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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.