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'Old Time' fiddler's bow hold
Topic Rating: 4.4 Topic Rating: 4.4 Topic Rating: 4.4 Topic Rating: 4.4 Topic Rating: 4.4 Topic Rating: 4.4 (5 votes) 
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Ferret
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March 14, 2013 - 2:20 am
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I have recently found that if I use the 'up the stick further' old timers bow hold I can bow straighter and have less bow bounce.

Is there really a problem with holding the bow this way? 

I don't intend to be a violinist, I want to be a fiddle player. violin-student

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

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dionysia
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You should be OK for an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.  Your solo at Carnegie Hall the tailcoat might clash.

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Picklefish
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Ferret said
I have recently found that if I use the 'up the stick further' old timers bow hold I can bow straighter and have less bow bounce.

Is there really a problem with holding the bow this way? 

I don't intend to be a violinist, I want to be a fiddle player. violin-student

 

Many fiddlers "choke up" on the bow stick to play. It shortens the length of the bow for one thing, gives a feeling of more control, obviously easier to control bounce since the weight of the hand and arm are higher up the stick. It also changes the balance point while playing giving the player the advantage of faster string changes. But so does using a higher quality lighter bow imo.

consider Hadley Castilles style

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

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Tyberius
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March 14, 2013 - 3:31 pm
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This is something that has always bothered me about violinist. They seem to have an idiotic notion they they are only right and if you do not comply with their regimental teaching that you are in fact not going to be given anything but disdain. There is never one way to do anything. Usually the common way is not the best, easiest or most enjoyable route to take. It is a sure and certain reason i have only posted 1 video to date. I don't care if people think my form is wrong, my hand is low, high, or outside the realm of "proper".

If you look at violinist, they all look angry or as if in pain. I have yet to see a fiddler in such anguish over playing something. I just don't get it or understand. If you change a bit in a fiddle piece, people don't condemn you for altering a classic. The minute something is so much as a bow stroke wrong in violin, the heavens are sending lightning bolts to extract payment for such sins. It even happened here last night. People were talking about how FM changed the sequence of notes or tone or something about the canon piece.

Getting back on track about your bow hold. Who is anyone to tell you how to play, what to play or even a form to go about doing it to or with. If you are comfortable doing it, enjoy the progress and or music you make while doing it, you are the only one you need to answer to. I have heard some of the things you have played. My friend, you are doing just dandy. Take up your newly found bow hold. If it works, then by all means continue to share your journey with us. if not, that's OK too. It's the friendships we have, the music we share and the progress we are all making however rapid that may be. I look forward to seeing and hearing whatever form, style, music, piece or tune you share with us.smile

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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dionysia
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Hmmm, when I can start playing again, I will have to post a vid of how I play when my joints are hurting too much to play "properly" - you will all get a good laugh I am sure. I don't choke up on the bow, because the bow I use is very light and flexible, but nothing else about my playing is typical. However, I usually like the sounds I make, so who cares how I look?

 

My mantra is "I have no shame" so I just focus on having fun instead.

tongue

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HDuaneaz
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March 14, 2013 - 11:27 pm
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Dionesia,

 

I would like to see that video as I have nerve damage in both hands, which cause cramping.

Everyone,

 

I imagine you don't need the full bow length for fiddling since I haven't seen a lot of slurring or long note in fiddling.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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Johannes
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By all means, hold the bow on the stick or the alternative fiddling thumb-on-the-outside-of-the-frog method; whatever works best for what you're trying to do. These types of bow holds are often preferred by fiddlers because they feel more in control of the short, shuffling kind of bow strokes that are common in fiddle music.

That being said, I think Tyberius is being a little harsh on traditional violinists. There are many reasons the traditional methods are always enforced. Two of the most important: 1. They've been found to be the best way to learn how to play on all varieties of music, and it's a lot easier to switch to alternative methods as needed after first mastering the "standard", and 2. Long-term health effects of poor posture.

For example, some not-classically-trained fiddlers seem to have no problem playing with their wrists bent under the neck of the instrument, a big no-no in standard violin world. It might have felt more comfortable for them, and it works for most Celtic and American fiddling where there is little or no vibrato and minimal shifting, but if you ever wonder about some big reasons it seems beginners have issues with those two techniques... Not to mention this kind of hold in the long term causes much more strain on the wrist, increasing the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

As for why the violin world is so unforgiving in more formal situations, it's the same as any other demanding career. Fiddling for fun is one thing; attempting to move up the international ranks of a highly competitive and cutthroat field is another. Head over to Maestronet's playing forums and check out how brutal and suffocatingly pretentious some critics can be, but understand why: it's a different culture with a different purpose.

It's not the same as here where we're all just trying to enjoy learning and fiddling to fulfill our personal lives. But the atmosphere here also allows for a certain amount of naivety. (I'm always a little surprised when people think that because a violin is made in Germany it must be high-quality, when historically Germany used to be the "China" of violins: some good, much crap.)

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Picklefish
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Im starting to think the whole proper bow concept is overdone.

 

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

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Ferret
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@pfish

You are soooo right and the vid proves it thumbs-up

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

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Fiddlerman
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March 15, 2013 - 6:22 pm
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I'm thinking that this contraption that he uses to hold the bow is quite ingenious to provide an even pressure and allow him to change that pressure as well.

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

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ratvn
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Yes, it's so amazing, inspiring and motivating and indeed, very ingenious.

There is no excuse for not practicing now.

Thank you for posting this, pfish.

thumbs-upthumbs-upthumbs-up

hats_off

 

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StoneDog
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"You dont get what you wish for, you get what you Work for!"

Yep > you gots that right pfish

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Picklefish
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I saw this quote in a photo of a gym. I thought it was motivational in more ways than one.

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

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Ferret
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pfish said

Ferret said
I have recently found that if I use the 'up the stick further' old timers bow hold I can bow straighter and have less bow bounce.
Is there really a problem with holding the bow this way? 
I don't intend to be a violinist, I want to be a fiddle player. violin-student

 

Many fiddlers "choke up" on the bow stick to play. It shortens the length of the bow for one thing, gives a feeling of more control, obviously easier to control bounce since the weight of the hand and arm are higher up the stick. It also changes the balance point while playing giving the player the advantage of faster string changes. But so does using a higher quality lighter bow imo.

consider Hadley Castilles style

@pfish

The thing that surprised me in this vid was where he was playing on the strings. At times he is 'well' over the fingerboard. 

I tend to get a bit scratchy when I go there

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

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Picklefish
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" she continued her classical training for 12 years, then we decided it was enough. We didnt want it to ruin her cajun fiddling!"

That about sums it up. The "rules" he's breaking works for him. It appears she has a more classical approach to everything in contrast to his style.

Outback steakhouse got the idea....NO rules, Just right!

so yeah, how can it be wrong if it sounds so right.  (notice the absence of vibrato and shifting positions though, I doubt hed be real good at Bach stuff. maybe Paganini?)

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

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rkrissinger
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Regarding the 'old time hold': I've been watching a lot of videos on YouTube in preparation/study for my fiddle arriving (sometime in the next few days), and I've seen quite a few fiddlers utilizing what I take to be a non-traditional, or at least non-"classical" bow hold.  An interesting example was a duet performance by Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, both playing "Cape Breton" style music; he used a traditional hold and she was holding the bow much further up.  To my untrained ear and eye it did appear as if she had a greater control over the bow and was producing a trickier sound.

(my apologies if this isn't a clear description, I'm still learning the lingo)

As mentioned though, now that I've learned the difference between the classical and 'old time' bow holds, I'm seeing more and more of the latter as I search around the fiddling videos that are online.

--- Rick

--- Rick

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Picklefish
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I think its a good example of the difference between formal training and being brought up by ear or home style fiddling. The homestyle changes depending on the region its played in. those regional nuances are dying with the old timers as the new players all get more formal training. imo.

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

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ratvn
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pfish said
so yeah, how can it be wrong if it sounds so right.  (notice the absence of vibrato and shifting positions though, I doubt hed be real good at Bach stuff. maybe Paganini?)

Yes, pfish, and I doubt that the man would worry about which one of the 7 modes in what scale he plays, and if it's in ET (equal temperament) tuning or not.

After all, the violin, its predecessors and its musics were created centuries before the 12 TET tuning (twelve tone equal temperament tuning, just one of the ET families) came to existence. Obviously, the violin is so versatile and powerful, enough to be able to accommodate so many different tuning systems. Adaptation to 12 TET tuning so well still doesn't mean its full capability and beauty are unleashed, as its creation was intended many centuries ago.

Ferret said
@pfish

The thing that surprised me in this vid was where he was playing on the strings. At times he is 'well' over the fingerboard. 

I tend to get a bit scratchy when I go there

As string vibration amplitude is greater and greater closer to its center (toward the FB, fingerboard), less pressure and more speed are required to keep up with the string vibration. The scratchy sound is a result of bow hair/string slippage.You can see that the man's bow is moving so fluidly/speedy.

Notice the bow holds between the two. She has the classic style, by the frog, and her index spreads out further from the middle to add the required pressure, while he chokes it further up so his arm/hand dead weight is in place for it. His fingers are closer so the whole finger/wrist combination movements are favor for speed, which in turn work toward its advantage in his style of music.

 

 

 

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Picklefish
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I think you confused which threads pointing that out belongs in. Im done explaining myself. lol. Yall can pick on someone else thank you.

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

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ratvn
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pfish said
how can it be wrong if it sounds so right

pfish said
I think you confused which threads pointing that out belongs in. Im done explaining myself. lol. Yall can pick on someone else thank you.

 

I'm sorry if you misunderstood my post as I did not pick on you. To quote "it sounds so right" means it's played by ear instead of worry about all those scales/notation and so on.

 

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