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I am having a huge problem with the bow sliding sideways up the strings. I am trying to be very conscious of holding my shoulder still and moving the bow with only my elbow, but it's still a challenge. I've recorded myself playing and even when I'm bowing correctly (well, at least I think it's correct), the bow still wants to slide up the strings.
I've adjusted the tension on my bow as I was also having a problem with the bow bouncing. I loosened the bow hairs and that corrected the bouncing, although it still happens occasionally, but to a much lesser degree.
Am I not putting enough pressure on the bow? Or is this just a matter of practice makes perfect? Too much rosin or not enough? It seems I was playing much better a week ago!
FM - Thanks, I will rosin the bow some more and see if that helps. I know when I was playing my husband's violin, I was doing fine (and I was always having to wipe down the violin after because of the rosin). I was doing okay on my violin for a week, then got paranoid about too much rosin after reading that you can apply too much. But I'd rather have a mess to clean up and sound good!
Kevin - The violin itself is definitely at an angle, pointing down. This is where it's most comfortable and my chin fits naturally in the chin rest. I do have to watch myself as I have a tendency to let my left hand drift down and pull the violin down with it.
Bowing correctly is definitely a challenge for me - but I'm still having fun! Although I'm sure my dogs and neighbors are tired of hearing Liza Jane over and over and over!
Thanks! That video was just what I needed to watch - very helpful! I bought new strings when I purchased my violin, but haven't switched them out yet. I think I need to do that. The violin is a used student violin (a Strunal 240) and I'm sure new strings will be an improvement. Also, I think I'm getting caught up in trying to keep everything perfect - how I hold the violin, bowing property and bow pressure - that I'm tensing up. Need to relax, relax, relax. Thanks again for your help. This is an awesome site!!!
As soon as get the strings changed I will upload a video for critique - I'm sure you or the other awesome people here can quickly point out my problem(s).
You mention in the video that with a good violin, you can play very close to the bridge. How close is close? How far away from the bridge should you be able to play?
Granted, my violins are cheap Chinese & Japanese (I think) made ones, and I've noticed that I cannot play much closer than maybe 1/4 inch away from the bridge (maybe just a tad closer) or the sound either gets really scratchy or doesn't produce at all. I thought perhaps because I don't every play that close to the bridge, the strings hadn't seen enough rosin in that area and that was the problem. So questions:
1. Do the strings need a rosin coating? I know we clean excess rosin off the strings, but I can still feel a stickiness on the areas where they've been coated vs areas the bow never touches are really slick. I think the answer is no as I don't recall new strings needing "broken in" or anything, I recall they pretty much played from the get go.
2. If cheap violins don't play well close to the bridge and good ones do, why is that (from a physics/engineering point of view)? I mean, you're basically stretching a string between the nut and the bridge - given the physical dimensions are the same, what's the difference? I can see differences in string quality making a difference, and perhaps the height or shape of the bridge, but the rest of the violin is essentially a rigid framework to anchor the strings (disregarding the acoustical properties of everything that'll affect the quality, or lack of, of the sound), so given the same dimensions the strings should at least vibrate at the same points?
Oh I know you don't apply rosin to the strings. What I meant was that rosin tends to transfer from the bow hairs to the strings in the areas they're played. And even when you wipe the excess rosin off, that part of the string still feels sticky whereas the part of the string that never sees rosin is really slick. At least on my violin this is what happens.
I paid closer attention and yeah, I can play closer than 1/4 inch from the bridge but it still doesn't sound good!
I suffer from the same problems the OP described here. I My bow has a tendency to start sliding further and further up to the point where I am practically playing right above the fingerboard. I have manged to correct this to a large degree with focus on just moving my elbow and holding the neck of the violin further upright so it's not tilted down at an angle. I also had trouble with the bow bouncing which I have corrected with increased bow pressure. There seems to be a fine line between too much pressure and too little and hitting that consistently takes practice. The other problem I have is I tend to grip the neck of the violin too hard when I am fingering and my hand start to hurt. I am trying to focus on keeping my hand more relaxed. Lot of things to focus on on top of everything else but I guess we all have to go through the growing pains as we strive to improve.
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