Straight Bow Exercise (?!)
As a ‘new hatched’ (wannabe) violinist I’ve found that trying to keep the bow straight and to not let it slide all over the place which is a contributory factor in producing screeching and squealing (not from me - the violin) is really very difficult – that’s an understatement :-)
So, I’ve thought of an exercise (which I’m sure is not original) which maybe sounds a bit ‘eccentric’ but which may just be of some use (?!) and I wonder what others think.
Stand close to two walls which form the L shape. Have the violin strings running parallel to the upper part of the L. The bow, hand and right arm are parallel to the lower part of the L. The fingers of the right hand are very close to and almost touching the wall.
Obviously the idea is to make long down bow and up bows keeping the fingers as close the wall when having first set-up.
Thoughts please and if this sounds a mad idea take into consideration that I’m an ex golfer – and all golfers are borderline crazy.
Upper and lower?
Will, yours is a similar idea to the exercise my Suzuki-trained teacher taught me. This involved standing next to a smooth wall, facing it at an angle of 45° with the left shoulder touching the wall, and extending the right arm to its lowest extent so that the knuckles of the hand touch the wall, and then drawing the hand up towards the face with the knuckles gently brushing against the wall. This replicates the hand and arm action necessary to bow a straight bow. When doing this the right hand should be in a relaxed position as if it were holding a bow. It worked for me and a couple of weeks later I was bowing straight bows with no trouble at all.
Yes Trevor but how does the OP's description work? He has the violin, a bow and two walls forming an L. Yours is just a wall. Am I missing something?
Maybe! But either the "Bow Right" or "Bow Force" teaching aids for about $15 each will force the player to bow fairly parallel to the bridge and allow "dynamic" adjustment of violin angle and/or bowing arm to help self-learning of "straight bowing."
Another idea...draw two long perpendicular lines on the ground. Install a light bulb directly over the point of intersection. No other light source. In playing position, standing on that point, align central axis of the violin's shadow to one of the lines . Now align the bow to the other and play keeping bow shadow aligned to this other line :)
Thanks everyone for the feedback - appreciated.
Parallel to the open door leaf (which is parallel to the side wall of the hallway aND orthogonal to doorway)...meanING that you can't be on one side of the doorway with the violin on the other?or do you mean parallel to the doorWAY ...thus your hand brushes on the doorframe? Hopefully the corridor is wide enough :) you don't want to break your bow head on the other side.
Will, I'll try another way to describe it: stand at right angles to the wall with your left shoulder touching it. Now turn 45° to your left so that you are more facing the wall and your right side has come closer to it. You'll find that you can reach with your right hand, and a straight arm, down, across and away from your torso so that the back of the hand touches the wall. Then follow on as in my previous post.
That's awfully confusing. Just rest your elbow on a table with your forearm pointing upward. Move your hand (forearm) down to the table and back up. That's the motion you need to do. Transfer that motion onto the horizontal plane if you wish resting your elbow against a wall.
That sounds like a great idea . Original ways to overcome problems are part of what violin playing is all about .
I remember that what worked for me was using a mirror so I could watch the bow and my sounding point. I didn't worry at all about my right arm; I concentrated on memorizing the feeling of my right hand moving forward. I still think of bowing primarily as a motion of my hand, not something my arm does. The elbow moving forward etc all takes care of itself as it follows the path of my hand away from me.
Trevor, as you say it's much easier to demonstrate than to describe in words alone but I sat down and envisaged it and the 'penny dropped.' I can see how it worked for you. And so I guess it will work for me and others too.
Edited: I still don't get it :
Tammuz, I don't have an account with that website.
Will, copy paste the link adresses into the adresse box of your Internet explorer.
Tammuz: Okay, your diagram loaded at the 3rd attempt.
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