How To Play Spiccato On The Violin - [3 QUICK TIPS]


How do you play spiccato? I'm going to share my thoughts on how you can play spiccato and some easy tips for you to kind of keep in mind in the practice room.

Let's define spiccato.

What is Spiccato?

Spiccato is in same family of bow strokes like staccato. However, the difference between staccato and spiccato is that spiccato you still grip the string, but you you take the bow off the string as you play. (refer to video above for demonstration)

With staccato, you play on clearly stopping in between each note, depending on whatever the music it is. And with spiccato, it's the same stroke, but we lift the bow off the string. There are a few key elements that I want you to keep in mind as we work on spiccato together. The similarity between staccato and spiccato is that you have to grip this string as you are playing. 

But in the world of spiccato, we have to set from the string and then pull the string. This is happening on a micro level. And then when we play a little bit faster, you might hear a little bit of me gripping the string the little sound and on a micro level. 

My second piece of advice that I would give you is the spiccato motion. It is not a horizontal motion like it is staccato. With spiccato, we're going to be using more of a U shaped motion with the right hand and the forearm. 

So I would like to grip each bow stroke whether it's a down bow or an up bow bow, and this helps by having a U shape. Not to mention that you will achieve a nice resonant sound out of your instrument if you do it the U shape. Because sound does not travel horizontally. It travels vertically!

If you think about it, if we want the sound to go horizontally, the F holes would be right on the rib of the violin, but it's not. It's on the top of the instrument, which allows the sound to go upwards. So this is why a lot of the bow strokes that I teach on the channel really making sure that the bow has this upward motion. 

So the third tip of the video is making sure that your fingers are engaged in spiccato. So it's not enough just to kind of get the bow. And the U shape and trying to grip the string. If I allow the fingers to move, I use all the joints of all my fingers, including my thumb here to grip the string. 

I can get a more articulate sound by activating the motion of the joints in my right hand fingers.

So to recap, Make sure that you are gripping the string as such, make sure that you have a nice. A U-shaped motion so that way we get a nice sound while we do spiccato. Last but not least is to use the fingers to help activate all those sounds.


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