Bow shake/bounce at balance point on down bow
I've been struggling a bit with this issue as it occurs far too often and I haven't yet discovered how to tame it.
On a down bow (I do not have the same problem on the upbow), my bow bounces when it reaches the point of balance.
My teacher says that it is a question of too much first finger pressure and that the hold should be very light, no pressure. However, I dont think I apply that much pressure and I try to hold the bow as light as I can but hey what do you know, i come to that point and it starts bouncing.
I've been trying to search for an exercise that could focus on this problem to help me discover what exactly I should be doing. I looked into the two books by Simon Fischer that I have (Violin Lesson and Basics) but I didn't find, perhaps its there but I missed it.
I read somewhere that it has to do with the smooth transition in the wrist from the upper to lower half of the bow, but I cant say that the transition looks abrupt and it is not something my teacher noted in my playing.
I suspect the 'secret' lies in a subtle and gradual transtion of hand shape (including wrist, first finger, thumb) to preempt and absorp these tremors. But it remains a mystery to me.Would someone kindly be able to suggest possibilities of why this would be the case and if they have exercises in mind?
Just to note:
-this does not happen on an upbow
-my bow seems ok, my teacher plays on my bow to demonstrate sometimes and he didnt note anything unusual and it doesnt bounce so definitely my technique
-perhaps there is also the feeling of lesser security going from the suspinated position of the wrist-arm at the lower half of the bow to the pronated at the upper half (ie downbow) than the other way around (ie on an upbow)
-i dont have too high a wrist, try to keep my elbow and wrist at the same plane more or less
Could you post a video so we can give you more accurate feedback? Maybe you need a more balanced bow?
Tammuz, I went through a phase like that. Lasted a couple of weeks. Don't agonize over it or spend too much time focused on fixing it. Try to let it fix itself. If you want to work on it directly, then I suggest just playing some slow whole-bow scales and focus on how you are *changing* your finger pressure as you're drawing your bow. You might, for example, be starting out okay and then really dogging down on it at some point. If you cannot feel where you are doing it maybe you can see ... so watch yourself in a mirror. And just because you are not trying to apply too much downward pressure doesn't mean you should have a skimpy, finger-tippy bow grip. Let your middle two fingers of your right hand drape well over the frog so that your bow is drawn a little more into your hand. To do that you'll have to tuck your thumb in a little more.
Im embarassed to share this again here but here goes (ive been working on the violin hold, changed the chin rest, incorporated advice from the kind people here and so on..but that is not so pertinent to the bouncing bow and it still carries over) : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7KLmTCZQ1B2ymVSDHF-ALQ
From your video, one obvious thing you should correct is the angle of your bow, perhaps the most likely culprit. Practice in front of a mirror to ensure that you maintain the bow perpendicular to the strings.
I hate to controvert your teacher since I'm just an amateur, but I think the reason teachers usually emphasize perpendicular bowing is because it is more versatile and easier to manage, well into your intermediate and even advanced playing. I hate to think how you will learn spiccato and sautille when your bow is at an angle. Maybe that's possible but it just seems to me that it would be a lot harder.
Did you watch this video: Common causes of bow bouncing on You Tube
It used to happen a lot to me. It still does eventually but it is disappearing.
thanks Calros, will look into that too. it ties in with what Christian had to say about the shoulder. thanks
I am just a beginner so take this with a grain of salt, but I've been facing the exact same problem. There are three things I noticed which might apply to you:
Thank you everyone, Im trying all these ideas now. The bow bounces every now and then but somehow being super aware of its bounce now makes it bounce less, im checking my shoulders and elbow just before i get there. still bounces sometimes though :) work in progress
I’ve been having this exact same problem...really bad bouncing on downbow, mainly on A string and sometimes on E. My friend pointed out that my right hand seemed stiff, so I tried to hold the bow with only the least amount of grip required to keep it from falling out of my hand. That fixed the problem maybe 70%. (I didn’t realize I was gripping the bow but I was!)
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