April 4, 2013 at 2:11 PM
Circles, Lifts, Retakes, Double Downs are different words for the same action. In music you know when to do this when you see two down bows one after the other – usually with a rest in between or you also will see two up bows one right after the other again with a rest in the middle. If the two up bows are without a rest then they are a usually a different technique with the bow and are more of a hook but that is another topic for another day. In this post I focus on bow circles.
I will start with explaining down bow lifts, circles or retakes and from this point I will refer to them as circles. When you first learn down bow circles the easiest way is to put a small sticker on your bow just below the middle of the bow. Play a down bow starting at the sticker and after you pull your down bow reset your bow back at the sticker.
The secret to successful retakes............yes there is a secret:)
The secret is to set the bow first and then pull the bow. When you set the bow you eliminate what I call crash landings – when the bow lands and bounces out of control. Start in slow motion – pull a down bow starting at the sticker reset in the exact same place and be sure to set the bow and then pull.
When one first learns double downs it is very difficult, at first, to produce a very clean attack on the second down. Many times these "crash landings" occur because the bow is flying way too far from the string. Also, be careful of where you start the bow strokes. If you try to do double downs or double ups in the middle part of the bow, close to the balance point, you may have a bouncy bow because this is where the bow likes to bounce. So for your double downs stay below the middle of the bow.
No matter if you are doing up bow circles or down bow circles the secret is the same.
If you are using the sticker method, the technique for up bow circles is the same. Start at the sticker and play an upbow, reset the bow at the sticker and play another upbow.
Enjoy the video and Happy Practicing your bow lifts :)
In this video, I discuss and demonstrate the very important secret to a clean double down, circle, retake or lift. The double ups discussed are slow double ups - fast double ups are a different technique and will be discussed in another video :)
This video is a great supplemental teaching video for "Song of the Wind" and "Oh Come Little Children" in Suzuki Book 1
or for the folk songs in Solos for Young Violinists Book 1.
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Recently I had been encountering more places where I needed to do lifts and was getting crash landings, both up and down.
Last week my teacher and I decided I needed to add this practice to my open string exercises.
The timing of this video is perfect. Nice reinforcement and always good to see others doing what you need to do.
Cheers, John Berger
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