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Leading with the elbow when switching strings
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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RosinedUp
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May 14, 2013 - 7:23 am
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Pierre says from time to time that when moving the bow from one string to another, the elbow should lead that motion, apparently with the wrist catching up later.  I believe I have heard that elsewhere too.

Is this an over-compensation for the bad habit of the elbow lagging behind the wrist?  Is it a training practice to be discarded later after such a bad habit is broken?  Or is this the way accomplished players cross strings?

In my mind, the strings, bow, lower arm, and upper arm should lie in a plane that pivots like a door having one hinge at the shoulder and another where the bow touches the strings, swinging up or down when the bow moves from one string to another.  So I don't see how it helps for the elbow to lead the wrist.  It seems that that would take the elbow out of the mentioned plane and would lead to problems, possibly including bow bounce.

So it looks to me like the elbow and wrist should move together when possible, neither leading the other.

Anyone who understands this issue, please explain.

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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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May 14, 2013 - 10:14 am
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In my opinion.....

When teaching to play on a particular string the shoulder acts like an elevator raising and lowering the elbow to whatever degree angle it should be at for a particular string. For the G string the upper arm is typically parallel to the floor, For the E string the upper arm is typically parallel to the body and the D and A strings are incrementally spaced between the two.

If you were taught that way then its no big deal to change position of the elbow via the shoulder "elevator" just before and in anticipation of the string change. This relies purely on muscle memory and is effective.

If you are just momentarily visiting the new string and plan on returning to the previous one, then a quick wrist adjustment to catch the new string is all thats needed.

The elbow is the main pivoting point for bowing therefore its in the lead. The wrist leads the actual bowing up and down, back n forth movement in the sense that the fingers follow its lead, leading to smoother bowing and direction changes.

The Pfish.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlestix
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May 14, 2013 - 12:39 pm
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When playing the G, my upper arm never rises above an approximate 45°-50° angle. Never parallel with the floor. Most of my bowing is accomplished from the elbow to the wrist followed by the hand and I tend to think I have smooth string change's and have rid myself of bow bounce by the timing and pressure applied to the bow.

Beside's that, the bursitis kinda kick's in and the shoulder tire's quickly.

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Picklefish
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May 14, 2013 - 4:23 pm
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I guess it would depend on the relationship of the bow to the relative angle on the horizontal plane to which the instrument is oriented and wheather it lists to one side or not in addition to any adjustments made to overcome physical limitations.

in other words...to each his own, as long as its workin for ya!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 16, 2013 - 3:05 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Advanced players and soloists do lead with their elbows RosinedUp. It simplifies your whole bowing technique in so many ways.
Hope that answers you question. :-)

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

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Worldfiddler
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May 16, 2013 - 5:11 pm
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Advanced players and soloists do lead with their elbows RosinedUp.

Fiddlerman, is this a new technique, to make sure they have extra grip? I think we should be told :)

 

Mr Jim bananadancing

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 16, 2013 - 5:14 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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ROFL Jim.

I think I show this on at least one video.

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

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UtahRoadbase
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May 16, 2013 - 11:09 pm
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I'd love more info on this -- this came up in a chat today and I tried to give specifics but I feel totally unable to describe it.

I see the confusion: if the upper arm is to stay parallel to the bow and the shoulder and the string-bow contact point are the hinges, how are we leading with the elbow (before the wrist) and not messing everything up?

I think I do it (lead with the elbow to cross strings) but it's mostly just a thought -- subconscious at that -- and my body just does what it's supposed to do.

I wonder if you have any exercises to practice this and/or feel the difference between leading with the elbow and not leading with the elbow. Does anyone else have feedback on this issue?

I've been playing for many years, but I haven't been practicing regularly for half of them so I'm probably not the best person to ask in the first place -- Pierre is! 

;)

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 18, 2013 - 11:17 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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It's on my list guys. :-) The demonstration I mean.......

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

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