Question about Staccato

This forum will provide lessons for getting started and exercises for gaining proficiency.

Moderator: Dave

Post Reply
Andy
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Question about Staccato

Post by Andy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:34 pm

Hey all,

I've been slowly working through the next lesson in the Volksümliche book. This one has marks for playing notes staccato. Just to sanity check, what is the proper way to play staccato? It seems like you would just lift the finger fretting the note, but keep touching the string to silence it. This produces a strange sound (a squeak?). Is there a better technique to playing these or is it just a matter of practice makes perfect?

Thanks!
- Andy

Evelyn
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:23 am

Re: Question about Staccato

Post by Evelyn » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:42 pm

You know that in order to make a note sound longer, you have to continue pressing down on the string with your finger. With staccato, you apply the same pressure, but then you immediately discontinue this pressure. You don't need to lift the finger off the string, just stop pressing down hard, while keeping your finger on the string. So, instead of a long "daaah" you get a short "da!". There should not be a squeak or any other strange sounds.

User avatar
Dave
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:55 pm
Location: Maryland
Contact:

Re: Question about Staccato

Post by Dave » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:12 pm

Perhaps try exaggerating it...that's what I do. Say, make a series of d notes on the a string with your 2nd finger, such as dah dah da! When you come to the staccato, as your thumb strikes the string, simultaneously depress the note a little harder and release (but not off the string as Evelyn has pointed out) as your thumb ring moves off the string.
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

Andy
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Re: Question about Staccato

Post by Andy » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:00 am

Alles klar! I think I may have been overthinking it, and depressing the string too slowly. I’ll keep at it and try over-exaggerating.

Thanks Evelyn & Dave!
- Andy

kenbloom
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: Question about Staccato

Post by kenbloom » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:56 am

If you keep the finger in contact with the string when you release the pressure it becomes automatic damping. Ideally, for clean playing, you want the left hand finger and the thumb ring to strike the note at the same instant. If you then release the pressure but keep on the string, you get staccato. Getting very clean notes without extraneous noises does take quite a while to get co-ordinated.Perseverance furthers!

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Post Reply