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I need help solving a bow stroke mystery!
Maybe you Cello players might recognize this mysterious bowing phenomena.
This all began because I'd been feeling good about correcting my basic bow hold and gaining better control (while staying relaxed) - it's pretty natural now, but there have been several tunes where my hand demanded changes...
I'm not ready for every type of bow stroke, yet, but I like to understand what possibilities are/will be available to me.
So, I revisited all of the great Fiddlerman Bowing videos (beginner - advanced), then headed out online to some favorite sites.
Found an amazing William Fitzpatrick video I hadn't seen where he talks about "a hundred different bow holds" and when to use different fingers! Plus much more.
"Creating and Using Bow Strokes"
Now, I'm still absorbing all this info, tried a few things... but there's one bowing technique/effect (maybe a multiple or more complex one) that still mystifies me.
Knowing why we want to be able to bow closer to the bridge or closer to the fingerboard is one thing, but I've seen some extremes - strange angled/slide or sweep across the strings, expressive stuff that just captivates me. I want to understand it all!
Admittedly, I've noticed this technique used more on the Cello.
- Leo Sanders playing "Stålvalsen" with Mia/Mikael Marin (5th post, The Vals - Nordic genre), starting at 2:24 thru 2:54. https://fiddlerman.com/forum/n.....n-it-be/
- Shannon Hayden playing Cello, "Noel Nouvelet" (4th post, Christmas Project thread). https://fiddlerman.com/forum/f.....bration/
- Jacob Fowler playing Cello, "Mongolian Bowl Dance" (1st post, "Can Violin Sound Like Erhu" thread). https://fiddlerman.com/forum/p.....n-a-cello/
The only amazing violin performance I've recently run across, that clearly shows this angled/slide technique along with bowing half way up the fingerboard, is Maria Kaneko Millar's "Sakura" (3rd post, "Can Violin Sound Like Erhu or Kokyu?" thread).
Can anyone help me with this "Mystery" bow stroke?
Does anyone know the correct term, any tips or helpful insight into using this angled/sweep across the strings, special effect on the strings?
Btw, the angled/slide is an audible sound effect, not just a pathway to get the bow from one area to another.
I found another odd bowing technique!
Might be a version of the one I saw/heard in the 1st post?
Figured better here than my Welsh thread.
Angharad (Violin & Viola) uses her bow for some special effects and plays several Welsh tunes with her Mother, Delyth (Harp).
It's at the beginning of the 2nd tune (I can't pronounce it).
Actually starts at 3:30 minutes.
@GregW - you might really enjoy the very 1st tune!
Nice effect, anyway!
"Flautando" lead me to "Sul Tasto"!
Conflicting info: some say they are basically the same,
others say Flautando and Sul Tasto are different, but both using fast bow speed I didn't see in my examples!
I'm thinking I'm seeing a combination in the examples of my 1st and 2nd posts!
But even MORE ADVANCED - also adding a progression of the bow up and down the strings (not just back and forth).
In Angharad's performance, she actually did a circular motion (VERY COOL).
Think I found the slower speed AND the position movement I saw in all the Cello and Violin players!
So, is Sul Tasto the elusive technique?
Flautando and sul tasto are definitely not the same, and I haven't ever heard anyone say they are basically the same. Sul tasto is usually part of the flautando technique.
Sul tasto just means playing over the fingerboard. Flautando is playing with a very light, fast bow stroke, hair tilted to reduce contact area, easiest (and most commonly done) on or near the fingerboard but possible anywhere on the string.
Thank you, that's why I like to check with more sources.
None of my video examples are using a fast bow stroke, though - assuming there are some liberties with each technique?
So, is Sul Tasto the technique Angharad used in the Welsh Medley (DnA) video (Post No.2)? Angharad also uses Col Legno.
Btw, the site with the video that said "Flautando, also known as Sul Tasto", authored "Art of String Teaching" so I thought worth mentioning albeit confusing.
...love Simon's Cat.
The key to flautando is super-light bow pressure and a tilted bow. I wouldn't call it a super fast bow stroke, but to get a decent sound you probably need a faster bow stroke than you would otherwise use. And it is most commonly played sul tasto (on the fingerboard) in the absence of other instructions.
However, flautando is not always sul tasto -- I've seen the direction "flautando sul pont." in an orchestra part, which means flautando near the bridge.
And sul tasto does not imply flautando at all. If I see "sul tasto" without further instructions, I'll play with normal bow weight and speed over the fingerboard. Playing over the fingerboard produces a slightly muted, "fuzzy" sound.
What I see in the video is flautando, but note that not every bow stroke is over the fingerboard.
The thing about flautando is that it isn't very precisely described as a technique at all; the term refers to the effect you get, not how you get it. Here's an example of a cellist playing flautando with a similar circular bow stroke, and the video description defines flautando as involving circular movements. But I've never been asked to play that way in an orchestra; normally when I see the "flautando" direction I would play over the fingerboard unless otherwise specified. The main thing to remember should be: flautando is an effect, sul tasto is a specific technical instruction.
I can't believe you found that video!
I thought I watched quite a few videos on Flautando, and NONE of them were like this!
Really appreciate your help clearing this up for me, Andrew - I been trying to find out about this technique for a while, so now I understand Flautando and Sul Tasto!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Figured I should include info on bowing for Oldtime Fiddling!
Here Craig Judelman talks about bow holds and bowing techniques used in Oldtime Fiddling (Oldtime Central).
Here's a lesson from Rachel Eddy, about how to use a pulse we can get within a bow stroke. (Ethan Jones)
Also, want to link all the info from the "Bowing For Dynamics" thread, here.
I was thinking about all the bowing techniques/strokes/patterns involved with Oldtime and Bluegrass Fiddle music.
If you are interested in these styles of music, has anyone checked out the 'Peghead Nation' Channel on YouTube?
Peghead offers courses on 'Roots' music; Bluegrass, Oldtime, Irish, Blues, and Swing Jazz. Brittany Haas teaches even a few more styles of Fiddle music!
...amazing, what music we can create because of our bows!
@elcbk somewhere on the forum ive talked about peghead nation. I really liked the Chad Manning courses. Pretty flexible with how they do things. You can drop and add courses without much trouble. Sorta like the fiddle hell stuff but in more bite sized lessons. if your disciplined about following the program, theres alot of info there. Bruce Molsky has a bunch of tunes in cross tuning. I had no problems with billing or canceling/adding stuff. well run site but Im not subscribed any more.