VC MASTERCLASS | Lara St John – 'The Importance of Scales, Arpeggios, Double Stops and Raw Technique' [VIDEO]


The Violin Channel recently caught up with Canadian-born violin virtuoso Lara St John and her iguana, Cain – where she discussed the paramount importance of establishing a solid, daily practice routine of scales, arpeggios, double stops and raw technique.

“The reason for doing this is not as a punishment ... but so that you can really create an actual backbone for the violin repertoire,” Lara has told VC.

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"I want to talk about scales, and arpeggios and double stops - and basically raw technique.

Raw technique is what you do a third of the time that you have to practice.

So for example, if you practice 1 hour and 30 minutes, spend ½ an hour on your scales, arpeggios, double stops, vibrato exercises and sound exercises.

The reason for doing this is not as a punishment - but so that you can really create an actual backbone for the violin repertoire.

Every single piece that you ever play is comprised of these scales, these arpeggios and double stops, in every single key - therefore if you have done your scales diligently, and your arpeggios every morning you will then be able to sail through these sections as easy as pie without having to practice them.

So that is the whole idea behind raw technique and doing it diligently - with good sound and good intonation, every morning."


A prodigy of Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus, Canadian-born Lara St John has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, the Boston Pops, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Ulster Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Belgrade Symphony, Amsterdam Symphony, and the Akbank Chamber Orchestra in Turkey, among others. A prolific recording artist, she owns and runs her own label, Ancalagon - which she founded in 1999.