Technique: Melodic string-crossings


How to play controlled, smooth and seamless melodic lines

String-crossings can be divided into two different categories. One is more virtuosic, with a fast wrist movement for clear, articulate runs. The other is curved and smooth, for beautiful melodic lines. Very often in masterclasses I hear students move the arm and wrist with fast movements for all their string-crossings, so that they hit the next string with a slight attack and the sound pops out from the rest of the line. In the Classical style this doesn’t matter too much, because you need more articulation, emphasis and impulse, so I would generally use a much faster bow speed and more relaxed fingers. But in Romantic music like Brahms, which is full of inner resistance and long lines, it is important to incorporate smooth string-crossings seamlessly into the melody…

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