Doors … check! Seatbelt … check! Mirrors … check! Goooooooooo! Practise smooth bow changes, smooth slurs, and smooth string crossings for a smooth, smooth ride!
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Smooth Ride is a great piece for practising smooooth string crossings with slurred bowings!
A slur is a curved line that's placed under or over the notes. You play the slurred notes with a single bow stroke instead of using separate bows.
When we're moving from one string to another during a slur, the string crossing needs to sound really smooth.
We need to make sure that the timing is right, so that the bow lands on the right string, at exactly the right time.
We can't do this if we leave the string crossing until the last second. That's like leaving it way too late to turn a corner when driving a car!
You'll end up with a jerky, uncomfortable movement, and it won't sound good.
Instead, we start the string crossing movement well BEFORE we get to the second note of the slur. We call this 'preparing' each string crossing.
This gives us enough time to cover the distance that our arm needs to travel.
Then we'll arrive on the next note *exactly* on the right beat.
We smoothly drop the arm to go from a *lower*-pitched string to a *higher*-pitched string, or we smoothly raise it, to go from a *higher*-pitched string to a *lower*-pitched string.
The slurred string crossing movement comes from the lifting and dropping of the bowing arm. This is powered from your ball and socket joint.
Make sure that you *use* the ball and socket joint to control the string crossing. Don't start flipping the bow from your wrist and hand otherwise you'll end up with a very bumpy ride instead of a smooth one!"