Through the Gears

Updated: August 27, 2022

Through the Gears

How to move up the strings of the violin cleanly as you change position.

Download the sheet music for this exercise from the ViolinSchool library at:

Through the Gears

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'Through the Gears' is a sequence of patterns that helps you to move up the strings of the violin.

We start with the same pattern on each string in first position, and then move up through second, third, fourth, and fifth, eventually arriving in sixth position.

As you shift up into each position, be sure to move the whole hand, and don't leave the thumb behind!

Try a SLOW, audible shift first, to make sure you're landing in the right place. Slow it right down to make sure it's landing in tune... there's no need to stay in time when practicing this on its own!

The arm swings around the violin as you go higher up into fifth and sixth positions. This will help you to reach the notes more easily and to drop the fingers precisely into position.

Remember that intervals become smaller as you go up the string. So there'll be less distance between your fingers by the time you reach the higher positions.

Start by playing very slowly and listen carefully to make sure you're in tune.

Then try varying the patterns, so you get really used to playing different notes in different positions.

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