May 24, 2013 at 3:53 PMI think that most people have a dominant hand, in their violin-playing, and it is not necessarily determined by whether they are right- or left-handed.
I noticed one of my teaching colleagues describing to a student how to feel something in the bow hand, and it dawned on me, that she herself tends to feel her playing mostly in the bow hand: in that tension of hair against the string, the feel of the stick against the thumb, even in the movement of hand and arm.
I feel that, too, but I think I mostly feel my violin-playing in my left hand: the strings into my fingers, the vibrating of the strings, the vibrato in my hand, the violin neck on my thumb.
On which side to you feel your violin playing most strongly, in the bow hand, or the violin hand?
My second teacher altered my use of both hands, so even in that, I can't say there's ever been a difference... It's like asking which is more important to song, lungs or larynx.
My teacher said "your left hand is your gift". Even as recently as last week she said "you must work on a supple bow hand. Let your fingers move with the bow"
I am just beginning after two years to get a tone I can live with.
My up bow is straighter and sound better than my down bow. My main plan is to memorize short passages and concentrate on the bow along with my right hand and my right arm.
It is not just the hand. I have to loosen the wrist and open the elbow. I have a lot of work.
But the left had just keeps on going. Ok, my third finger has a tendency to be a little sharp, but that is already getting a lot better.
My bowing begins at the shoulder/neck on the right side. So, too, my fingering on the left. When I concentrate on a 'hand,' and whatever it is doesn't work, I've learned the first place to become aware of is neck/shoulder. Consider the source!
All the great pedagogues tell the right hand is more important, is the articulation, phrasing and the signature or an artist...
But the left hand is of an equal complexity for someone like me with narrow and weak hands with very thin fingers (and finger pads).
As much as I battle every day to add weight to my bow arm, texture, division, contact point, angle etc. I battle just as much after 8 years to do these nice, relaxed and rich vibratos (à la Perlman etc.), pressing two strings with one finger, spread my hand wide ennough for many things can be torture and my left hand is very prone to indjury since it's too fragile to press strings all day imho.
I know for most people it isn't but for me, my left hand is as complex to learn as the bow hand for the reasons told previously.
So, it's a personal issue I beleive :)
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