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Bow hold


Hilary
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i can hear the difference when my students have their right thumb bent or if it's stiff and straight. a bent thumb allows the arm weight to channel into the bow. with a stiff right thumb, the fingers and hand counter that arm weight. this makes it sound like the bow is skimming over the string, and the sound isn't as deep and rich as it could be with the bent thumb.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Cassi

if nothing else, i think it's about impossible to play with your

thumb straight! give it a try!


Believe it or not, some players I saw could do it albeit mediocre playing, Cassi. I've never gotten the chance to try it when I first started. My very first teacher was very strict. He would never start the lesson if I didn't cut my finger nails to his "prescribed" length or take off my rings. You can imagine what he would do/say if my thumb was not bent....

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quote:


Originally posted by: Andres Sender Oh I used to

be able to do it jussst fine. Just ask my first teacher.

of course, my fingers are pretty short, but i tried this with my

bow, and if i keep my thumb straight, it pushes the bow so far from

my hand i can barely get my fingers around it! it seems much easier

and more natural to have the thumb bent...plus, as you say, it

gives you the flexibility of movement that you need to get good

bowing throughout the range from the tip to the frog!

cassi  

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Cassi

as far as i am concerned, what i do in the privacy of my home is my

own business!

Of course, but no if you have private lessons at your teacher's home.

The other day, I was asking my second teacher (my current one) about bow hold. She told me that she just saw a soloist at a concert, whose fingers were very unorthodoxical (not curved?). However, his playing was fantastic...So I guess do whatever works for you if you can play at a certain high level.

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Miles,

sorry, i was being funny with that 'privacy of my own home' bit! i

don't play with a straight thumb or even want to! i had just

mentioned in an earlier thread that i had tried it out just to see

how it would work, and reported that the result was 'not so

well!'

cassi  

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Hi Cassi,

No worries. The smiley face says it all. When I first started, I was like a white paper with no blemish (my teacher liked it). Because my teacher was very strict, I did not have the guts nor had I the smarts to try anything else...

It's all good for me as it turned out. However, I'd say if the student can follow the orthodox, great. If not, then try something else to make playing a high level. I have watched quite a few examples that unorthodoxical were successful:

An old man playing the guitar with a fork; disabled man writing with his foot (his hands were disfigured), so on and so forth...

Often time it is the desire for innovation or the need for alternatives to lead the breakthrough. For those who can afford not to conform, go for it. For me, I know my teacher was an excellent player, and I was willing to pay a premium to learn how he played. So I never tried anything contradicted to what he said. No need.

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Andres,

i'm not sure that you would win that bet! my thumb isn't long, my

fingers are short! although this isn't very quantitative, if i

straighten out my fingers, and then put my thumb on the outside

edge of the bottom of my first finger, the tip of my thumb almost

reaches the little creases at the first joint of my first finger

(if any of that makes any sense?)...

so, who owes whom?

cassi  

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hmmm, well, you got me there!  

where do i send the cold beer? (or other drink of choice!)

i guess your hand anatomy helps you get your middle and ring

fingers around the bow better--i often get told to wrap mine

further around, but they just don't reach over there so well!

in the end, though, i guess the deeper issue is whether your first

finger is shorter or taller than your ring finger!  (and i

really don't want to know, either!)  

cassi  

edit: PS: i wish *i* had long, thin fingers! they look so pretty

and elegant, especially wrapped around a bow!  

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Hilary

Why must the right thumb always be bent? DOes it affect the playing/sound? Your hands health?

Just curious since everything says it's critical, but nothing gives a reason.

It is simply a matter of control. You have better control over the dozens of attacks and nuances that a bow is capable of when you hand is focused (fingers pointing inward and not sending energy away from the center or balance point of your hold.) A good teacher will lead you in the right direction. For the Galamian-style (Franco-Belgian) hold your hand should resemble a bear-paw, knuckles flattened, thumb touching the hair. This hold will give you command over the bow in every instance.

An improper (poor posture) hold will affect not only playing and sound but also possibly lead to injury while playing.

Enlist the help of a qualified teacher to help you form good playing habits,

Ken

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I constantly check the right thumb of beginners to keep it from locking - which probably feels more secure to them. I demonstrate as best I can that locking the right thumb immediately also tends to stiffen the whole arm and causes a lack of flexibility later on. That's my line on it anyway.

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