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After touching the bow for about 3 hours..
This is me after about three hours after touching a bow for the first time. Looking for some critique
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August 6, 2017 - 12:42 pm
Member Since: July 20, 2017
Forum Posts: 25
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Looking for some guidance as a complete newbie.  I apologize in advance.

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

Brora, North-east Scotland
August 6, 2017 - 1:05 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2131
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Aha - @JamesRSmithJr - right now we are ( well, my good lady is ) watching a film on TV, so I watched your vid in silence (misplaced my headphones) !  LOLOL

My lip-reading is not up to scratch, but I kind of understood, from the bowing-hand actions what you were on about ! LOL -   

Oh - and NO NEED to apologize - none at all - I'll listen to your words properly, with audio on later - cool for "getting out there" as a beginner, good for you !  And thanks !  I'll respond properly later !


I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)


August 6, 2017 - 1:30 pm
Member Since: July 23, 2015
Forum Posts: 1348
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To me it looks like you have the right idea 🙂 You look like your fingers will relax with time and when they do they will get more of a shock-absorbing bounce to them as you play. 

Good job 🙂 And congrats on your new fiddle 🙂


On a journey to learn the fiddle since July 24, 2015
☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨* •☆•*¨*¨*•¸¸¸.•*¨*•☆

Brora, North-east Scotland
August 6, 2017 - 2:09 pm
Member Since: March 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 2131
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LOL - I finally got to hear the audio !   Great first vid post !

Tell you what, man, you have clearly researched a lot on-line and well-understand what the complex movements of the right-arm-elbow-wrist-fingers can do to control the bow. ( oh - and BTW you have made a great choice by going to LOL )

Your bowing looks FINE to me.  You have it "in control" - it is not wandering much (of course there are times you WANT to play closer to the neck or closer to the bridge - but you seem to have a pretty steady control on what you did )

I find it interesting that THAT is what you initially concentrated on....     I don't know, or recall (if you mentioned it) what your "musical background" is.   If you have ever played any instrument prior to the violin, then, you will be WELL aware of the fact that in our 12-semitone western-music how the intervals work-  major minor, dorian or whatever - and - it is almost a "given" - and your ear will home-you-in

When I started ( 3 years back ) for right-hand-control I used a simple exercise - without the fiddle, I held my left-hand first-finger and thumb together more or less where the bowing plane would be, and with the bow, upside-down ( because gravity would usually win ) to avoid having the bow-hair rub against my skin ( never a good idea ) would repeatedly drive full bow-strokes, attempting to avoid touching my closed fingers.  NOT exactly the same as in real-life with SOME weight of the bow on the strings, but  i found it a fine exercise nonetheless..... 

I spent a LOT of time doing that.   The left hand fingering was, at that point, relatively unimportant to me - it would become a "learned thing" depending on the instrument I choose to play at the moment.  ( People talk about "muscle memory" for left-hand fingering - personally I do not really understand that - but it may just be me.  I play equally well ( or bad LOLOL ) on a 3/4 size fiddle, a 16.5 viola and a standard violin - I simply adapt  - I don't "get" the "muscle memory" thing   ( it MAY be true, and I MAY have it (muscle memory) - but in this particular respect- I don't think so - and it is "all down to the ear" and "how quickly you can bring it in" without the listeners being aware... LOLOL)

Thanks so much for the post  hats_off- keep on sharing your journey !!!!

Cheers,  Bill

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

August 6, 2017 - 7:04 pm
Member Since: July 20, 2017
Forum Posts: 25
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  Ty for the replies.


Yes Damfino, so happy with my (Pierres) choice.  Looks great and even I have gotten some good tones out of it already.

My fingers are pretty flexible since I program mainframes (40 years) and we use a text based editor (lots' of typing, 🙂 work helping play), just need to relax them.   I assume it is a feel that will come with repetition.  I am happy to get some feedback on being on the right track.  TY..

Billy, lots' of time watching and reading.  I did a similar bow practice, using a 1 inch (1.25 cm) dia piece of PVC piping I had laying around.  Keeping parallel and in control is great when I am watching the landing spot, with eyes off I have found the bridge and fingerboard :(.  I'll get there with eyes off 🙂

Concentrating on the right hand first seemed logical since it controls tone, and without it nothing else happens.  Just have to get weight control down.  Todd Elhe talks about pouring a glass of water.....  It will come..  Now, when I add the left hand, umm, coordination, that should be a hoot 🙂

I'll keep at open strings until I am confident.  THEN on to that Tchaikovsky 3rd..

One step at a time..  

Thank you both for confirming I ain't all katywhompus..

Journey began on Aug 3 2017

Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom

August 7, 2017 - 2:50 am
Member Since: April 19, 2015
Forum Posts: 384
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James, welcome to the forum and the world of fiddling!

To me, your bow arm mechanics look fine - they just need embedding in your muscle memory so you don't have to think about it. We're talking weeks or months here.

I would stick to the top half of the bow at first, then gradually work your way down - the arm and wrist movements get more complicated near the frog.

Keep up the good work, and nice choice on the violin - I just got my FM master about a week ago and am loving it. 🙂

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