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Laird of Drumblair
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Utica, NY
November 6, 2013 - 1:22 pm
Member Since: December 20, 2012
Forum Posts: 15
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Laird of Drumblair, a scottish tune I had to practice super hard to get to this point on:


I'm having a hard time not gravitating towards the frog end of the bow.  Mentally I am telling myself not to while playing but when I start pushing to play harder left hand stuff like this my bowing practice goes out the window.  Any tips or threads about this you can point me to?



Byron Bay Australia

November 6, 2013 - 3:59 pm
Member Since: April 22, 2012
Forum Posts: 1575
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Hi Timothy @chopsy 

As a new player myself I don't really feel qualified to give a lot of advise but I will make a suggestion.

Try taking longer bow strokes. Slow it right down and practice a couple of bars only till you are happy with them and then move on to the next couple and then join them together untill you get it all together with longer strokes.

Myself, I tend to have the opposite problem at times and run out of bow on a long note or slur.

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


November 6, 2013 - 6:07 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 808
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Ok, after watching this video, I can see what you are trying to do with the micro bow strokes. 😉  Neat tune.  I will second the advice to slow it down.  Just slow it down and practice it until you have some good muscle memory in the left hand.  Then you can work on bowing and then speeding it up.  Keep us posted please.  I'd love to see how you get on with this. 



Oh also something that works for me is once I learn the fingering on a song, then I only watch where my bow is, not my fingerboard.  Mine still travels sometimes but hey, it's a work in progress. 


Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.


Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

Fort Lauderdale
November 6, 2013 - 9:07 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11605

Thanks for the post Chopsy. Usually players tend to do the opposite and play mostly at the tip and have a hard time working there way to the frog.
You need to consciously play at the tip for a while as a warm up before playing your regular sessions every day. Think of it as a more relaxed position where you allow your arm to fall, stretch, relax..... I guess it won't feel that way for you. :-) Most of the bowing should come from the elbow.

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

November 6, 2013 - 10:25 pm
Member Since: August 29, 2013
Forum Posts: 20
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Ah, love that tune. And 1stimestar posted perhaps the quintessential player playing it. its on a Bothy band album paired with hector the hero which is another great scottish tune i believe.

As far as your bowing issues, since im a beginner myself and light years from anything resembling Tommy Peoples...i can only second what others have said to slow it down as much as you need to in order to be able to focus on your bowing.

One thing i like to do when trying to learn a new one is work the left hand and right hand parts seperately Before combining. For bowing arm this would mean just playing the open strings in the same pattern you would as if you were actually stopping the notes. Yes it can be aural torture but it does help me alot.

Also one thing i noticed watching your vid a few times is that your posture seems to gradually collapse in on itself in tiny amounts as you play, which seems to bring your head and arms closer together, which would seem to also bring the frog & the fiddle closer together. I have bad posture myself and have to make a conscious effort to stay upright & relaxed.


Sorry for the micro novel...i get excited over certain tunes sometimes :)

Little Rock, AR
Honorary advisor

November 6, 2013 - 11:13 pm
Member Since: January 28, 2012
Forum Posts: 207
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One thing that helps tremendously is a mirror.  Get one for you room so you can watch yourself as you play.  It's easier to know what to correct if you can see yourself playing.

Never mind maneuvers, just go straight at them.

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