Inclining the Bow

November 15, 2004 at 05:16 AM · My violin teacher keeps on telling me that I incline my bow too much and that I need to use flatter hair. The exception is when I'm doing spiccato because inclining the bow apparently makes it easier to do spiccato. But I'm told that when I'm doing long strokes I should use flat hair because you get a much powerful sound. I don't know what makes me keep on inclining my bow. I think that when I go back to the frog, I curve my wrist and somehow, the bow becomes inclined. But aren't you supposed to curve your wrist a little when you go back to the frog? I'm confused.

I'm also having some issues with straight bow. When I'm playing long strokes, the direction of my bow goes toward my head, which is not what it's supposed to be doing. According to my teacher, it's supposed to be going toward the scroll of the violin. What is the best way to prevent crooked bow?

Replies (1)

November 15, 2004 at 05:49 AM · Greetings,

it often helps to pracitce the opposite of what is happening in these kind of cases, or even exagerrate the problem.

There is an exercise by Capet called the Roulet in which one plays a slow bow (whole note mm50?) starting at the heel the bow is tilted away. By the timeone gets to the middle it has been rolled in the fingers so that it is angled towards the noseand then from mb to point it returns to beng tilted out -immediately- and then graduallt rolls back towards the nose by the middle of the bow. Sorry I cant figure this out but basically you use the finger to make a gentle rotation. No squeezing or forcing anything. No need to get the wrist involved much either. This improves sound and also increase awarness of tilt. It can be found described in the back of Galamians book too.

For the slanted bow it is a good idea to find the bow slamnt exercises in Basics by Fischer and practice them evbery day.

The wrist will give a little at the point but an exageratted hook is bad news.

There is much debate over the real value of a very flat use of bow hair. Many people think it supresses some of the harmoics which mormally need to ring free. The degree of tilt is often associated with how tight the bow hair is. If you want flatter hair you may have to lossen it.

My current take on the subject is that it is best to have both kinds of color available.



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