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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quick Practice Tip: Tweenie Notes and the "YUCK!" Spot

During one lesson with a young book 1 violin student, I was tuning the student's violin when I noticed a piece of tape across the finger board in an odd place. It had the word "YUCK!" written on it. Curious, I turned to the student's mother and asked her what the tape spot was.

"That's the YUCK! spot," the mother replied, and her daughter giggled.

I put my finger on the spot on the A string and plucked the note. It was not C natural or C#. It was a note sort of in between C natural and C#.

"I'm not supposed to put my finger on the spot, or the note will sound 'yucky,'" my student informed me. "I have to either stay behind the tape or jump over it."

"Oh," I understood. "It's like the moat around a castle. You have to be on one side or the other of it. You don't want to fall in."

I raise miniature long-haired dachshunds. The difference between a standard regular size and a miniature size is just a few pounds. In the dachshund world, if your dog is in between sizes, we call him a "Tweenie." I have called these in-between notes "Tweenie Notes."

If your student starts to get a little sloppy with the second finger not being "high" or "low" enough and is playing too many Tweenie Notes, try using the "Yuck!" tape spot.

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