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Tracy Silverman on Connecting with the Groove

Posted by Tracy Silverman on Mar 11, 2019 12:47:00 PM

Fresh from the ASTA national conference, 2019 ASTA Eclectic String chair Tracy Silverman explains why violinists should focus more on playing rhythm, not just melody . . .


What is the key to connecting with the groove and why is it so elusive for many classical string players? Yes, strings are harder to play than most band instruments; and yes, they are primarily melodic instruments; and yes, the repertoire most classical players grow up with is hundreds of years old. But that’s no excuse! 

The key to connecting with the groove is to play the rhythm instead of the melody, to keep time and strum with your bow, which means to play the subdivision of the beat. Which means you have to learn how to ghost and chop. 

My blog for SHAR goes a bit deeper, and my new book, The Strum Bowing Method: How to Groove on Strings, breaks it all down with a series of exercises and video examples and an accompanying set of 22 Groove Studies for Strings, scored for string orchestra.

Topics: Violin Method, Self-Improvement, Improvisation, Total Violinist, Technique