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Another step forward with Bowing

Posted by bj on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wow, a hangover from my very FIRST lesson with the Classical Weenie is what has plagued me up until this very day, and I didn't know it until reading a thread about "Position of the Bow" and chancing upon OTJ's response, "When you want to play loudly - as most fiddlers do most of the time - you want all the hair on the bow and you need rapid bow motion. At this extreme, if you angle the bow to put less hair on the strings you can get "squeaks" . . . But if you want to play softly - as in some parts of a waltz - you want to angle the bow to put less hair on the strings and use less bow motion. At this extreme, if you put all the hair on the strings you could get "scrunches"."

So, from the very first lesson I've been tilting my bowhair, since it was told to me that it was the "right" way. And Steve never picked up on it or said anything about it, even when I would glare at him in frustration when another dang screechy squeak popped out of the E string on a fast song.

Last night, after reading that bit of advice from OTJ, I played and played and played. With the bowhair mostly flat. And with the songs sped up. Not one single squeak did I hear out of that E string, not on either fiddle.


And since I learned a new song yesterday, Sourwood Mountain, which sounds better when played fast, this discovery came right in time.

4 comments on “Another step forward with Bowing”

OTJunky Says:
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @8:50:56 AM

Yeah - some classical violinists are trained to avoid that big "thick" sound that OT fiddlers want on breakdowns.

I'm glad this is working out for you..

And you can use that practice you've done with a tilted bow to put some soul into the "quieter" parts of your waltzes.


bj Says:
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @9:12:34 AM

When you say it's working out for me, it's the understatement of the year! I can actually stand to hear myself play now. My sound in general on the faster songs has improved immensely, and without those awful squeaks ruining my playing I can actually stand to listen to myself!

All of a sudden I can make the GA shuffle sound right now too, though I still need a lot of practice with it. I don't keep "losing" a string with it on the fast beat or squeaking when I do "find" that string.

And you're right about the waltzes. I didn't get squeaks on the one I play with the slower bow motion and tilted bowhair, or at least not very often at all.

PeachyPicker08 Says:
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @11:50:08 PM

Way to go, some things are like little treasures waiting to be found and no one else seems to notice that you don't know they are there.

persian98_98 Says:
Thursday, August 14, 2008 @6:23:42 AM

hi dear. sorry to be late in answering or writing. i've had a surgery. been so busy with it that could not even touch my violin! thanks for remembering me dear. have fun

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