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Trying to find my handhold

Posted by Sassafrassa on Monday, November 8, 2010

Practice time has been slim these last few weeks, and I've been trying to really work on improving my technical issues....I'm doing pretty well with my left hand, and I am relaxing the deathgrip on the fingerboard.  I still have some tension, but my hand isn't getting nearly as tired as it once did. My intonation varies with the day, but it's getting better.

My bowing is flumoxing me.  It feels totally natural one day, and the next it feels all awkward and crazy.  I think that probably there is some tension involved...I tend to be a shoulder tension girl anyway, and with a stressful day on top, it just makes the bowing...odd. My bows not bouncing, but the tone isn't as good as it is on days where I am "on".  I just ordered Gordon Stobbes "12 Things Your Right Hand Should Know".  It's gotten such good recommendations here on the site, I thought it might give me some help.

I'm interested as well in the term "short bowing".  Does this mean bowing in shorter strokes, or by using an actual shorter bow?  I can see the advantage of using a shorter bow, as you would have more control over it and it wouldn't be so wobbly.  Would choking up on my full size bow accomplish the same thing? I think some more experimenting is in order.

I've been doing a lot more "noodling" on my fiddle.  Just kind of tryng to figure songs out, and play them in different keys on the instrument.  I can usually figure it out, unless it's in a minor key.  I'm still struggling with sharps and flats--those half tones are tricky to hit consistantly.

My only compaint these days (as far as my playing goes) is that I don't have the time to really concentrate on anything for a long period of time.  I  can only manage a couple of hours a week, and it seems like it's over as soon as I start.  I'm thinking that I need to be independently wealthy!!

Thanks for listening!!


7 comments on “Trying to find my handhold”

cheekee Says:
Monday, November 8, 2010 @3:52:40 PM

when i first started, i wanted to play all kinds of stuff, so my teacher said sure (cuz i am very good at note reading) and that i should just go slow and use long bows all the time to work on my bowing. so...a few months later, i'm trying to play things faster and i go to fiddle camp and the teacher there says...."why are you using the whole bow all the time? that's crazy." ha ha. there's lots of different excercises to get you using your bow in different ways. bet there's even some on this site.

eerohero Says:
Monday, November 8, 2010 @3:58:06 PM

I reckon all the stuff, You mentioned here,it was kind of tricky to get out of this jungle of learning books,then I found a real good one available at , "Western Swing and Texas Fiddle" 6 CD`s by Matt Glazer, this got me going real fast (in a speed of a light, actually), for now being able to improvise in any style, BG, OT,Modern Country style,Swing.

Texas style Vibrato is explained in a way, Ive never heard before, so easy.
I have tons of books, DVD `s, DVD`s made by Masters ,privately, yet this one mentioned above is a way up there in its own Class, they keep acclaiming that this one is for the level 3 players, I think it suits anyone interested.

eerohero Says:
Monday, November 8, 2010 @4:01:44 PM

I forgot the short bow, yes, you should use only the third of the Bow, the top,if its not a long Bow, of course.and get it light, like bouncing on it.

richdissmore Says:
Monday, November 8, 2010 @4:09:45 PM

long bow and short bow are used the most in shuffling nash vill. short long long or long short short very good to learn

ChickenMan Says:
Monday, November 8, 2010 @6:08:12 PM

Long bow, which what I hear more often in reference to fiddling than short bow, is using lots of long slurs to cover a stretch of notes on a string (3, 4, or more, like in bluegrass where I read a personal transcription of a tune that had 15 notes on one bow). It's 'smoother' sounding.
I am a shuffle bow-er and use more two note slurs than three note, but many single strokes. I also still cover much of the bow (see a video of mine to see how it happens)
with short and shorter strokes. No need to choke up on the stick.

Rene Says:
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 @6:17:44 AM

I've heard both sides so........I figure I bought and paid for the the bow so I'll use whatever part of it I want :)

Bob Gillingham Says:
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 @4:26:29 PM

If your hand is correct, & your rist is flowing as it should, this will keep the bow stright ( give it time), then just work on the sound, your head will tell you if its correct, make sure its in-tune to start with.
its difficalt, but progress hits u like a rush of pleasure, & u think I am there, Good luck !!!

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