# Building Blocks of Shifting Mastering the mechanics of shifting ensures ease of movement and consistency of intonation. The technique varies for different kinds of shifts. Here we will examine the foundations of shifting: the four basic steps of shifting, the same-finger shift, the extension-shift, and the contraction-shift. # Four Basic Steps of Shifting 1. Play the old note 2. Release finger pressure into harmonic position 3. Slide finger along string in harmonic position until you reach the new note 4. Play the new note Practice slowly enough that you can focus on following these steps exactly. It can be tempting to combine steps, but it is crucial to enforce good habits for building consistent technique. Combining steps is used for slides, which we’ll examine later. > [!tip] > Emmanuel Feuermann described vibrato for shifts as zapping the notes with a quick burst of vibrato. Using a loose vibrato for both steps 1 and 4 helps keep the hand relaxed and prevent tension in the hand during the shift. > > Another way to put it: using vibrato to press a note down instead of using finger pressure helps with ease of movement. > > For slow and intermediate technique, using vibrato for steps 1 and 4 is a good default. # Same-finger Shifts Same-finger shifts are both a type of shift and an important foundation for other shifts. For now, we will practice all four basic steps of shifting on one bow. [[202401291446 four-basic-steps-of-shifting]] Later, we will look at different bowings for shifting. The following example notates how to apply the four basic steps of shifting to a same-finger shift: ![[same-finger-one-bow.png]] These steps should be followed whether for small or large shifts: ![[same-finger-one-bow-small-shift.png]] or ![[same-finger-one-bow-large-shift.png]] # Extension-shift It is sometimes helpful to extend into a new position. For example: ![[extension-shift-example.png]] The process is simple: extend your finger to the new note, and then let your hand follow your finger and snap into the new position. # Contraction-shift Another useful way to change position is by bringing your fingers together into a new position. For example: ![[contraction-shift-example.png]] When playing the D in 1st position, bring your first finger to the C and let your hand snap into position. When playing the C in 2nd position, bring your fourth finger to the D and let your hand snap into position.