I’m having a lot of difficulty getting my bow to make a sound when I’m playing with my local orchestra. I run the bow along the string and get either no sound at all, or jittery sounds that suddenly jerk into life and then disappear, which is really awkward when I’m trying to play!
My obvious guess is that my bowing technique is wrong, but I can’t see what I’m doing wrong. I have no difficulty making a sound when I’m practicing alone or having lessons with my teacher, and the only differences I can see between lessons and rehearsals is that a. I’m standing up in lessons and sitting in rehearsals, and b. I am more confident in lessons. To me I always sound so much louder than everyone else in rehearsals, and also out of tune even though I’m not, so I am always more hesitant. But even when I try to play confidently, I get little to no sound.
At the moment my only way around it is to keep putting plenty of rosin on the bow, but lately the conductor made a comment that he could tell from listening to the orchestra that someone had too much rosin on the bow, and I feared it was me. So I’m at a loss.
It’s especially awkward in concerts when I’m practically playing the air violin instead of music.
Any idea as to precisely what I’m doing wrong? I know my bow hand can be a bit stiff and inflexible (because I don’t have much hand strength and the bow is too heavy for me to balance properly), but I don’t have any problems outside of the orchestra.
I know I hate playing sat down anyway, and I’ve wondered if that could be it. When I’m sat down I’m always shifting about because my bow’s either hitting my chair or my leg, and if I move to avoid that then my violin is blocking the sheet music so I can’t see it to play it! I also wondered if it’s just a confidence issue, but when I try and put a bit more effort and be less hesitant, I come out as playing really loudly and sounding (to me) out of tune (and I know I’m not because I have a tuner which I use before I start playing).
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