Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Modifications to All Single Note Shifting Exercises

Almost all shifting exercises Meatball has seen are wrong, including the much used Sevcik's Prep Shifting Exercises. The problem is that none of them is based on the concept of building an octave frame. A common problem of shifting is that as soon as someone shifts up/down, his palm loses the alignment and flips sideways.

The solutions are quite simple,

1. if a shifting exercise does not use the 4th finger to shift, make sure the pinky touches the adjacent string lightly (as if one is playing an harmonic), and shifts with the rest of the fingers, forming a perfect octave at any position the hand shifts to/from.

2. if a shifting exercise involves pinky, make sure the index finger touches the same string so that the pinky and the index finger form a perfect 4th.

And yes, it is equivalent to practicing octave double-stopping exercises, but you don't play double stops.