Delayed shifts are performed either through finger extensions or contractions, after which the hand frame re-establishes in the new position. The forearm is still the main leader during changes of position and it defines when a shift has been officially completed. Pay attention to its role when playing a delayed shift. When does your forearm move in relation to the fingers and thumb?
Delayed shifts help create more fluidity in the left hand, aid in creating legato lines, and help us perform awkward passages easier. They are useful whenever a finger needs to leave the hand frame (ie – through chromatic passages, tritones, diminished chord outlines, etc).
Please be advised that this kind of shift is quite advanced – make sure to learn the standard shift first. Practice single-finger shifts at different intervals. Train your ear and always work on maintaining a healthy hand frame.
Here are some scale exercises you can add to your routine that involve delayed shifts. These are single-string one-octave scales that outline a perfect fourth interval, after which it resolves down by a step. Repeat this sequence for each scale degree. You can also modify the exercise to your own liking.
Here’s a video tutorial on how to approach this exercise:
And here’s a video in which we look at 5 repertoire examples from the standard repertory with different examples of when a delayed shift makes awkward passages easier to perform. They are useful whenever a finger needs to leave the hand frame (ie – through chromatic passages, tritones, diminished chord outlines, etc)