FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
problem with Bow drift
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
Composer
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
February 10, 2013 - 1:54 am
Member Since: July 12, 2011
Forum Posts: 177
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Its often said to try and keep the hair on one winding of the string by watching it intently.  This doesn't seem to produce lasting results.  To me, its more of an elusive feel for the string that keeps it there.  I know to keep the violin parallel with the floor (even slightly higher because the neck slopes downward) so thats not the problem.  Bow drift seems particularly bad on the G-string.  Its not simply mechanics of keeping a straight bow at all times because its necessary to move the sound point when you want to change the dynamics and that requires angling the bow.   The bow isn't drifting about wildly, i just can't feel it moving within a range of a 3/4" when I look away.

There is this bow exercise (called 'son File') that calls for moving the bow as slowly and evenly as possible while maintaining a continuous tone.  And you do this for a  3 or 4 hours a day for 3 months or so.  Presto, out comes a permanent feel for the string and a beautiful tone.  I got this out of a biography on a violist named Tertis.  It seems far fetched but I think I'm going to try it because a good tone seems like more than just watching to make the string amplitude as wide as possible and to keep it on a single winding.  On the other hand, there are lots of exercises for improving some technical aspect.  Certainly some of them must be a waste of time.  Is son File worth the effort?

Avatar
Tyberius
Members

Regulars
February 10, 2013 - 4:37 am
Member Since: November 8, 2012
Forum Posts: 555
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I certainly cannot vouch for the time it takes will sawing back and forth on your strings. I presently do something similar. I use a 2 octive Gmajor scale and bow ssslllooowwwlllyyy the whole time for about 20-30 minutes (almost every day except the past few). It has helped me greatly and I didn't even know it had a name. All I know is if you want something committed to muscle memory, you need at least 1000 iterations. The more the better.

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

Avatar
StoneDog
Members

Regulars
February 10, 2013 - 9:40 am
Member Since: January 14, 2013
Forum Posts: 885
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I am having a lot of issues with bow drift and it does seem to happen a lot to me on the G string also. I run the G major scale up/down\ up /down etc then out from nowhere the stupid bow will just slide off like one sliding on ice. What I have noticed is if I am walking around while I am playing it doesn't seem to slide so much. Don't know why but just something that I have noticed lately. So maybe if I start dancing while I am playing, it will cut it back even more. > Yeah, thats stupid but I sort of have caught myself dancing a bit while I am playing. Mostly I am on the stool and my bow is ice skating all over the place. Repetition for muscle memory is the ticket.

Avatar
DanielB
Regulars

Members
February 10, 2013 - 9:48 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
Forum Posts: 2379
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'll have to apologize for my lack of violin sound terminology here, Composer, but I can hopefully explain this clearly enough.  A thing I was told after about a week of spending 15 min a day (nowhere near the 3-4 hrs you mentioned) was to work on bowing the different areas between the bottom of the fingerboard and the bridge.  It would probably vary a bit depending on one's bow and how one's violin is set up, but I was told to think of that distance as being broken down into 5 lanes or bands, each about the width of the band of hair on your bow.  I was told to work on getting a good solid strong sound with good string vibration in each of those "bands" as well as on each string.

Sort of like colors of a rainbow or spectrum, they have different timbres that shade smoothly from one to the other.  Near the fingerboard is a warmer timbre and near the bridge is cooler timbre.  Another way to describe the difference would be sort of like vowel sounds in speech.  Near the fingerboard is more like an "ooooooo" sound and near the bridge is more like an "eeeeeee" sound.  It would be due to harmonic content and other factors, but the point is that it is a difference you can notice once you are listening for it.  I also find it something to work on that helps keep the open string bowing practice from feeling boring.  I only spend around 15 min a day on it, rather than the 3-4 hrs you're talking about, but working to get a good strong sound in each of those "bands" on each string does make 15 min considerably more "busy" than just the open strings and staying in one contact point.

3/4 of an inch is quite a lot of change in the timbre of the sound, and so you may be able to hear it if you are listening for it, rather than needing to see it visually. 

Another hint/cue from the violin is that each "band" needs bowed slightly different to get a good strong sound.  I'd be over-simplifying it to call it "pressure", but that is definitely a factor, if you're keeping bow speed about the same.

You can tell during practice if you have missed working any of those bands on each string visually by the rosin.  If you wiped/cleaned your strings before starting the practice, you can see the trace of rosin on each string in bands you have already worked.

So I don't try to stay in one particular contact point when practising/playing so much as to work on being able to tell where I am by the timbre of the sound and the feel of the bow on the strings to be aware of where I am and to intentionally incorporate those differences as choices when I am playing.

I don't know if that will be a helpful idea for you, but it's one of the things I work on when practising bowing on open strings, so I thought it might at least be related.

 

@Ty: I've also been working on 2 octave scales in a single bow stroke.  I'm still not entirely happy with how well I can do that, but it's getting better.  LOL  I do agree though in thinking it has helped my playing, at least somewhat. 

 

"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

Avatar
Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
Pro advisor
Members

Regulars
February 10, 2013 - 12:10 pm
Member Since: June 25, 2012
Forum Posts: 1281
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Im not familiar with son file or with practicing slow bowing for 3-4 hours which seems extreme to me. I am personally familiar with bow drift and its problems and how I solved it for me and others Ive helped.

Most of us have a tendency to pull back at the shoulder when bowing towards the tip. This creates the windshield wiper effect as one form of bow drifting. To fix this set an object on a table directly accross from your strings so you can use your eyes to bow towards this with your hand. Set up properly you can train yourself to feel the correct bowing motion.

The other form of bow drift is that the bow moves towards or away from the bridge while playing and same for fingerboard.  This seems to be more of a result of not having enough downforce on the bow to "play into" the strings. Also as you fatigue your wrist flex technique might become lax either way the cure for this is to pay attention to what you are doing. I find that learning to hear when you bow isnt playing right is the easiest way to catch this, I can hear a diff sound and feel the string vibrate diff when its off. Ive gone up and over the bridge with the bow while playing and also up on the shoulder down the fingerboard. Now after just adding the quadrant bowing ie whole, half, quarter etc drills to my practices I have much more control. It didnt take several hours a day either.

Too much practice is as bad as too little practice. But focused practice on specific skills is the best! imo pfish.

 

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

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 10, 2013 - 6:51 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

I've never heard of son File but please do the experiment for us and keep us posted. Thanks for your input.

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

Avatar
Composer
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
February 14, 2013 - 9:33 pm
Member Since: July 12, 2011
Forum Posts: 177
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yeah danielb, the specialized bow exercises in various books for a straight bow seem to be either a fast bow movement or a very slow movement.  I think a mistake is practicing scales at the same comfortable tempo on the metronome in the middle between the bridge and fingerboard.  Even if a bunch of mistakes are made by speeding up a scale, it probably helps overall.  So playing fast on a soundpoint near the fingerboard and playing slow on a soundpoint near the bridge probably is a good thing to getting a distinguished feel for a soundpoint with the advantage I'm still working within the context of improving the left hand as well.

Avatar
Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
Pro advisor
Members

Regulars
February 18, 2013 - 4:22 pm
Member Since: June 25, 2012
Forum Posts: 1281
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

this is the FM vid that shows the bowing x pattern. Still a single point of contact issue imo though.

http://fiddlerman.com/tutorial.....roduction/

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

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online:
44 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today HeadCheese
Upcoming Mad_Wed, Prudence, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3767

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3562

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6446

Posts: 80402

Newest Members:

EKBanjo, charlieD, Folky fiddler, Morgenes42, stringo, sexymom04

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11717, KindaScratchy: 1651