher's idea might just be to get you producing a positive start to each note.

 

I keep going on about this series of videos, but there's one that covers this very well here (that link should go straight to the relevant section at 9:32). It sounds like it's about dividing up the bow, but it covers how to get a positive attack on each note as well (starts at 11:12). 

 

https://youtu.be/p93xkMkt0qo?t=572

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Gordon Shumway
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August 24, 2019 - 5:06 am
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Jim Dunleavy said
The teacher's idea might just be to get you producing a positive start to each note.

Yes, that's what I was trying to say.

Andrew

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cid
August 24, 2019 - 7:41 am
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I believe it was introduced because I was having a dilly of a time bowing. I had the wrong glasses. I could no see music. I had the songs memorized, but for some reason, the fact that I did not have the proper glasses and could not tell if a note was a B or a C, I had major major issues. I told him I had bow control issues. But then when I was trying to play and not be able to actually see the music, I was useless. I was way worse than I am. I am trying to play and lean forward to be able to actually see the music, and my bow was going less straight than usual, was barely touching the strings, etc. It dawned on me that I had left the glasses at the chair I use at home when I pulled into the parking lot. So, @Gordon Shumway, I think bow control was why he is doing it. My instructor said he has not had to use it anywhere, but it helped with bowing.

I have trouble releasing pressure of my index finger when the up bow or down bow movement starts. I actually like the sound of it and think it really adds “accents” (probably wrong choice of word for what I am trying to say), to parts of the songs it was used in in the videos I did find, but they were not good instructional videos at all. Mostly just explanation and then doing it.

I was hoping to find a video that explained it, had close up of the actual action of the index finger, wrist, etc. It is not that simple to do. At least, not for me, I have no musical education except for the violin and cello lessons, do not know terms until we get to them in classes. I Googled the Sul Tasto mentioned above, so now I know what that is, and think it is lovely. I mention this just to let you know where I am at, not to change the direction of this thread. Thread direction change usually does not matter for me, but in this case I really need to figure this out.

So, every time I try to release the index finger pressure, that finger just gets airborne, and that is not what it is supposed to do. I also don’t get the timing right. When I changed directions to do a down bow martelé after an up bow martelé, it was really a mess. Maybe I am expecting too much right away? He wants me to use it for every note (again, probably to get me to actually use the bow in the strings less timidly) in the two songs. They are full of staccato and 8th and 16th notes. They sounded neat when he did it. I am sure he does not literally mean every note, that is just a target so I am thinking of the bow as I play. 

Maybe, I am trying to do it too fast and need to do it slower for now? I get lessons for an hour every other week for violin, the other week will be cello. But, the week after next week, next week is cello week, will have to be cancelled because I will not be home, so I do have time to really work on this. I will only be a away a few days, so not missing a lot of practice days, unfortunately it falls on lesson day. I just need to be doing it properly during this time period so that I am not training myself in the wrong way.

I think he said I hold the bow and use a pressure with my index finger when the bowing starts. As soon as the bow starts its up bow or down bow, I release the pressure of the index finger. And continue bowing. He wants me to do it on the upper half if the bow. Quarter and longer notes get the full half of the bow. Eighth notes and shorter just use half of that upper half if the bow. Those two songs only have a very few half notes, if I remember correctly. It is like a snap and bow. Probably an inaccurate description, but the best I could do. I am nor sure about the index finger and the rest if the bow hand movement.

Does this all help my explanation of the issues?

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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cid
August 24, 2019 - 9:15 am
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Thanks for ths link, @Jim Dunleavy I had forgotten about the “With Nicky” videos. That section in the video to the link was very good. I bookmarked it.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
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August 25, 2019 - 11:36 am
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cid said

@Fiddlerman, I was looking for a Martelé video on your site, but I didn’t see it. Would it be possible to do a video with Martelé and an explanation as to what you are doing with your index finger on the bow? I understood it in class, but I can’t seem to get it right at home. I have Googled but have not found a good video that is only showing it on a violin.

Martelé literally means hammered. So you would hammer each note. I'll schedule making a video about Martelé. Is there any particular piece that you are playing in which you want to use Martelé bowing?

To play "Marcato" is to play an accent on every note, or to "mark" every note.
Marcato is similar to Martelé but not as hammered. LOL

I hate my videos. Some day I need to redo all of them and plan them next time instead of just babbling on and on....

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

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cid
August 25, 2019 - 1:39 pm
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Thanks, @fiddlerman. We are doing the 10. Allegro in the Suzuki book 1. It is written by Suzuki.

My instructor also wants me to use it in Essential Elements Strings Violin. Book 1, pg 46, 193. Minuet No. 1 - Solo by Bach. 

He actually wants every note done Mertelé. I don’t see that happening. If I can get the 8th notes, that will be an accomplishment, but I will shoot for all notes. 

I had a really bad first lesson. My bowing was way bad. I told him I needed work with bowing, the B flat, natural F, C and G. All those upper(?) 2nd finger positions. I think that is what it was called in a book I looked at. He wanted to know where I was at.  Kt that far, actually.

Well, I did not have the proper glasses with me. I was leaning forward to read the notes while playing them, the bow was really extra light on the strings and going all over because of that. I moved the music stand closer, still not good enough. LOL So, we are working on my bow control. He said he is not a fan of Mertelé but his instructor made him do it and it really helps with bowing, so I am going to do it.

That lesson was one hour of me squinting and swatting flies with my bow! 😂 

I really appreciate whatever you can do. I just cannot picture it in my mind, or hear it in my ears with those songs. 

If you could, could you do slow speed and regular speed? I don’t have anything that slows songs down, really don’t do extensive recordings.

Thank you so much for whatever you can fit into your schedule.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
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August 26, 2019 - 6:57 am
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Minuet no 1 in D major? Or do they play it in a different key in your book?
It might take me a while to get to it. We have had the company of like 30 people from a Fedex marketing firm making some very advanced marketing videos. for the past 3 days. It's hard to get anything else done.
We are fortunate that FedEx has chosen us among a few others, to highlight in their newest marketing campaign. 🙂

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

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cid
August 26, 2019 - 7:44 am
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It is in the key of G in the Essential Strings book. Just the F sharp. I have issues with that C natural finger position. I will crack that obstacle. We are doing the A on the D string in spots. I think I have been doing the Marcato in the video above, badly, but what I have been doing resembles that. 

I cannot figure out the index finger motion. In some videos that are saying to push the bow down into the string and then release the index finger pressure when the bow moves. They said something about making an awful scratchy noise. I am not hearing any awful scratchy sound. I am not sure if you are to continue bowing for the 1 beat for a quarter note after releasing the pressure and then the stop, or you stop bowing after the release of the pressure and let it ring for the 1 note before doing the next note.

If only my first instructor was detail and technique oriented instead of just teaching a song here and there. I really feel I am going to learn as much about violin from my instructor as I am my cello from him; cello being his primary instrument.

No hurry, Fiddlerman. I have to cancel next week’s violin lesson, so I have time. I might just work on smoothing out the songs first and then work on the Martelé stroke, and then combine them. Would you be able to show some of the index finger movement when you do it, as well as the bow? 

I am making a new thread about your FedEx to comment on. Very happy, for you, though.

Thank you so much for trying to help with this Martelé.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Fiddlerman
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August 26, 2019 - 11:36 am
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I know which one you are referring to. 

So he is asking for Martelé on every stroke?

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

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cid
August 26, 2019 - 12:24 pm
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That is what he said at the end of the lesson. I am thinking he meant to say 8th notes or the dotted notes. I think that what he was getting at was to use it as much as possible, most likely.  It was more appropriate for that Suzuki piece, but he was talking about both songs. I am going to just try the dotted and eighth notes. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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Gordon Shumway
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August 27, 2019 - 9:03 am
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I like that video, Pierre. It also raises the subject, for me, of what is staccato?

On the piano the definition of staccato is that you play every note exactly half the length written. That's crucial in a piece like Debussy's Passepied. It's what's going on in the left hand here:

It (the Debussy) sounds dreadful staccatissimo.

But on the fiddle, I find my teacher trying to make me play notes much shorter than this. Again, is she just aiming for exaggeration, so I can decide on what's to my taste when I have mastered the technique?

Pierre's video is very interesting for its use of what I'd call staccato to stress the stressed start of each note. Except that Pierre's playing is subtler than that - he's giving a fast decay to each note so that it almost sounds staccato.

Then we have this Corelli piece (Op.5 no10 Sarabande), where the music calls for détaché, but Grumiaux seems to me to be playing staccato.

Partly it's because of the technical demand of the string jumping - I take it one should prefer to jump from the A string to the G string, or does a pro find jumping from E to G just as easy, Pierre?

If I were to play it that staccato, would I be accused of cheating?

Andrew

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Pete_Violin
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Gordon Shumway said
I like that video, Pierre. It also raises the subject, for me, of what is staccato?

It sounds dreadful staccatissimo.

But on the fiddle, I find my teacher trying to make me play notes much shorter than this. Again, is she just aiming for exaggeration, so I can decide on what's to my taste when I have mastered the technique?

@Gordon Shumway 

I was not aware of the piano definition of staccato. 

Here is a great definition of staccato for strings

Staccato bowing

The word Staccato and it's meaning comes from two words in Italian, Staccare (to detach), and Attaccare (to attack). Staccato is when each note intentionally sounds disconnected, signified by a shortened duration.

https://musilesson.com

The idea is to play it short, but there does not seem to be a specific value for the length played.  However, the notes should still have the same time value so that the count is still the same (4/4 time: quarter notes played staccato still hold 4 notes in a measure).  Depending on tempo and mood, the duration of a note played staccato may vary.

- Pete -

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Fiddlerman
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August 27, 2019 - 10:49 am
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As Pete wrote, it's when a not is separated. There are many different types of staccatos as well as variations. I made the worlds most confusing video about staccato that I plan on redoing sometime. I will therefore not share it.

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

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Gordon Shumway
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I just looked up staccato in Galamian and Fischer. They barely mention it, because one of the sources of confusion is that "staccato" means "bowed staccato" or "hooked bowing" to a lot of people, whereas I mean detached détaché, lol. Good, if the interpretation is up to the violinist, then bring it on!

Andrew

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