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Learn How To Play Staccato On The Violin, Whole Bow Up and Down
Review of The Shonert Technique

August 14, 2015

Once in a while, you come across a violin technique that's powerful, real and valuable. Itís one thing to observe a master violinist play staccato on the violin using the whole bow in one direction, all the way towards the tip of the bow, and then back down towards the frog, with great speed, clarity and timing. Itís quite another thing to learn from the master himself, and succeed in doing it yourself, all in a relatively short period of time.

Here is a video demonstration of this amazing bowing technique played by the master himself, violinist and teacher, Alexander Shonert.

He plays it without any signs of tension or tiredness, no matter how long the staccato is. There is absolute control at both the tip and the frog of the bow. The notes are firm, even, clear and FAST.

No more muscle tension, stiffness, pain, cramps, convulsions and uncontrollable shaking Ö..FOREVER

I struggled with whole bow staccato for years without success. I tried using the fingers method, wrist method and arm method. With up bow staccato, I had a bit of success, but I would have to keep up hours of practice. Forget about the down bow staccato, for I had absolutely no control over it.

To make matters worse, my arm, wrist and fingers would get stiff and tired. The stiffness would lead to pains in my back, neck and shoulders. As a result, my staccato was erratic and uneven, sometimes missing notes.

I finally gave up and accepted that only those with special talent could do it. There were some violin pieces that I really liked, but finally accepted that I would never be able to play them, such as Hora Staccato by Grigoras Dinicu.

Then one day, a member of our violins forum, mentioned about a master violinist, offering to teach how to play staccato on the violin over Skype. It was master violinist and teacher, Alexander Shonert. I contacted him, and the rest is history. Not only did I learn how to play it, but he introduced a concept into my mind that changed the whole way I think about practice and playing the violin (further elaborated below).

I can now play long whole bow staccato up and down without any tension, pain, fatigue and stiffness whatsoever. My whole arm, wrist, hand and fingers remain completely relaxed, that I can keep on playing staccato for a very long time.

So What Is The Secret of Whole Bow Staccato?

Surprisingly, the movement does not begin in your fingers, wrist or arm. Nor does it lie in using more force, muscle strength or a stiffer arm hoping for the best. All these methods would NEVER work in rapid down bow staccato. Rather the secret lies in becoming sensitive to a particular movement in the right hand that uses VERY LITTLE energy. Once you discover the movement, it continues to carry on indefinitely, mostly on its own momentum. Itís a special amazing feeling.

Does it take much practice to obtain this skill? The answer is NO. In fact, itís no longer about practicing long hours in which your staccato gets better and better, and if you donít practice, the staccato gets worse and worse. Rather, again, itís about discovering a special physiological response in the right hand holding the bow. The response has to be caught by the mind and remembered. Therefore, for some it may take a few days to discover it. For others it may take a few weeks. Therefore, we could say that staccato must be born in the mind and not in the hands.

So, how do you discover this feeling in the right hand? There is a way. Please read on to find out.

A Powerful Technique For Regaining Control of Your Bowing

Master violinist and teacher, Alexander Shonert, has successfully taught students all over the world how to play staccato on the violin, using a very effective system of exercises designed by him (called The Shonert Technique) to regain control of the bow.

The Shonert Technique is based on the premise that everything has energy or vibration, and the objective for any musician is to be in harmony with it, not against it. Professor Shonert has used the term Chi to describe this energy, a term originating from Chinese philosophy and its uses in martial arts. However I prefer to call it just energy.

The exercises are very unique in that it helps you break any counter-productive habits that waste unnecessary energy without compromising on sound energy or quality. In fact, this technique significantly improves the quality of tone for any type of bow stroke or style. Why?

Because wasted energy is really unnecessary tension. Tension in any form will affect the quality of tone. Eliminating any unnecessary tension leads to super relaxation and suppleness in the right hand. This leads to a lot more control over your bowing. This is the main strength of the technique.

One can appreciate this more by again using the analogy of riding a bicycle. Only a minimum amount of energy is needed to obtain balance. However, youíll start to lose control of the balance once you stiffen your legs.

Other benefits of the technique include maintaining sound quality on bow changes in speed and/or rhythm, achieving a beautiful, clear, bell like tone, complete control over muscle groups of right arm and hand, no more muscle spasms, fatigue, tension or pain and much less practice time needed.

Finally, Professor Shonert reveals a set of exercises that will help you to catch the feeling of staccato bowing. Once you obtain the right feeling, it is only a matter of time, before the staccato stroke kicks in. The challenge is to catch the movement with your mind so that you can repeat it at your command. Itís an amazing feeling, something that must be experienced in order for you to fully appreciate what Iím sharing.

What Next? A Valuable Rare Opportunity For Your Advancement

There are presently two excellent options (or both) you can choose for learning staccato. Both are available without having to spend hours of your time and hundreds of dollars. You may take violin lessons online from Master Alexander Shonert himself over Skype, which is an audio/visual software application on the computer. The other option is to purchase his new recent book entitled, "How To Master Firm Staccato Up and Down In 3 Lessons".

I have chosen and have been satisfied with both, but prefer online Skype lessons. Not only did I enjoy his teaching style (using parables and imagery to illustrate), but I was quite amazed at how he could discern my tension spots over Skype, and then come up with just the right exercise to overcome it. I cannot recommend this avenue of teaching support enough. You will progress at a much quicker rate.

Furthermore, it saved me time and money from having to travel all the way from Canada to Czechoslovakia to obtain high class instruction. Finally, what surprised me was the price of his tuition Ė $37 US per half hour! For a professional master violinist, you cannot beat this value. You may contact him at shonert.staccato@gmail.com or visit his website at shonertacademy.com.

Purchasing his new book will also give you a complete picture of his teaching approach, and will most of all give you a blueprint of his highly effective exercises. The price of this book is $59 Canadian (43 Euros). Purchase this book now to take possesion of this amazing technique.

How To Master Firm Staccato Up and Down In 3 Lessons
by Alexander Shonert, 2015

Learn the secret of this advanced bowing technique mastered by very few great violinist. Improve your entire bowing technique by following the exercises outline in this book. Completely eliminate pain, muscle tension, cramps, fatigue and uncontrollable shaking. Finally achieve super relaxation that will enable you to focus your attention on enjoying your music and playing the violin.

Paperback - 65 pages.

Item #70-A170
Click for excerpts
Book on how to play staccato on the violin

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