FORUM

Check out 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
Bow wobbles In middle
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
Selflearnerviolinist
Member
Members
December 15, 2017 - 1:18 am
Member Since: August 15, 2016
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

hey guys,

I am practicing violin myself for past 1 month and now able bow straight and play few songs. One problem which I am facing is when I bow up and when I am in the middle of the bow, it’s wobbles a bit. But at the frog and tip it sound clear. I am not able to figure out what is causing this. Can you guys please help?

Aditya

Avatar
Bella86
Sweden
Advanced member
Members
December 15, 2017 - 4:00 am
Member Since: June 12, 2017
Forum Posts: 54
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

What do you mean with wobble? Does the soundpoint (where the bow touches the string) move closer to the bridge or fingerboard? Or do you mean that it vibrates/bounces? 

I still have issues with my bow bouncing/shaking just a little bit on down bows. It's gotten a lot less the last few weeks though. I've been doing "1-minute bow" exercise which is supposed to be a great exercise for these problems. I'd liek tothink that it is what's helped me.
Issues like these are often related to tension of some kind. Try to be aware of your own body when you play, can you feel tension in your right hand? Is your right shoulder relaxed? I noticed that my right shoulder was lifted just a tiny bit, and relaxing it removes the shake completely sometimes. 

I have also read that if you have a low quality bow that might be unbalanced, the unwanted motions could be caused by the bow too. Only way of knowing if this is the cause, is to get a better quality bow. 

Would you be able to film yourself playing? This would make it easier to see what is happening. 

Avatar
Jim Dunleavy
United Kingdom
Members

Regulars
December 15, 2017 - 4:00 am
Member Since: April 19, 2015
Forum Posts: 432
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi Aditya, bow shake is a common problem for beginners, and even for more advanced players occasionally. As you build confidence and experience with using the bow it usually disappears.

I myself have a bit of a chronic problem with shaking bow and have tried many of the tips you find online, but the best one I've found so far is to grip the bow as lightly as possible in the fingers. In fact this is the only reliable way I can stop the dreaded shakes once they take hold - I just totally relax the grip and the shakes subside.

I found a great video on bow grip here (there are 3 in this series about bow grip, all worth a watch) -

Avatar
zpilot
Kansas City, Mo.
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
December 15, 2017 - 12:12 pm
Member Since: September 29, 2017
Forum Posts: 100
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Are you applying any pressure with your little finger?  When I started I occasionally had, what I believe, the same thing you are experiencing.  My teacher said I should not have any pressure at all with that finger except during a lift.  I think it causes tension which we all know is a technique killer.  Now most of the time that finger barely touches the bow and that has almost eliminated any bounce.

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 15, 2017 - 3:00 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13329

You should stop the bow in the middle and analyze your hand, wrist, and fingers to see if they are stressed at any point. If so, try to readjust and memorize the less tense position and test it again.

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

Avatar
coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
Members

Regulars
December 16, 2017 - 2:59 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4123
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Good tips Jim, Bella and Pierre!

Thank you.

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Avatar
Charles
Members

Regulars
December 16, 2017 - 5:55 pm
Member Since: June 7, 2016
Forum Posts: 373
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I was curious as to exactly what kind of tension caused this, so I did some experimenting. At first, I couldn't get it to bounce (the bad way) at all.  Putting some negative weight on the bow (i.e., pressing down with my little finger at the back end) finally made it happen.

First try consciously avoiding putting pressure with the little finger.  If it still bounces with your finger all the way off, try a little pressure with the forefinger. (You don't want to play regularly with the little finger off, but it's fine for an experiment.)

A good way to practice holding the bow without tension:

Hold the bow with the tip laying on something (a bed or a pillow will work well for this) and hold the frog up a few inches above that. Lighten your grip until the bow falls. When you think you have it right at the lightest you can hold it without it falling, bounce your hand up and down a few inches (10 cm or so, for most of the world).  When you're holding it as lightly as you can without it falling out, you've got a grip that's about right in terms of strength.  Any time you suspect tension in the bow hand as a problem, check that you're not holding it any tighter than that. (As long as the bow doesn't actually fall out of your hand, err on the side of too light, rather than too strong.)

 

Another factor is physics. You might be putting pressure with the little finger in a hard-soft-hard-soft pattern to make the bow bounce, but more likely, it's a combination of too little downwards pressure in the middle of the bow and positive reinforcement caused by the interaction of the bow, bow hair, and string.

Each time the string slows down enough that the bow hair can catch it, the bow hair pulls the string to the side. That also puts tension on the bow hair, which is transmitted to the bow. Once that tension is released (the string snaps the rosin-to-rosin connection and starts moving, there's a wave of force going through the bow hair and into the bow. The bow vibrates when this happens.  One cycle of that is nowhere near enough force to make the bow bounce, but if it's happening several dozen (hundreds?) of times a second, AND they're in sync, it adds up to enough force to make the bow vibrate enough for a human to notice.  Since the bow/bow hair combo is oriented vertically, it bounces.

There are two easy fixes for that - change the bow speed, so that the vibrations are not in sync anymore and can't form a positive feedback loop, or tilt the bow, so that the direction the bow hair is being bounced up is not the same plane as the bow itself.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a fairly wide ranges of speeds that the bouncing can happen (and I'm guessing at a fair amount of the physics involved - I don't have the wherewithal to really test the idea), but tilting your bow works.

If you're a self-taught beginner, you may not know this next bit. My apologies if you do.

The bow should be tilted so that the bow is further away from you than the hair (looking down the bow from the frog, it would be tilted to the right) pretty far when you're at the frog. That means your wrist will be bent down quite a bit. As you do your downstroke, the wrist slowly comes up, until when you're at the tip, the bow hair is flat or close to it. (I thought it was supposed to be flat, but my teacher said that a small angle out at the tip is fine.) Depending on your arm length, where you hold the violin, and a few other factors, your wrist will be somewhere between straight and cocked up fairly high when you're at the tip.

When you're doing an up bow, you do the same process in reverse. 

This does three things - it means much less bow hair is in contact with the string at the frog, where your hand is naturally heaviest, and the most hair at the tip, where there's a lot more force.

The second thing it does is let you elbow and wrist work together to draw a straight line.  A single joint can only draw an arc.  You don't want to move your shoulder backwards and forwards unless you have to. (Which some people do near the frog. Again, arm length and where you hold the violin will make a difference to that.)

By using two joints (elbow and wrist) you can use one to compensate for the other and draw (in the plane the bow moves in) a straight line.

And the third thing is, it cuts down on bow bounce in the middle. 🙂

Avatar
Selflearnerviolinist
Member
Members
December 17, 2017 - 2:44 am
Member Since: August 15, 2016
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Bella86 said
What do you mean with wobble? Does the soundpoint (where the bow touches the string) move closer to the bridge or fingerboard? Or do you mean that it vibrates/bounces? 

I still have issues with my bow bouncing/shaking just a little bit on down bows. It's gotten a lot less the last few weeks though. I've been doing "1-minute bow" exercise which is supposed to be a great exercise for these problems. I'd liek tothink that it is what's helped me.
Issues like these are often related to tension of some kind. Try to be aware of your own body when you play, can you feel tension in your right hand? Is your right shoulder relaxed? I noticed that my right shoulder was lifted just a tiny bit, and relaxing it removes the shake completely sometimes. 

I have also read that if you have a low quality bow that might be unbalanced, the unwanted motions could be caused by the bow too. Only way of knowing if this is the cause, is to get a better quality bow. 

Would you be able to film yourself playing? This would make it easier to see what is happening.   

Thanks Bella86. Wobble means the bow is bouncing when it's in the middle. I am also doing 1 minute exercise for few days. Last couple of days I focused a lot on my right hand where exactly the tension is coming from and just like you it's coming slightly from the right shoulder. When I am able to relax it completely, wobbling comes down by 70%. Not sure yet where last 30% is coming from. I tried uploading my video but is the YouTube only way of doing it? If there is any other way do let me know. 

Avatar
Selflearnerviolinist
Member
Members
December 17, 2017 - 2:46 am
Member Since: August 15, 2016
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Jim Dunleavy said
Hi Aditya, bow shake is a common problem for beginners, and even for more advanced players occasionally. As you build confidence and experience with using the bow it usually disappears.

I myself have a bit of a chronic problem with shaking bow and have tried many of the tips you find online, but the best one I've found so far is to grip the bow as lightly as possible in the fingers. In fact this is the only reliable way I can stop the dreaded shakes once they take hold - I just totally relax the grip and the shakes subside.

I found a great video on bow grip here (there are 3 in this series about bow grip, all worth a watch) -   

Jim Dunleavy said
Hi Aditya, bow shake is a common problem for beginners, and even for more advanced players occasionally. As you build confidence and experience with using the bow it usually disappears.

I myself have a bit of a chronic problem with shaking bow and have tried many of the tips you find online, but the best one I've found so far is to grip the bow as lightly as possible in the fingers. In fact this is the only reliable way I can stop the dreaded shakes once they take hold - I just totally relax the grip and the shakes subside.

I found a great video on bow grip here (there are 3 in this series about bow grip, all worth a watch) -   

Thanks Jim, those were really helpful. I am already started using the exercises in the video. Thanks for your help. 

Avatar
Selflearnerviolinist
Member
Members
December 17, 2017 - 2:48 am
Member Since: August 15, 2016
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Fiddlerman said
You should stop the bow in the middle and analyze your hand, wrist, and fingers to see if they are stressed at any point. If so, try to readjust and memorize the less tense position and test it again.  

Fiddlerman said
You should stop the bow in the middle and analyze your hand, wrist, and fingers to see if they are stressed at any point. If so, try to readjust and memorize the less tense position and test it again.  

Thanks fiddlerman, I focused on my right hand and found out that my shoulder is slightly high which created 70% of bouncing of bow in middle. I am still trying to figure out from where rest of it is coming. Will post a video soon, let me know if you can help.

Avatar
Selflearnerviolinist
Member
Members
December 17, 2017 - 3:05 am
Member Since: August 15, 2016
Forum Posts: 10
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Charles said
I was curious as to exactly what kind of tension caused this, so I did some experimenting. At first, I couldn't get it to bounce (the bad way) at all.  Putting some negative weight on the bow (i.e., pressing down with my little finger at the back end) finally made it happen.

First try consciously avoiding putting pressure with the little finger.  If it still bounces with your finger all the way off, try a little pressure with the forefinger. (You don't want to play regularly with the little finger off, but it's fine for an experiment.)

A good way to practice holding the bow without tension:

Hold the bow with the tip laying on something (a bed or a pillow will work well for this) and hold the frog up a few inches above that. Lighten your grip until the bow falls. When you think you have it right at the lightest you can hold it without it falling, bounce your hand up and down a few inches (10 cm or so, for most of the world).  When you're holding it as lightly as you can without it falling out, you've got a grip that's about right in terms of strength.  Any time you suspect tension in the bow hand as a problem, check that you're not holding it any tighter than that. (As long as the bow doesn't actually fall out of your hand, err on the side of too light, rather than too strong.)

 

Another factor is physics. You might be putting pressure with the little finger in a hard-soft-hard-soft pattern to make the bow bounce, but more likely, it's a combination of too little downwards pressure in the middle of the bow and positive reinforcement caused by the interaction of the bow, bow hair, and string.

Each time the string slows down enough that the bow hair can catch it, the bow hair pulls the string to the side. That also puts tension on the bow hair, which is transmitted to the bow. Once that tension is released (the string snaps the rosin-to-rosin connection and starts moving, there's a wave of force going through the bow hair and into the bow. The bow vibrates when this happens.  One cycle of that is nowhere near enough force to make the bow bounce, but if it's happening several dozen (hundreds?) of times a second, AND they're in sync, it adds up to enough force to make the bow vibrate enough for a human to notice.  Since the bow/bow hair combo is oriented vertically, it bounces.

There are two easy fixes for that - change the bow speed, so that the vibrations are not in sync anymore and can't form a positive feedback loop, or tilt the bow, so that the direction the bow hair is being bounced up is not the same plane as the bow itself.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a fairly wide ranges of speeds that the bouncing can happen (and I'm guessing at a fair amount of the physics involved - I don't have the wherewithal to really test the idea), but tilting your bow works.

If you're a self-taught beginner, you may not know this next bit. My apologies if you do.

The bow should be tilted so that the bow is further away from you than the hair (looking down the bow from the frog, it would be tilted to the right) pretty far when you're at the frog. That means your wrist will be bent down quite a bit. As you do your downstroke, the wrist slowly comes up, until when you're at the tip, the bow hair is flat or close to it. (I thought it was supposed to be flat, but my teacher said that a small angle out at the tip is fine.) Depending on your arm length, where you hold the violin, and a few other factors, your wrist will be somewhere between straight and cocked up fairly high when you're at the tip.

When you're doing an up bow, you do the same process in reverse. 

This does three things - it means much less bow hair is in contact with the string at the frog, where your hand is naturally heaviest, and the most hair at the tip, where there's a lot more force.

The second thing it does is let you elbow and wrist work together to draw a straight line.  A single joint can only draw an arc.  You don't want to move your shoulder backwards and forwards unless you have to. (Which some people do near the frog. Again, arm length and where you hold the violin will make a difference to that.)

By using two joints (elbow and wrist) you can use one to compensate for the other and draw (in the plane the bow moves in) a straight line.

And the third thing is, it cuts down on bow bounce in the middle. 🙂  

So I tried removing my pinky finger but the wobble was still there. Then I applied pressure from my first finger and looks like wobbling gone, thanks a lot for your help. But it's so difficult to manage all of this like keeping shoulder relax, no weight from pinky, keeping hand relax, applying pressure from first finger. It takes immense concentration to do all at the same time. I don't know how I will be able to manage while playing songs.

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 26, 2017 - 3:58 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13329
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Selflearnerviolinist said

Fiddlerman said
You should stop the bow in the middle and analyze your hand, wrist, and fingers to see if they are stressed at any point. If so, try to readjust and memorize the less tense position and test it again.  

Thanks fiddlerman, I focused on my right hand and found out that my shoulder is slightly high which created 70% of bouncing of bow in middle. I am still trying to figure out from where rest of it is coming. Will post a video soon, let me know if you can help.  

I'll definitely look at it Selflearnerviolinist. 🙂

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

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online:
55 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today Preanix
Upcoming Killerkhezu, visionsalchemy, Writer, chendricks, BillyG, rsmith6322, Dan

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 4123

Mad_Wed: 2849

.: 2671

Fiddlestix: 2647

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Kevin M.: 1969

cdennyb: 1813

damfino: 1734

TerryT: 1726

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 2

Members: 12347

Moderators: 0

Admins: 3

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 57

Topics: 7218

Posts: 89788

Newest Members:

Andromanisspita, Sonjaendog, Adriezanspita, willieow18, karlub1, bessieln18

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 13329, KindaScratchy: 1725, BillyG: 2437