Video transcript
D is for dazzling dinosaurs – Warm-ups and scale fun in D major

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[Theme music]

[Viola music]

NICOLE FORSYTH: Hello, viola players. My name's Nicole. And I'm an orchestral tutor at The Arts Unit. And, today, we're going to have a little bit of a warm-up on D major scale on the viola.

So, this is for everyone out there who is just starting to learn a string instrument. You can play along on the violin or the cello, if you have tapes on your instrument's fingerboard, as well as viola too. D major is common to everybody who learns a string instrument at the beginning. You'll probably have tapes on your instrument - one for first finger about here, one for high second finger, and one for third finger about here.

So, we're going to play the scale. And, we're going to use different rhythms for the scale on D major. So, let's start with an open string D. Can you pick me D? [D note]

Make a beautiful ringing sound. [D note] Now, can you get your best bow hold together. You might have a bow hold that looks a bit like this, if you're a violin or a viola player, an outie thumb. Or you might have a nice innie thumb already, like that.

Can you see through. Is it a nice round shape? Cello bow holds will be bit different too. So, I won't show you that because I'm not playing a cello. But, your little finger will be over here a bit.

Let's find a beautiful bow hold. And, let's do a big circle bow and make a bell sound on D. Land on open D. [D note] [D note] [D note] [D note]

Oh, beautiful, everybody. Can you put your first finger down on the tape on D? What note does that make? Can I hear you? Yes, that's right. It makes E.

Let's put our first finger down. [E note] [E note] [E note] [E note]

Good job, everybody. I can hear some beautiful ringing sounds from everybody out there. What's our next finger for violin and viola? It's second finger on the tape. And, for cellos it's third finger on the tape.

Second finger, or third finger, makes F sharp. So, let's do our beautiful ringing circle bows again. Let's do it 4 times on F sharp. Go. [F sharp note] [F sharp note] [F sharp note] [F sharp note]

What's our next note? F sharp. That's right. G. So, on viola that's third finger. And, on violin that's third finger. And, on cello that's fourth finger. So, let's make some beautiful ringing sounds on G with our circle bows again. Let's do 4. Ready, go.

[G note] [G note] [G note] [G note]

Good job, everybody. I can hear some beautiful ringing sounds. What's our next note? It's an open string. Fantastic. It's A. So, let's take all our fingers off, just hovering over the strings though. Make a nice curved shape with your hands. And, let's do 4 ringing sounds with our beautiful circle bows on open A string. Go. [A note] [A note] [A note] [A note]

Fantastic, everybody. What finger do we use? That's right. First finger on the tape. And, it makes ... awesome. It's B. Let's play first finger B on A string right on the tape, everybody. Four beautiful ringing bows, circle bows. [B note] [B note] [B note] [B note]

Beautiful. Next note. Can I hear you? What is it? What's our next note? It's C sharp. Good job, everybody. And, that's high second finger for viola and for violin. And if you're a cellist, that's third finger. So, right on your tapes, high second finger towards your nose.

Let's do our 4 big beautiful bell sounds using circle bows. Ready go. [C sharp note] [C sharp note] [C sharp note] [C sharp note]

And, what's our top note? That's right. It's D again. Cause that's our scale. So, third finger for viola on your tape. Third finger for the violin as well. Fourth finger for cello.

Let's do our circle bows. Are you ready? Go. [high D note] [high D note] [high D note] [high D note]

Oh, beautiful job, everybody. I could hear some beautifully in-tune playing there, with fingers right on the tapes. And, I could hear some beautiful viola playing. And, I could hear some beautiful violin playing. And, I could even hear some beautiful cello playing as well.

Let's think of D major, or D for dinosaur. How about we make up a dinosaur name and do the rhythm on our scale now? What's a D dinosaur?

Oh, I think diplodocus. How about we do dip lo do cus. Can you do that with me? Let's clap it. Dip lo do cus. We can put it on our head. Dip lo do cus. And, we can put it on our tummy. Dip lo do cus.

Let's do it with our bow up. Dip lo do cus. Good job, everybody. Can you pick up your instrument again?

Can you get ready with your best posture and your best bow hold? Whether it's in an innie or an outie thumb. And, I think diplodocus in the middle of the bow. So, land your bow on D. Are you ready? Open string D. Ready. Go. [D note] Dip lo do cus.

Next note. E. [E note] Dip lo do cus. And the next note is F sharp. [F sharp note] Dip lo do cus.

Next note. What is it? That's right. G. Ready, go. [G note] Dip lo do cus. Oh. We have to change strings. So, your bow will change strings. What string are we on now? That's right. It's A string. You ready? [A note] Dip lo do cus.

First finger down. What's our next note? It is B. That's right. You ready? [B note] Dip lo do cus.

Next note. What is it? Yes, that's right. It's C sharp. Ready. Go. [C sharp note]

And, one more. Where are we? We've got right to the top. We've climbed all the way up the scale. And, we're at D again. Ready. Go.

[high D note]

I think we need to come down the scale now. Are you ready with 3 fingers down? Let's go all the way down without stopping. Let's spell diplodocus on each note. Ready with 3 fingers down if you're a viola or a violin. 4 fingers down if you're a cello. Ready, go.

[D scale notes] Dip lo do cus. Dip lo do cus. Dip lo do cus. Dip lo do cus.

OK. Fingers over on to D string. 1, 2, 3, down. Or 1, 3, 4 down. See-saw your bow. Ready, go. [D scale notes]

Fantastic job, viola players and violinists and cello players. Are you warm? Fantastic.

Can you try playing D major scale with diplodocus this week? That's terrific. I'll be back next week with some more fun - more string fun. See you later. Bye.


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