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Holding the picklefish way
my vid discussing how I hold the bow and fiddle
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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Picklefish
Merritt Island, Fla
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July 15, 2012 - 1:13 pm
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"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Picklefish
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July 15, 2012 - 11:59 pm
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man, the other post is doing well, I was hoping for opinions and advise from this one too. I hope FM has some for me.

"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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July 16, 2012 - 9:31 am
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Good question and exellent video.  I think your first position you were holding your fiddle in was a more natural hold. You say you have more trouble reaching the G string that way. You say it's hard to bring your elbow more under your your violin, it's natural to experience that feeling. I notice you have very heavy and broad shoulders and you are rather broad across the chest also, that doesn't help the situation. I think by playing in your natural / first position which is comfortable for you is probably the way to go. It will be very cumbersome and awkward in the beginning but if you stay with it (keeping your elbow tucked under) you'll get used to it.

If you put your thumb between the stick and the hair's of your bow, in the notch of the frog, you will have a better hold of the bow. This will bring your index finger more on top of the bow, therefore you won't be bending your wrist over as much, your pinky will also lay more on the top of the stick.  smile

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Fiddlestix
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Also, picklefish..... Check out FM's vid tutorial on holding the bow.

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KindaScratchy
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July 16, 2012 - 12:35 pm
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Thanks for posting the video, PFish. I don't have any good answers for you but I was really interested to hear what you had to say and your questions as I'm trying to figure out similar issues.

Probably the most perplexing thing about learning to play the violin is figuring out all the countless angles involved with the instrument, the bow, and one's body.

dazed

Fiddlestix said
I notice you have very heavy and broad shoulders and you are rather broad across the chest also, that doesn't help the situation.

I think that I have the opposite problem. My shoulders are narrow and boney, so there isn't much real estate to support the violin. I find that I have to put it way up on top of my shoulder to get the best sound but it feels odd. Not sure if I'm doing it right. I think that's why my right elbow is so high when I play. Other people keep their bowing elbow low but I just can't seem to do that.

I'll be watching the responses here and hope to glean some helpful info, too.

violin-student

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Oliver
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July 16, 2012 - 1:02 pm
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Is there one and only one preferred violin position ?   Not according to FM.  Starting with his video ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL there is some fiddle moving going on and then there is the acute fiddle angle on LEARN THE BLUES  because it is easier to "work" the lower strings.  PLAYING FASTER is real flat maybe for demo purposes.  Sometimes FM, rather than change fiddle hold, will simply tilt his head with fiddle slightly to favor a certain string.

G MAJOR SCALE includes a demo on finger position/ wrap around.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Picklefish
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July 16, 2012 - 4:16 pm
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thats ultimately what I was thinking, hold it however you have to to get the  results desired.

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

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Kevin M.
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July 16, 2012 - 4:29 pm
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Robert

cheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleadercheerleader

NO MORE MATH

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Picklefish
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July 16, 2012 - 6:05 pm
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And I was worried my 99th post wouldn't be meaningful.

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

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Oliver
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  You may have described almost everything about playing the violin in your response to this thread.  I may quote you in the future.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
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July 17, 2012 - 12:03 am
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Ya Robert, Congratulations. thumbs-up

No more math, you can edit your posts.... A few new permissions.

The most accepted form of movement to get to the different strings and up on the strings is the elbow rotating appropriately to reach the desired notes. The idea is to keep your elbow in a neutral position so that you don't have to move too much either way. Try to move minimally.

You can do the same with tilting your instrument provided you can do it relaxed and it doesn't affect what you are playing audibly.

Great that you are analyzing how to hold to solve some of those problems of reaching the notes on the G string while staying clear of the D. When doing so, place your fingers more on the left of the G string so that string contact is being made more on the right side of your finger. However, still apply more weight to the left side of the finger to give them more strength and a better angle.

Hope that makes sense.dunno

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

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Picklefish
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July 17, 2012 - 7:21 am
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Thanks, yes it makes perfect sense but I cant reach it and curve the pinky without either really streaching with the elbow far under or rotating the violin more vertically. The moving the elbow far under seems to be the way most videos show people doing it and is probably just a practice till it feels right kinda thing. When I put the violin more vertical it affects my ability to "dance" my fingers on the top two strings in a stability kinda way, the violin feels like its slipping. On a positive side affect of all this focused analysis I am really improving my overall fingering movements and curvature of the fingers so they are hitting nice and moving well. oh, well, Keep on keepin on. thanks.

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

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RosinedUp
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October 7, 2012 - 2:36 pm
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picklefish said
Thanks, yes it makes perfect sense but I cant reach it and curve the pinky without either really streaching with the elbow far under or rotating the violin more vertically. The moving the elbow far under seems to be the way most videos show people doing it and is probably just a practice till it feels right kinda thing. When I put the violin more vertical it affects my ability to "dance" my fingers on the top two strings in a stability kinda way, the violin feels like its slipping. On a positive side affect of all this focused analysis I am really improving my overall fingering movements and curvature of the fingers so they are hitting nice and moving well. oh, well, Keep on keepin on. thanks.

I wonder how and whether you have improved your ability to reach the G string. 

I find it hard to finger C# on the G string.  One thing I've thought might help me do that is to keep the forearm rotated so that the hand is closed over the fingerboard, meaning that I would be looking more at the side of my hand and less at the palm.  In kinesiology it is called supination.  I don't know whether all or just some of your fingers can't reach the G string.  If it is just the pinky that doesn't reach, maybe you are not supinating enough?  I have done a few exercises hoping to make it easier to close the hand over the fingerboard.

Regarding the fiddle slipping when you turn it vertically, maybe try some different chin rests and shoulder rests and different adjustments of them if you haven't done that in some time?

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