Variation 37

ID 5309

Ševčík’s Variations concentrate on bowing, especially developing control over the many different styles of lifted strokes.

When we learn a new skill such as up-bow spiccato, it helps to reduce the number of technical challenges so that we can concentrate on learning the new bow stroke.

For instance, you can develop the up-bow spiccato stroke on open strings without adding the complexities of string crossing or finger fall.  It is interesting that in the ‘40 Variations’ Ševčík helps us to concentrate our minds on the bow by having very little fast passage work or high-position work for the left hand.

Bar 16 is an exception to this. Make sure that the left arm is free to move around the corner of the violin to allow a fluid shift from 1st to 5th position.

The artistic expression of the portando also deserves our attention.  Practice glissando on a one-string scale shifting from 3rd to 1st finger, increasing the interval and experimenting with different speeds and pressure in the slide.


The main challenge for the bow in this variation is to coordinate legato notes with lifted notes while moving through the whole bow. For this variation we can use most of the bow for the first beat of the bar and then use a standing spiccato stroke for the quavers, or we can gradually move through the bow using an up-bow staccato and then the standing spiccato stroke.

Introduction to Shifting