When playing octaves focus on the lower note to help centre the pitch. This is the same in string quartet tuning where in a passage of octaves, the 1st violin playing the higher note of the octave needs to listen to the 2nd violin playing the lower note.
Octaves (apart from fingered octaves) are unusual in that we shift on almost every note. Many problems that appear in the playing of octaves are solved by working on the fluency of the shifting action.
Just as with any double stop the fingers need to land together, so in octaves when repeatedly shifting on 1 and 4, it is important that both fingers stay in contact with the string while shifting.
If the hand or specifically the thumb or fingers are tight while shifting it becomes difficult not only to arrive in the correct place but also to make the small but constant adjustments to the width of the distance between the 1st and 4th fingers, which diminishes as we shift higher and enlarges as we shift lower.
Practice releasing finger pressure after playing each octave and shift with harmonic touch. Only let the fingers articulate with normal playing pressure when you hear the correct tuning.
Shifting - Release Pressure
Chords & Double Stops
- Practice Techniques 1
- Practice Techniques 2
- Practice Techniques 3
- Flat or Curved Fingers
- 8ves in C Major - violin
- 8ves in F Major - viola