While the original Caprices had no fingerings indicated, my Paganini Technique fingering formulas are very specific and consistent. They work every time!
Hint - a secret and helpful mnemonic detail:
Exactly half of the total 24 Caprices begin upbow.
- (here it is in Paganini Technique #24, Caprice 24)
- and half begin downbow (here it is in Paganini Technique #9, Caprice 16).
Here is another secret tip:
In the first position always use the open string when transferring from one string to another.
It is important for a student to learn good technique from the beginning.
Simply choose a portion of each Caprice to learn - even a few bars.
A simple change from downbow to upbow can make a section easier to play; each repetition of a phrase should be symmetrically performed.
Improvisation is simpler when you do not stumble over your fingers.
The Paganini Technique will help improve your sight reading and improvising skills for any music.
I am a teacher, professional orchestra violinist (New Line Cinema orchestra), and violin maker living in Los Angeles, California since 1977.
Five of my students have won gold medals at the Southern California Bach Competition in Los Angeles, 5 years in a row, using my Paganini Technique adjusted fingerings. All were playing different complete Sonatas or Partitas without accompaniment. Only my students were able to play the complete pieces.
You see, the Paganini Technique allows any kind of music to be played and memorized easier.
My students were also playing violins that I built. My violins have proportions that make playing any pieces easier, especially Paganini Caprices which requires higher positions. None of my students have sold their Gregory Shir violins.
I am available for private lessons, any level student. Please contact me.
I think we all agree that a high-quality instrument is easier to play.
The value of a violin, besides name brand recognition and sound, is its playability. Many violins are playable in first position, the bottom half of the fingerboard, and those are often referred to as "student" or "learner" violins. As you go up the fingerboard to fifth position, you are getting into Paganini Caprice territory.
In higher positions, it is very important the violin be proportional on each string; your fingers should naturally find their way as the distance between pitches logarithmically resizes. You want your technique to last a lifetime. You do not want to have to memorize the exceptions for every piece.
If you are in the market for purchasing a violin, it is crucial that you only use Paganini’s 24 Caprices to correctly pick out the right violin for you. However, if you are not ready to play all 24, understand that you should find someone else who can play them and choose the violin that works for him or her, because if a good violin works for one person, it will work for another.