Crescent Bow Path, Planes and String Crossings

April 25, 2017, 9:53 AM · Hi Everyone — It has been a while……Please join this journey of violin/viola technique. It is my hope that all will benefit.

This video lesson excerpt explains why, and how to accomplish perhaps the simplest of concepts to master your bow’s path, automatically gaining a more resonant tone with tremendous ease and fluidity of action: the Crescent Bow — or ‘banana’ or ‘smiley face’ bow.

Think of the hand and bow becoming one and then focus on the upper arm and forearm — the joints of the shoulder, elbow and wrist are constantly proactive in the arm’s motions. The movement is similar to that of a bi-fold door — on the string at the tip of the bow, the door is closed; at the frog, the door is open.

Accompany this action with well timed, flowing and beautiful string crossings and you are well on your way to sounding like a fine violinist or violist.

Then mix in the proper proportion and balance for multiple strings — double-stops and chords.

Voilà! With greater understanding, all works and flows better. Now apply and master throughout your technique and repertoire. Piece of cake:)

My full video series, "Violin Technique: The Manual" and "Viola Technique: The Manual" (VTTM) are now available for streaming, and my books are now available in eBook format.

It is my hope that you will benefit greatly.

God bless,
Drew

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Replies

April 26, 2017 at 01:44 AM · Aside from Simon Fischer, Mr. Lecher is a pedagogue who explains everything so cleanly and clearly that he deserves endless recommendations (and I never miss an opportunity to make that recommendation!).

I've seen his viola technique book; I'm sure the video series is just as informative. On the to-watch list...

April 27, 2017 at 03:46 PM · Lovely , thanks, Drew, sounds like good advice.

I find I naturally do what you call the reverse crescent . Is that bad?

I found when I cross strings /change planes - a little trick seems to work for me - i think of ONE PLANE. In my head i think that concept . I am not trying to guide my bow to different levels - then i sort of put on automatic - for the body to sort out - how that one plane is actually achieved somatically , where there are 4 strings and different planes . That seems to result in much more adroit, efficient string crossing for me.

April 28, 2017 at 02:17 AM · To #73.114.22.128 — Thank you for your kind words, support and enthusiasm! D.

Hi Sylvan — I was just responding and swept the screen away, so lost what was written. Maybe it will reappear………

The reverse crescent bow is the path we want to avoid the most. It tends to distort the tone and pitch of the notes. Try simply drawing a sustained open string with the reverse crescent and you will hear a twisting of pitch and quality of the note played. If not, then you are doing a wonderful job of covering it up, but that is far more work.

Along with developing a more resonant tone, the crescent bow path by its very nature automatically gives us an extremely fluid bow action.

When you change strings "somatically" is your right arm adjusting or your head, shoulders and neck adjusting, or all of the above? Also what is happening in your hand and fingers?

Initially achieve a very clean, clear action with a pure upper arm movement. This will be your best foundation to build upon.

Hope this helps! D.

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