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.
Why?
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!
Place comment