Ring on Middle Finger? Delay's philosophy?

December 17, 2008 at 05:12 AM ·

I was looking at some old videos of Midori and Sarah Chang, and I happened to notice that both MIdori and sarah wore a ring around their middle finger of the bow arm.  Does anyone happen to have any idea as to why this would be?  My guess is that this was an influence from Delay?

Are there advantages to having a ring on one's middle finger (of the bow arm)?  And if anyone who is a former Delay student knows of this technique, could you please describe and expalin it?

Here are some links to videos of younger Midori and Sarah:

Midori Tzigane (Carnegie Hall Age 20): LINK

Sarah Chang Carmen Fantasy (Some recital Age 10): LINK

Thanks in advance!

Replies (20)

December 17, 2008 at 06:10 AM ·


this is the late April Fool question ,  right?



December 17, 2008 at 06:19 AM ·

no...i was actually being serious!


was this a stupid question?  it was just so weird seeing both midori and chang with those rings on the same finger.

December 17, 2008 at 06:52 AM ·


no such thing as a stupid question.    I can`t see how it would make any differnece though.  If it really wa sa Delay idea then it would probably be very widespread by now.



December 17, 2008 at 02:06 PM ·

Maybe those are not just any ordinary rings.....

Tenacious D and the pick of destiny.



December 17, 2008 at 03:48 PM ·

Many men have those two even if rings is more of a a women's thing . I think (I'm not absoluntly certain) Itzakh Perlman and Vadim Repin have these too on a finger of the bow hand. Why? I don't know? Maybe because they are sick of having stupid fans asking if they would marry them and want to make things clear! lol Seriously, I saw a girl asking this to Vengerov in the middle of an autograph session and I found it quite weird and impolite!  Fourtunately, he laugh with her and it was very funny.

I really don't know. I would be scared it would cut the blood flow in the finger. But maybe it forces the hand to spread wider on the bow and it is a good thing. Before saying any other speculations try it someone and tell us news!



December 17, 2008 at 04:04 PM ·

Maybe they are trying to send a message to those who said that they would never get that far playing the violin?


December 17, 2008 at 09:06 PM ·

Most professional string players seem to wear their wedding rings on their right hand, usually on the ring finger, probably because it feels better or less distracting to them there. 

December 17, 2008 at 10:28 PM ·


bit silly when the nose is clearly more convenient..



December 18, 2008 at 05:20 AM ·


Don't you know that's supposed to be secret...

By suspending five to ten grams of gold above the bow it changes the whole center of gravity for the bow/hand combination.

It makes bow articulation and off string technique a breeze.

December 18, 2008 at 05:26 AM ·

The only thing I can think of is that because the bow is held between the second finger and thumb making the middle heavier makes it easier to hold the bow with less effort.

But most likely it's just a coincidence.  If it really bugs you find a student of DeLay and ask them...

December 18, 2008 at 04:52 PM ·

Actually Sarah Chang and Midori were just barely average Junior High School players, about to be kicked out of their junior student orchestras. As fate would have it both Sarah and Midori were on vacation with their parents and drove through Roswell new Mexico where they stopped at the alleged Alian Spacecraft crash site. While denying it, both of them found some rings just below the surface that had an eerie glow to them. When they put them on they both told their parents they felt a strong energy force within them and they just had to get to their violins NOW for some reason. When they each picked up their instruments and began to play both sets of parents fainted. The rest is history.

A few years ago an up an coming prodigy had a ring just like those found in Roswell.I asked her to take the ring off and see what happened. She took it off and immediately started crying. When I asked her what was wrong she said "a celestial voice is telling me if I don't put the ring back on quickly I'll end up playing just like you."

December 18, 2008 at 06:41 PM ·

OMG, did it look like this? Totally eerie, dude.

December 18, 2008 at 09:59 PM ·

Laurie- 1) Now I've seen everything! 2) Tell me where I can get that ring so I can say to time in memorial the story of this thread to all who asks!!!!

I think that all the partants of this thread sould wear that ring that Lauie found!

December 19, 2008 at 03:21 AM ·

Patrick...the only way we learn is to ask questions.  I don't know if there is a significance to the rings but I have noticed that many violinist/violist don't wear watches on the left arm. 

Everyone else....roflmao!  It's always a joy to come here and see a perfectly serious thread veer off into the Twilight Zone. 



December 19, 2008 at 06:23 AM ·

To be quite serious here--I see quite a few bows that have significant damage to the top of the handle caused by players that wear rings on the right hand. It might make it easier to finger the violin without the ring on the left hand, but over time, on the right hand, the ring will wear a hole on the top of the bow stick.

Many violinists & violists do not wear a wrist watch on the left arm because of rattles and buzzes when vibrating for vibrato. Also, the position of the watch tends to hit the upper bout of the violin when shifting into upper positions on the fingerboard.

Josh Henry, Bow Maker and Restorer

December 19, 2008 at 05:03 PM ·

Perhaps, Ms. Delay gave rings as Christmas gifts one year....

December 20, 2008 at 07:46 AM ·

I remove my watch when I play. I feel it gets in the way, and also restricts freedom of movement of my left wrist.  Actually, I don't like rings etc. for the same reasons. 


January 4, 2009 at 05:12 PM ·

Why doesn't someone just ask Sarah Chang? Go to sarahchang.com/q-and-a and at the bottom, " get in touch with Sarah" you can just submit your question and she will reply very promptly.

I have contacted her before and found her to be very polite and quite a lovely person. She is pretty much the only professional soloist out there who will reply to every fan.

No question is stupid  so just ask her and we will have an answer to put this discussion "to bed" forever.

P.S. If none of you are willing to contact her, I guess I can do it.

January 4, 2009 at 05:53 PM ·

I used to wear a ring on my right hand little finger to remind me to keep it on the stick.

Can't see how a middle finger rimg would help...


January 4, 2009 at 06:26 PM ·

I disagree wtih others saying that a ring does nothing. Wouldn't it be pretty much the same idea of a heavier bow? The weight is just in a different place.

I've been wearing a ring for a few days and it's helping bowing a lot. Without discovering this thread, I had already made a few observations while playing.
With the ring on my ring finger, there was no change in bowing that I could feel. When I moved it to the middle finger, there was a huge change for the better, and things were easier, and it was much more comfortabl; it felt very natural. When messing around with the Cadenza of the Mendelssohn concerto, the bowing was amazingly easy.

I don't know what it is but I do think the ring makes a difference.

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