Warm-ups for the Violist is an adaptation of Warm-ups for the Violinist. It is targeted to help build, strengthen and develop the muscles and techniques needed for viola playing. It is especially suited and created for the more casual violist who is sincerely interested in getting maximum benefit from a minimum of effort.
I first tested these scales and exercises on myself for six months, faithfully using them for about 20 minutes as warm-ups to my daily practice. I was rewarded with a definite improvement in my technique. I was actually surprised to see my dexterity grow as I charted my metronomic progress on a calendar. I remember thinking, 'I will never be able to play faster than this.' But then a couple of weeks later I would indeed climb a notch higher!
Through the years I have used these exercises in countless workshops and with private students. The letters of thanks and positive feedback from students who were thrilled with improved violin and fiddle technique have brought me great satisfaction. Progress with these exercises is like the progress of a body builder. Body builders do not get up in the morning and think, 'I am going to develop and build my muscles today,' and instantly look like Mr. Atlas. It takes weeks, months and for some, years, to attain results. It must be done over a period of time. Like all diets and exercise programs, determination and dedication are most important to success!
I sincerely believe that these exercises, when faithfully practiced, will help violists improve their skills. The exercises will help develop and strengthen muscles used for finger dexterity, clarity of notes, tone, bowing-arm control, intonation, double stops, and a flexible bowing-arm wrist.
A companion audio play-along recording is available online.