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Sep 22, 2021 - 3:42:12 PM
1983 posts since 8/27/2008

One technique I don't hear much about has to do with triplets on the fiddle. There is plenty to find on the net about bowed triplets but I am referring to making fast, crisp descending slurred triplets, generally as a stylistic effect in a run of eighth notes. I sometimes seem to get better results by lightly pulling my fingers sideways (downward) off of the fingerboard instead of simply lifting them. I'm not sure that's commonly done. For me there is a tactile sense of change when doing that. Merely lifting my fingers gives no physical connection to the moment the notes change, and the slur can sound and feel a bit muddy. So I'm working on the "pull off" but it's not an aggressive pull off like you do to sound the notes on a guitar or mandolin, where you're actually sounding the note with a plucking motion of your finger leaving the string. I mean just a light pulling downward, enough to feel your fingers leave the string. I brought this up once years ago and nobody got it. Could still be the same. Maybe it's considered bad technique by classical players.

Even if it doesn't make sense to you, my question is the same. How do you make very crisp fast slurred triplets?

I bring it up because it's not intuitive to me - I don't naturally do it but it seems to help when think to do it on a muddy sounding place.

Edited by - Brian Wood on 09/22/2021 15:58:34

Sep 22, 2021 - 5:02:33 PM
like this

462 posts since 6/11/2019

The fingertip needs to lift directly upward off the string to sound clean. And, the lower finger (next note) needs to be in place before said lift. Fingers need to lift from the base joint (knuckle), like an engine camshaft.

If the finger lifts sideways, you get unclean slurs. Try warmups where you do trills and mirror work to ensure the finger moves primarily from the base joint.

Sep 23, 2021 - 6:21:52 AM

2384 posts since 10/1/2008

Hmmmm ..... I will have to play with this some. My indelicate touch may be insufficient to the task. JW do you have a specific tune you are playing? My tune memory tell me there is a piece that has both. So far I can't recall the name. R/

Sep 23, 2021 - 7:31:52 AM

281 posts since 4/15/2019

If I am understanding you right there is a triple slur in the tune Shenandoah right at the very beginning. I do it very rapidly placing the second and third finger down without raising the others. Am I making any sense here?

Sep 23, 2021 - 8:17:29 AM

1983 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

Hmmmm ..... I will have to play with this some. My indelicate touch may be insufficient to the task. JW do you have a specific tune you are playing? My tune memory tell me there is a piece that has both. So far I can't recall the name. R/


http://fiddletunes.net/Hell%20and%20Scissors.jpg

What I was working on - Bar 15, triplet starts with pinky. Cool tune. There can be similar ornamental triplets in other tunes. Now that I think of it it's the pinky starting that gives me trouble with a clear sounding triplet. I don't need do do other than lift if I am starting with another finger.

Edited by - Brian Wood on 09/23/2021 08:21:01

Sep 23, 2021 - 8:47:47 AM

1983 posts since 8/27/2008

Do do was a typo.

Sep 23, 2021 - 10:16:52 AM

DougD

USA

10290 posts since 12/2/2007

A good tune to practice on might be "Galway Hornpipe." Its at the session.org thesession.org/tunes/38
Lots of people play three sets of triplets in bar 4, as in version 5 and others, but as is mentioned in the comments, triplets can be added in many spots.

Sep 23, 2021 - 11:29:35 AM

1613 posts since 4/6/2014

Just had a go at Bars 15 & 16. Nice little 2 bar A mixolidian lick. an unusual way to play it would be to shift up and play the A at the start of bar 15 with the second finger, giving the advantage of having stronger fingers to play the the triplet. then utilizing the open stings to shift back to 1st pos.
If i stay in 1st pos to play the triplet i automatically skip bow it to make it pronounced and compensate for starting it with the weaker pinky. The bow has a lot to do with articulating the triplet as well, even if all three notes are played in one bow. i also found myself avoiding double strings on the triplet so as not to muddy things up, and preparing mentally for it at the start of the phrase.

But there are a million ways around a phrase...

Edited by - pete_fiddle on 09/23/2021 11:33:09

Sep 24, 2021 - 10:52:19 PM

2769 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

One technique I don't hear much about has to do with triplets on the fiddle. There is plenty to find on the net about bowed triplets but I am referring to making fast, crisp descending slurred triplets, generally as a stylistic effect in a run of eighth notes. I sometimes seem to get better results by lightly pulling my fingers sideways (downward) off of the fingerboard instead of simply lifting them. I'm not sure that's commonly done. For me there is a tactile sense of change when doing that. Merely lifting my fingers gives no physical connection to the moment the notes change, and the slur can sound and feel a bit muddy. So I'm working on the "pull off" but it's not an aggressive pull off like you do to sound the notes on a guitar or mandolin, where you're actually sounding the note with a plucking motion of your finger leaving the string. I mean just a light pulling downward, enough to feel your fingers leave the string. I brought this up once years ago and nobody got it. Could still be the same. Maybe it's considered bad technique by classical players.

Even if it doesn't make sense to you, my question is the same. How do you make very crisp fast slurred triplets?

I bring it up because it's not intuitive to me - I don't naturally do it but it seems to help when think to do it on a muddy sounding place.


Not sure I quite get some of what you are after?

Slurred triplets don't seem really technically unique from just other slurs. 

But what I notice is your description the problem might be in how you are approaching slurs. Seems to be basing slurs with a type of pull-offs and hammer-ons as used on guitar/banjo/mando; that employ the left hand fingers as part of the attack, essentially a bit of tapping or plucking the string to help generate sound; (thus would give a certain physical connection feel).

The bow makes that unnecessary. As with any slur, just lift up or set down the finger, quick and clean, not force. The lifting requires no "pull-off" motion at all. Even for other way, setting finger down, as like hammer on; the finger does not have to tap nor slam down on fingerboard like other instruments. The bow is generating the sound needed.

Sep 25, 2021 - 5:52:19 AM

Peghead

USA

1627 posts since 1/21/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Flat_the_3rd_n7th

The fingertip needs to lift directly upward off the string to sound clean. And, the lower finger (next note) needs to be in place before said lift. Fingers need to lift from the base joint (knuckle), like an engine camshaft.

If the finger lifts sideways, you get unclean slurs. Try warmups where you do trills and mirror work to ensure the finger moves primarily from the base joint.


Above is true. Desending slurs are subtractive in nature, each successive note has to be in place in advance before it's sounded. I personally would put all three fingers down in one motion and lift off as needed. With desending lines it's good practice in general,  slurred or otherwise, to have as many fingers down as possible, two at least. This is especially true in upper positions where the action gets higher and the strings can rebound a lot making for excess motion and muddy articulation. When each note is backed up with the next note the string stays stable.  

Edited by - Peghead on 09/25/2021 05:55:03

Sep 25, 2021 - 6:18:13 AM

DougD

USA

10290 posts since 12/2/2007

"Just like ducks a-pickin' up corn," as an old timer once said.

Sep 25, 2021 - 8:44:41 AM

1983 posts since 8/27/2008

Seems to be an uncommon technique. However, I am using it in the tune I referenced, and getting a much cleaner sound on this particular phrase when playing it up to speed (fast). It's clearly weak pinky issue. The suggestion to move up a position to play the triplet addresses that. I do use second or third position for cleaner playing sometimes but that doesn't work well for me here. Thanks for replies.

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