A student asked me during a recent office hours session, “How do you do a clean string crossing?”

I teach beginners a practice called Stop and Rock (my term). It helps you to have a more precise string change.

  • Stop the bow before angling to the next string.
  • Then carefully angle it to the next string.
  • Bow the next note.

In this exercise, we give our hands and arms the time they need to find the next note. The more you do this, the faster you get.

You can use the same practice to make your left hand fingering more precise. Say you are practicing D1-3. After you play D1, slightly shorten the note, stop the bow, place the D3, then bow D3. The little pause gives you time to carefully place the next note.

If you do this very deliberate practice now, then later on you’ll be able to faster with better sound.


Further learning and practice

Fun With String Crossing – Exercises

A Little Pause

Good tunes for string crossing practice:


This micro-lesson is an excerpt from an office hours webinar I gave on May 12, 2020. View the entire live-stream with indexed questions here.

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