I've received different instructions from two expert players/teachers on the default location of contact point on the bow, and their choice seems to me to have significant conséquences in terms of their sound and subsequent technique.
One chooses to have the default around the middle of the bow, even closer to the balance point. This is teacher A.
The other chooses the point where the bow is in a 'square' position, ie the forearm/bow/violin/upper arm form a square (or rectangular) configuration. this is teacher B
With A, the position implies that the hand is closer and above the string, there is less pressure from the index finger since at this position there is more bow weight on the string, the production of sound relies more on making the string resonate. There is more movement of a looser (as in relaxed) wrist and fingers. Interestingly, for player A -with reference to classical pédagogues and great players- affirms that the sautillé is a very fast détaché. This suggest even more the prominent role of a a relaxed wrist and fingers, and it starts being prominent at an earlier stage. Sound Wise, he has a nice warm sound but not huge.
Player B, by contrast, relies more on a forearm movement for shorter détaché strokes at the square-position. One of the reasons, or rather the main reason he gives is that at around this point, with short détaché strokes, the bow does not deviate, the arm does not need to do any adjustments as it does with long détachés. He emphasizes more index finger pressure, there is more pronation, movement does not happen from the wrist at this speed (he is explicit about this point), the bow digs in more liberally. i believe the expenditure of energy is increased (but then again, it dépends on what one is used to) to move the forearm. the sound he digs out is larger i think, and the quality of sound is different, there is more of a growl there. this is not to say that he cant sound as light as he wants to when playing Mozart say. but one definitely can tell that the sound of player A and B are very different.
I personally keep an open mind about this and prefer to see this as an opportunity to learn about different ways of sound production. i do some reading and i can see that there is no single opinion on the issue. for instance, i think paul rolland started his pupils around the balance point, galamian at the square position. fischer in his violin lesson states that the balance-point-position is a comfortable one to start a down-bow with while he affirms teacher B's proposition that the square-position is the best place to pay short fast détachés without incurring upper arm movement (and hence adjustments to render the bow straight). anyway, i would very much like to hear from the players and teachers here on this subject, thank you
Ps: I changed title for clarity purposes
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