Hi everyone! This article is going to close out our stage 2. Trust me, there’s a lot more to come, but here we’re going to bring everything we’ve learned together. We’re going to be playing some songs with rests in them and I want you to count them as well! Don’t worry, I’ll be counting along with you in the video provided.
We’re going to play four songs in this article. Each song will have different combinations of quarter notes, which indicate one count of a pitch to be played, and quarter rests, which means one count of silence. Remember that we are only going to play measures with 4 beats in it. Any combination of quarter notes or quarter rests will do, as long as it adds up to 4. Then we will have a bar line, and then begins the next measure.
We’re only going to use the notes that we’ve already learned on the D and A strings. This means we will need to know where our fingers go. If you’re not familiar with this, or you need a refresher, head to the articles, “Notes on the A string” and “Notes on the D string” for some review.
Alright, now let’s play some rests!
In this song we’re going to build off of what we had already played in the exercises. You’re going to play three quarter notes followed by one rest. Remember, the quarter rest is the same duration as the quarter note, just without sound.
We jump around a little bit, but don’t be intimidated. You’ve got this. Cross reference this with the video to make sure you’re playing along correctly. Give it a shot!
Two and through
Now we’re going to try this out with two quarter notes and two quarter rests in each measure. This is a very simple tune. The trick here is to make sure you are counting the rests the correct amount of time. Always try to maintain a good, steady beat/pulse when playing and use either a metronome, a clock with a second hand, or a digital timer so you can change notes and rests with every tick.
Alright, let’s try it!
The horse’s ride
In this song, we find ourselves playing quarter notes separated by quarter rests. Again, the challenge here is to play the quarter notes and quarter rests for the correct duration. A challenge for some students is to make sure there isn’t any sound played during the rests.
Sometimes we find ourselves dragging our bows through the rests. Be careful here. One of the important ideas behind sheet music is to make sure we follow it as best we can. Listen to the video example very carefully so that you can count correctly and match me as you play.
Further down the line
This song is the longest we’ve done so far. It’s 8 measures instead of 4, like the previous 3 songs. This is just to give you experience with playing longer pieces. This also gives us a chance to mix and match our rhythms. This means notes and rests can come in a different order in each measure.
Don’t be intimidated here. Length should never be a factor, even when we get to very difficult songs. Take this one measure at a time, and practice it slowly. You will have it memorized before you know it.
Heads up: In this piece, I labeled the fingers a little differently. If there are two or more notes in a row that are on the same string, I simply wrote the string at the first note, and then just the finger number from there on until the string changed.
Use these exercises to help you grow in your playing as well as your counting. Ill be giving you more songs to work on shortly. They will get longer and progressively more difficult so make sure you are working on your basic violin skills (all the articles up to this point) daily.
A tip is to simply start by counting the beats of the song first, then learning the notes, then playing it in time. Remember, if you’re watching and listening on a computer, you can use the youtube video settings (seen as a cog wheel on the video screen) to slow down and speed up the videos to make it easier for you to follow along with my playing. I hope this helps everyone. I’ll see you in stage 3!