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The Bowing challenge

Posted by MOFiddlin on Saturday, November 24, 2012

So while trying to become a bowing perfectionist it finally dawned on me these things while practicing in the mirror. 

Bowing is a challenge and that statement is obvious. But while watching others(and myself) play it clicked in my head that the main challenge to bowing is that the upbow is not the reverse of the downbow. This also is onvious but it just didn't hit me until now. You have to learn to adjust your arm between upbow and downbow. Rise and fall if you will.

And just thinking about it becomes hard to do while playing...well at least for me it does, but trying to change this while just practicing bowing only, not necessarily while playing a tune that should come from practice. Muscle memory...which is kind of on topic here as well.

So in sequence it should be something like this for a smooth action.  Upbow, upper arm muscle/inside muscle. Down would upper arm then elbow. So I slightly elevate my arm for upbow and lower for downbow.  Hard to explain.  Think a golf swing.  It should be one motion to get the result or constant. Which I always don't.

I also changed my grip recently and it is more fluid for me and more control. It actually helps my wrist relax more.  It isn't too different but my pinky is in a different spot.  Self discovery isn't that what fiddle playing is all about?

Having said all of that. I'm still going to be spending a lifetime figuring this thing out.  At the beginning I said perfectionist, but I don't really mean that in being perfect but to the best of my ability at the moment and in the moment.  It will all come eventually.  I'm quite sure of it.


4 comments on “The Bowing challenge”

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Saturday, November 24, 2012 @7:04:47 PM

I once had an instructor tell me I had to change my entire bow hold/ bowing motif. I had to defenestrate him, find a new instructor to tell me what I was doing was just fine.

MOFiddlin Says:
Saturday, November 24, 2012 @7:59:45 PM

However you feel comfortable and get the most out of your playing. There's no wrong or right really to a certain extent anyway.

richdissmore Says:
Sunday, November 25, 2012 @8:57:37 AM

for my self i can,t hold a bow any other way then holding it in my fist wraped a round the frog i had a stroke i hold it this way or drop it on the floor it is very hard to bow this way but its all i have

boxbow Says:
Monday, November 26, 2012 @7:42:30 AM

Somewhere in this forum, somebody suggested to think of "pulling" or "tugging" the bow, regardless of bow direction. I found, and still do, that it's a good visualization tool. It keeps my hand lighter on the bow. It keeps me from bowing from the shoulder and more from the wrist. But you're right. There doesn't seem to be a simple model to aspire to. Back to the woodshed.

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