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Week 23- bluegrass and bow-hold shenanigans
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July 31, 2014 - 4:44 pm
Member Since: March 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 81
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Worked on a lot of things discussed in the last thread:



Thanks again for the critique everyone!



Honorary tenured advisor

July 31, 2014 - 7:15 pm
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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Yes, the picture in your book looks basically like the Franco-Belgian hold, as taught by Pierre and lots of others ... except that your book shows the hand way up on the stick instead of down near the frog.  Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that, for fiddling. 

The little demo that you give of your bow hold before you start playing looks pretty good to me, as far as I could see.  IDK why you didn't show it in more detail.

One thing I notice when you start playing is that your pinky straightened out, even hyper-extended.  It should stay curved most of the time.

I think you should be doing some open bowing exercises: full slow strokes maintaining volume and tone and sounding point, and keeping a straight bow.

You'll make better progress if you learn to enjoy the simple elements of playing.  If you can do a few simple things correctly, you can combine them to get what you want.

July 31, 2014 - 7:56 pm
Member Since: March 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 81
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@RosinedUp  I'm nt entirely sure what you're referring to when you said I didn't show it in more detail.  My bow hold while I was playing? Or before now?  I've been filming from my iPad and so it's difficult to get everything in frame.  If there's somethibg specific you want to see I can try and make a point for that to be visible.

And are you referring to my left pinky or my right?


July 31, 2014 - 8:06 pm
Member Since: March 3, 2014
Forum Posts: 142
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I don't think I made it to the last thread, so sorry if I repeat anything said previously.

I agree with RU that you should get back to the basics, and practice bowing long bow strokes making sure you keep the bow straight etc. Also, it seems to me that you were doing a lot of the bow movement from the elbow while your wrist kept straight, the wrist needs to remain flexible to keep the bow straight.

Your intonation seems pretty good majority of the time which is important.

Otherwise I think you are going well, looking forward to seeing your progress! :D

Honorary tenured advisor

July 31, 2014 - 11:37 pm
Member Since: January 19, 2014
Forum Posts: 973
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If you watch your video, you'll notice that the angle formed by your upper arm, forearm and wrist stays pretty much constant throughout your bow stroke.  The only way that this can be accomplished is by moving the upper arm back and forth at the shoulder. When you do this, it causes the bow angle to change as it crosses the strings. That leads to inconsistent pressure, angle of attack and contact point between the bridge and the fingerboard as the tip of the bow arcs across the strings. I know it's hard not to do this,  but it should to be corrected before it becomes a habit. 

Here's what I (and feel free to ignore anything I say, almost everyone does) would suggest.  Stand at about a 45 degree angle next to a wall, with your violin in it's normal position. Place your right shoulder, upper arm, and elbow and a bit of your right shoulder blade lightly in contact with the wall.  Then, using the upper 2/3 of the bow, move the bow up and down across the strings (play a song if you like) as far as you can (from the tip towards the frog and back), while making sure that your elbow and arm never lose contact with the wall.  You'll notice that the only way that you can do this is by moving your forearm by bending at the elbow, not by moving your arm from the shoulder. This will let you experience what correct bowing should feel like. Practice doing this frequently and I think you'll be happy with the results.  If you don't feel like it helps, you haven't wasted but 5 minutes.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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