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Bowing for Dynamics
How many factors?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (9 votes) 

January 13, 2022 - 1:11 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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...back to Dynamics. 

Found a REALLY GREAT tutorial on "Syncopated Emphasis for Reels" (Free Fiddle Lessons)! 

This is great for anyone who gets the 'deer in the headlights stare' when confronted with a tune chuck full of eighth notes.


An important point made - all the notes might have the SAME value, but you'll use MORE BOW ON SOME! 

- Emily


November 14, 2022 - 6:18 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
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Why thinking bowing dynamics as 'loud' & 'soft' can be limiting! 

I love this video! 


Julia Bushkova sharing Bow Distribution exercises for better bow control of Dynamics. 

2:40 Ex. 'forte – diminuendo-to-the-tip–piano–crescendo-to-the-frog' (the easy one)

3:17 Ex. 'piano–crescendo-to-the-tip–forte–diminuendo-to-the-frog' (the harder one)

3:58 Ex. 'forte–dim.-to-p (to the middle)–cresc.-to-forte (tip)' (down and up bow)

4:40 Ex. Down-bow in forte; up-bow in piano

5:24 Ex. Down-bow in piano; up-bow in forte


I think there's a purr in the middle somewhere. 

- Emily

Gordon Shumway
London, England

November 17, 2022 - 2:00 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
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ELCBK said

Bow speed 

Bow weight 

Bow roll/tilt  


This thread was bumped, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed it, but I regret that I have pretty much misunderstood it in my previous replies.

Dynamics are pretty much only about the above three things.

To get louder, you basically bow faster and with more pressure (and use the flat of the bow if you want), unless you change the position of the bow: for each combination of bow speed and pressure there is an optimum position between fingerboard and bridge for best sound quality. If you bow faster without increasing pressure, you will want to bow closer to the fingerboard. If you bow with more pressure but without increased speed, you will want to bow closer to the bridge.

Beginners are usually told to bow parallel and midway because this is better than bowing over the fingerboard with the wrong combination of pressure and speed and poor quality of bow motion (it must be very smooth and even). Bowing above the fingerboard is great if you have enough speed and not too much pressure.

Vibrato can give also the illusion of increased volume.


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