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Rhythm in Bowing

Posted by bj on Monday, September 15, 2008

This was a sneak up on me eureka moment, since janepaints, in the Fireback Fiddle Contest thread, mentioned that when we jammed afterwards, just her and me, my inner metronome was right on the money, but since she said it I've been listening to my own playing with new ears, And I realize that all those drills and lessons and concern with downbowing, bow direction, and patterns has finally started to crystallize. Do I sound great? No. But my playing now has DRIVE. WOOHOO!

And I think she's right. It's the first big step on the road.

I didn't even realize I was sneaking in GA shuffles, with that great bow dig, here and there for accents until I started really listening to my own playing. It wasn't conscious, it was just happening. And most of the time the bow direction thing is pretty easy now, though occasionally if there's a complicated passage I have to stop and work it through. On the simpler ones I just do it, I rarely have to work it out with new songs anymore. The gut stuff is starting to become automatic. Not totally, maybe, but I don't have to think about every little thing I'm doing while I'm playing. I can just PLAY. At least until I hit a more complicated bit. 

Yes, I'm playing fairly simplified versions of the songs still, but even that is starting to change as my skill level increases.

And I can start working with lefthand drills more, I think. My bowing is doing okay. Can it be better? Oh yeah,always! But I'm now pulling decent tone and keeping good enough rhythm that I can start working a bit more on other stuff.

It's about time. And it feels good.

6 comments on “Rhythm in Bowing”

fiddlepogo Says:
Monday, September 15, 2008 @8:32:19 PM

Heh, heh... good news...
it's always fun when the bowing patterns just happen by themselves.
If you can do the Georgia Shuffle, maybe you're ready to try "Sawshuffle"-
look in the photos section of my ezfolk page for an example in musical notation, sort of.
With some work on Sawshuffle, it will allow you to move seamlessly
from a sawstroke passage to Georgia Shuffle, as well as being a cool
pattern on it's own.
In addition, Sawshuffle is often used as a way of starting a series
of Georgia Shuffles, since it starts on an upbow, and Georgia Shuffle
wants to start on an upbow, which is counterintuitive for downbowers,
unless they are using it as a device for getting turned back around, as I do.

bj Says:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @12:27:10 PM

I'll take a look after I "master" the two songs I'm working on, "master" being such a relative term!

I'm hearing GA shuffle in a lot of places though, and it seems a more effective use of time right now to just run with it for awhile and work on my left hand. I'm starting to add in some slurs, which I haven't before. And some left pinkie stuff, which is tough for me with the damage I have in the connective tissue there. I'm trying hard to find where that envelope's edges are, and work near those edges for awhile. Not easy for me. Someday I'm hoping I can push at those edges a bit.

brya31 Says:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @5:33:57 PM

bj I seem to mention GA shuffle alot....What is it? I only know of the Nashville shuffle.

bj Says:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @5:48:19 PM

Look at Fiddlepogo's music page. Down the list a ways you'll find examples of the different shuffles in mp3 form.

fiddlepogo Says:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @7:34:11 PM

Georgia Shuffle is a clever way of leaving out a couple of
bow direction changes so that all the accents come out in
the SAME direction (usually downstrokes) , instead of opposite directions, like Nashville. Also, because you have fewer direction changes,
it's a little less tiring, since it has a higher ratio of slurs to single notes.

bj Says:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 @8:00:29 PM

That's funny. I upstroke the accent on GA shuffle. That's from watching Steve, and it also feels more natural, since it's easier to dig in. Nashville the accent is varied since it's on the longstroke, and if you're chaining them together they're going to alternate accents.

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