The illustrations of this lesson show wrong positions of the bow and the left hand. the bow must always be held parallel to the bridge and the third and fourth fingers of the left hand must be held above the finger-board. The palm of the hand must not touch the neck of the violin.

You must always begin by trying to hold your instrument carefully. Consult the mirror and do not be in a hurry to play.

The notes in the first number are all open strings and you should simply use it to draw the bow slowly over the strings using as much of the length as you are able. Do this anyhow for ten minutes before doing anything else.

You begin of course with a down bow and change for every note to an up bow without raising the bow.

When you play No. 2 which is a time exercise, you must begin by counting from 1 to 4 and give every count the time of one second. The sign is a whole rest, a heavy line under one of the lines of the staff. Hold the violin correctly with the bow resting on the string in the middle.

Now you are ready to play the half note A as soon as you have counted four. Your right hand and forearm must move just so that you are at the point when ready to count: three, then wait until you have counted 4.

In the next measure, you have three quarter notes to play. Use the half of the bow but move twice as fast with the right hand and forearm. The first A is of course played with an up bow. For the count 4, you have nothing to do. THere is a quarter rest, wait.

No. 3 merely shows shorter rests. For the present, such short time values are not needed.

Next to the clef, you have the time signature, figures which tell you how long a measure must last. The upper 4 gives you the number and the lower figure the time value of the notes.

Instead of 4/4, you will often find a C which stands for "common time" as four quarter time is generally called.

The letters D and U stand for down bow and up bow.

It is of the greatest importance that you count aloud for every measure, otherwise you will soon complain that you are not able to keep good time.

A double bar denotes the end of a strain or piece and two dogs signify that the strain must be repeated.

No. 5 is an exercise to observe quarter rests.

You must not take the bow-hair off the string but simply stop and begin the next measure with a contrary motion of the bow.

No. 6 is in 3/4 time, count 3 for a measure and speak 1 louder than two and three.

The changing from one string to another must be done without raising the bow. It is not easy and requires patient practice. Two dots after a double bar signify that what follows must be repeated.

You have nothing to do yet with the left hand. Next week you will. This week you must learn to count and play in time on open strings.


© 2003 R. Fingerson
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