How To Play UpBeats

What are upbeats?

Up-Beats, incomplete measures at the beginning of a piece.
How does that work and what is the (unwritten) rule for violinists

An upbeat is the last beat in a bar which directly leads to the 1st beat in the next bar, the downbeat.
A special one, which we will discuss here, you can sometimes find at the beginning of a score.
The very first bar is incomplete.
In the thumbnail of the video you can see the first note, and right after that a bar-line.
This example shows a 3/4 time signature, so there should be 3 quarters per bar.
The first bar only has 1 quarter note, this is what we call the upbeat.

How to play upbeats

How do violinists usually play upbeats?
With an up-bow, see the up-bow symbol in the thumbnail.

The next note, the first in the new bar is the downbeat.
We would usually play that with a down-bow.
The downbeat is the "heavy" beat.
Bowing downwards is naturally heavier than bowing upwards.
So, playing as natural as possible, play the downbeat with a down-bow, and the upbeat with an up-bow.

The video on upbeats

Let me explain it all in detail in this video.

About the author
My name is Xander Nichting, violinist (Classical / Modern), composer, arranger and teacher. I am author of the new violin method Creative Violin, from which I am teaching for about 4 years at this time.I am absolutely thrilled to see teachers all over the world starting to teach from this method because of its versatility. With this method and my online community I inspire students of all ages, 6-80+, to follow their dream and getting much joy from playing violin.Get creative, change your life is my motto. Playing violin does just that!
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