How To Play


THE INDEX FINGER (LEFT HAND). This is very much the same process as the right hand index finger. Go through the same set of procedures, remembering that there will be a difference in the alignment of the forearm. Once you have covered the basics to a single octave, you should practice using your left hand right up into the treble register as it is often required to play all the way up there.
The notation for these exercises is in the bass part of Ex. 1, 2 and 3. Again, remember that evenness is the key to practice. Do not hurry through any of these steps, and be certain to apply your neural patterning. LEFT AND RIGHT HAND TOGETHER. 1. Play index-thumb with the left hand followed straight on with index- thumb on the same notes in the treble with the right hand, (ascending order).
2. Play notes in descending order ( thumb-index of right hand followed directly by thumb index of the left hand).
3. Very slowly, play the Bach riff exercise first with the right hand then straight on with the left hand and then with both hands simultaneously, but at an octave from each other, naturally. Watch the notation to get used to the recognition of notes in the bass clef. 
4. Do the same thing with the jumping a string exercise, again with the hands playing at an octave.
5. Apply your neural patterning. THE THIRD FINGER AND THE TRICHORD. (RIGHT HAND). A trichord is any sequence of three consecutive notes having either a tone or a semitone between them. It is not a real musical term but is adapted from the actual term tetrachord, which refers to any sequence of four consecutive notes with either tones or semitones separating them. Because so much of the fingering of scales relies on three and four note sequences, it seems convenient to have  terms to cover both. 1. Placing the thumb on the middle C, let the index and the third finger fall down at a slanting angle onto the B and A strings respectively. The fingers should be slanted rather than bent at the middle joint, and should form  an arrow headed angle with the line of the cusp, with the third finger being placed closest to the point of crossover, the thumb extended upwards. Keep the hand in a more open position by keeping the extension between the thumb and the fingers at as great an angle as is practicable, without stretching or creating false tension.
2. Pluck the A with the third finger, ensuring that you follow through with the finger, followed by the index finger and then the thumb. The index finger and the thumb stay in place to support the playing of the A, while the index finger remains preplaced on the B to support the playing of the C. Before you play the thumb note, it is necessary to return the index finger and the third finger to their pre-placed positions on their strings, to offer foundation for the playing of the thumb. See Exercise 4.
3. Play this three finger pattern all the way up the treble, with the third finger stepping up a note higher with each repeat, see Exercise 5. On each occasion, before the thumb plays the final note in the sequence, preplace the third finger to the string above that which it has just played, so that each three note unit is linked to the previous one. This process of linking is vital to your technique.
4. Play the same passage in descent. See Exercise 6. However, this time the preplacement is reversed, with the thumb and index finger retuning to their strings before the third finger sounds. 
5. Play the descending pattern of three note units all the way down the instrument, using the preplacement of the  thumb to link one unit to the next. See Exercise 7.
6. Play the three notes ascending and descending in continuous order. The most important thing to observe here is preplacement. Ensure that when the thumb is playing, that the index finger and third finger are solidly preplaced on their strings, that when the index finger is playing it is supported by the preplaced third finger  when you are playing downwards , and by the thumb when you are playing upwards, and that when the third finger is playing, it is supported by the preplaced index finger and thumb. You should feel the fingers which are moving as a two finger unit work as one, coming down firmly to their preplaced position on the strings above or below the third finger in ascent and the thumb in descent.
7. Next we will do an exercise based on the Bach riff we have already met in a previous exercise. This time we will use the second and third fingers to play the descending notes against the thumb’s repeated note, see Exercise 8. Place all of the fingers down before you play a note, and try to lift only that finger which is plucking a string, returning the other two to their preplaced position on the strings. Do this very slowly to begin with. If you are having trouble with the index finger scooping or hooking and thus sounding boney, try extending the positions of your thumb and third fingers slightly, so producing a little more room for the index finger. If you find that the strings are buzzing when you are playing, it is because your replacement is not crisp and certain enough. You need to be able to stop the vibrations of the string with a quick and firm touch before you actually have to sound that string again. If buzzing is a feature of the sound you are making, try the above exercise with repeated notes, getting used to the idea of stopping the vibration then plucking the string.
5. Play these exercises as loudly as you can.
6. Play these exercises as softly as you can.
7. Apply neural patterning.

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