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The Violin in 5ths

Developing Intonation and Sound

Rodney Friend


About the book

Innovative practice method for achieving better intonation & sound.


Aimed at intermediary to advanced players, Professor Rodney Friend's warm-up exercises and practice patterns offer a step by step approach helps violin players cultivate left-hand facility and master difficult passages frequently encountered in classical violin literature. 

Thank you so much for this, Rodney. I wish I had known about it some 35/40 years ago. It would have saved me years of pain and frustration to work on my left hand (in special intonation).

A major breakthrough for violin method! Professor has help me and my students solving many technical difficulties.

Alucinante!!! Gracias por sus conceptos de veras útiles!!!

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How to apply the method?


The book is structured as a continuous "lesson" that leads the player from one stage up to the next. After the tuning and warm-up exercises, each difficult passage of violin literature is split into 3 successive steps: 

1. Start with the practice patterns.  

2. Once practice patterns are mastered, play the difficult passage in 5ths.

3. Only when you have mastered the passage in 5ths, move back to the original.

The first two steps build up speed and facility that leads to easier mastery of the original score.


Table of content


The correct left-hand and wrist position as

seen on most famous players


Tuning & Warm-Up 

- Creating Frets 

- Tuning 5ths - Creating Frets 

- Scales in 5ths  

- Arpeggios 

- Natural Harmonics 

- Stopped Notes 

- Warm-up Scales 

- Shifting to and from Stopped 5ths to Natural Harmonics in 5ths 

- The Influence of 5ths 

Exercises & Practices 

 - Bach: Chaconne 

- Paganini: 5th Caprice 

- Beethoven: Concerto | Opening 

- Bach: Gigue in D Minor 

- Brahms: Concerto | 1st Movement 

- Paganini: 24th Caprice | Variation 9, Left-hand Pizzicato 

- Sarasate: Malagueña | Pizzicato Variation 

- Sibelius: Concerto | 1st Cadenza 

- Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante 

- Brahms: Adagio | 3rd Sonata 

- Paganini: 11th Caprice 

- Mendelssohn: Concerto 

- Tchaikovsky: Concerto 

- Paganini: Moto Perpetuo

- Paganini: 24th Caprice | 3rd Variation 

- Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen  

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About the author

Rodney Friend is recognized internationally as one of the most outstanding English born violinists. As a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster, director and teacher he has appeared worldwide with the greatest musicians of the last fifty years. He made his London debut playing Sibelius concerto with the Halle Orchestra and his American debut playing Britten ­concerto with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Centre.


He has performed extensively as concerto soloist with major orchestras in Europe, North and South America, Scandinavia and the Far East under such conductors as Haitink, Boulez, Bernstein, Barbirolli, Mehta, Leinsdorf, Solti, Giulini, Davis and ­Roszdestvensky. Amongst his many recordings, his performances with the London Philharmonic of the Britten and Bach concertos for EMI received the highest critical acclaim. 


He is presently Professor of violin at the Royal Academy of Music London. His many students have achieved success in all areas of violin playing. He travels extensively as a teacher and also as a jury member for the international violin competitions. In 2015 he was conferred a Member of the ­British Empire by the Queen for services to music. 

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