Wohlfahrt Op.54 Study Guide
Also Wohlfahrt Video Clip
Franz Wohlfahrt (1833-1884) was the son of a well-know piano teacher, Heinrich Wohlfahrt. He is remembered, like his father, for the didactic études and instructive literature written for his own teaching purposes. Wohlfahrt's Opus 45 represents, today, the standard work for beginners on the violin. They provide excellent preliminary material to the works of Kayser and Kreutzer, and belonging to the German School they compliment the studies of Mazas and Dancla. These studies are therefore indispensable in preparing students for technical mastery of Associated Board lower, intermediate, and upper grade exams. They develop both hands equally, and represent the best 'cantabile' style in German character... no amount of fingering skill will produce a satisfactory result without the foundation of good even bowing ; solid and well distributed. These are foundation studies, mastery of which must be obtained if the student desires to reach a respectable level and decent style of violin playing. Without Wohlfahrt one cannot master Kayser, Mazas nor Kreutzer. Wohfahrt's main works are studies op 38, op 45, op 54, op 74. This last work, op 74 part 2 is particularly good in students wishing to attain proficiency in third position.
Carl Fischer, publishers in USA have just released Wohlfahrt's Foundation Studies Bk1 (a progressive selection of op.45/54/74) 60 studies in first position, ordered progressively by Aiquoni, with a demo DVD played by Rachel Barton Pine. This is a highly recommended publication. The volumes 1 and 2 Foundation studies can also be bought without DVD. http://www.carlfischer.com/Fischer/composers/pine.html
Download detailed notes on the following studies : 1 2 3 4 5 6
General Remarks : The first finger, also called the anchor or supporting finger, is almost always kept on the string. It gives the frame of the left hand greater accuracy and clarity, by clearly defining what position one is playing in. Not only should it support, acting as an anchor all the other fingers, it should also hold 5ths on two adjacent strings, whenever possible, thereby facilitating string crossing passages. ( The placing of 5ths ). The supporting finger is often marked as a 1 with a continuous line, encouraging the player to leave that finger down for the duration of the passage or bars marked : 1_______ = leave the 1 down. In certain passage work ( bars 19 & 20 of study n1 ) The same finger may be needed on adjacent strings, but playing an interval other than a perfect 5th. It is important to accurately note the lower first finger playing the B flat on the A string, and the higher ( by a 5th minus a semitone ) E natural on the D string. Care must be taken not to place this same finger in the same pattern for both strings, and the pupil should be well aware of the resulting tritone interval produced, and the exact semi-tone displacement of the position of the finger. Open strings are not to be avoided as they provide a good reference for intonation, and themselves vibrate quite openly and purely. Open strings are also useful if one needs at least two notes on a particular string ( Study n.10 bar 4) to facilitate string crossing and unify the timbre. Third position (fixed) is not introduced until Study number 31, which provides an excellent introduction. Mastery of these studies guarantees excellent results and preparation for Grade 4 exam pieces. The studies can be continued to Grade 6, but by Grade 7 any studies still proving difficult to master and perform serve as a warning. I recommend learning each study by heart. One should aim to cover around 20 of the 60 studies, perhaps keeping half a dozen in repertoire by heart.
Concise Study Notes (in text form) on Op.45 © Roland Herrera
Content formed in January 2010 and subsequently renewed, updated, expanded and added on Westbury Park Strings Website
01 : A basic first study for right and left hands. LH Finger Exercise Study . For the right hand it is an ideal study for the use of the broad détaché bowing stroke. This is the basic 'bread and butter' stroke of all violin music. It is essential to master this stroke to play the repertoire of Baroque composers, especially Bach. Détaché is an even stroke which passes through the middle of the bow (usually). The mechanical components of the right arm involve mainly the use of the forearm, followed by subtle wrist movements which 'follow the string' in such a way as to generate a fine consistency of contact between hairs and string. Finally the supple and flexible participation of the right hand fingers give the stroke its final refining touch (with the participation of the wrist) which rounds out the change of bow stroke. A feature of good détaché is this rounding out or smoothing of the bow change. In performing an even détaché it is important to make sure the up bow strokes sing with equal voice and match the sonority of the down bow strokes, which naturally tend to be played more strongly. In developing détaché it must be said that it is wise to increase the tempo very gradually starting from really moderately slow tempos which ensure the good quality of the stroke and sound production. The objective of a good détaché is to sing a note evenly and sustain it right up until the next note. The join between notes must be not be sudden or disjointed but smooth, and if possible seamless. At all times contact point, pressure and speed of the bow should be controlled to such a degree that a beautiful tone (tonus) is always produced.
This study follows scale structure quite closely and is therefore ideal material with which to take good care in intonation. The left hand pattern on the E string opens up the fingers so that there is a gap of a tone in between each finger. The first finger should be stretched back on the E string to play the F natural, and it should be noted that this is in quite a different place to the positioning of the first finger on the other three strings. Usually not enough care and difference is made between placing the first finger on the A string and on the E string. What tends to happen is that the first finger crosses over to the adjacent string in roughly the same spot, thereby playing a B natural on the A string flat and an F natural on the E string sharp. Muscles are 'stupid' or lazy and need instructions from the brain to train and discipline their movements. Get into the early habit of keep 1st and 2nd fingers down when possible. Violin fingering differs from Piano fingering : It's the opposite !
02 : Broad détaché. The same objectives as the first study with more notes, sequences and changes of string. Smaller détaché may be attempted and a faster tempo eventually mastered. Remember that increasing the speed or tempo of a study is to be done very gradually because the good bowing qualities acquired at moderate speed are quickly lost if the tempo is increased to suddenly: The faster tempo destroys the skills built up and rigidity and harshness set in. Therefore it is wise to increase the tempo slowly for all right hand technique. (Left hand technique is different in that it thrives on variations of tempo ; lightness which playing quickly and firmness (or lightness in preparation for faster tempo) and accuracy in slower tempos.) The idea of an excellent détaché stroke is to connect the notes so that a melodic line is played with a tone that passes from note to note without interruption. This legato concept is vital for the expression of all music: The violin is a melodic instrument, and most skills we develop serve to further the ideal of a cantabile singing like line of melody.
03 : Small détaché . Marked Moderato the semiquavers in this study are only slightly faster than the quavers in the previous study. Also, when playing what is by now a faster, more compact détaché, one needs to use less and less quantity of bow (which other variables such as point of contact and bowing speed change far less). About contact point : The bow hairs should touch the strings exactly on a spot equidistant from the edge of the fingerboard and the bridge. This is known as contact point n.3. If a heavier and slower bow stroke is used the contact point closes distance and becomes nearer to the bridge. On the other hand if the bowing is lighter and faster the contact point moves away from the bridge nearer the edge of the fingerboard. These contact points are called number 2 and 4 respectively. Contact point 1 is extremely close to the bridge and point number 5 is virtually over the fingerboard. These are used in extreme cases only. Contact point number 3 may vary from 2.5 to 3.5 depending on the thickness of the string, the length of the vibrating string (which is changed by the left hand finger stops), the bridge height and even the type of rosin used. In all cases a good feeling and sensitivity for quality tone production is essential in guiding the bow across the strings on the correct contact point. Sometimes small changes in contact point may make big differences to the quality of sound... from an unacceptable to an acceptable tone in some instances. Left hand tip ; start this study with all four fingers down. Indeed it is best to construct a perfect left hand pattern (pattern 1-2 or one next to two) placing each finger in turn 1-2-3-4 before starting this piece. Keeping fingers on the fingerboard is a key concept applicable to all left hand violin technique.
04 : A Bowing pattern study on the bowing stroke called long short short / long short short. The bowing distribution should be half half whole / half half whole bow. That will work at slow speeds, and as one learns to play the study faster the stroke could become quarter quarter half (in terms of whole bow length). The stroke must always be centred around the middle of the bow no matter what the tempo is. Again faster tempi require miniaturization of the basic half half whole bowing pattern. This bowing pattern will produce two quavers in the upper half then two in the lower. This patter will repeat, alternating between the two halves throughout the study. Lengthening the quaver can be a nice moment in which to enjoy the tone and sound production of this satisfying bowing stroke. A few accidentals (sharps) are introduced into the left hand. So don't miss the C# in bar 7 !
05 : Melodic Arpeggio constructions are introduced into the scale like passages. B flat is introduced into the left hand pattern. There is now a gap between 1st and second fingers on the A string. The détaché style in this Key of F major is definitely broad in scale.
06 : Mixed Bowing study. (mixed bowing is a mix of legato and separate). Also, more importantly perhaps, this is a study for the development of left hand chromatic passage work. A fiendishly difficult left hand passage in the middle of this study introduces a series of sharp to natural finger pattern changes. First second and third fingers are out through their paces to ensure their confidence and experience in dealing with accidentals (sharps and flats). The right hand bowing stroke is identical to number 4. Perhaps this study, in semiquavers, should eventually be played faster, once the chromatic accuracy and lightness of left hand passage work has been mastered. Bars 19-25 are worth learning by heart. Really the second finger starts its odyssey in bar one, switching from natural to sharp right from the start of the study. The clarity and accuracy of left hand work will determine the purity of intonation. Let us remember that no tone is a beautiful one if the note is out of tune !
07 : Similar to number 6 in the chromatic passages. First and second fingers are often placed differently in order to finger this two flat study in B flat major. It's not a bad idea to play a B flat major scale before working on this study. B flat major finger pattern placing on the four strings is a main requirement for Associated Board Grade 2. Medium détaché is required for this study.
08 : A study in sustain. The whole bow must be used from heel to tip. Bow speed must be even, and tone production should never be forced. An even tone must be maintained through these long phrases whether they are played with vibrato or not. Playing this study to a satisfactory level, especially with some for of acceptable vibrato, places it on a higher difficulty level than the preceding studies. Pay attention to bow speed in particular. At first one must establish an even singing tone, which is obtained my having an even bow speed. That means one bar occupies half the bow the next bar the other half. In the final stages of study more subtle shades are of colour are subsequently introduced. Bowing control (contact point, speed and weight) are all varied and held under control to produce mature well shaped phrases with subtle shades and nuances in tone here and there. These delicate touches must never be exaggerated though, else the purity and 'religious' focus of the sound is destroyed.
09 : A study in Slurs. The Legato bowing and sound of this study is produced by slurring six notes per bar. The first three notes in the lower half and the next three in the upper half. This evenness of bowing, from heel to tip is of vital importance in the education of the pupils right hand bowing. Every note should sing clearly while 100 % of the bow's length is put to use. Smooth string crossing for the bowing arm is another huge topic to introduce to this study. Crossing strings should be a gradual process of sustaining the tone on the previous note / string while at the same time approaching the level of the new string and passing onto it seamlessly so that the weight of the bow never leaves contact with the strings. One must pass onto the next string with the movement of a snake going around a rock. The hard edges are smoothed out, and the bow arches from one string to the next in a very natural and curved way. Indeed there are whole passages in which the bow should not ever be travelling in a straight line (as if one were playing on one string) but rather it should be curving from the G string side of the D string to the A string side and onto the A string, while the notes are sounded with ravishing tone at the same time as the bow is closing on the E string. The whole string change is seen as one organic movement as the string levels are joined, and connected to produce an ever present tone, sustained without break as the two notes on different strings are connected. This is the same concept as détaché with the added complication of changing strings as well. Slurs give us an ideal bowing medium with which we can master string change.
10 : A study in three sharps. Same bowing pattern as in 04 and identical to 06. G# is a new note (hence we cannot play open Gs in this piece!). Some third fingers are also sharp, so we are playing in what is known as pattern 3/4 (three next to four) mainly on the G and D strings. It's Pattern 2-3 or 2 next to 3 on the A and E strings. A major has a happy, open and bright sound, aided by the inclusion of open A strings which enhance our resonance and general tone.
11 : A study in Triplet détaché. Also this study introduces us to three flats (E flat major) so we have many 0/1 (or open string next to first finger) patterns. Triplets can be played with accents (>) on the first of every three notes. The bowing pattern will be slightly modified so that the bow strokes play long short short long short short...etc. The slightly longer accented note projects that first triplet note out so that there is no doubt we are listening to triplets. This is a study phase or technique, and it should possibly be toned down for the final performance of this study. It is a necessary procedure however, and one that will enhance the brilliance and rhythmic 'bite' of all future triplet détaché passages.
12 : A study in Uneven bowing . The two up bows (notes 2 and 3 of this study) must be played with the same quantity of bow as the Down bow or first note of each bar. Hence the term uneven bowing. And while the bowing speed is uneven, we must strive to produce a near even tone on all three notes of the bar. It is possible to play every note staccato or it is possible to try and sustain every note to the same degree so that the notes feel connected and part of the same musical phrase. The exaggerated accent of the first note can lead to a harshness that destroys the flow of the music. This is therefore a difficult study on account of these problems. Another variation is to play the first note staccato and the next two legato, still taking care not to attack the first note with any intent of hardness or aggression.
13 : A very specific bowing pattern. Long_________ short short short short, Long_________ short short short short. This is an extension of the bowing pattern of number 04. The long minim of each bar is to be played with 3/4 the bow length and the remaining 1/4 of bow (whether at the heel or at the tip) must be used for the four semiquavers. Obviously vibrato and a certain ability to 'hold' the tone with the bowing hand will greatly enhance the minim. The problem is to sustain the minim with a certain degree of firmness so that the semiquavers do not over power it.
14 : Another bowing pattern. Not too dissimilar to the previous ones. Long_________ short short short short short short, Long_________ short short short short short short. Again we alternate between lower and upper half of the bow. The success of this study largely depends on the confidence and ability to perm this bowing pattern well. An awareness of bow distribution is nowhere more vital than in this study. Also make sure the two halves of your bow are producing matching sounds. Also note the difference in the movements and mechanics of your arm, wrist and hand as you echo the previous rhythm on the opposite end of the bow. A feel for symmetry and a good ear should guide you through this study. Intensely satisfying for the right hand when you get it right and play with confidence !
15 : Small détaché. This study can also be used to introduce another category of détaché bowing strokes called off the string strokes, specifically Spiccato and even Sautillé. The reason is that détaché is the father of these strokes, and the success one gains in playing off the string depends largely on the skills on has of playing on the string. String contact is very important, and the feeling of being close to the string is important in off the string work. Otherwise the bounces will be all scratchy and hardly pleasing to listen to. Well controlled bounces that maintain close contact with the string are really vital. Open your right hand fingers as if you are letting go of the bow... obviously don't drop it, but notice your bow hold is softer and you are not holding on to the bow. The right arm must be well drilled in the art of détaché for this to work, because as you lighten your bow hold the bow will leave the string (assuming you have found the correct spring point of the bow for that particular tempo). If your right hand fingers participate, flex and work too well, then they will keep your bow glued to the string. Hence the technique of opening one's fingers helps to lighten the hold. In Sautillé one play without the little finger. The bow must do the bouncing, and I often try various techniques such as 5 notes then stop for rest (or reset), and also techniques such as playing on an open string can start someone off on off the string bowing. The idea is to reduce the load of the left hand so one can concentrate on the right hand. It is hardly possible to teach off the string bowing here, but this study could be used for such a purpose. If your bow is still refusing to bounce then go ahead and play all the study firmly on the string with very small bows in the middle ; for that step to will be a huge stepping stone towards successful of the string détaché.
16 : A beautiful legato study . Try and alternate between détaché and legato studies... better still always be working on two contrasting studies at the same time... (the two contrasting types would naturally be détaché and legato). We have some chromatic fingering (left hand horizontal finger action) during our slurs here. It is import to snap (this may be too strong a term) the fingers lightly into place so that the articulation between notes is clear and not mushy. Remember left hand fingers do not work deftly if you are pressing them down too hard (everyone does press them down too hard... that's a fact no professional will disagree with). This study really has a lot in it. Heel to tip. Sustain on the dotted minim, deft chromatic left hand passage work.. even cantabile sound... we are bringing together many of the previously mentioned techniques.
17 : At first glance another bowing distribution study (cf. 14). This time there's a twist and we are dealing with uneven bowing technique, in that the first note of the bar needs to be played with a fairly long bow (so that the minim can sing for the greater length of the up bow now available). Again, as with 12 the first study that deals with uneven bowing, try not to hack away at the first note, making it several times louder than anything else you are about to play. The whole bar must sound as if it belongs together. This proves that we are constantly working on making even sounds which sing naturally and therefore project music we are trying to make sense of. It is a difficult bowing problem and one that will require careful judgement on the distribution of the bow.
18 : A Left hand finger work study . Now we come to some serious left hand work. Lightness and even finger work are the two key concepts to remember here. Heavy fingers which press down will simply not achieve evenness. Plus they will tire very quickly. The right hand, if it has worked at the previous legato studies well, should be used with even speed, fully between heel and tip. Left hand fingers should be rounded. Fourth fingers require attention... rounded 4th are ideal and the hand must be positioned so that the knuckle of the 4th finger does not default to a resting position too far away from where the finger tip must fall on the fingerboard. On the subject of left hand finger work it is important to keep the thumb as passive as possible. Thumb and wrist tension will destroy the finger actions. The work must be delegated to the fingers... as little tension as possible must remain in the arm and wrist. As for finger work or action itself, it is important to lift the fingers, against gravity, with spring and as for dropping them onto the fingerboard... they drop on their own accord (thanks to our friend gravity). Left hand fingers will grow rapidly in deftness and agility when these rules are strictly applied. Lastly, the finger tips must not contact the board on their very tips. These are bony and hard... however, by fingering on the cushions of our fingers we can achieve softness and a sensitivity which not only are positive to our tone but feel very warm and delicate as they work. Slow speed mean firmed left hand work and fast speeds mean lightness and agility. Tempo changes and tone changes (playing mp or mf or p) are always beneficial in varying the degree of touch required !
19 : Triplet study. The bowing was discussed in 11. This study is more even but we should still remember the triplet work from before. This Key of C minor sounds particularly good with good intonation ! That means leading notes (semitones) close and minor thirds expressively minor !
20 : G minor study. Some great opportunity for left hand finger work as we slur every four notes together. The process of using one bow for a number of notes played with the left hand allows us to work on articulation. The groups of four notes are marked crescendo but perhaps better played fairly evenly. The cresc. mark could just be a leaning / leading forward sign, so the quavers lead toward the held crotchet note.
21 : A study in Staccato and legato. Another form of mixed bowing perhaps. String crossing technique is important in the staccato notes, and left hand articulation important during the slurs.
22 : Left hand finger work study. For sure the degree of skill to be learnt in the right hand is considerable too. Legato sound and smooth string changing. The accent (>) at the end of the slur means that note should stick out. Emphasis can be made by donating x2 the normal amount of bow to the > note. The increase in bow speed will project the note. Vibrato could also help to beautify it. Again, this is a practice step, and once mastered the final accent might be toned down somewhat to provide simply enough weight to the first beat of the bar so that we can understand the structure easily and where the first beat lies. The left hand finger work is considerable in this study. Often left hand fingers must be 'prepared'. The left hand fingers must lie already placed and in waiting on the new string before the bow even starts its string crossing motion. For instance, in the second (complete) bar before the bow migrate onto the D string, the first finger should be firmly in place. Likewise the next string change up to the A string ; the second finger (on a C natural) should be firmly in place before the bow arrived on the A string. Perhaps a good time to place that second finger is together with the first finger we just talked about on the D string.
23 : A routine mixed bowing study. Does not present any new difficulties. Maybe an opportunity to try out 'closed' détaché, in preparation for the next study.
24 : A study for Up-Bow staccato. This bowing technique is first learnt on the string, and eventually when you have mastered the 'German' On-the-string up bow staccato, you can convert it to off-the-string (French or Franco-Belgian) staccato. This is an ideal initial study for the bow stroke because we only have 5 consecutive up bows to deal with. The impetus for the stroke should come from the forearm ; the wrist pressure keeping the bow sat on the strings should not be released in between notes, but it should simple no give up in pressure so that the bow tracks the string on successive notes without retakes. Floppy wrist action is to be avoided... we call the right hand 'closed' during this up-bow staccato. At first practice the staccato slowly, even on an open string, making sure the bow stops in between each note.
25 : Another uneven bowing study. The main strategy here it to concentrate the three up bow notes into a small quantity of bow...again it has to be the same amount of bow as the lone first down bow semiquaver. Slow practice will help maintain an even notes and a regular rhythm. There is some economy needed for the right elbow in crossing strings. In rapid string crossing, the elbow is placed in a strategic half-way location in between the string. This avoids cumbersome upper-arm movements while we change strings, and delegates the string crossing bow work to be carried out by the forearm and hand thanks to some flexible wrist action. Slow practice will sort the right arm bowing out ; and remember to increase the tempo slowly in order to retain the qualities acquired in a slower tempo.
26 : Legato study for string crossing and left hand finger work.
27 : String Crossing study for the right hand. The movements of an economic right arm string cross are to be practiced slowly at first. Playing this study faster requires bowing just below the middle, so the hand travels less to cross strings (imagine what a large cumbersome movement the hand would have to go through to bow this study at the tip). The quavers are played staccato at first, but the length of this staccato can increase to include some sustain as string crossing skills improve. (The notation for this is a dot . with a line __ over or under it to indicate some sustain to the notes, but gaps in between the notes in staccato fashion). Notice that at the start of the study, the bow is marked up (V). As the three notes end, and hence the up bow comes to an end, we are in the natural direction of travel with our bow to pass onto the lower strings. Likewise it is more natural and economical to pass from a lower string to a higher one while moving the bow in a down bow stroke. Try this with upside down bows, and you will experience a growing sense bowing fatigue in just a few seconds. As our string crossing skills improve and the piece moves on, greater demands are put on our bowing skills. We are required to cross not only to adjacent strings, but now to and from non-adjacent strings such as D to E. Cutting corners and bowing economy is important. Place the Elbow on the A string level if crossing from D to E for example.
28 : Double stop study. Try to keep the bow on the string for the staccato section on the D and G string. Double stops studies and scales are very good for intonation practice. Our finger pressure must be halved, as we are often fingering two strings, and our bow pressure must decrease as well. The rule is when playing on two strings, to make an equivalent sound, the bow must be drawn twice as fast with half the pressure. In this way you can aim for an achieve great transparency of sound. When playing two strings together, give slightly more weight and priority of sound to the lower string. This is because there is more body of sound and more bass in the lower string, and the higher string must fit into it harmonically and tonally. Sound production is quite different on two strings, and the usual problem is that of trying not to squash the tone.
29 : Legato study in A major. Save bow in the down bows, and move the contact point slightly away from the bridge in the up bows in order to use a faster and lighter bow, thereby maintaining the use of the whole bow. Yes, this is another case of uneven bowing which has to be played evenly !
30 : Slurred bowing. This legato study with 8 notes to the bow concludes the first half of opus 45. We have some elementary semitone stretches for 4th finger on the E and A strings. Also a few passages in half position are introduced. This study exhausts the possibilities and range of sonorities within first position. It builds on previous skills, and requires a somewhat light touch in both hands in order to maintain sweetness and accuracy. It should be mentioned that détaché studies should be played a little firmer bowing wise, and legato studies piano, or softly in order to develop left hand flexibility and smoothness of string change. Remember a supple light touch will enable many an awkward passage to mellow out, while a heavy hand will often not suggest elegant bowing technique.
31 : Part two introduces Third Position. This is a fixed Third Position Scale Study ... we do not move out of third position. Again a scale like structure ensures we aim for notes in tune. Play this with a generous quantity of bow. Two main features in third position are closer gaps (the higher a position we play in the smaller the framework of the hand becomes and the closer the gaps become.) Also, another often overlooked difficulty is in tone production. The string length in third position is shorter. Therefore, the bow contact point must move nearer the bridge (say to contact point 2 instead of 3). This is because there is more tension in the sound and string in higher positions, and the string is too weak playing at contact point 3. This weakness produces a squashed sound, whereas moving the contact point towards the bridge re-establishes purity in the sound. It then becomes much clearer if we are playing in tune or not. In third position the left thumb should reside opposite the first finger. If it is not opposite the first finger then it should reside in the some spot relative to the first finger that it did in first position.
32 : First and Third position study. Change of position is achieved while playing an open string. This encourages smooth controlled and light shifting from the start.
33 : As above, another third position study changing positions using an open string.
34 : Excellent third position broad to medium length détaché study. Arpeggio themes are used for the practice of accurate intonation. Harder left hand notes, a G minor middle passage and some different left hand patterns in third position. Highly recommended study. Bowing contact point varies considerably in this study depending on whether we are playing an open string or stopping a fourth finger in third position (in which case the bow would contact the string considerably nearer the bridge) when the vibrating string length is reduced to almost half.
35 : Mixed, staccato and legato third position study with left hand passage work.
36 : A classic Third position détaché study.
37 : Third position study with shifting from one finger to another. In other words the first to third position shift and back is not executed while playing an open string. Shifting is a major topic and great deal of hard study must be put in to achieve smooth slow and accurate shifting. The usual error is to shift too quickly, with too much force, often overshooting the mark or producing an awkward bump during the process thereby shattering the flow of the music. Gliding up and down the fingerboard is part of every Associated Board Grade 5 and up Violinists technical baggage. Vibrato too should be mastered at this stage if it has not been so already. Left hand technique begins with shifting.
38 : Nowhere is smooth shifting put to the test in this semiquaver flourish up the fingerboard. The left thumb must remain passive. Both wrists must be loose and free. The overall tone of this study is best when played softly, at least until considerable deftness and lightness of touch is achieved in left hand shifts.
39 : Pretty much like number 30, this study exhausts the range of notes and dynamics from first to third position. It is also an excellent study in even legato playing.
40 : Down bow Ricochet bowing. Start a small distance (perhaps 1 cm) above the string. The third note on the up bow can also bounce. Careful study of this bowing can increase one's experience in bowing off the string. As your skills improve, you can step up the tempo.
41 : Excellent Legato study. Usual rules from heel to tip. Keep the left hand light and supple all the time. Aim for a sweet sound. Play with care.
42 : Left hand finger work. The fast light grace notes require light and fast finger action.
43 : More advanced legato study. 12 notes to a bow. Best practiced 6 notes to a bow while building up skills. 12 notes ensures a light and fast left hand apparatus. Considerable deftness in light left hand finger work required. Sort of the 'next level.' !
44 : Dotted bowing (Viotti style). Accurate and elegant rhythm is important here. My personal requirement for Associated Board Grade 4 students. The first note should not be too dry and short. Distribute the bow accordingly 75% and 25% for the shorter note. Possibly 80/20 is better practice. Some notes are to be articulated and some are to be held and sung. A great study which will further the students violinistic skills.
45 : Another up-bow staccato study. A good follow on from number 24.
46 : Legato study. Grade 5 difficultly. Half position common here as the first three notes should not be fingered 1-1-1 but 2-1-1 or better still 2-1-2, 4-3-4, 2-1-1 giving greater clarity and articulation. End of bar 4 should be 2-1-1 3__. (or possibly 1-1-2 4__). Hence the concept of fingered chromatic passages, which produce clearer, more modern articulation than the horizontal finger-sliding old school of chromatic fingering.
47 : Tonal Study. This study again puts its focus on the right hand and the production of a beautiful, piano tone. Outstanding music for violin !
48 : Study in Positions 1 and 2. Second position is often neglected. Serious use and study of second position is essential. (In general students neglect the even numbered positions. This usually lets them down in many a passage in C or F major that falls comfortably in this position.)
49 : Triplet détaché study in the manner of number 19.
50 : Left hand study. The octave framework of the left hand is indispensable for instilling good intonation and solid left hand technique. Keeping fingers down is paramount (for instance the 4_____________ indicates leave this finger in place). This is an important concept to get right right from the first Wohlfahrt study and indeed all violin music. Studies 50-60 are suitable for Grade 6-7-8 students.
51 : Vertical finger action for the left hand. Compare this to number 18. When your left hand tired rest it straight away. Give it a shake quickly long before it seizes up and it will recover quickly and spring back to life. However, if you persist and over work the left hand, through brute force and ignorance, your fingers will slow down, crash and burn. You will regress in your left hand technique the more you strain it ! Lightness is the key. Your left fingers need only minimal weight... they should tap the board silently and agility will awaken and soon thrive. Patience and common sense and needed. Tone production should not move into the background with all these notes either.
52 : Trill study. Lightness in the fingers. Same ideas as the previous 51 study. Fourth fingers must not be worked to death. Luckily the trills are performed with 2-3 fingers. Later studies by Dont develop the same lightness (and strength) in the 4th finger... right now it is being spared ! Keep your third finger light as a feather, and experiment with the roundness and shape of it. Sometimes keeping the left hand excessively round can also build up a lot of hand tension in the process. You can lighten your fingers by pretending to play with flat or straight fingers; this will take the strain out ! In general we are taught to play with round fingers, and the concept is tried and tested. The important issue is to experiment... sometimes small differences in the height of the hand (usually the knuckles of the left hand are placed on the same level as the fingerboard.) can make a big difference to the swiftness and freedom of our finger work.
53 : Double Stop study mainly in thirds. Wonderful introduction to playing in thirds. Tone production is important; remember the rules for playing on two strings (double stops); twice the speed half the weight. Transparency of sound is desirable.
54 : Chromatic finger work study. Excellent legato study too. Highly recommended.
55 : Preparatory Octaves study. Always finger the lower first finger a little firmer than the 4th, which should 'fit into' the lower finger.
56 : More broken octaves, thirds and the next level is introduced (perhaps Grade 6-7). Wonderful study.
57 : Tonal study ; 'messa a voce' techniques, vibrato and tonal nuances. Advanced tone production skills required.
58 : Shifting Study
59 : Double stop and trilling study
60 : Study in Octaves. Semitone shifting in octaves. A study every violinist from Grade 7-8 can benefit from.