Lilting Fiddle

Learning to Play Fiddle as an Adult

Colle – What I’ve Been Missing

Posted on July 21, 2020

For the past month and a half, I’ve been focusing on making a nice and consistent sound when I’m bowing. I mean, that’s something I’ve always tried to do. But lately, I’m trying to deduce why it’s not always happening.

I’ve known of collé for a couple months, but didn’t think it was so essential that I needed to start practicing it right away. I think I was wrong about that. In fact, I believe it may be what I’ve been missing and struggling without these past weeks.

The Violin Masterclass defines collé as:

Col-lé is French for ‘glued.’ It’s the essential exercise for ultimate bow control.
The collé allows you to calibrate the ‘click’ that starts the martelé stroke.
Your bow technique will gain a high degree of sophistication for clean and crisp articulation. 

And they have a great video all about how to work up to collé. 

But what really drove it home for me was the new Udemy course I picked up yesterday:5 Power Moves for Better Violin Technique. The instructor’s first lesson was basically about collé, though he called it Pinkie Pushups.

However, the way he performed and explained the technique was what made me realize that this could be a big part of my tone issues. Not only did he show how to practice collé using a pencil and bow, but he also applied two exercises to scales which look super helpful.

Anyhow, as soon as I was done with the first lesson, I added collé with a pencil to my practice. Even if you don’t pick up the lesson, the video above is still extremely helpful!

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