@Fiddlerman I am truly bothered by this and am hoping Pierre or any other long time professional violinist can help me solve and/or get over it. My father taught me the Russian bowl hold and I have been using it all my life, as he did and his father before him. So obviously I taught it to Thomas. His teacher has now told him to no longer hold it as such, but use the Franco/Belgian bow hold because it was much more "professional". She actually told him that the Russian way was "not professional". This is really REALLY bothering me, and I mean really. How anyone can say that Heifetz was not a professional because of his bow hold is astounding to me. Anyway, I, nor anyone in my past generations, have ever had any issues with the Russian bow hold and now I am torn to pieces as to what to do. I would hate to have Thomas growing up thinking NOW that is ancestors were not professional when they played or were doing it all wrong. But especially for Thomas to have to relearn a new bow hold....well, I dont remember the last time I was this bothered. Please help....
Here's an article by an "amateur" discussing the pros and cons of different bow hold especially the Russian!
Bob in Lone Oak, Texas
Yeah, I watched that this morning. It just bothers me something wicked. I wanted to find out from either Pierre or other pro's about whether or not to continue using the Russian hold, have a talk with his teacher, if there are reasons she may be saying this, are there other pitfalls using the Russian hold as a pro that is not widely known, is it different for a child or advantageous for a child to learn the Belgian rather than Russian? .....I am just personally stuck here.
@Thomas B. -
I apologize up front - this is just my food for thought because I'm not a professional. I view the 'Russian Hold' only as just a variation of the Franco-Belgian grip and YES, I know of it's benefits - many excellent violinists use it.
Not keen on the Teacher's attitude, thinking a poor teacher if she can't explain why - I would asked her to explain better.
She might be trying to set Thomas up to discover more about how the bow hand can be used - maybe start help make him aware of just how versatile the hand grip can be.
I've posted this video before, by Prof William Fitzpatrick - it is profound that he explains "a hundred different bow strokes need a hundred different bow grips"!
Jim, I don't see anything wrong with the WONDERFUL foundation you've given Thomas, plus he has such a GREAT sense of detail - I don't think he will ever forget the Russian grip & will be able to use it equally well, among others, throughout his life. 😊
💖 MORE TOOLS!
@ELCBK I agree on the variation, and I have even given her the benefit of the doubt as to why she wants to "teach" him the Belgian hold. I remember my father always telling me the Russian hold enabled him to control the bow much better, especially when it came to flying staccatos. But regardless of that, I do think he probably should continue with the belgian hold, but I think her attitude and way she told him is what bothers me, probably more on a personal level I guess.
For some reason, a lot of American teachers seem to get dogmatic about their personal choice of bow hold being the "correct" one -- much more so than about any other aspect of technique. I find it a bit strange.
A great majority of American pros use the Franco-Belgian bow hold, probably because of the influence of Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay. But there is a noticeable minority in the US, and a larger minority in other countries, who use the Russian bow hold.
I personally use both -- I tend toward Russian on violin, Franco-Belgian on viola. It's just what seems most comfortable on the bows that I have.
@Mouse That is exactly what my mother would have said. And of course I could not disagree. As for Thomas, it bothers him a lot less than it is bothering me to be honest. It bothers him mostly because he was so comfortable using a hold that didn't hinder his playing in the first place. He asked me why he needs to change when there wasn't anything wrong with the way he was doing it.(all my children I have cemented in their head...why fix something that isn't broken). It does bother him a little about thinking his grampy wasn't a pro because of what she said, but not as much as anything else. We are focusing solely why it isn't professional to hold it Russian style now, with no answer I might add. We are truly trying to determinate the difference for his decision to make now. IF there isn't, then it was wrong for her to say what she said and I truly believe that if both holds are equally "professional" and enable him to continue to expand his musicality and grow, I think he should choose the grip that best fits him, not what someone else wants him to do, and that includes me. @AndrewH
@Fiddlerman I thought so too my friend. Thomas will be happy when he reads this in the morning before school. He has honestly held you in high esteem ever since you replied to his very first comment on one of your videos the first week he started playing violin. He was having zero issues with his bow hold and I noticed today he is struggling with keeping the same amount of pressure at the tip of the bow using the FBelgian hold and he had not a speck of trouble with the Russian hold.Thank you very much. And his teacher is one of those violinists that I have always mentioned I dont care for much because of their "holier than thou" attitude. Although knowledgeable, it is obvious she lacks in personality or how to connect with children. I feel as though she treats him like an adult all the time, without complimenting him hardly at all. And she saddles him with a HUGE amount of work each week, for example 2 songs from Wolfhart opus 45, 3 songs from Sukuki book 3 and a full page from Applebaums book on 3d position. Boy when I was a child, I just had one page to learn every two weeks from 1 book.