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Changing bow hold for up/down bow
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Samuel L Boogie
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February 6, 2012 - 10:17 am
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I noticed today while I was practising that I use the same hand position for up and down bow. This is quite evident in the last video I posted. So I re watched and reread about bow hold and up/down bow and I just can't get down bow to work. How are you meant to apply pressure pressure on the down bow?

 

I'm looking here btw http://fiddlerman.com/fiddle-l.....o-i-start/

 

Any tips?

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 6, 2012 - 12:31 pm
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Yeah, it looks like your wrist is pretty stiff and not bending as you go towards the frog. 

 

In order to keep pressure on the bow as your wrist bends, or as it straightens, you'll press down slightly with your first finger. (Fiddlerman discusses the first finger in relation to increasing volume/power in "How to hold a violin bow" at the 0:56 mark.  It works the same for keeping an even sound.)  Depending on how heavy your bow is, you might also be able to get a decent sound just by letting the weight of the bow produce it. 

 

It's a really strange sensation and hard to keep track of at first (at least, that's how it was for me).  Maybe practice in front of a mirror so you can watch what you are doing and where your bow is tracking?  I was never able to do it because it felt too weird and disorienting but I hear it helps.

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TerryT
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February 6, 2012 - 1:16 pm
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You need a limp wrist (kind of!)
The nearest analogy that i can come up with is that it's like a whip action. When you whip a whip, ones hand goes first and the tip of the whip eventually catches up. Same with bowing, imagine the hand stays in exactly the same position in space for a fraction after the elbow has started moving, when your wrist is limp (relaxed) it kind of catches up with the elbow. FM shows this when he bowing with a pencil. Elbow first, wrist catches up.

I see it this way coz I teach the same action to Karate students, doing a punch with the fist at the hip, the hip starts it off and the wrist catches up in a whip-like action.

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 6, 2012 - 2:51 pm
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That's a good analogy.  The one I was taught is that it's kind of like painting a house.  I think I like yours better.

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TerryT
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February 6, 2012 - 2:55 pm
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kind of like "polish on", "polish off" Mr Miyagi

roflol

 

ps. Wahts 7+5? I want to post this

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 6, 2012 - 3:16 pm
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Heh.  What's really embarassing is when you screw up the addition and you're a grad student in engineering.  amuse

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TerryT
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February 6, 2012 - 5:24 pm
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lol!

 

my whole job is numbers. I do Cost Engineering and Strategic Sourcing in the Aerospace industry.

I guess I'm all numbered out by the time I get home.

 

Hey, I got any easy one. 1+1. someone must be looking down on me. roflol

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 6, 2012 - 5:57 pm
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Well, that makes me feel better if even the pros are struggling with the easy stuff. smile 

 

Wow, I think that's the most effective I've ever been at derailing a thread.

 

So...about bowing technique...

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TerryT
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February 6, 2012 - 6:08 pm
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Oh yeah!
What were we saying..........?

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Samuel L Boogie
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February 7, 2012 - 10:50 am
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It's so much harder to do it right cry

 

I am getting a bit of a feel for it but now my playing is back to square one facepalm

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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sdsalyer
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February 7, 2012 - 11:02 am
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Better now than in a year I suppose.  🙂  I feel your pain, though.  I spent a good 1.5 hours last night just bowing in front of a mirror.  And I'll probably do it again tonight...  

 

Check out this video of Jane MacMorran (she's a very talented celtic fiddler in our area as well as a music professor).  I am mesmerized by her bow hand the entire time... She wields that thing like a deadly weapon.

 

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Fiddle4Fun
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If it were easy then what would happen to this website? amuse  Hang in there.  You'll get it worked out.

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Samuel L Boogie
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February 7, 2012 - 11:15 am
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See I watch that video and it doesn't look to me like their holds on the bow are changing much. They are flexing a bit but nothing like the up/down positions in FM's picture. 

 

I wonder whether I have read too much into the whole thing and am making life difficult for my self.

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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sdsalyer
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February 7, 2012 - 11:26 am
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I'm not sure if her hold is "proper" technique or not.  I seem to focus on her forearm to wrist movement.  It's almost like the "rubber pencil" trick the way she moves at the wrist, or like the Karate Kid painting Mr. Miyagi's fence, as Terry mentioned.  I think, but I could be wrong, that Fiddlerman exaggerates the movement in his video for illustrative purposes?

Sorry if I'm adding to your confusion.  🙁  I'd like to know what's right and wrong, too.

 

Edit:  Maybe contrast that video with this video of "Young Fiddlerman" playing Bach.  There's quite a few good views of him making long, smooth bows and you can see his wrist movement when he's not thinking about it. 🙂  I'm starting to thinking your wrist only need bend enough so that you can bow without moving your shoulder -- so it may be more for some people and less for others?

 

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 7, 2012 - 11:44 am
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Generally, when a technique is first being demonstrated or learned it is fairly exaggerated.  As one gets more comfortable with it, the motion gets more subtle and fluid.  My guess is that is where the difference lies.

 

Also, in the above video, it doesn't look like the musicians are using a whole lot of bow so they don't need dramatic changes in hand position.

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Samuel L Boogie
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February 7, 2012 - 12:26 pm
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I think the exaggeration for learning probably covers it watching the video above you can see the fingers flexing but they always stay in the same orientation, they never point away from the tip of the bow as I had thought was necessary.

The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Moris
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February 7, 2012 - 1:57 pm
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Thanks for posting the link to FM's video Sdslayer, the camera angles do a good job of showing FM at it. I was actually paying attention to this while practicing yesterday, and I think it's all about the risk movement, and controlling the bow pressure with the index finger.

"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something."

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TerryT
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February 7, 2012 - 2:45 pm
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Great post, love the fiddling Celts!

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 7, 2012 - 2:46 pm
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That's how it is for me.  (Of course, I could be wrong.)

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Fiddlerman
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February 7, 2012 - 3:51 pm
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EXACTLY what you guys are saying. Exaggerate the movements for learning until they come naturally, then you do as little extra movement as possible.

These women actually have very flexible fingers on their right hand. I see them moving quite freely.

Thanks for the post.

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

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