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Lesson 17

Back to: Lesson 16

Go on to: Lesson 18

36 Off To France - Student's Track
36 Off To France - Duet
37 Racing Driver - Student's Track
37 Racing Driver - Duet

Key Points: Pieces 36 & 37


  • Piece 36 asks you to think about the action of changing string. There is a G string angle, a D string angle and so on. What is the mechanism for playing on different strings? It's all about the elbow - check out the video.

  • Piece 37 is about the use of the 4th finger. Remember you don't use this finger very much so take care at first.

  • Note that in Piece 36 you must be careful not to just use the wrist to change strings. Do some whole bow practice to make sure you are using your elbow.

  • In piece 37 be patient until your 4th finger strengthens. Use the open A until you can finally stretch it comfortably.


  • As always start by doing a bowhold check, do a whole bow warm up, playing the scale of D major at the bottom of the page. This is so easy to do and really helps you check your tuning.

  • To get going pluck through each piece once or twice.

  • Then try with the bow the Student's Track until you feel confident to move on to the duets.

  • Go from plucking to bowing and back to plucking until you are confidently bowing each piece.

  • Don't be in any rush to 'get it right straight away' - being patient will pay off in the long run.

  • Go over previous videos if you think something's not right.

  • Most 'horrible' sounds occur because of a tense right hand causing the bow to 'tremble,' 'bounce' or be 'scratchy'.


Getting your fingers to be absolutely in tune can be very much trial-and-error. Many students hear a wrong note - STOP - then try and correct it. Instead try to correct it as you are playing the note. Remember that in the main your finger will be only a little bit out so don't stop; try one way and then the other ever so slightly. Your accuracy will improve much more quickly. Plus you won't lose your place in the music so easily.

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