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Having added learning violin to my longish list of hobbies a couple of months ago, I keep seeing parallels to the time when I learned to play golf as adult. I hope you've all seen the video of Jimmie, Fiddlershop's digital manager playing a few golf shots with their carbon fiber bow: LOL. There you have it; I'm not the first person to see the silly parallel.
The first parallel I experienced is the tricks practicing both play on your brain. One day your golf swing or bowing is reasonably satisfying. The next, poof, it's nowhere to be found.
The second parallel is my conviction that it's a real advantage to learn good habits from the start rather that ingraining the wrong muscle memory. I hope I have you experienced violinists smirking by now because I'm just discovering that, that's way easier said than done.
The third, and for now, last parallel is that practicing both deliver huge opportunities to access intrinisic pleasure.
Here are my two first violin videos (golf swing videos available on request, LOL.) The first is using a gadget I picked up at Fiddlershop to try and get some positive muscle memory going with my bowing. The second is "Minuet #1" that you'll all recognize.
Glad to be part of the forum.
P.S. If there are any string newbies in the Boca area interested in getting together to learn some beginner appropriate music, I'm all ears. Thanks.
Thank you, All, for the pep talk.
@ryonass, I noticed you were a newcomer to the violin not so long ago yourself but you are spot on with your comment about using more bow. That's exactly what my teacher has made a priority for me to practice, so good call! I'll work on it and post a new video when I think there's been some progress.
Ryonass, I also checked out your previous videos and think I see what you mean. Your bow stroke shows "bravery" and confidence. Normally I'm an outgoing kind of gal but I find myself out of character - somewhat meek - with my bow stroke. My guess is that, by stroking small and light, I'm trying to minimize the squeaks. So your feedback fits in perfectly with Fiddlerman's. Time to override the squeak avoidance syndrome 🙂
Thanks and catch you all in a while.
@bocaholly yes, I am still very much in my early days of violin. I think it has been a little over a year for me now. The biggest thing that has helped me with bowing is, start a 5min timer on your phone and play open strings with full bow. Repeat it for all strings. Make sure you pause at the frog and tip and check your bow arm. I always do that before starting a practice session and it helps a lot. Lately I found the more I focus on listening for the notes, the less tense I am and the better I bow.
Oh Bocaholly, you are doing wonderfully!
great tip Ryonass - I need to practice this, just watched myself thinking I had used all the bow and once again just the top end! It's certainly harder than it seems, I get slower the nearer I get to the frog, thinking I'll run out so I never get there....arghgh!
My money is on an affirmative from Uzi if he knows about "grip tight, swing hard" to mess up a shot.
My next favorite is: "look up, see a bad shot". Not sure what the violin equivalent of that would be, though.
P.S. To All with your useful feedback, working hard on getting that bow moving over the strings from tip to tail (excuse me... to frog) which, for sure, is the equivalent of a nice full swing 🙂
While we're on golf- violin analogies, my golf pro always reminds me that I can only have one swing thought (max 2) at a time. So it's off limits to be thinking: "stay on plane... rotate, rotate... get that left shoulder back... don't sway... now compress on the downswing... " and oooops, by that time I'm anything but relaxed.
So what's the story with violin. Trying to read notes, keep my pinky curved, not let my hand creep away from home base in 1st position, bow straight and long... and listen... and I actually forget to breath!
Is the "one swing thought at a time" idea applicable to learning pieces or even just exercises on the violin?
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