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Is the only answer 'Krazy Glue'
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Ferret
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July 21, 2014 - 6:49 pm
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I've been playing for sometime now and have been working on my bowing. Trying to keep the bow straight, keep my wrist flexible, using the forearm and keeping shoulder movement under control, and trying for optimum bow spread and pressure. And I think that I've made satisfactory progress in all those areas.

But I just can't keep that 'pinky' on the bow. It just does not want to be there. If I make it be there my wrist seems to lock and I loose my wrist flexibility and that results in a 'sawing' motion of the bow.

With the pinky off the bow, I can still control the bow weight/pressure on the strings using my ring finger.

Is it something to seriously worry about? Will it prevent me from becoming a competent fiddler? And if so, what can I do about it?

Is the only answer 'Krazy Glue' ?  rofl

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

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Barry
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July 21, 2014 - 6:57 pm
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spend some time watching youtube violinists and fiddlers and paying close attention to the pinky, you'll feel better

violin

There is no shame in playing twinkle, youre playing Mozart

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coolpinkone
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July 21, 2014 - 7:22 pm
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@Ferret .. my pinky likes to free fly too... I am thinking now that I am not having my bow act like a sideways sail boat riding waves, that  I am going to get in "in line"  a bit more, but even so.. I see it hop off at times... hum.. super glue.. or some kind of suction device.. hummmm.. :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Ferret
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July 21, 2014 - 8:39 pm
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Barry said
spend some time watching youtube violinists and fiddlers and paying close attention to the pinky, you'll feel better

violin

@Barry Barry

I'll have a look. I hope you are right ;)

@Fiddlerman Pierre, if I remember correctly, seems to think it is rather important. I'm sure that for a budding young classical violinist it 'is' really important. But maybe for a 'baggy butted' old fiddler like me, I'm hoping that it may be a tad less important violin-1267

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

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Feathers
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July 21, 2014 - 8:48 pm
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Maybe a pinky rest would help?

I remember a thread around here about it, and @DanielB  had made his own out of a pen cap, or similar if I recall correctly. 

Just a thought.smile

And @Barry has a good point about watching others play. 

On sort of the same issue - It's my left pinky that I have trouble keeping under control, but after watching David Garrett, I no longer worry about it as much.....lol

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Ferret
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July 21, 2014 - 9:03 pm
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@coolpinkone 

Toni

I feel a bit like Mickey in your recent cartoon post

I also really only have only three fingers on 'both' hands that are functional when it comes to playing the fiddle. 

He is an inspiration roflol

It would be easier if there was no bow involved, but then it would be a mandolin wouldn't it? ;)

(BTW....... In Australia we call it 'Super Glue') :)

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

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Ferret
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July 21, 2014 - 9:07 pm
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@Feathers

Robin

I'll look into that. Thanks

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

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RosinedUp
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July 21, 2014 - 9:12 pm
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@Ferret I feel fairly safe in saying that your thumb is straight and the ball of the thumb is usually touching the stick.

Edit: "touching the stick or the frog or both", I should have written.

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Feathers
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July 21, 2014 - 9:19 pm
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@Ferret, 

I found the old thread in case it also helps.....

Post #5 and #9 have the pertinent info., where to get one, and DanielB's homemade ones.

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/pl.....er-on-bow/

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Ferret
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July 21, 2014 - 9:47 pm
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RosinedUp said
@Ferret I feel fairly safe in saying that your thumb is straight and the ball of the thumb is usually touching the stick.

Edit: "touching the stick or the frog or both", I should have written.

@RosinedUp 

I'm not too  sure what you mean mate. Are you saying that my bow hold is all wrong? That would be important and would need looking into. Could you expand a bit?

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

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Ferret
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July 21, 2014 - 10:04 pm
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@Feathers 

Robin

Thanks for that.

I had a look at the gadget that was being talked about and they won't ship to Australia. But I'm sure that after a little time in the workshop I could duplicate it :)

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

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 21, 2014 - 11:02 pm
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The pinky on the stick is necessary for certain types of bowing. Mostly at the frog. Definitely slow staccato at the frog. You can't support the weight of the bow without it. However, you can play from the middle to the tip without your pinky being there. Relieving the weight is easier with you pinky as well. Overall control........ nevermind.

If it works, don't worry about it. :)

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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July 22, 2014 - 1:19 am
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"Krazy Glue", "Super Glue", we have both here in the state's too, John. They are just trade names.

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Ferret
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July 22, 2014 - 1:29 am
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Fiddlerman said
The pinky on the stick is necessary for certain types of bowing. Mostly at the frog. Definitely slow staccato at the frog. You can't support the weight of the bow without it. However, you can play from the middle to the tip without your pinky being there. Relieving the weight is easier with you pinky as well. Overall control........ nevermind.
If it works, don't worry about it. :)

@Fiddlerman

Pierre mate. There ain't no...... 'nevermind' ;)

Am going to work on it. I want that 'overall control'. Whether I actually get get it or not may be another thing entirely. 

As they say, "If first you don't succeed, try try again." And then you try a few more times.  It's after that point that you perhaps should start to think of giving up and stop making a total idiot of yourself....... Or not. rofl

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

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RosinedUp
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July 22, 2014 - 4:35 am
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Ferret said

RosinedUp said
@Ferret I feel fairly safe in saying that your thumb is straight and the ball of the thumb is usually touching the stick.

Edit: "touching the stick or the frog or both", I should have written.

@RosinedUp 

I'm not too  sure what you mean mate. Are you saying that my bow hold is all wrong? That would be important and would need looking into. Could you expand a bit?

If you contact the bow on the ball of the thumb, you'll have a very tough time keeping the pinky curved and on the stick while maintaining a straight bow, especially when bowing near the tip.  Try all of that at the same time.

Then try it again with the thumb touching the bow only on the tip of the thumb, with the thumb bent sharply at the end joint.

It seems true that the pinky doesn't play much of a role at the bottom of the stroke.  But I don't think you'll see great players with a hyper-extended pinky or bowing near the frog with the pinky off the stick.  But yeah, if you don't mind giving up the use of a third or fourth or more of the bow, it won't matter, ha ha.  I'm with Ken in saying that there are 26 inches of hair, and it's all there to be used.

I ignored the right hand for the first six months, and then I decided to try to resolve my bow hold.  I just did it by the book, went after it with full faith and enthusiasm, and found that my hand got the basic idea after about a week of relaxed play (exploration of the possibilities, you might call it) with the bow alone.  Really I didn't think it was hard at all, especially compared to what I've had to do to learn to use the left pinky.

All this applies to what I might call the "standard" bow hold, namely the "Franco-Belgian" hold, which seems to have been dominant in general violin playing for quite some time now.

Anyway I think this point about the thumb tip is pretty much "make or break" for the standard bow hold.

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DanielB
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July 22, 2014 - 9:28 am
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Yeah, the gadget is cheap enough... But if they won't ship to where you are, it is also so simple that making one is maybe better anyway. That way you can find a piece of tube that fits the end of your pinky finger.  Not saying the commercial one won't, but I thought it looked like it might be too wide for some folk's pinky, too narrow for others.  I'm not a big believer in "one size fits all".

I do have to say that I think that if someone was practising from day one with the pinky in a good place on the hold and paying attention to keeping it there until it became habit, the gadget wouldn't be worth the bother.

I wasn't one of those people, though. LOL  I'd kind of jumped into playing, and the bow hand pinky resting on the bow was one of those things that felt a bit awkward at first, so I didn't bother with it.  Then a few months in, I was struggling a bit with steering, and also with having as much control over the bow pressure as I wanted.  Somebody put me wise that the pinky is an important control element for the FB (Franco-Belgian) bow hold, so I should work on bringing it into use or maybe try working one of the other bow holds.  Pretty much all bow holds use the pinky, sure, but in some it isn't used as independent as is required for the FB hold.

Just trying to correct it by intentionally putting my pinky on the bow, I kept forgetting about it when I'd actually get going with playing.

I'd seen a pic of the gadget and it looked simple enough to make (rather than waiting the week or two to order one and wait for it in the mail).  It worked fine.  Inside of a day or two I could tell that steering and pressure control were considerably better using the bow hand pinky than without.  Inside of a few more days, I didn't even notice the gadget was there.  A month or two later, I took it off when cleaning the bow.  Didn't put it back on, and when I went to play without it, the pinky had acquired the habit of being in a good spot on the stick.  I didn't notice it taking any "getting used to" the gadget not being there.  So it got tossed into the accessory compartment of my violin case.

A couple months ago, my autistic son started acting interested in looking at my violin when the case is open.  When I'd get him to pick up the violin and bow to give it a try, he'd usually wrap his whole hand around the frog, in a fist.  So I got the gadget back out, put it on the bow and showed him that his pinky goes there.. Now if he picks up the bow to look at it or try a note on the fiddle, he picks up the bow in a reasonable approximation of an FB hold.  I reckon it's a head start, if he ever decides he wants to learn to play the thing.  I just have left it on for now, since it doesn't actually interfere with regular playing when I go to play.  Don't even really notice it's there.

Anyway, it's one thing you could try, if you want.  Worked for me.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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coolpinkone
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July 22, 2014 - 1:36 pm
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@Ferret .. for me there is no nevermind either.  ha  ha ha ... I want  my pinky to be there to assist when I need it for what Pierre mentioned above.  Because some day I will want to have that "slow staccato" in the bag!!  woot woot. 

I am paying more attention to the pinky. After all I have heard and read, it seems that the pinky should be on the stick for me...  (FOR me..)  zero judgement for anyone who bows any other way. 

I see decent violinist hold the stick differently all the time, so I say go for what works. I have a few friends here on the forum that have a different bow hold.  I always get a kick when I see a you tube or someone really good playing with my buds hold.  I say.."oh that is .... 's hold.  " :)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Feathers
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July 23, 2014 - 7:30 pm
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Ferret said
@Feathers 

Robin

Thanks for that.

I had a look at the gadget that was being talked about and they won't ship to Australia. But I'm sure that after a little time in the workshop I could duplicate it :)

@Ferret

John, glad some of the info. was useful. 

And I have no doubt that with your ingenuity, you could easily make one.smile

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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