LET'S TRY IT! Play Finger Pattern 4 with the following scale and piece: Bb Major Scale and Minuet 4. The Minuets used in this Finger Pattern lesson come from a violin tutor written in 1741 by Robert Crome entitled: The Fiddle New Model’d, or a Useful Introduction for the Violin. Visit our String Class to learn more about Crome’s Minuets.
Did you notice how the half step instructions in Minuet 4 below do not include “place the fingers close together?” That’s because this finger pattern has whole steps between the first, second, third and fourth fingers – none of them touch. There are, however, half steps in the music and the half step markings indicate where they are: open D - Eb and open A - Bb. To play these half steps requires a low 1st finger. Minuet 4 and the Bb scale are both in the Key of Bb, and the half-steps between open D and Eb on the D string and the open A and Bb on the A string mean the first finger should be placed close to the end of the fingerboard to play the Eb and Bb notes.
Also notice how open strings are used going up the Bb scale, and 4th fingers are used going down the scale. 4th fingers are also used in Minuet 4 going down the scale in the last four measures of the piece and on the G string in measure 9 so you won’t need to switch strings. Although it may seem easier to play on the open string all of the time, It’s a good idea to experiment with using your 4th finger both to strengthen it and to avoid excessive string crossings.
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