How to Play Fully Resonating Chords

Tips on playing chords

We encounter chords daily when we play the violin, and it is vital that those chords sound full and brilliant.

However, you will end up with a forced, choked, or thin sounding chord if you don't know how to make chords sound full. We will dive into details on how to play chords resonating fully in this article.

Play in tune

This goes without saying, but when you play a chord really in tune, that alone will make the chord ring much better than when it is slightly out of tune.

Think about the interval of each note. If the chord involves any perfect interval, make sure the interval is sounding pure and clean. If the chord involves major or minor intervals, look for the maximum resonating spot for the intervals. As you carefully listen and practice patiently you will find exact intervals where the notes resonate well together.

Start at the frog

You want to play a chord with a big and full tone, but using a force or a lot of muscles will not help you achieve it.

To make a chord ring, we need to use the weight of the bow and our arm. When we can use the weight naturally without pressing, we end up with a well resonating chord that does not sound choked. So one of the keys to play a chord with a beautiful tone is to learn how to use the weight most effectively and naturally.

We should be at the frog to use the weight of the bow most effectively. When you start a chord from the frog you don't have to force at all to produce a full sound as long as you know how to use the weight from your arm and bow to the strings.

Feel the weight

Now we have to discuss how to feel the weight and how we can transfer the weight to the strings effectively. There are a few things I keep in mind when I play a chord.

1. Relax the bow hand

2. Fingers are well bent so that the palm of your hand is pretty close to the bow. You can feel the weight from your arm more naturally when the palm of your hand is closer to the bow.

3. Keep the elbow rather high than low to feel the weight of the arm gong to the bow, espicially when you are grabbing the lower strings.

4. Weight from the arm is focused onto where the inbex finger is touching the bow. You may have to twist your arm a little to shift the weight more towards the index finger.

Now, see if you can feel the weight of the bow itself at the frog. You should be able to if your hand remains relaxed.

After you did all of these, see if you can feel the gravity working for you as well.

When breaking a chord

When we break a 3-note chord, we play the bottom and middle note first, then switch to the middle and top note. The most important thing is to start at the frog and use the weight naturally as we discussed above. Here are a few more things to keep in mind.