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bowing help


FSviolin

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When I play, my bow tends to slide across the string. I cannot seem to keep it from sliding while playing anything more complex than an open A... I sound pretty good now, but I believe that this is holding back my playing. How can I train myself to keep the bow in one place???

thanks,

FS

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Asking your teacher is the best advice, but here are a few things you can think about:

Watch your bow to see how it is "tracking". It should be parallel to the bridge. Sometimes watching yourself play in a mirror can help, but memorizing your music and watching the bow as it tracks (and correcting the motion so that the bow IS staying parallel to the bridge) is less apt to throw weird variables into your posture than looking in the mirror. Basically what you want to do is to get the correct motion of the bow to become habit.

Also a couple of other things: be sure that you're not bowing from the shoulder while in the UPPER half of the bow -- at that point, the opening and closing of the elbow joint is what should be effecting the stroke; and be sure that the scroll of the violin is not lower than the chinrest.

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If you do not have a teacher, you are probably not holding the bow correctly. A teacher must be present to help you form your hand into a proper hold. Your wrist, arm and position of the elbow all come into play. Definitely get a good teacher to get the best instruction you can over this important subject.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is no way to really correct your bow hold without personal contact. However, I can tell you that however loosely and flexibly you have to hold the bow with your right hand is in the right direction.

Because a violin properly held aims to the left (perhaps 20 - 30 degrees off the shoulder extension), the bow properly used will not move parallel to anything but the bridge. If you hold the violin so the scroll is straight out in front of you, chances are you will never be able to get above 1st position - and even have trouble getting your 4th finger down an any string other than E - but bowing straight will be more natural in body coordinates.

It can take years for proper bowing to feel natural and occur without too much attention to it.

Andy

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Quote:

There is no way to really correct your bow hold without personal contact. However, I can tell you that however loosely and flexibly you have to hold the bow with your left hand is in the right direction.


Andy, I have no idea what you mean by this -- would you explain further please. (I do understand the rest of your post -- just not this part). Thanks.

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" There is no way to relaly correct your bow hold without personal contact. However, I can tell you that however loosely and flexibly you have to hold the bow with your ...

......"

It is desirable to have a teacher by the side. I agree 100 percent. Most of us know what is the correct way to play. It is only the problem of carrying it out. Big problem in fact. One has to do or pay attention to so many things (instructions) simultaneously. The worry that makes it unworkable. If a learner keeps his eyes on where the bow contact contact the strings then he never slides across for sure.(I am not talking about bow hold nor bow tilt). Only when he takes off his eyes and do other things then slide would happen. If he always thinking left hand and right hand moving ( or working)as one unit then no matter what his body moves his bow will always on the right spot as he wants it (even he takes eyes off) . I have seen some world class players move their bodies a lot but never hinder their playing. (moved their two hands as one unit)

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