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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Old time bowhold versus modern violin bowhold and playing on the upper part


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/55428

Quincy - Posted - 07/03/2021:  11:08:53


I must say, since I tried the old time bow hold where you hold the bow on the hairs and this way cut off a part of the bow I can't get it out of my head.  I can play a tune like Golden Slippers way more expressive this way and it gives me the feeling it's made for fiddling with a tune, adapting it to your own preferences and experiment all the way long.



I already discussed this with my violin teacher and she said this bow hold is like what we try to reach in classes when she tells me to play fast fiddle tunes on the upper part of the bow (but with a modern franco-belgo like bow hold), but this leaves less space for experimenting I find or I might not have the right level yet to be able to experiment freely like this.



What now?



I feel no need to play pieces like the theme form Legends of the Fall for example  with the old time bow hold, but for true fiddle tunes this feels BETTER and RIGHT and EXACTLY what I was looking for.



In classes I never heard about the old time bow hold, I saw it on YouTube for the first time, had a question about it too here if it was an obligation :-) I was still insecure then and not sure what to think of it, now I know for sure:  this feels like freedom of expression to me.



Any remarks on this?


Edited by - Quincy on 07/03/2021 11:17:46

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 07/03/2021:  13:10:00


One reason the choked up bow hold can work well for fiddle tunes is that fiddling originated in a time where shorter bows were in vogue. The technology eventually changed, but fiddling retained a lot of characteristics that are well-suited to a baroque bow.

Also, fiddlers generally don’t use very much bow, so a shorter stroke isn’t too much of an issue. The Tourte style bow was designed to allow a bigger tone and more legato ability.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to play fiddle tunes with a baroque hold, although I would strongly advise against using it for anything else except baroque music, as it distorts the balance of the bow and will prevent you from doing a lot of classical articulations.

Some people are using baroque bows for fiddling, now that more players are becoming aware of the link between baroque music and fiddling.

coryobert - Posted - 07/04/2021:  07:11:25


Are you holding the bow with your thumb on the hair, pressing it into the stick? I think I've only ever seen one other person do that.
Generally (I think), that choked up bow hold is done by having your thumb on the stick. At least that's what I've always observed.

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 07/04/2021:  08:25:18


Good point, coryobert .
I was thinking of the bow hold where the thumb remains on the stick and the hand is simply moved farther up the stick. The hold where the thumb is under the frog that some fiddlers use has the thumb right over the frog’s slide, but not on the hair. When using the Franco-Belgian hold, the first thumb joint can sometimes come into contact with the hair, which is how it gets discolored over time, but the thumb doesn’t really press in; any contact is incidental.

There aren’t any common bow holds where the thumb is directly on the hair, as that would negatively affect the hair tension and balance. The only place where I could imagine this happening would be using the thumb-under hold with a baroque bow, where the hair is exposed going into the frog mortise.

ChickenMan - Posted - 07/04/2021:  08:28:22


I hope she means holding on to the stick where the hair is, and not gobbing the hair up by touching it. :-)

I imagine you also then hold the stick with fewer fingers, likely thumb and pointer and maybe the middle finger too, creating a looser more relaxed hold. It _can_ be easier to control the bow if you choke up on it, particularly if you only use the top third of the hair. Or if the bow isn't balanced where your playing prefers.


Edited by - ChickenMan on 07/04/2021 08:28:51

coryobert - Posted - 07/04/2021:  12:21:20


I usually have my thumb right where the silver wrap ends and the stick begins.

soppinthegravy - Posted - 07/06/2021:  12:20:57


I'm not sure if there is an "Old-Time Bow Hold". Every Old-Time fiddler held the bow differently. Some what you say, like my hero Delmer Holland, and others held it with their thumbs under the frog. Few of them I have seen have the pinkie on the stick, but I'm not sure whether that is intentional.  Same goes for the "hold the fiddle on the arm against the chest vs. on the shoulder and collarbone under the chin" debate. Everyone was different. Same with bow tightness, even longbowing vs. shortbowing. In my case, I think my bow hold varies from tune to tune. 


quote:

Originally posted by Quincy

I must say, since I tried the old time bow hold where you hold the bow on the hairs and this way cut off a part of the bow I can't get it out of my head.  I can play a tune like Golden Slippers way more expressive this way and it gives me the feeling it's made for fiddling with a tune, adapting it to your own preferences and experiment all the way long.



I already discussed this with my violin teacher and she said this bow hold is like what we try to reach in classes when she tells me to play fast fiddle tunes on the upper part of the bow (but with a modern franco-belgo like bow hold), but this leaves less space for experimenting I find or I might not have the right level yet to be able to experiment freely like this.



What now?



I feel no need to play pieces like the theme form Legends of the Fall for example  with the old time bow hold, but for true fiddle tunes this feels BETTER and RIGHT and EXACTLY what I was looking for.



In classes I never heard about the old time bow hold, I saw it on YouTube for the first time, had a question about it too here if it was an obligation :-) I was still insecure then and not sure what to think of it, now I know for sure:  this feels like freedom of expression to me.



Any remarks on this?






 

Quincy - Posted - 07/12/2021:  17:42:23


I have been so busy with training my new puppy, that I postponed answerring here... I have no idea where I saw fiddlers holding bow on the hair, this is what it seemed to be to me.

Luckily I already found out by experimenting that it is rather DANGEROUS for your violin to actually hold it onto the hair.
Not only the hair becomes dirty, you also take a big risk hitting your violin with a bow that is not 100% under control this way.
And then following this topic I immediately stopped holding my bow that way.

I only found one instructional video on YouTube about the bow holds of Old Time fiddlers:

youtube.com/watch?v=Hiv4NfSixJo

I decided not to sabotage my teacher's classes and am fully concentrating on using the only the upper part of the bow technique, I like to hold my violin more in front of me than pointed to the left while doing so, but not sure why ...I need a volin class now, it's been a long time ago, I had to tame this malinois monster.

My new pup now waits patiently in front of the closed bedromm door, when I am playing.

Old Scratch - Posted - 07/12/2021:  17:47:37


I don't know what "malinois" means - but it doesn't sound good ... as we musicians say ... !

DougD - Posted - 07/12/2021:  17:57:35


Scratchie - Its a breed of dog: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Shepherd
You folks from the "Upper Nine" need to get out a little more!

Quincy - Posted - 07/12/2021:  17:58:09


quote:

Originally posted by Old Scratch

I don't know what "malinois" means - but it doesn't sound good ... as we musicians say ... !






Hahahaha laugh



Sorry, my mistake! I found this crazy Belgian Malinois in a shelter,  a herder breed from the area Mechelen (Malines in French) of the province of Antwerp and the world's top police, army and service dog :-)



This is my Malinois monster:



youtube.com/watch?v=0Ls11iZZU84



Having a Malinois after two rottweilers and a rottweiler /malinois mix I must say: this is the Einstein among dogs.



 



 


Edited by - Quincy on 07/12/2021 18:01:34

Old Scratch - Posted - 07/12/2021:  18:14:54


Oh - I thought the monster you were trying to tame was your fiddle, and 'malinois' was some Belgian-French expletive - the 'mal' part threw me off ... !

As for 'You folks from the "Upper Nine" need to get out a little more!' - between the heat and the pandemic, I'll stay safe and cosy in the basement, thank you!

groundhogpeggy - Posted - 07/12/2021:  18:18:33


I woulda thought the same thing, "Scratchie!"

Old Scratch - Posted - 07/12/2021:  18:28:30


'Great minds', and all that ... !

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