bow hand question
I have the tendency to have a straight, locked thumb in my bow hand. I am working on fixing this, but am running into a problem on the e string near the frog...
When I have a curved thumb, my hand hits the bout of the violin.
I have tried to fix this by making sure my bow is tilted as close to the a string as possible, and also that my elbow is low, but I am still having this issue.
I have run out of ideas to solve this problem! and I'm hoping someone else would have an idea as to what I am doing wrong...thank you!
Playing all the way at the ferrule of the frog is usually unecessary. If your hand hits the violin, just stop before that point.
Anita, one thing you can look at is the bow angle to the strings. Remember, all you have to do is not touch the A. Are you over-rotating the bow on the e? I find many students over-rotate the bow, especially with back-and-forth string crossing patterns. All you have to do is just barely clear the non-played string.
If your bridge top is curved so the E string is too low or the A string too high it can force your right hand into this kind of problem. Compare with another violin.
I agree with Scott about the possibility of over-rotating to avoid the A string. Over-rotating will also encumber difficult passage playing. Try playing the Bach E Major Praeludio, for example, or the cadenza section of Kreisler' Praeludium and Allegro at a nice fast speed (forgiving yourself
Perhaps I am bending my thumb too much? Because I am playing very close to the A-string, and my wrist is quite bend, but still my thumb hits the edge.
Well, looking at pictures, my guess is my wrist isn't bent enough?
Are you trying to play with flat hairs at the frog, or with a tilt?
I'm trying to play with flat hairs...is that not normal?
Play with a tilt (rotate the stick slightly away from the bridge). I can't imagine that trying to play with flat hair at the frog would produce any kind of a pleasant sound.
I simply straighten my thumb as I approach the frog (while playing E). Still, unless you're an advanced player it's probably not necessary to be playing in the area very close to the frog.
Ah, I just looked at the pictures. Looks like you just need to raise/bend your wrist more when you're that close to the frog.
So, is the bow hair flat near the tip, and tilted at the frog? When does it start to tilt? And the thumb is really bent at the tip, and starts close to straight at the frog?
The hair should be tilted at the frog and gradually flattening somewhere in the middle as you draw the bow to the tip. The thumb will be less bent when the bow is at the tip.
As you draw your bow you'll find it flattening out on its own. It's hard to hold it tilted at the tip.
Will try and get back to you about some exercises, but it may be you think of your arm in 2D, folding and unfolding in the plane of the string. The joints (in both arms) must move to keep the finger tips along a line (the line of the bow, and along the string.) Of course there are various ways of achieving this, and it depends on the angles created by your bow hold and violin hold. But think of how you can move the parts of your arm and hand around the finger tips so you can guide the stick along its path.
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