Tilting the violin forward
I’m a childhood suzuki student turned adult Irish fiddler and I’m experimenting with technique adjustments. One challenge of playing Irish fiddle is it is often done sitting down at a pub table in very cramped quarters. To find room to move the bow, I’ve started holding my instrument tilted further forward (but with the scroll still at chin height) so that my frog doesn’t smash into the table and to avoid stabbing the musician to my left. I’m doing this through a combination of moving the violin forward a bit on my shoulder (still supporting with weight of the head) and by leaning forward. The bow moves maybe 20 degrees from vertically. So far so good. One unanticipted side effect of this is my bowing touch has gotten lighter, and I think it is because gravity is no longer holding the bow to the string quite as firmly. It’s like having a small amount of pinky pressure by default. I rather like the effect but I am surprised that I have never heard of this before. Has anybody here consciously incorporated a forward tilt of the violin to get a lighter touch? Any words of warning?
From your description it's hard to tell what you mean by "tilt forward".
By "tilt" I assume you mean a rotation of the violin about its length so more of the top of the violin is showing horizontally to the audience.
I found your description as clear as water. Lots of fiddlers do what you are doing. You're in fine company. Just be aware it can be hard to go back to classical posture should you ever want to.
In his last years Rugiero Ricci was advocating tilting the violin very strongly clockwise (as I think the OP is saying) as a technique that made it easier to play Paganiin's music - in fact he postulated that Paganini probably held his fiddle that way. It does make it easier to bow the G string!
tilting forward = leaning forward?
I cringe when I see an indian playing the violin!
Another effect of playing folk fiddle in a cramped pub is the tendency to use the upper third of the bow almost exclusively, which means a real reduction in sound output; or choose your seating arrangement so that there is sufficient bowing space on your left (easier said than done). This bowing style (using the upper third) was one of the very first things to be addressed by my violin teacher when I started taking classical violin lessons. Actually, it didn't take long to learn to use full bow on the violin, probably because as a cellist I had already been doing it for decades.
Or you could just get yourself a 1/2 size bow!
To answer the questions - yes, i mean tilting along the long axis of the violin so the F holes point closer to parallel to the ground.
@Trevor one of the main attractions of this solution is it does still allow me to use the entire bow, rather than having to cut my bow strokes short due to limited horizontal space (the frog is a wonderful part of the bow to use for rapid string transitions!). I have as much space up and down as there is room between the floor and the ceiling, but practically none at all from side to side.
Yes but you used the right word... it's an adventure. I think in your shoes I'd be more focused on the musical opportunity!