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Did you learn to use your bow from a classically trained person?

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Jun 27, 2020 - 2:00:10 PM
8706 posts since 3/19/2009

This is a follow up to Diane's post about bowing.. Have you received classical violin bow instruction?

After struggling on my own for about ten years, I took instruction from my kid's Suzuki instructor.  The instruction was Very helpful.....

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/27/2020 14:10:42

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:27:13 PM
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25 posts since 1/28/2018

I've been experiencing a "bowing boot camp" since I started private lessons several months ago....haha

My instructor doesn't come from a classical background, but is a former GMHC winner.

Edited by - fiddlewood on 06/27/2020 14:28:26

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:29:31 PM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

GMHC.. What is that? and Yes, I like the idea of a bowing bootcamp...I get frustrated with fiddlers who refuse to even TRY to bow differently.. Not that they have to, but those same people complain that they don't sound 'old-timey'..

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:32:15 PM

3046 posts since 6/21/2007

I got my "technique" from a 5-lesson course from a student at U of A (University of Arizona) who was introducing violin to parents (I'm not one) of new violin students. I had already been fooling around with the fiddle for a couple of years and didn't really gain anything from the classes except to pick up some pointers on holding the instrument and the bow, both of which I already had my own idiosyncratic way of doing.

Her biggest problem with me was that I didn't then, nor do I still, use a shoulder rest. I also hold the stick, and not the frog of the bow.

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:38:34 PM
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8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by BanjoBrad

I got my "technique" from a 5-lesson course from a student at U of A (University of Arizona) who was introducing violin to parents (I'm not one) of new violin students. I had already been fooling around with the fiddle for a couple of years and didn't really gain anything from the classes except to pick up some pointers on holding the instrument and the bow, both of which I already had my own idiosyncratic way of doing.

Her biggest problem with me was that I didn't then, nor do I still, use a shoulder rest. I also hold the stick, and not the frog of the bow.


There IS the tendency for 'fiddlers' to do things differently. I think that that is a good thing.   Lets not mix generalities with specifics.  My thought that  Formal instruction can be helpful is a generality.. there will always be specific cases where it doesn't hold true..  My own bow hold is anything but conventional but is still benefited a Lot from bow instruction.

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:49:22 PM
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3046 posts since 6/21/2007

Understood, Lee. I really wish I hadn't got directly into Fiddle without some instruction on "proper" techniques; I'd probably be a lot farther along the road.

But, then, I taught myself Classical guitar from the Carcassi Method book, and finally took lessons 30 years later to learn some technique. Since I'm not playing professionally (or even occasionally) for the public, I just muddle along with all my instruments as best I can.

Jun 27, 2020 - 2:57:40 PM
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1794 posts since 8/27/2008

Mostly I'm self taught. Early on I looked at bow holds and bowing techniques on the internet, both on classical sites and folk sites. And I looked at other fiddlers play and saw what they were doing. I studied at a picture John Hartford made of Ed Haley's bow hold.

I never cared for the feel of the classic bow hold with the thumb and fore finger so close together which I used for the first few years. So I tried the thumb under the frog hold, and found it had advantages for my playing so I adopted that. It took me a couple months of playing that way to be able to do it without my thumb constantly sliding off, and I taped a little ridge along the edge of the frog made from a toothpick until holding that way came naturally.

Since I began 16 years ago I have played fiddle tunes weekly with someone who also plays classical which has had some influence. I believe I influence him too.
 

Jun 27, 2020 - 3:03:02 PM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Brian Wood

Mostly I'm self taught. Early on I looked at bow holds and bowing techniques on the internet, both on classical sites and folk sites. And I looked at other fiddlers play and saw what they were doing. I studied at a picture John Hartford made of Ed Haley's bow hold.

I never cared for the feel of the classic bow hold with the thumb and fore finger so close together which I used for the first few years. So I tried the thumb under the frog hold, and found it had advantages for my playing so I adopted that. It took me a couple months of playing that way to be able to do it without my thumb constantly sliding off, and I taped a little ridge along the edge of the frog made from a toothpick until holding that way came naturally.

Since I began 16 years ago I have played fiddle tunes weekly with someone who also plays classical which has had some influence. I believe I influence him too.
 


What I'm hearing you say, Brian, is that you paid attention to your bow and knew it was important..That counts a lot........!!!

Jun 27, 2020 - 3:10:59 PM

DougD

USA

9767 posts since 12/2/2007

I've never had classical training, but I've been around orchestra string players since elementary school, and old time players since high school, some very good. I also played for many years in a band with two very good fiddlers, who were good models. I've asked questions and taken advice when I could. Also, when I started playing I got a book called "Great Masters of the Violin" (very interesting) which had a picture of Heifetz's bow hand, which I looked at closely.
As it happens, there's a photo of my own bow hand online which you can buy for about $20 and put on your wall (framed of course) as a constant source of inspiration. Just kidding, but it really does exist. What do you think?


Jun 27, 2020 - 3:19:34 PM

8706 posts since 3/19/2009

Doug.. only worth $20 if NOT signed (J K)...wink

Jun 27, 2020 - 3:43:42 PM

25 posts since 1/28/2018

yep, couldn't edit...

I'm learning a lot on direction, pressure, emphasis in the right place, etc...

Edited by - fiddlewood on 06/27/2020 15:48:16

Jun 27, 2020 - 4:51:36 PM
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2215 posts since 8/23/2008

I learned from books of Kato Havas, and Yehudi Menuhin which goes into great detail for the development of 'each' finger.

Jun 27, 2020 - 6:34:24 PM

1655 posts since 12/11/2008

The two people that first put bows in my hand and/or told me what to do with the thing were the guy who owned the Blueridge Pickin' Parlor in the San Fernando Valley and a kids' violin teacher at another music store nearby. So yes, I did get something in the general vicinity of the proper rudiments. How 'bout that?

Jun 27, 2020 - 7:00:09 PM

Mobob

USA

139 posts since 10/1/2009

no

Jun 27, 2020 - 7:48:06 PM

Fiddler

USA

4103 posts since 6/22/2007

I did have some one classically trained initially "show me", but I developed my own style.

Jun 27, 2020 - 10:22:53 PM
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Tyler94

USA

81 posts since 7/21/2019

Never directly had classical instruction but I've studied some classical bowing mechanics to insert into my own technique. Then I started studying bowing mechanics of fiddlers I admire that already have good technique. I used to consider learning classical (or at least classical inspired) technique important to building your base as a fiddler until I realized there are quite a few fiddlers with impeccable technique that never had that training. I think now I say, if it feels natural and produces the sound you want, have at it. When you start having problems with either of those two factors is maybe when you reevaluate. Until then, live and let fiddle.

Jun 28, 2020 - 6:40:56 AM
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2045 posts since 10/22/2007

I initially learnt from a guy that didn't hardly know more than myself. 5-8 thousand hours later, i connected with Graham Clark. He's more known in the UK & EU. He's the Long Slow Bows, guy. The best part about that is/was, you can always come back to it.

Nothing much to do with old timey, but useing an active bridge(built in pickup) you constantly work with that hard part of bowing. You have to get the feel of when the hair excites the string. This is what Long Slow Bows teaches. Ignore it at your own peril.

Jun 28, 2020 - 7:00:16 AM

485 posts since 9/1/2010

I learned from careful observation of others and trial and error. In the fiddlers that I admire, I found that about half use/used a TUF hold and the others hold the stick with the thumb, index, and middle fingers. I use the latter mainly because I find that it provides a more natural movement in the wrist for me.

Jun 28, 2020 - 8:06:55 AM
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4260 posts since 6/23/2007

I have had lessons from classical violinists. The best fiddle bowing instruction I have ever received was Gordon Stobbe's DVD "12 Things Your Right Hand Show Know". For Irish tunes it was Peter Cooper's book/CDs.

Most of the classical instructors have rigid teaching programs. I did have one classical violinist instructor who was exceptionally good, but he was an exception.

Edited by - Dick Hauser on 06/28/2020 08:07:28

Jun 28, 2020 - 10:58:42 AM

2045 posts since 10/22/2007

A low stool will force me to choke up, but generally ima TUF grip.

NFN watch Micheal Cleveland's grip.

Jun 28, 2020 - 3:38:20 PM

2622 posts since 9/13/2009

Nope, I did not learn to use the my bow from a classically trained person. Nor any similar formal lessons for other aspects of playing, or other instruments.

Used alternative learning method, different goals.

Jun 28, 2020 - 5:58:04 PM

67 posts since 4/7/2016

I learned my bow grip from a fiddling champion. I looks like the classical grip to me.

Jun 28, 2020 - 6:45:36 PM
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11247 posts since 9/23/2009

I tried all types of grips and whatevers, while thinking about it a lot and reading up what people were saying on FHO, especially Pogo, at that time, back in the old days. I finally starting feeling the most comfortable with this a few years ago and have stuck with it.


Jun 28, 2020 - 6:49:04 PM

11247 posts since 9/23/2009

Ok...gonna try this for the third time. I tried various things in the beginning of my fiddling, reading up on FHO, especially Pogo's posts, but many others, weighing them all out, trying this and that, and finally got pretty comfortable with this one and have stuck with it over the years. If this post and photo don't go through...lol...I'm just gonna stop trying...have a lot of trouble posting photos here.


Jun 28, 2020 - 6:50:51 PM
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11247 posts since 9/23/2009

Oh gee whiz...now it's there twice... ok, well there it is.

Jun 28, 2020 - 7:20:54 PM
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DougD

USA

9767 posts since 12/2/2007

I can post mine again, if it will nake you feel better Peggy!

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