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Lesson 25

Back to: Lesson 24

Go on to: Lesson 26

52 London's Burning - Student's Track
52 London's Burning - Duet
53 The Hippopotamus - Student's Track
53 The Hippopotamus Song - Duet

Key Points: Pieces 52 & 53


  • Piece 52 is to be played fast. But you need to start slowly to help teach the fingers of your left hand and co-ordinate your bowing.

  • Piece 53 is also a fast piece but again don't try to rush things before you have learned the notes in the left hand.

  • When you play the duet version of Piece 52 notice that you can be distracted by the others parts especially as you are playing the same tune as everyone else.

  • The crotchets in piece 53 are the fastest notes so make sure you play the dotted minims for a full three beats and with the correct length of bow. Some students try to cut the dotted minims too short because they are running out of bow.


  • As always start by doing a bowhold check, do a whole bow warm up, playing the scale of D major and G major. 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'.


Playing faster requires persistent practice over time. It might be a good idea at the beginning of your practice to first play through the whole piece at a speed you can just about manage. This will help you discover where the mistakes are. Pencil in a circle around these so that over the coming days you can return to these bits and practise them separately, slowly at first and then gradually, as you become more confident, get them quicker.  Then try them out by running the whole piece as one.

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