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For the life of me cant keep little finger on bow does it matter
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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stringy
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February 21, 2022 - 6:30 pm
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The title says it all, what are peoples thoughts on this.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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JohnG
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February 21, 2022 - 7:12 pm
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I don't know, but it was recently pointed out that I keep it on the bow, but it is not flexed. I've tried bending it a bit, however it really is uncomfortable.

The old curmudgeon!

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Mouse
February 21, 2022 - 7:39 pm
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I am not sure, Stringy. Now, take this with the knowledge that I do not follow all rules. I do not play in front of people. I am quite sure that if I do not make allowances for what my arms, hands and fingers will allow me to do, I will never be able to play. I always make adjustments so that I can play in a way that makes it enjoyable for me and makes me feel like I am making progress and accomplishing something.

I hold the bow however it is comfortable. Watch professional violinists. They don’t all hold it the old school way. Some have all the fingers along the side, some hold it farther up from the frog, some hold it old school.

There is a purpose for the little finger being there, so you must find a way to accomplish that job in another way.

Again, I make adjustments for my joints, etc. I am not the one for giving advice for the old school way; it is just my way.

🐭

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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February 21, 2022 - 10:34 pm
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@stringy , @JohnG -

Hope one of these tutorials is helpful. 😊

I believe ALL fingers are necessary for the most control - each finger plays a role. 

Unless you have a physical reason preventing it, I think we should FIRST learn to use ALL fingers.   

Since peoples hands are different, watch as many tutorials as possible - see what important points they have in common. 

I have shared many videos on this subject and I always recommend the FIDDLERMAN TUTORIALS, first.  He stresses the advantage of keeping the fingers closer together, just don't keep fingers straight - the tutorial for VIOLA is the same as the current Violin tutorial.

Here's a great older tutorial by Fiddlerman! 

 

 

Also, I feel this 'back-to-basics' video, by Karthick Iyer, can be very helpful for some people. 

 

 

Here is a 'right-to-the-point' video on common problems AND solutions (at String Technique). 

 

 

My grip problems - stemmed from my thumb slipping & hand migrating up the stick (well past my 1st year) - caused be all sorts of issues when I tried to compensate.  I locked my thumb joint & stiffened my little finger, causing unwanted tension.

Turned out, the cushion pad on my bow sticks weren't thick enough and some were just too far away from the frog for me. 

Here's a good video that addresses this problem (Red Dessert Violin). 

 

 

 

There are MANY video tutorials on YouTube that show how each finger is used in different types of bowing - and also exercises to strengthen fingers. 

If you still have problems after you've developed good flexibility & some strength - then, maybe it's time to suspect the bow as the cause.

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stringy
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February 22, 2022 - 4:08 am
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I have noticed most fiddle players don't have their little finger on the bow, even the very best, is it just needed for classical. I have seen videos of Heifetz were he doesn't have that finger down at all, it looks like it is but is actually just above the stick, wonder what fiddlerman thinks.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Jim Dunleavy
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February 22, 2022 - 4:30 am
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As far as I understand the pinkie is meant to help lift the bow off the string (mainly applicable to playing short or stopped off-the-string notes, retakes etc) and to take the weight off when you're near the frog (for balancing the sound between the tip and the frog). So if you don't use it, those are the things you won't be able to do properly.

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stringy
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February 22, 2022 - 6:14 am
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That's a good explanation Jim, I practice jelly fish bowing and the like but I will practice playing some tunes at the frog end and see what happens with my little finger, I know the role of the forefinger on the up bow and the push and pull which I use all the time, I also hold the bow extremely lightly, so light in fact that I am in danger of dropping it perhaps this is part of my prob

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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ELCBK
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February 22, 2022 - 7:43 pm
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@stringy -

You are not the only one on the forum who has expressed they want a light bow hold and end up using maybe only a few fingers. 

I don't believe there's anything preventing you from having a light grip while using all your fingers. 

My expectations for my playing started pretty low, but I believe I'll prevent myself from ever discovering all possible nuances of bowing, how all my fingers can work together - if they aren't even touching the bow most of the time. 

If you want to try to make it easier to keep your little finger touching the bow, maybe start by checking to see if both of your 2 middle fingers are placed far enough down the side of the frog for your hand shape.

Lately, I've been watching some of Daniel Kurganov's exercises and find them beneficial.  I like his bowing, so out of curiosity I looked at this video on his grip - amazingly, his thumb doesn't touch the frog, but all fingers are used! 

So, you may find something like this works better for you. 

 

 

I also don't think there's anything wrong with using bow grip aides to help train our hand while we are concentrating on the many other issues of playing.  Or, if something can be added to our bow to just make it easier for us to use (life is short). 

Bow Grip Help for Cello Viola and Violin Thread

 

Now, I was wondering about violinists who started with guitar or other strummed/plucked instrument and how finger habits that are used for them might effect bow grip or bowing.  Which fingers become dominant?  Is the thumb held different?

What about the finger pads of your right hand - hardened at all, or callused? 

The frog has a slightly concave shape for the middle 2 fingers, but I believe part of the feeling of security, with holding the bow (besides balance), comes from natural skin plasticity & moisture against the side of the frog and stick. 

Seems to me that dry or hardened finger pads might not allow good contact and might hinder the possibility of a good, relaxed grip - if you feel your fingers slipping.

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/33/16/71/3316715295574e2a048748ff013e5e0a.jpg

 

This is always a great topic, because I'm pretty sure we all know that our left hand means NOTHING if we don't learn to use the bow... and where does that start?  

🤣 Gotta LOVE ingenuity!

- Emily

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ABitRusty
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February 22, 2022 - 8:10 pm
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stringy said
I have noticed most fiddle players don't have their little finger on the bow, even the very best, is it just needed for classical. I have seen videos of Heifetz were he doesn't have that finger down at all, it looks like it is but is actually just above the stick, wonder what fiddlerman thinks.

  

I think bowing for fiddle tunes..at least reels jigs or their old time ..cajun..whatever tend to require less bow..you also tend to stay for the most part ...in the middle of the bow.   You dont want to be trying to play with a full bow on those type tunes.  very loose wrist and fingers.  i believe andre brunet suggests that the quebecois style reels stay more toward frog..it seems like for irish it stays more middle and up toward tip of bow.  either way if you watch people play either style theyll have loose wrist and fingers including pinky which may or may not stay in bow.   That has seemed to be what ive found for myself too.  If playing something slow with alot of bow it helps if im concentrating on the pinky being on bow and all that.   It would probably help tone if i did it on everything but keeping loose with the hand seems to trump that for me now.  

Maybe its better to experiment with this on slower tunes...waltzs ...aires...their classical equivelents instead of worrying about it on trad type stuff.   Practice it on pieces that require full bowing and slower stuff.  Ill link a couple of videos ...possible help or least contrast maybe.  

 

even if you dont play this style this guy is intense and fun to watch.  theres a section in here where he says he holds the bow for certain things and i think he uses pinky on bow for that

 

The irish version..    im sure yall seen these multiple times...maybe someone down the road hasnt.

https://youtu.be/1AMesSTGSd8

 

I think what ive come up with is everyones different and youll find what works best for you.  yes initially theres the textbook stuff but depending on what you play some of that may be less important.

EDIT..

one more @stringy..    I think he has some thoughts about pinky and when it comes into play.

 

so watch everything...and theyll be a test later. roflol.. i know alot of videos...just stuff i remember watching for similar reasons as your question.

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