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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > July 2019 > Chords


How to tackle muli-stopped passages with more conidence, musicality and alacrity


Professor of violin at the Lugano Conservatoire in Switzerland, and Academy Perosi in Biella, Italy


Moscow, Russia


Igor Bezrodnyi, Dorothy

DeLay, Isaac Stern


Conservatoire students

aged 17+

Many students get stuck when it comes to playing chords, even if they are quite free with other techniques. Often the problem is a psychological one: as soon as they think, ‘Chords are so diicult!’, the hand and arm contract and they start to produce a very bad sound.

In order to play chords well, every part of the right arm and hand must do its part.the shoulder should be relaxed and not raised; the arm should push out from the body, rather than pull back behind it; and the hand, whose position is governed by the upper arm, should lex freely between the seven basic positions of the bow, for the G string, G and D together, D string, D and A together, A string, A and E together, and the E string alone.the forearm, which works horizontally, deals with bow speed, quantity and stroke; the wrist, which can move horizontally and vertically, must be lexible and free. Finally, the ingers, which are the only part of the body in contact with the bow, must move lexibly, minimally and smoothly in order to determine the range of dynamics, control and the balance of the bow.

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About The Strad

Antoine Tamestit discusses his new recordings and we examine his viola, the 1672 ‘Gustav Mahler’ Stradivari. There’s a look at string teaching in Uganda and we have interviews with Sol Gabetta, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Gary Hoffman, Natalie Clein – and many more!