Playing At The Lower Half Of The Bow
I am having difficulty playing at the lower half of the bow, especially if I try to play quick bow strokes. My right arm feels uneasy when I try to make this motion. I am told by my teacher that the movement of the bow should be performed by my fingers, but I can't quite get the hang of it. If anyone could give me some advice, or send me a website/video to help me improve this technique, it would be much appreciated.
Post a video of your bow arm playing 1/4 notes, 1/8 notes, and 1/16 notes at the frog please. No need for anything but open strings.
The modern bow can't do terribly fast strokes at the frog. It will lose balance on the string. Fast strokes are best past the balance point of the bow.
Still should be able to play quick strokes at the frog regardless of whether or not it's ideal. That's a technical element. And here we're not even talking "frog" but just "lower half".
No point in speculating until we see a video.
I keep a 1/4-size bow in my studio and hand it to my students to use when they are spending too much time in the upper half.
Haha.. I literally went over this exact thing in my lesson today. Teacher said the same about more motion needing to come from the fingers, rather than the shoulder. She suggested thinking of the weight of my arm as settling down into my hand, and to let this relaxed weight provide all the pressure on the string, rather than any pushing down. Also she suggested trying to become more conscious of how engaged my shoulder muscle is while doing things other than violin, and that thinking about the muscle more often would help me change the tensing habit on the violin more quickly.
OP's post history indicates 7 years of playing, and RCM Grade 7 (which would roughly Suzuki book 5 or early book 6 level).
May I add to Jeewon's clear account that I use both the pinky
Agree with Adrian. Infact, it helps to tilt the stick into the pads of the fingers, so you use less hair, the bow hangs on the tips of the curled fingers, and the pinky, being on the inside top facet of the bow handle, is vertically on top, in the 12 o'clock position.