Note: This builds on concepts from Building Blocks of Shifting.
The note that helps connect the change of position is the intermediary note. It does not need to be in the same key as the passage – it is silent so it is merely used as a guide. The two kinds of shifts that use intermediary notes are old-finger and new-finger shifts. They are a natural development of the same-finger shift. In the following examples, we’ll see that the change of position itself is done using a same-finger shift.
When practicing intermediary notes, do actually play them. A good method is to play them as grace notes. In performance, don’t play the intermediary note.
In an old-finger shift, the intermediary note is the note where your old-finger will be in the new position. In the following example, the intermediary note is E in the first measure and D in the second measure.
In a new-finger shift, the intermediary note is the note where your new-finger will be in the old position. In the following example, the intermediary note is D in the first measure and E in the second measure.
Stylistically, downward new-finger shifts should generally be avoided. But, it is important to understand how they work for the occasions they are used.
We can also combine intermediary notes with extension-shifts and contraction-shifts. Aside from reducing the distance needed to shift, it also allows for more variety in slides. We’ll cover this more in a later topic for slides.