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What is the best way to write bowing patterns?

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Jun 29, 2020 - 4:02:35 PM
1256 posts since 7/26/2015

What is the best way to write bowing patterns when standard musical notation and bowing symbols are not available? Someone will probably post a link to the "Mother of All Bowing Threads", so I'll go ahead and post it here to start things off: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/233

There are at least four methods with which I am familiar. I am using the "Nashville Shuffle" pattern for these examples:

  • D-UDU-DU
  • 211211
  • ,,','','
  • D2U1D1U2D1U1
     

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 06/29/2020 16:02:56

Jun 29, 2020 - 4:08:30 PM

10901 posts since 9/23/2009

I personally like the first way your illustrated best. I would write it more like D_ud U_du, etc. But basically same. The others are confusing to me and hard to understand.

Jun 29, 2020 - 4:25:06 PM
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1697 posts since 8/27/2008
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Those all baffle me. I'd write something like this:

D UD U DU

Edited by - Brian Wood on 06/29/2020 16:25:46

Jun 29, 2020 - 4:26:56 PM
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1256 posts since 7/26/2015

They all follow the same logic, but I agree. The only problem I have with the dash/hyphen method is that the computer often fuses multiple dashes together. I suppose inserting a space between them would solve this problem.
quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

I personally like the first way your illustrated best. I would write it more like D_ud U_du, etc. But basically same. The others are confusing to me and hard to understand.


Jun 29, 2020 - 4:34:38 PM
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1256 posts since 7/26/2015

Here's an idea for a hybrid method: D- ud U- du

Jun 29, 2020 - 7:21:23 PM

4653 posts since 9/26/2008

I like the numbers. Makes sense to me and can be played starting down OR up.
DdUDUuDU? The numbers are tidier than all of them.

Jun 29, 2020 - 9:03:30 PM

2495 posts since 10/6/2008

I use the first example and when I say it, it sounds like this: do-own up down u-up down up. I often just use slurs in notation.

Jun 29, 2020 - 10:09:20 PM
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1256 posts since 7/26/2015

What if we run into patterns that cross barlines, such as the "Georgia Shuffle"? Maybe I'm playing it wrong, but the pattern for the Georgia Shuffle as I learned it is like the Nashville Shuffle with ties between the last 1 in "211" and the 2 in the next "211", and it often starts in a pickup measure:

11|21311|21311|etc.,
  (tie)      (tie)

The way I see a lot of people write it on here appears as if they are flipping the emphasis from upbeat to downbeat, or vice-versa, creating something like this:

1313|1313|1313|etc.,

Edited by - soppinthegravy on 06/29/2020 22:14:43

Jun 30, 2020 - 3:55:57 AM
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4653 posts since 9/26/2008

That IS a tricky one because it does rely on where the U and D fall.

Jun 30, 2020 - 4:26:53 AM
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DougD

USA

9609 posts since 12/2/2007

Backing up just a bit, what would be the situation "when standard musical notation and bowing symbols are not available?" Can they not be made available? Seems like that would be much easier than all this other stuff. They are always available to me as long as I have a pencil and something to write on, but I really think the "best way to write bowing patterns" would be with invisible ink.

Edited by - DougD on 06/30/2020 04:35:13

Jun 30, 2020 - 4:41:08 AM

10901 posts since 9/23/2009

Well good point, Doug! I think in the old days, or even maybe now where folk musicians exist, nobody writes or talks, they just play.

Jun 30, 2020 - 9:50:16 AM

RichJ

USA

325 posts since 8/6/2013

Bowing topics will always bring lots of folks out of the woodwork. Someone may already have brought this out, but I think of the Nashville as a bowing pattern that continuously reverses direction of the beat:

Something like D-UD-U-DU-D-UD-U...etc.

Of course if you start with an up bow it's:

U-DU-D-UD-U-DU-D...etc,

Edited by - RichJ on 06/30/2020 09:58:05

Jun 30, 2020 - 10:20:28 AM

DougD

USA

9609 posts since 12/2/2007

BTW, of all these schemes the ones proposed by Brian and RichJ make the most sense to me. With maybe the use of upper and lower case to indicate the time difference.

Edited by - DougD on 06/30/2020 10:23:03

Jun 30, 2020 - 10:30:02 AM

3021 posts since 6/21/2007

WHOOOOOOSSH! Right over my head.

I still have trouble figuring out whether the legs point up or down for a down-bow. I have never advanced far enough to worry about "correct" bowing patterns, playing which ever direction I happen to be going at the time. I use a LOT of slurs, because I will play notes that appear on one string until I run out of bow or need to change strings.

Jun 30, 2020 - 10:41:28 AM
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DougD

USA

9609 posts since 12/2/2007

The legs point up - its sort of a stylized "U." The upbow symbol is like a "V" which seems counterintuitive.
I'm quite pleased that I've learned these in the last couple days, after about 45 years of playing!

Jun 30, 2020 - 11:14:12 AM

2495 posts since 10/6/2008

quote:
Originally posted by soppinthegravy

The way I see a lot of people write it on here appears as if they are flipping the emphasis from upbeat to downbeat, or vice-versa, creating something like this: 1313|1313|1313|etc.


I think some fiddlers do think of it this way. DU - - DU - -

And pondering that makes me think that a method of writing out bowing might need to consider accents.

For me, for example, D U - D U - D U would be D u U d U u D u  and D U - - would be D u U u with the capital letters having a slight accent.

Jun 30, 2020 - 11:40:45 AM

8257 posts since 3/19/2009

This is all very confusing to my thick skull.. Could you indicate how you would show finger/string positions using some of these things you guys are talking about??

Jun 30, 2020 - 11:56:22 AM
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2495 posts since 10/6/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

This is all very confusing to my thick skull.. Could you indicate how you would show finger/string positions using some of these things you guys are talking about??


I don't think these approaches to jotting down bowing are meant to include any information about the notes being played. 

Jun 30, 2020 - 12:15:50 PM
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8257 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Cyndy
quote:
Originally posted by TuneWeaver

This is all very confusing to my thick skull.. Could you indicate how you would show finger/string positions using some of these things you guys are talking about??


I don't think these approaches to jotting down bowing are meant to include any information about the notes being played. 


That is what confuses me.. How is it applied?  Where/when is note info ?? How does it fit in.. What I do is start with the notes/ indicate bowing with various things.. A picture would be worth 1000 words..to me.

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/30/2020 12:16:25

Jun 30, 2020 - 1:41:06 PM

8257 posts since 3/19/2009

I apologize is I came across as 'snarky'.. that wasn't my intention..Maybe I misunderstood .. Maybe we are LOOKING for a way to do it..??? Anyway, that is probably how the ABC system got invented.. One line, explains it all and can also indicate bow direction..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 06/30/2020 13:49:35

Jun 30, 2020 - 2:10:57 PM

DougD

USA

9609 posts since 12/2/2007

As Cyndy said, these methods are not supposed to indicate the notes - just the bow direction.
In fact, abc notation was invented when someone (whose name I don't recall) wanted to jot down simple folk melodies for later reference, and didn't know standard musical notation.

Jun 30, 2020 - 2:49:12 PM
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1378 posts since 4/6/2014

i like tunes written out in simple notation, with bowing suggestions indicated in the normal way, with an up bow or a down bow symbol. Whether i use them or not is a different matter.

Jul 1, 2020 - 4:22:01 AM

4653 posts since 9/26/2008

Lee, this is taking about bowing patterns and the like. Did you not read the first post in which Nashville shuffle is the example? I recall you taking about this very type of thing, learning that shuffle and applying it to sound more fiddle-y. Did you worry about the notes or just apply that pattern to something you already knew?

Jul 1, 2020 - 4:30:08 AM

8257 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Lee, this is taking about bowing patterns and the like. Did you not read the first post in which Nashville shuffle is the example? I recall you taking about this very type of thing, learning that shuffle and applying it to sound more fiddle-y. Did you worry about the notes or just apply that pattern to something you already knew?


You've got me there.. I like patterns, and no,  I'm not sure how to write them ...I've admitted failure here..laugh  

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