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Rabbath Bow Stroke Variations

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Dave Tompkins, Apr 4, 2020.


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  1. I’ve been working on the 3rd Rabbath book and am unsure about the bow stroke variations suggested for playing the scales and arpeggios. Could someone explain the difference between the 2 groups of slurs below please?

    To add to my confusion I can only see 7 variations in each (slur in groups of 2,3,4,5,6,7 & 8) rather than the 8 that the numbering suggests. This pattern of slurs above & below followed by just above the notes is repeated quite a few times over the 282 variations. Though I’m unlikely to find time to try all of them (I’ve already spent about 2 months just on 3 octave Gb/F# scales with long notes against a drone) it would be nice to know.

    I'm hoping the answer isn't "it's explained on page x" but it wouldn't be the first time I've asked someone in the supermarket where the beans are while stood right in front of them. I have tried searching online and in the books I have at home.
     

    Attached Files:

    Co. likes this.
  2. Co.

    Co.

    Sep 10, 2006
    Germany
    I was also wondering for quite some time. There should be some Rabbath students around here, who know first hand.
     
  3. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Jan 24, 2002
    Frankfurt, Germany
    NS Design Endorsing Artist
    Not the most brilliant editing here, but there is a difference. One means x number of notes are slurred, and the rest of the scale is separate. The other means slur by x number of notes.
     
    the_Ryan and Co. like this.
  4. Many thanks Paul. That makes sense, though I still only see 7 for each pattern. Maybe it was just a mistake in the numbering?
     
  5. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    Is it as simple as with 8 notes you can ONLY have 7 variations? Or maybe the one without slurs is considered as the first (that is 1 in a series of 8) ???
     
  6. Co.

    Co.

    Sep 10, 2006
    Germany
    You might look at the attachement in post #1. That should help to answer your question.

    My problem was actually the difference between variations 2-9 and 10-17.
     
  7. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    OK, Co. Have misunderstood question altogether, then..sorry about that!
     
    Co. likes this.
  8. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Jan 24, 2002
    Frankfurt, Germany
    NS Design Endorsing Artist
    I see the problem. The editor is counting 8 variations when there are only 7 unique ones. “No slurs” is essentially counted 3 times.
     
    the_Ryan and Dave Tompkins like this.
  9. Andy Mopley

    Andy Mopley

    Sep 24, 2011
    So i was close, Paul? ;):)
     
  10. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I understand the confusion. I don't see the difference between the second and third one in your attachment. To me they are both the same. That is 2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 notes slurred.
     
  11. One grouping is two (then 3, 4, etc.) notes slurred followed by detache bowing (one bow per note). The other grouping is two notes slurred followed by two notes slurred followed by...
     
  12. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    ok, thanks. Very confusing notation without description.
     
  13. DoubleBassBass

    DoubleBassBass Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2013
    Vancouver
    Try this:-

    Start Patterns 2 -10 with a down bow at the frog (commence with Pattern 1, then two notes slurred, then 3 note slurred, then 4 etc).8 variations in total.

    As you play, and work through the variations, you will notice that the point where the slur becomes detachè, changes position along the bow. So with the two note slur for example, the transition into detachè is close to the frog .....by the time you are doing a four note slur the transition is midway on the bow etc.

    This gets you playing on all parts of the bow.

    Start Patterns 11- 18 with an up bow at the tip (commence with Pattern 1, then two note slurred pattern, then 3 etc). Again, 8 variations in total were the transition point starts at towards the tip and then ends up at the frog,

    Be inventive - thats one of the things about Rabbath's teaching is that you can find so many ways of interpreting things to constantly guide yourself to break new ground. Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
    Les Fret likes this.
  14. DoubleBassBass

    DoubleBassBass Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2013
    Vancouver
    I should add that the first pattern is pure detachè and the last pattern is pure slur. So theres a nice symmetry to the way the patterns start and the way they end.
     
  15. Thanks to everyone for your replies.
     
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 19, 2021

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