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Have been working on my bowing
Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 Topic Rating: 4.5 (10 votes) 
Byron Bay Australia

September 24, 2014 - 7:01 am
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
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I have been working on my bowing over the last couple of weeks.

One of my main goals has been to sustain a long note. But of course there have been other issues to work on.

This is where I'm up to. A bit of critique would be good at this time :)

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm


September 24, 2014 - 9:14 am
Member Since: September 21, 2013
Forum Posts: 321
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you're sounding great ferret!!! I watched it a couple of times. Your bowing seems to be good from my point of view. You said your goal is to sustain a longer bow note, and i  think you're doing a great job! A couple of times you got some squeaks it was because your bow had drifted really close to the bridge, but over all you have some great bows. It looked like you were playing on the edge of the bow hair a bit, by rotating it, I'm not sure if that was intentional to get a softer sound or not, but thought i'd point it out in case it wasn't. Keep up the great work!!! 

Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!

             ~General George S. Patton

California, the place of my heart

September 24, 2014 - 11:19 am
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 3712
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Sounds really good John. Really nice.

I can see that it was controlled and you were sustaining the notes. Very nice, that is a good song for getting to sustain the notes and it was a perfect way for you to show us your progress. 

I am using that song for bowing practice also. (and then I play it about 10 other times because I love it so much).

Cheers. Thanks for posting.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Honorary tenured advisor

September 24, 2014 - 12:35 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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Your bowing is pretty smooth and straight.  Good intonation too.

I've sometimes done an exercise to play a 30 second note in a single stroke.  Does it sound easy?  Probably not.  Ha ha, it isn't easy.

Being able to play a long note is one thing.  Knowing how long to hold a note is another. I would work with a metronome and also do some counting and tapping along with a well-timed recording. 

Fiddle on.

King for a Day, Peasant for many

September 24, 2014 - 3:06 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 1773
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John, are you aware that if you want a note that starts strong and finishes lightly, a downbow is in order, because more pressure is applied in the beginning at the frog which you will have a heavy hand control of and a very light gently pressure at the tip. The same goes the opposite way. If you want to accent the note early on, upbow is the trick. On the higher strings like the A & E strings, slightly tilting the bow over away from you and playing on the edge of the hair will help to eliminate any dead sound or when you get that no-sound sliding of the hair.

And like rockin said... control next to the bridge is important. Eventually after about a 1000 strokes it all comes together... lol

looked and sounded good to me... just relax and feel it and let it roll, smooth like putting butter on toast.


"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein


September 24, 2014 - 8:57 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2013
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I work on bowing a lot. Seems more than anything else > I always try and do a few quick tunes before I am done but seem to spend most of my time on bowing. It really helps me on the tunes I try at the end of each session. I take it from the tip to the frog > long and slow to a metronome. I spend a lot of time on different styles of bowing also > mostly Viddle stuff. As RosinedUp said > the metronome is the way to go.

Honorary tenured advisor

September 24, 2014 - 10:43 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 881
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Really major improvement, you're getting better each time you do a video.  Since you wanted some advice from the peanut gallery, notice that at the very end of the video the bow is pointed back toward your head a bit as your elbow moves forward.    In violin bowing, or so says Ivan Galamian, we adjust the direction of the bow in relation to the strings, by moving the elbow forward or backward.  If the elbow goes forward, the frog goes forward and the point of the bow goes backward and vice versa.  It's much easier to say how to correct it, than it is to actually do it, but knowledge is power -- right?

On the plus side, I'm seeing good wrist and finger flexibility and a generally smooth bow stroke, with not too much upper arm movement so that's good, and it's translating into a much better sound. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

Fort Lauderdale
September 26, 2014 - 1:30 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11601

You have made great leaps of progress. FANTASTIC!!!

Because you asked:
You have a tendency to play "slightly" flat particularly with your 1st finger B and E (we all play out of tune).
Have you ever tried using slurs from time to time on this piece. You play every note separately. I teach and use something called "economy of the bow" which means that you plan the distance of the bow economically (effectively). I don't remember which teacher used that expression but it stuck in my head. LOL

I really enjoy your performance. Thanks for the post.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city

September 26, 2014 - 3:20 pm
Member Since: October 7, 2011
Forum Posts: 2849
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Pinkie! Your right pinkie, Ferret. That's time for You to use it since You're seriously working on the bowing. The work you've done is already awesome. But You can make it much better, by using that small finger. It helps with bowing a lot! Especially when You play near to the frog. Some people say that it should be on the stick all the time, others say that one should use it when it's necessary... But it still very useful... if You use it, LOL!


Kensington, CT
September 26, 2014 - 6:13 pm
Member Since: September 22, 2014
Forum Posts: 7
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I thought that was just beautiful!

Pullman,WA, USA

September 26, 2014 - 7:26 pm
Member Since: May 12, 2013
Forum Posts: 196
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I agree with Karen2   :

"I thought that was just beautiful!"


"Make every note beautiful", Ivan Galamian

“To play a wrong note is INSIGNIFICANT; To play without PASSION is INEXCUSABLE!” , Ludvig Van Beethovan

"It ain't rocket surgery"

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