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Mendy Smith

The Traveling Violist

February 6, 2008 at 4:26 AM

After all the hard work on "fixing" my bow hold over the last week, I'm looking forward to lessons tomorrow with a mix of anticipation and dread. My hand is in a better position now, the tension is gone, but once I speed up the bow stroke the point of contact varies, sometimes by a little, sometimes by alot; and I'm still getting a pain in my right arm when I bow fast. Not from viola practice but WAAAY too many hours at the computer at work (death grip on the mouse syndrome, a result of working on CAD systems).

I'll be heading off to China soon on business. One of my colleagues asked me if I was going to be bringing my viola with me again. When I told him yes, he was actually HAPPY about it... A year ago I brought my viola on a business trip, we were up until the weee hours of the morning waiting for a data conversion script to run over a 19 hour period of time. I practiced while we waited. It was a great diversion! It's also a great time to get alot of practice in when stuck in a hotel in Southern China over a weekend. I just hope that I'm not relegated to practicing in the hotel hallway again while the cleaning staff remakes my room!

On the other hand, that might just help me a little more on my public peformance fears. Maybe I can convince the pianist in the lounge to come in early on Sunday before the lounge opens to practice with me :)

From Stephen Brivati
Posted on February 6, 2008 at 10:49 PM
Greetings,
>My hand is in a better position now, the tension is gone, but once I speed up the bow stroke the point of contact varies, sometimes by a little, sometimes by alot

Have you considered the possibilty that this might be correct?
Simon Fischer makes an interesitng comment in the introduction to the sevcik opus 2 bowing etudes which he edited fairly recently. Talking about sound point in a moderately fast etude in 16ths he points out that strings have different reistances and then states categorically that the best place to play those on the g string is SP 4, d string SP3, a sp2, and e sp1. So what you think is a problem might just be your hand and ear trying to tell you what to do...
Cheers,
Buri

From Mendy Smith
Posted on February 7, 2008 at 5:40 AM
Buri -

I never considered that! I'll have to check out where my contact point is on each string at a faster pace. Interesting...

Thanks!

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