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What Bow Hold Do You Use?
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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FortyNothing
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February 19, 2019 - 5:51 am
Member Since: January 29, 2019
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What Bow Hold Do You Use?

  • Other(44% : 4 votes)
  • Franco-Belgian(33% : 3 votes)
  • Russian(11% : 1 vote)
  • American(11% : 1 vote)
  • German(0% : 0 votes)
Total Voters: 9

 

Hi,

I've been experimenting with different bow holds and I'm liking the Russian a lot actually. What bow hold do you use?

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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February 19, 2019 - 6:13 am
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I voted "other" because I use two of them.

When playing viola (my main instrument), I use a classic European Franco-Belgian hold most of the time, which occasionally morphs into Russian for tremolo or very fast notes because my pinky is so short that it creates stiffness if I try to keep it on the bow.

For some reason, I use the Russian bow hold when playing violin. I've never been taught the Russian bow hold, but my hand gravitates toward it when using the lighter bow. (The last time I played violin regularly, more than 10 years ago, I hadn't yet learned the Russian bow hold.)

From what I've read, it seems the German bow hold is basically obsolete, and many people don't really recognize an "American" bow hold because they think of it as a variant falling under the Franco-Belgian umbrella.

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cid
February 19, 2019 - 8:35 am
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The wrong one. Basically a nonexistent one. A CID hold.

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

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MoonShadows
Stroudsburg, PA
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February 19, 2019 - 10:28 am
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cid said
The wrong one. Basically a nonexistent one. A CID hold.  

You are funny, cid.

I didn't know there were even names for different bow holds. I guess that's why sometimes I see different bow holds from what I believe is the most popular (Franco-Belgian) depending on whatever video I am watching, none appear outrageous, just somewhat different.

As someone who has only been learning for two weeks, I am not sure I have settled on a bow hold style yet, but I do find no matter what style I try, or try to imitate, my fingers always seem to "slip back" into what feels most comfortable for me at this point.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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damfino
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February 19, 2019 - 10:55 am
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I voted "other" because I have no clue what it's called, and I hold it a couple different ways.

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Gordon Shumway
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February 20, 2019 - 6:09 am
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I quickly Googled it, but it's not worth it. There's a supposed "Galamian hold", but I don't recall his book describing anything different from my hold, which I'm pretty sure is Franco-Belgian.

I think I agree with damfino that keeping to a strict FB seems a bit stiff and restrictive to me - who knows, maybe my right arm is a bit short. I often find my pinky is not in contact with the bow and I often find my right hand creeping up towards the tip. That may just be bad technique, but it feels comfortable, if comfort is what we are aiming at, and my teacher hasn't criticised my pinky in a while. Otoh, when I play more difficult music, I expect everything will need drilling all over again in a different way.

Andrew

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damfino
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February 20, 2019 - 8:42 am
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My teacher wasn't ever strict about the pinky being in contact with the bow. I heard her telling one student before me as I waited that as long as the bow is controlled she had no problem with what you did with it. I mostly play with my pinky off the bow, no matter how I'm holding it, because early on it started hurting from the weight of balancing the bow (my hands took some factory work abuse in the past, so takes very little to start causing pain). I instinctively put it down when I need to, but it is up most of the time. 

That said, she never taught me my bow hold, I learned that from a youtube video.

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GregW
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February 20, 2019 - 9:34 am
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I voted other because I dont know.  The big thing Ive been busted on in class and struggle the most with is a locked thumb.  Thats what Ive been struggling with the most and trying to be more relaxed.

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AndrewH
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February 20, 2019 - 12:04 pm
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Gordon Shumway said
I quickly Googled it, but it's not worth it. There's a supposed "Galamian hold", but I don't recall his book describing anything different from my hold, which I'm pretty sure is Franco-Belgian.

I think I agree with damfino that keeping to a strict FB seems a bit stiff and restrictive to me - who knows, maybe my right arm is a bit short. I often find my pinky is not in contact with the bow and I often find my right hand creeping up towards the tip. That may just be bad technique, but it feels comfortable, if comfort is what we are aiming at, and my teacher hasn't criticised my pinky in a while. Otoh, when I play more difficult music, I expect everything will need drilling all over again in a different way.  

My understanding is that the "American" or "Galamian" hold differs from the standard Franco-Belgian only in that the index finger is extended farther from the rest of the fingers. I don't see it as enough of a difference to merit calling it a different bow hold.

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wtw
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February 20, 2019 - 1:03 pm
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I have no idea how the way I hold my bow is called, either.

My pinky spends some time off the stick (except near the frog where it's needed, of course). Same goes for Perlman's so I take it that it's totally ok :

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MoonShadows
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February 20, 2019 - 2:34 pm
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Thanks for that video @wtw Perlman's pinky does not even come close to his bow. If it's good enough for Itzhak....

One thing I have noticed is if I keep my pinky on the top of the bow, I apply too much pinky pressure, which makes me apply more upward thumb pressure to counter-balance. As a result, I get pain in the base of my thumb much faster and have to stop and rest more often...probably because it aggravates my basal joint arthritis. If I keep my pinky off of the bow, I don't get the thumb pain as fast. I have started doing some exercises to ease my basal joint arthritis as well. We'll see how that goes.

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

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JamesRSmithJr
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February 20, 2019 - 2:54 pm
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Not sure the name of it, so I refer to it as the finger tip spread fingers grip.

 

Index finger is 3/4 up the windings and at the first knuckle down from the tip.  Middle finger is at the notch (with the thumb) ring finger is an interval (?) away from the middle, pinky always on the stick (well, unless I am at the very tip of the bow)..

 

My teacher stresses a very light touch, almost dropping...

To play a wrong note is insignificant;  To play without passion is inexcusable.  - Ludwig van Beethoven 

 My journey began on Aug 3 2017

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wtw
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February 20, 2019 - 3:51 pm
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MoonShadows said
Thanks for that video @wtw Perlman's pinky does not even come close to his bow.  If it's good enough for Itzhak....

Yep, that's what I thought. Well actually it does touch the bow, but only briefly when changing direction at the frog.

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Amateur
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February 21, 2019 - 9:01 pm
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I've got long fingers and arms. I could comfortably bring a bow to tip on the E even if the bow were another 8 inches or so longer. I voted American because I don't know what it is. My index runs far ahead, sideways and "deep". My pinky is slightly offset toward myself so that the index and pinky provide not just downward but counterbalance one another horizontally. It's just naturally how my fingers settled. Middle finger somewhere in the middle of the frog and thumb placed near the cutout on the frog.

I found that this is the best way for my fingers not to get crowded and tighten up.

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Fiddlerman
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February 22, 2019 - 7:12 am
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Franco-Belgian for me.

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

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mookje
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February 22, 2019 - 10:52 am
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I have no idea how my bow hold is called, but my pinky is mostly on the top of the bow. Still working about my bow hold, I’m not satisfied with it! 

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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