Violin Bowing Issues
Find the sounding point on your violin.
Also known as the Kreisler highway.
When the bow travels in a good place on the strings,
the correct distance from the bridge
and in a parallel position to the bridge, the sound is at its best.
When playing in first position the bow will be approximately half way between the bridge and the fingerboard.
As you travel up the string into the higher positions
the bow will gadually move towards the bidge for the best sound.
This is very evident when playing in the upper positions on the G string.
It is good to become proficient in adjusting the bow position closer or further from the bridge to get the sound you want.
A 10 year old child's bow hand.
Notice the pinky does not try to stretch out and touch the end of the bow but is balanced right above the end of the frog. The pinky is curved.
Notice the ring finger reaches for the pearl eye.
Notice the thumb and index finger create a loop.
Notice which knuckle contacts the stick.
The thumb is resting on the wood between the leather thumb pad and the frog end.
The fingers are curves and flexible. ~Sheila
A 5 year old child's bow placement.
Notice she is watching her bow in order to make sure it travels in the path she chooses for it.
Thoughts on bow location on strings for a sounding point. Schools of violin playing differ over where the bow should be drawn. The Galamian method emphasizes set "sounding points" for the optimum in rich tonal sonority. These sounding points differ on which bow stroke is used...and is slightly different for each violin, but generally, *all* detache strokes (short and long) should be drawn *very close* to the bridge. It doesn't matter whether one is playing piano or forte...it should be drawn close to the bridge. The "sounding point" for spicatto/sautille type bowing is more towards the middle area between the bridge and fingerboard. The Auer pupils (i.e. Heifetz et al) also played in this manner. The idea behind the sounding point is that the string gives back the most tone for bow drawn. The detache s.p. is near the bridge because the string provides the most "springy" resistance there. However, just drawing the bow stroke in these sounding points isn't enough...the proper bow arm form/technique must accompany it to make it work. ~Sheila
- SALTANDO - the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in e minor
The more effort you put into it, the more difficult it will be. it's true! If you know how to do it, make sure you are in the middle of the bow. It's easiest here, and anywhere else wouldn't make much sense.
If you don't really know how to, however here's an experiment for you:
It's best first to get an idea of where your elbow level should be. At each string crossing, your elbow should either rise or drop, according to which string you bounce on.
try this on open strings first, SLOWLY, and observe where your arm is. understand that you're moving your elbow at each string crossing. When this is as fast as it needs to be in order to bounce, you will not have have to move your arm as much as if it were on the string, BUT, you will have to move it that much faster.
Try this again on open strings, going slowly, but gradually grow in speed, faster faster faster and keep everything very lose. it should come off the string by itself.
Another experiment is:
Hold your bow about 3 inches above the string, and just let it drop in the middle of the bow while drawing the bow. See how it seems to bounce and bounce and get smaller and smaller?
All you're doing is letting it bounce. get used to how that bounce feels, and try to control it, the main idea here is to just know what the bounce feels like. Another important thing to remember is, in this part of the Mendelssohn, you don't have to immediately start saltando EXACTLY where the dots start. Start out slowly, get faster, faster, faster, and it should come off the string by itself, just like the exercise.
Then it's just a matter of sustaining the motion to keep the momentum going.
There is no pressure involved either, just the weight of the bow and you drawing it back and forth at a high speed. I hope this can help you.
Posted on the Corner Violin BBoard
used with permission from Andrew Sumitani
- BOW TILT - I'd say *soloists* of the old order who actively tilt their bow are in the minority. One needs projection, and to do
that...you need that hair flat. OTOH, you can also create projection by tilting the bow and moving the bow at incredible speed...the tilt is so the
bow won't hop...not really for tonal reasons...although having less hair on the string allows what remaining hair is left to grab the string easier.
Orchestra members will oftentimes tilt their bow not for superior sound, but to diminish their sound...or to allow their sound to become white and blend
Thoughts on tilting the bow - The whole spread fingers idea is to distribute the weight over a larger area...thereby allowing more weight into the bow. If one focuses weight at
narrow points...it is that much easier to crush the sound...or at least lose the "roundness" of the sound.
This works in theory at least. Galamian advocated a "spread finger" bow hold. However, in practice, abnormally spreading the fingers will create an
ever so slight (or gross) strain on the hand. Not good. When Midori was young, she spread the fingers a la Galamian, but like many others, she dropped that
Posted on the Corner Violin BBoard
used with permission from firstname.lastname@example.org