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So, from my knowledge, there are two types of staccato, stiff/also stiff, which is caused from a tightening of your shoulder blade and neck, and flying, which is caused from a loose wrist, and I would like to learn the stiff arm staccato, which was one of heifetz's signature. Some things i found about the technique: 

"There are interviews with 24 legendary players and even comments spoken by Heifetz about the day his Staccato just "clicked". He found Staccato one of the most difficult techniques to master. "That is what Heifetz himself tells us. But Leopold Auer had to show him the way originally. He mentioned a need to be mentally persistent and eventually the mind finds a way to overcome difficulties"

http://tinyurl.com/lnjq7mx , a video from one of heifetz's students, and from her book http://tinyurl.com/mn4hfne

Things I've noticed from Heifetz's hora staccato were that his grip changes as he switches bow direction. Does anyone have the knowledge of the basics of this technique?

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I recommend the Ivan Galamian book, "Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching."  The descriptions of all the bowings are well written.

 

Not everyone can do the "classic" up bow staccato, ala Dinicu/ Heifetz, and fewer still can do it down bow.  It is not a hard bowing to do fairly well slowly or at certain speeds less than the fastest (I disagree with Agus, or maybe we might think of it in two different ways), but to play it with abandon in concert fast enough to make "Hora Staccato" sound right is another matter.  Then, once some of us get close, we can't always keep it over the years.

 

I agree with DGV that it seems to take changing one's grip, and why that is I haven't figured out.

 

Not much help, I'm afraid. 

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I believe that anyone with a good right hand can learn the bow stroke, I just think that the knowledge of the technique is kind of lost. I've been trying to learn the stiff arm staccato for months, and out of all the people I've asked no one even had a clue where to start. I hope someone on here knows how to execute this technique because i'll die before i stop trying.

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Regarding posts 5 and 6:  Yes, the Kreutzer 4 is used for learning up bow/down bow staccato.  But,IMO, there is a big difference between playing it and playing lightning fast as in the "Hora Staccato."  And therein lies the problem: one can practice the No. 4 for fifty years and still not arrive at the goal.

 

I had a well known D.C. area teacher for a while, Mark Ellsworth, who one day when I asked him how to play this bowing, said he'd show me and pulled out the 4th and proceeded to play it at a very slow tempo, with a great deal of grainy-ness to the sound.  And afterwards said, "There."  He never showed me he could play faster.  To this day I don't know if he was satisfied with what he showed me or if he was trying to make some esoteric point.  If it was the latter, I assume he meant "you have to start off slow and work and work." But I maintain that this only allows us to get faster up to a point, then something else has to snap into place, but usually doesn't.

 

IMO, or from my experience, to the extent we practice this bowing, we really improve our general bowing skills; but that's probably true for all of the bowings.

 

The idea that there might be "clues" for developing it is encouraging.   :)  After all, every violinist who acquired it figured out something.  But most of us don't think it's worth going to a monastery or locking ourselves up in an attic, only to be let out when we finally lower a master's raised eyebrow.

 

In my opinion, if there is clue,  it will be found in "reading" the feedback offered by the hair on the string.  (How's that for pedagogical drivel?!)   :)

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My former violin teacher told me the same thing: practice the staccato on up bow and down bow slow and the speed will eventually come. He never showed me a fast one. After years of zero progress in speed, I went off and looked for a solution. Read Galamian and Flesch. Watched Sassmanshaus videos. Eventually I realized that the stiff arm thing is the way forward.

But I still didn't 't have a usable staccato On the down bow so I stopped practicing it until yesterday after many years. What do you know, I can do it but only if I could start right. And that is the problem. Starting the down bow staccato is the hard part. Once you have the momentum, it just comes naturally.

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My husband has an effortless down bow staccato that I live in envy of--and I am sure that the lack of effort lies at the heart of his success. No, I do not think he alters his grip, and his bow arm does not look stiff nor does he press. I am sure that the harder I try, the more contorted things become--shoulder tenses and everything else. 

 

He acquired his bow technique very early (and studied with some famous teachers). I have always suspected that if it doesn't come young (or naturally) it will never come.

 

It looks pretty easy on cello, doesn't it? But there's probably something to learn here:

 

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My husband has an effortless down bow staccato that I live in envy of--and I am sure that the lack of effort lies at the heart of his success. No, I do not think he alters his grip, and his bow arm does not look stiff nor does he press. I am sure that the harder I try, the more contorted things become--shoulder tenses and everything else. 

 

He acquired his bow technique very early (and studied with some famous teachers). I have always suspected that if it doesn't come young (or naturally) it will never come.

 

It looks pretty easy on cello, doesn't it? But there's probably something to learn here:

 

 

But it's nowhere near the speed of Heifetz' Hora Staccato.

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This video shows that a level of skill can be developed, but neither the teacher nor the student showed that they had arrived at what we're really talking about.  So it certainly doesn't prove anything one way or another.  The student had a nice "working staccato" but not what for most of us has always been called a "trick bowing."  (Not implying it isn't a serious bowing, just that it requires something to snap in the brain before we "luck into it."  Sort of like "having a eureka moment.")

 

Something came up which makes me want to explore what I wrote before:

 

In my opinion, if there is clue,  it will be found in "reading" the feedback offered by the hair on the string.  (How's that for pedagogical drivel?!)    :)

 

What I mean is that when we practice slowly we are making individual controlled motions which are not entirely related or used when we do the bowing up to speed, and which simply CANNOT be used in the same way if we want to get up to speed. (It might be that we are helped by practicing this way, but somewhere another mechanism has to take over.)  So obviously to play fast we have to take whatever we do out of the realm of controlling smaller areas of the arm/hand/fingers.  Maybe that's why so many people start describing feelings of stiffness or describe feeling it "all the way back in our shoulders."  IMO, the teacher on the video is on the right track when showing how to start with the tremelo and then shift gears.  Just more opinion for the purpose of discussion.  Maybe the "secret" will be arrived at by the noble members of Maestronet and we can erect a monument.  :)

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Actually if you listen carefully, none of the sustained up or down bow staccatos are particularlary fast (more like the 16ths at 120 that DGV mentions, which is stall faster than I can do it) - fast but not nearly so fast as you might think you are hearing.   Faster note are usually small groups done with a richochet bow.   I find no difference in difficulty between up or downbow, and might even find downbow more comfortabel, but have never had that click that let me overcome the speed barrier to make mine useful.   I had that breakthrough with vibrato in my mid teens, but never with UB or DB spicatto, much to my chagrin.  And really, it is a small minority of players who can really do a 'fast,' rhythmically rock solid, and well controlled UB/DB spicatto.  I continue to work on it.  I would dearly love to play Hora Staccato some day,but I need increase my speed quite a few clicks to have one useful for performance of anything really fun.

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This video shows that a level of skill can be developed, but neither the teacher nor the student showed that they had arrived at what we're really talking about.  So it certainly doesn't prove anything one way or another.  The student had a nice "working staccato" but not what for most of us has always been called a "trick bowing."  (Not implying it isn't a serious bowing, just that it requires something to snap in the brain before we "luck into it."  Sort of like "having a eureka moment.")

 

Something came up which makes me want to explore what I wrote before:

 

In my opinion, if there is clue,  it will be found in "reading" the feedback offered by the hair on the string.  (How's that for pedagogical drivel?!)    :)

 

What I mean is that when we practice slowly we are making individual controlled motions which are not entirely related or used when we do the bowing up to speed, and which simply CANNOT be used in the same way if we want to get up to speed. (It might be that we are helped by practicing this way, but somewhere another mechanism has to take over.)  So obviously to play fast we have to take whatever we do out of the realm of controlling smaller areas of the arm/hand/fingers.  Maybe that's why so many people start describing feelings of stiffness or describe feeling it "all the way back in our shoulders."  IMO, the teacher on the video is on the right track when showing how to start with the tremelo and then shift gears.  Just more opinion for the purpose of discussion.  Maybe the "secret" will be arrived at by the noble members of Maestronet and we can erect a monument.  :)

 

 

It's like the way that running is not the same as fast walking. It also strikes me how it is like learning to do tremelo on classical guitar which, in my personal experience, is not a question of building up speed but somehow you  stop trying, hear the sound you want in your head, and then just do it.  Sounds easy put like that doesn't it?

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I emailed Agus last week about the topic and she replied:

 

"Before i answer your question, may i ask you how you found my name?
Tell me more about yourself, where you reside?"
 
I sent her an email back but I haven't heard from her since Saturday unfortunately.
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I emailed Agus last week about the topic and she replied:

 

"Before i answer your question, may i ask you how you found my name?
Tell me more about yourself, where you reside?"
 
I sent her an email back but I haven't heard from her since Saturday unfortunately.

 

Hope she gets back to you.

 

Where did you get her email address?

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I believe that anyone with a good right hand can learn the bow stroke, I just think that the knowledge of the technique is kind of lost. I've been trying to learn the stiff arm staccato for months, and out of all the people I've asked no one even had a clue where to start. I hope someone on here knows how to execute this technique because i'll die before i stop trying.

 

 

I would consider that a flying staccato, as it's produced in the wrist rather than the arm.

 

In over 45 years of being around violins and players I met maybe 3 people who could do a lightning fast, full bow staccato and maybe 5 people who could do a proper fast trill. But I met a lot of people who could play beautifully. To my mind, these are gimmicks,

and it took a good while to bring all the elements of the technique "on line" so to speak. Lots of time wasted for musically insignificant effect. Myself, if I could still play violin I'd rather use the time to play beautiful music with good tone, rhythm and intonation and I'd stay away from technical gimmicks seldom used. 

 

""I hope someone on here knows how to execute this technique because i'll die before i stop trying.""

 

Listen to Oistrakh - wasn't he a GREAT violin player ? He had neither staccato nor trill and nobody worried.

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