Shifting

Types of Shifts

There are two types of shifts: Anticipated or guide finger shift, and Delayed shift.

The anticipated shift is the most common and used for the majority of shifts.
In an anticipated shift:

  • the left hand anticipates the change of bow
  • the OLD finger does the shifting
  • the time for the shift is taken from the first or departure note
  • the weight from both hands is released during the shift

Delayed shifts are less common and used when one wants to hear the shift or slide.
In a delayed shift:

  • the left hand moves after the bows has changed bow
  • the NEW finger does the shifting
  • the time for the shift is taken from the note of arrival
  • the weight is not released during the shift

General Shifting Guidelines

A. Always look ahead and anticipate the next note, have a fingering that makes sense, upcoming notes should not be a surprise
B. Generally avoid 4 – 4 shifts ascending and 1 – 1 shifts descending, unless they make sense due to a slur or dotted rhythm
C. Shifts need to be accurate and relaxed
D. Shift when there is time to shift. For example, if there are dotted rhythms, shift after the dotted note.

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