Fiddle practice log 9/7/2021

Time practiced

10 minutes

Scales practiced

  • One octave G, D, A
  • Two octave G

Techniques practiced

  • Double stops on each string pair, lower-upper-both, then upper-lower-both
  • Trying to keep my torso still while bowing, which is hard

Tunes practiced

  • More Blarney Pilgrim, mostly the B part

Commentary

As per my last practice post I wanted to try the notion of doing slurs only on patterns of descending notes, to see what that told me about optimal bowing direction.

In the B part of Blarney Pilgrim, the note flow is a bit more complicated than in the A part, because it’s got this spike up onto the E string at the beginning of the first phrase, before swinging down onto the A and D strings and bouncing back and forth between them for a bit.

So there are bits of descending notes here. But the way they’re working, with the third note of a triplet actually being on the string crossing, this seems to play into what I saw the last practice with needing to put a slur only on the first two notes of any descending triplet.

If I try to play the whole descending triplet on a single stroke, this makes me run out of bow, and it also makes it more difficult to do the string crossing.

For example, the first phrase of the B part looks like this:

D-E-D D-B-G A-G-A B-G-E

The second triplet, D-B-G, and the fourth one, B-G-E, seem to be good places to drop slurs. So in theory the bowing might look like this if I do slurs on both of those triplets:

Down-Up-Down Dow-ow-own Up-Down-Up Dow-ow-own

But if I’m still bowing down when I try to go from the B down to the G in that second triplet, it seems like I run out of bow real quick. And the string crossing is more difficult.

That fourth triplet shakes things up a bit, though, because with that one, the string crossing is between the first and second notes, not the second and third.

So I need to experiment with this more. Possible optimal bow patterns here are:

Down-Up-Down Dow-own-Up Down-Up-Down Uh-Up-Down

Or:

Down-Up-Down Dow-own-Up Down-Up-Down Up-Dow-own

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