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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: How to reach flexible fingers that move along while playing?


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/55138

Quincy - Posted - 04/23/2021:  22:51:32


This lady had my attention from the beginning on:





Look at her fingers ... the heck?

How do you reach this?

Is it something you need to train on and then it will develop, will it develop automatically or is there a magic spot to balance your bow, is it some sort of trick?



I cannot see my fingers move at all. I'm afraid if I cannot do this now, after nine months, I will never be able to find the right bow hand grip.


Edited by - Quincy on 04/23/2021 22:55:38


buckhenry - Posted - 04/23/2021:  23:27:34


This takes some practice time to develop the flexibility required for that movement. Carry a pencil around and practise as much as you can, and remember to stay relaxed so that tension doesn't creep up. Don't worry about how long it takes, just keep practicing. There are other flexibility exercises also. Don't worry about doing the same wide movement as this video, this person has already gained the flexibility, you will gain yours in increments. The person is using a very exaggerated movement when bowing just to demonstrate what is happening. It is not required to use such an exaggerated movement, only when doing the exercises to gain flexibility.

coryobert - Posted - 04/24/2021:  06:47:09


Don't get discouraged about not being able to do this bow grip. This is pretty much a classical grip, which a lot of players of other styles also use, but I've never really found it easy to do. Nine months? I'm still looking for the right bow grip after 30 years. Watch a lot of videos of people playing and notice the variety of grips and don't be afraid to experiment.

coryobert - Posted - 04/24/2021:  07:23:30


Maybe I should clarify. My opinion is far from "expert". I'm just a hack old-time fiddle player. If your goal is to play super smooth violin or fiddle then by all means you should strive to do whatever it takes. I guess I was just saying to not get too discouraged. Playing this thing is a frustrating business.

Quincy - Posted - 04/25/2021:  21:58:03


Hey coryobert, I find it a great advice to experiment with how other people hold the bow and try out stuff :-)

Thank you for your post!


Edited by - Quincy on 04/25/2021 21:58:21

Quincy - Posted - 04/25/2021:  22:33:03


I just followed this man's explanation... wow, this grip works great for me!

I gained a lot of balance now and it makes it easier to let your bow dance over the strings, I can play more with the way I bow this way! 

It also meets what my teacher advised, that I should learn to spread my fingers a bit.

Is this also a classical grip?



 


Edited by - Quincy on 04/25/2021 22:39:38


buckhenry - Posted - 04/26/2021:  04:01:35


quote:

Originally posted by Quincy



Is this also a classical grip?



 



 




Would you believe it's called the Franco-Belgian Bow Grip.



youtube.com/watch?v=DOV2lxgYmNs

Quincy - Posted - 04/26/2021:  04:03:04


Wow, amazing!

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 04/26/2021:  09:05:17


In my opinion, anyway you can manage is ok to do, especially if you are doing some sort of folk playing, but heck, even if I played classical on my own, not professionally, I would just do whatever I could figure out that worked for me. Of course if your goal is to join some orchestra or get involved in something where that actually matters, then you're stuck with having to learn the "right" way. Which raises the question..."Says who?" (Note I said "raises the question, " not the popular expression, "begs the question," which is all wrong...because begging the question a logical fallacy where you go into circular reasoning, trying to rely on previous premises to prove those very premises themselves...ok...end of that rant...I keep hearing every expert on tv being interviewed always saying..."This begs the question blah blah blah blah..." when they mean, "This
RAISES the question blah blah blah blah," but I'm off topic...that just makes me want to take a sledge hammer to the tv...lol...but no...don't worry...I'm ok, I'm ok.) Anyway, as I was saying with my question raised by this soliloquy here..."Says who?" How many classical bow holds are there now...were there ever? I believe it was Wolfgang Mozart's daddy who wrote a "Violinschule" book where he described a "proper" bow hold and it all went prescriptive from there. So...yeah...says who? I say, hold it however it works for what you want to play. If it ain't working, try something different. You'll catch on in about 50 years...lol...if you're lucky...otherwise, you'll just hang on and enjoy the bowhold part of the long, long fiddle journey. Just my opinion, of course...many times I am flatout wrong.

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 04/26/2021:  12:35:52


Use one of your thighs to spread pairs of fingers apart in order to get there quicker. The left hand is more important IMO.

boxbow - Posted - 04/26/2021:  14:56:19


At this point, my hands aren't going to loosen up to where I can make use of that wide spread of fingers. I guess Franco Belgian is mostly what I use. I was taught how to hold a cello bow over 50 years ago. So when I picked up a fiddle bow 25 years ago, I knew what had to happen. I knew where my thumb had to be. Then somebody pointed out about keeping my thumb curved like with a hand OK sign. In the end, it looks a lot like Franco Belgian. Works pretty well, getting better all the time.

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 04/26/2021:  16:33:18


Quincy -- that's pretty much exactly the grip I use. His hands are a bit larger than mine, but details...details.

RinconMtnErnie - Posted - 04/26/2021:  21:01:29


Some of it is simply self-awareness about your grip and letting those fingers move. I tend to focus on (1) my left hand and (2) what's happening with the bow ribbon around the strings. So my eyes are focused on what's happening around the strings. I think a lot about things like string crossings and phrasing, but not much about what my right hand is doing.



On those rare occasions when I think to pay some attention to my right bow hand, I'll notice that I'm not moving my fingers enough and make adjustments. Just a minute or two of that loosens things up.

Quincy - Posted - 04/26/2021:  22:58:19


quote:

Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

In my opinion, anyway you can manage is ok to do, especially if you are doing some sort of folk playing, but heck, even if I played classical on my own, not professionally, I would just do whatever I could figure out that worked for me. Of course if your goal is to join some orchestra or get involved in something where that actually matters, then you're stuck with having to learn the "right" way. Which raises the question..."Says who?" (Note I said "raises the question, " not the popular expression, "begs the question," which is all wrong...because begging the question a logical fallacy where you go into circular reasoning, trying to rely on previous premises to prove those very premises themselves...ok...end of that rant...I keep hearing every expert on tv being interviewed always saying..."This begs the question blah blah blah blah..." when they mean, "This

RAISES the question blah blah blah blah," but I'm off topic...that just makes me want to take a sledge hammer to the tv...lol...but no...don't worry...I'm ok, I'm ok.) Anyway, as I was saying with my question raised by this soliloquy here..."Says who?" How many classical bow holds are there now...were there ever? I believe it was Wolfgang Mozart's daddy who wrote a "Violinschule" book where he described a "proper" bow hold and it all went prescriptive from there. So...yeah...says who? I say, hold it however it works for what you want to play. If it ain't working, try something different. You'll catch on in about 50 years...lol...if you're lucky...otherwise, you'll just hang on and enjoy the bowhold part of the long, long fiddle journey. Just my opinion, of course...many times I am flatout wrong.






Ha, I never heard 'begs the question', only 'it raises the question'.... It sounds pretty stupid I must admit yes :-p 



Sometimes I lose my interest for my violin for a couple of days, when it's getting hard, but I always find a way to get over the diffculties and reach a next step and then I feel great again, I live for this process.  This feels like joy to me lol, the frustrations sometimes make it challenging.


Edited by - Quincy on 04/26/2021 22:58:48

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 04/27/2021:  04:10:38


I hear ya. I think it's the life of fiddlers. Thank goodness for the joyful times, hey?

Earworm - Posted - 04/27/2021:  05:58:01


I hold my bow with 2 fingers and a thumb. The part of the bow I hold changes depending on my mood. Follow your dreams for a perfect grip if that floats your boat, but there's always a way.


Edited by - Earworm on 04/27/2021 05:58:33

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 04/27/2021:  10:51:23


A good exercise to develop finger dexterity is the old “slithering” or “crawling” technique.



Holding the bow so the stick is vertical with your regular bow hold, slowly let your fingers and thumb crawl together so that the bow begins to move lower, starting with the little finger. Keep working your fingers that way until you reach the tip, then reverse (begin with the index finger) until you return to the frog. Do this over a soft surface in case the bow falls out of your hand—it feels very awkward as you begin and it’s easy to lose coordination between the fingers and thumb. If you do it several times a day, it will help your fluidity of bowing immensely.



Playing passages with only the fingers is a good exercise as well.



Here's another good one that's more foundational:



Hold the bow with only the middle finger and thumb, forming a ring. This is the basis of the bow hold. Try playing something familiar that way. Once you've gotten a sense for that position, the other fingers can be added. It helps to cement the idea that the other fingers are really there for additional weight and stability, but the control comes from the thumb and middle finger. 


Edited by - The Violin Beautiful on 04/27/2021 10:56:49

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