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What are some good warm-up techniques?

Welcome to the second week of Technique Tuesday!  Included below is advice offered as the studio discussed a question posed by Molly Carr about good warm-up routines.

Physically oriented suggestions:

  • Stephanie Galipeau – Move around a lot.  Big arm movements help in warming up the larger muscles.  Then do some slow Ševčík.
  • Jenni Seo – do pushups to get the blood flowing.
  • Tegen Davidge – do arm circles, followed by playing long slow tones.
  • Steven Tenenbom – run up and down the stairs to get the blood flowing.
  • Heidi Castleman – do breathing/arm stretching exercises, rhythm exercises, interval singing followed by micro-length right and left-hand basic skills exercises.
  • Daniel Getz  – 1) mobilize shoulder blades by bending forward at the waist, and alternatively pulling one shoulder blade back, followed by the other one.  2) play alternating fifths and fourths.


Bow arm warm-ups:

  • Marcus Rose – warm up bow hand flexibility by doing right-hand exercises with the bow including: pinky taps, button circles, colle motion (holding bow vertically and horizontally), elevator motion, windshield wiper motion, clockwise circles and counter-clockwise circles.
  • Matt Lipman – play an open string for a few minutes to relax the bow arm and to get the viola warmed up.
  • Abby Elder – play long tones on an open string, concentrating on feeling the weight transfer in the right hand between the ring and index fingers while going from the tip to the frog.
  • Bryony Gibson-Cornish – pick a resonant note and play it at all the different contact points that the bow can have (near the fingerboard, near the bridge, and the points in between).
  • Liyuan Liu – pick a difficult repertoire passage and play it very slowly, warming up hands as well as the brain.
  • Hsin-Yun Huang – start with a Menuhin exercise: 1) place the first finger on the D string  2) slide back and forth from E to F, making the slides as fluid and relaxed as possible 3) repeat this exercise while sliding back and forth between E and F#, then E to G, etc… all the way up to an octave 4) repeat the exercise going backward from the top (E to D#, E to D, etc…), until you’ve worked your way down to the original E from step 1.

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