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May 28, 2022 - 9:28:48 AM
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4338 posts since 6/23/2007

Should not be difficult. First of all, try playing slowly with some type of rhythm device. Play a two note slur followed by 2 alternate bowstrokes. Think of each measure as having two four note patterns. The first note in each pair is emphasized. And, it "steals" a little bit of time from the following note.

Two ways to emphasize the the first note in each four note pattern (i.e. notes 1 and 5). You can apply a little more pressure and speed to the bow. Another way to emphsize these two notes is to put a little upward pressure with the thumb and downward pressure with the index finger of your bowing hand. This is done very quickly when the note is started - not for the full duration of each note. Both methods emphasize a note, but the latter adds a short slight "crunchy" sound to the note. When learning, overemphasize those two notes. That way they won't disappear when you play. Over time you will obtain more control of the bow and won't have to overemphasize the notes. I think overemphasis helps
during a learning process.

If you want an instruction that will do wonders for your bowing, get Canadian fiddler Gordon Stobbe's DVD "12 Things Your Right Hand Should Know". I think I read where there is a short promo for Gordon's DVD on youtube. I keep recommending Gordon's DVD, but except as a customer, have no connection with his business. He also has a "red book" with 150 exercise and recordings. That book/CD will also help a novice developing their playing skill. Note that the book is written for musicians who can read standard music notation. The notation is written for learners and is not that complex. But you do practice lots of common playing bowing techniques.

When bowing, say "Dahh da da Dahh da da" out loud when are bowing. Try to feel the rhythm and make the first note in each pair really stand out. It won't take long for you to be able to play this basic bowing pattern. One word of caution. After you learn to play this bowing pattern, don't use it too often. That suggestion applies to lots of things in music.

Jul 5, 2022 - 8:36:50 AM
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85 posts since 7/24/2012

My focus is on Louisiana Cajun and Creole fiddle, so see if this shift in perspective helps: youtu.be/BYP2EQFhE-Y

Nov 10, 2022 - 6:29:39 AM

Erockin

USA

227 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by Quincy

Is this some kind of magic bowing?
How do I get this right?
I've been trying and trying , just tried out a video with Nashville shuffle in twinkle twinkle.
For twinkle twinkle it works, but dammit I want to be able to do this for other tunes as well!

Right now I'm listening to this lady:

youtube.com/watch?v=jpJeg0Gu5pE

How long does it take before you see the light?


Same...

Nov 14, 2022 - 8:35:02 AM
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14 posts since 12/28/2020

The Georgia Shuffle is an all purpose bowing for reels. Once you have the feel of it in your arm you can use all the slurs, every other slur, or just when you want to smooth it out. I have my students practice this one string exercise (attached) for at least a week to get it very automatic. All the 2s are down bows, everything else is slurred on an up bow. Then transfer it to a 2 G major scale+2 extra notes on the E string. Again all the 2s are down, every thing else slurred. Then pick a smooth notey part of a reel without a lot of string crossings like the A parts to Dancing Bear, Growling and Grumbling, or Catharsis (if you don't mind low 1s) and fit the shuffle on there. If you are just trying for a basic shuffle, like Boil Them Cabbage Down, try putting it on top of Angeline the Baker. Make sure to accent the off beats. 


Edited by - MeganBeller on 11/14/2022 08:36:25

Nov 29, 2022 - 5:11:53 PM
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1081 posts since 6/26/2007

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

John, I think he's playing a five string fiddle, with a low string.
BTW, a song with a similar ascending phrase, but in G, is "Eight More Miles to Louisville."


Andy plays a Jon Cooper 5-string fiddle. Both he and I will be teaching at Fiddle Hell Online, coming up April 13-16, 2023, with 4 months of free replays.  More about that later, but there will be several sessions on bowing patterns and shuffles.

Dave

Nov 30, 2022 - 4:30:58 AM

Erockin

USA

227 posts since 9/3/2022

I haven't had the time to read this thread but I'm finding that bowing seems to be the most important thing for now and I'm lost. It's probably my ADD that prevents me but I think it's time to start working on this. I have my hands on scales and feeling the pitch out and lot's of things coming together but bowing/shuffling/right hand etc just isn't there. I am very grateful for this site.

Nov 30, 2022 - 7:25:53 AM
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DougD

USA

10964 posts since 12/2/2007

Bowing is the most important thing - always. I would advise you not to believe everything you read on the Internet, including this forum. What you can do is find a fiddler whose playing you like and want to emulate, and try and figure out what they're doing with the bow. This is a lot easier to do in person, but YouTube can be very helpful if you can find the right videos ( there are some good ones of Kenny Baker, for example).
PS - Are you taking lessons? Your teacher ought to be able to help you with this, if they're really a fiddler as opposed to, say, a Suzuki teacher.

Nov 30, 2022 - 8:23:22 AM
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14110 posts since 9/23/2009

My humble self-taught amateur back porch and inexperienced fiddling experience is that starting very, very slowly with Nashville Shuffling on everything...until you are just sick of it...then you will find little secrets that NS bowing will gradually reveal and you move on into your very own style...you might still use NS a lot, or just a little, or even abandon it entirely...but you will find your way if you explore that basic shuffle.

Not to promote my own ideas too strongly here, because I am a self-taught nobody...but I made this first video for a friend who had wanted to know about my own bowing that I do...and the second video I made in response to his further questions. Might not be helpful for everybody, and I sure understand that, but I will share just in case it does help somebody in any way.

First video youtu.be/Zvg06JHmF18

Second video after questions about the first video youtu.be/hK9CC6TkjSw

Nov 30, 2022 - 8:44 AM
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Erockin

USA

227 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

My humble self-taught amateur back porch and inexperienced fiddling experience is that starting very, very slowly with Nashville Shuffling on everything...until you are just sick of it...then you will find little secrets that NS bowing will gradually reveal and you move on into your very own style...you might still use NS a lot, or just a little, or even abandon it entirely...but you will find your way if you explore that basic shuffle.

Not to promote my own ideas too strongly here, because I am a self-taught nobody...but I made this first video for a friend who had wanted to know about my own bowing that I do...and the second video I made in response to his further questions. Might not be helpful for everybody, and I sure understand that, but I will share just in case it does help somebody in any way.

First video youtu.be/Zvg06JHmF18

Second video after questions about the first video youtu.be/hK9CC6TkjSw


THANK You!

Nov 30, 2022 - 12:13:16 PM
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14110 posts since 9/23/2009

Eric...I sure hope it can be helpful to ya!

Dec 1, 2022 - 5:20:22 AM
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3217 posts since 9/13/2009

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Bowing is the most important thing - always. I would advise you not to believe everything you read on the Internet, including this forum. What you can do is find a fiddler whose playing you like and want to emulate, and try and figure out what they're doing with the bow. This is a lot easier to do in person, but YouTube can be very helpful if you can find the right videos ( there are some good ones of Kenny Baker, for example).
PS - Are you taking lessons? Your teacher ought to be able to help you with this, if they're really a fiddler as opposed to, say, a Suzuki teacher.


Obviously. As the bow is what generates the sound. However there are different approaches to bowing.

As discussed often; pattern algorithm approach, works for some, others don't think that way or really use that. 

For me the internal feel and/or rhythm is first and most important; then what way(s) can create that, and what is most efficient way. 

Dec 1, 2022 - 6:26:23 AM
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Erockin

USA

227 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by groundhogpeggy

Eric...I sure hope it can be helpful to ya!


Absolutely!! Thank you!

I appreciate you and this site. It's a wonderful resource. I compare the internet to the ole days when you needed lyrics to a song, you'd put the tape in and wear out the FF and RW buttons. Now the internet is there and you can find it all. I've been up and down with my fiddle progress lately and I understand it's all a process. Recently I noticed that I am absorbing the left hand because it's used to those motions but my right hand is locked and I'm bowing from my shoulder as opposed to my wrist and hand. A habit that I'm trying to break now. I started doing some simple videos to watch my myself and showed them to my teacher last night...I keep thinking "crawl...then walk...walk then run...run then sprint...but me, I'm in the middle there somewhere and in the back of my mind, slow and steady wins the race...lol.

Dec 1, 2022 - 6:48:44 PM

14110 posts since 9/23/2009

Just keep a fiddlin' on. We all eventually find our way, the way that works for the individual.

Dec 2, 2022 - 8:28:02 AM
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83 posts since 12/26/2021

You might try playing in front of a mirror. Much easier to see what you are doing, especially with bowing and posture. Much better than shifting around looking at your left hand fingers, the bow on the string, your right hand, etc. It's in real time, too, not like a video. Works for me, YMMV.

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