A way to establish good tone and tuning

Here’s a great way to warm up called the slow scale. This will help you establish a good sound as well as play better in tune.

It’s called a slow scale because we stay on each note for a long time before moving on to the next. You can actually play fast patterns as long as you stay on each note. This allows you to find your sound, get it in tune and gain confidence.

I recommend at least 15 seconds per note. So for a one octave scale (8 notes) this will take you two minutes. I recommend trying to use a stop watch. Fifteen seconds is longer than you think.

I made two play along tracks for you to practice with. Please let me know which you prefer or if you like them both.

Slow scale – D major

Super slow scale – D major

Twice as long on each note!

You can practice these with variations (with or without the play along track):

  • Quarter notes (long)
  • Eighth notes (short)
  • Rhythms: hoedown, triplets, etc.
  • Long bows
  • Upper, middle or lower third
  • Tremolo
  • quiet/loud
  • Throw-away bow
  • Saw bow
  • Casual bow

Experiment with try to do a slow scale with one variation or bowing style. You can also try running through a small series of variations on each note. For example play eighth notes, quarter notes, hoedown, throw-away all on D0, then do it all on D1, etc..

Remember to make this fun somehow. Turn it into a game. Or just be creative with how you play it.

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