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mar-te-lé: hammered

Learn the secrets of sophisticated bow attacks, accented strokes, and great projection!

Press the bow hair onto the string.

While you start the stroke with very high bow speed, release the bow pressure at the same time.

At the end of the stroke, rest the bow on the string without pressure.


Every martelé stroke starts with a collé attack:

Prepare the collé attack.

Release the collé and play the stroke with the fastest possible bow speed.

At the end of the stroke, the bow rests on the string without any pressure from the index finger.


To play a martelé in the upper half:

Place the bow in the middle of the string, exert pressure with your index finger, and release the pressure with a clean click at the beginning of a very fast stroke.


End each stroke without pressure.

Each string requires a different degree of right arm extension.

Reaching the tip on the G-string requires the largest extension.

Practice this in front of a mirror to ensure a straight bow.


Change your sounding point for every stroke.

The lower strings require a sounding point closer to the fingerboard.

The upper strings require a sounding point closer to the bridge.

The bow stays straight and parallel to the bridge.


Master Classes
Practice martelé at the tip.

Before the trill, lift your bow at the tip.

Throw the up bow from the air with a ricochet to emphasize the trill.


Cross strings immediately after the stroke; the string crossing motion is part of the old stroke.

In a faster tempo, throw the bow onto the upper strings at the tip.

Maintain martelé on the bottom note.


Violin, Charles Yang

Piano, Ina Ham

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