Slur – Practice Tips
Here’s a brief lesson on ways you can practice the slur (playing two or more notes in one bow stroke).
When should I add slurs to a tune?
An in-person student recently asked me, “When should I add slurs to a tune?”
Learn any piece of music without slurs. Also take away other bowing indications like staccato or bouncing. Just focus on learning the melody well. Once you can play it easily, then start adding in bowings like slurs, staccato, bouncing, legato, etc.
Try written bowings. If you are working from sheet music, I recommend trying whatever slur patterns are indicated. You don’t have to do this, but I think it’s a good idea. Why? Because you will be learning new ways to bow. Your playing will become more fluid if you have different ways of doing the same things. That’s why we like to fiddle around with things!
Test things out. By looping on a small phrase with a bowing, you can test to see if it works and if you like it. Trying it at different speeds will help you decide how to best bow something.
Start with single repetitions of a bowing. Just allow your arms and hands to feel the motion.
Then loop it. This is the to master anything. It will also help you decide what’s the best way to bow a phrase or tune.
Alternate between separate bows and slurring
Play it once with slurs, then once with separate bows. Continue to alternate between the two ways. Each time you don’t do the slur you can turn your attention to the left hand and other aspects of your playing (tuning, tone).
This will help you to learn the bowing.
It will also help you to figure out what bowing you want to do, what sounds good to you.
A lot of fiddlers have their own unique ways of doing things. You can find your own voice by testing different things out seeing what sounds good to you.
To sum up…
Other lessons on slurring:
Slur two separate two
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