Tips - Vamoosh String Book 2

1. Midnight Highway

This is a simple open-string piece to ease pupils into the new book.

2. 3D Scales

As the top note is not repeated, it is possible to play these scales in canon, a third apart.  This however only works without accompaniment.

3. Carnival

The simplicity of this pieces means that it can be taught by rote.  I like to split each line into two-bar questions and answers.

4. At the Ballet, 5. Sailing Home, 6. Clown Dance

These are all the melodies for their equivalent pieces in Book 1.

7. Jingle Bells

8. Duet

As this is the first ensemble piece in the book, the rhythms are kept deliberately similar.  I rarely use any accompaniment in performance.

9. Low Down Twos

I start by leaving out the open D string notes, teaching the tune by rote.  I initially use the improvisation sections to start practising the string crossing.  Some pupils who find the top line too challenging can look at the bottom line, which also covers low second fingers.

10. 3g Scales

See No. 2. 2D Scales

11. Alpine Waltz

A simple waltz that helps string crossing in 3/4 meter.

12. London’s Burning, 13. Frere Jacques

Two old favourites.  I like to alternate playing and singing when performing this as a canon.

14. Lazy Sundays

I start by practicing just the first bar, repeating it over and over.  I then bar 3 over and over.  Once they can coordinate these bars the piece is not too difficult.  I am sure to point out the difference between a slur and a tie.

15. Summer Parade

This simple piece in two parts uses both long legato bows and short accented notes.  The slur in the first line is something to focus on with players who are more advanced.

16. Prelude

This piece is a little challenging at this stage in the book, so I return to it later.  No accompaniment is necessary if you have both parts covered, but I like to add a simple drum ostinato to give it an Elizabethan flavour.

17. William Tell

Ideal for mixed ability groups, this familiar tune works well in concerts and does not necessarily need accompaniment.

18. Big Dipper

This piece looks more difficult than it is.  It is really an etude that introduces Sautillé bowing technique.  The simple phrases and patterns make it easy to learn and memorise.  It also introduces A Tempo for the first time and repeated slurs across two strings.

19. Kitchen Capers

This uses similar finger-work to Big Dipper but with slurs.  It makes for an effective duet.

20. Smooth Operator

There are plenty of details to focus on in this piece.  Only low 2nd fingers are needed that removes a level of complexity.  Several new things are introduced including low 1st finger, trills and tremelando.

21. Down the Dusty Road

This first piece in C major contains lots of descending scales.  Dynamic contrast, accents and different articulations are a feature of this piece.

22.  Gridlock

This piece uses low 2nd finger followed by high 2nd finger encouraging the player to hear and feel the difference.  I like them to imagine car horns when they play the two crotchets in bar 4, 6 and subsequent times.

23.  Pick’n’Mix

There is a lot of flexibility built into this piece allowing for optimum possibilities.

24.  Catch Me If You Can

This piece is effectively in D minor but I left out the key signature to simplify the look of it.  If you have more than one good player in the group, it can be played as a canon as directed.

25.  Barcarolle

This famous tune encourages legato bowing.  With both cello and viola, shifting is required to play some of the high notes.

26.  Papageno’s Song

This combines two famous arias into a simple duet that does not necessarily require accompaniment.

27. A Major Scale

28.  Lucky Charm

To help establish the extended shape of the left hand, this gentle piece also encourages legato technique and gives the opportunity to explore vibrato and dynamics.

29.  Rumba Cucumba

Another extended shape piece, only livelier.

30.  An Arabian Night

This piece promotes a good left hand shape with back extensions by keeping the second (third for cello) finger in position.  It also combines sharps and flats helping to establish the difference.  Otherwise it is very simple.

31.  Kremlin

Introducing changes of meter, accelerando and double-stops.

32.  Adios Amigo

Another chance to explore vibrato in this piece in A minor.  Use of the fourth finger for violin, and 3rd position for cello.  Introducing the grace note.

33.  Vamoose

This piece brings together many techniques, helps focus intonation and string crossings/double-stops.

34.  Jupiter

A nice famous tune to end, in a the new key of F major.