Five Pieces to Help You Master Position Changes on the Violin

by Christian Morris

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If you want more guidance on changing position on the violin read our Practical Introduction to Changing Position on the Violin

1. Be Thou My Vision

A good starting piece, since the rest before bar 9 gives you time to move the hand for the higher passage.

Be Thou My Vision

2. Sakura (Japanese Trad. arr. Rudolf Dittrich)

Start off in third position on the E string. The challenge will be to get back to first position smoothly when moving from the B to G in bar 8.

Sakura (Japanese Trad. arr. Rudolf Dittrich)

3. Theme for Swan Lake Op.20 (Scene Finale)

The first change here, at bars 12-13 coincides with a phrase, which will help you to keep things smooth. From bar 15-18, however, the shifts also occur mid-phrase, which will really test your ability to shift efficiently.

Theme for Swan Lake Op.20 (Scene Finale)

4. Adagio in E major K. 261

Here are two pieces to really stretch your position shifts. They both require positions higher than third. First the Maozart Adagio in E minor k.261. The video shows the perfection of Itzhak Perlman's effortless playing.

Adagio in E major K. 261

5. Meditation from Thais

In the case of the Massenet Meditation from Thais, the high A's at bar 64 and at the end (which may be played an octave lower if too challenging) will take you all the way to 7th position!

Meditation from Thais

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