Bowing straight appears to be one of those things that remain with me from back in the day. My teacher has commented on that from when I returned 5 months ago - not saying I don't ever bow crooked, it's just not a consistent problem and I'm thankfull for that as I've lots of other areas on which to focus.
Still odd noises happen that are usually associated with a crooked bow, and we chased the cause down. While I do bow parallel to the bridge, my entire right arm is somehow drifting towards the bridge while not changing the angle of the bow. So it's not crooked at all but the unintended migration up the strings cause similar sounds. I hope my description is clear.
My teacher advised more quality time with mirror practice (after saying that this was quite unusual) - and I am following that advice. I can't do this for my full practice sessions however- any tips on how I can keep an eye on this in normal playing? Additional ways to address it? Thanks!
Thanks for sharing this. My entire arm is somehow migrating so slowly toward the bridge without angling at all that it's really difficult to see the movement before it reaches a certain point where odd noises draw attention.
Marche is a nice piece! My suggestion is to review your already-learned repertoire whilst focusing on your bow-arm issue. Preferably pieces that have a variety of bow strokes using all parts of the bow. The only way you can solve a problem like that is by giving it time and mental bandwidth so that you can really learn how it feels in your arm to have your bow in the right place.
Thanks Paul and George! That makes perfect sense. I've only been back to the violin for 5 months after 45 years and while things seem to be going well, there haven't been much in the way of pieces with a variety of bowing yet. That is slowly changing.
I haven't read other responses so I might be repeating advice but the first thing I would suspect is unconscious trapezius muscle tension in the right side (this is the muscle that connects your neck to your shoulder... It's the classic "massage from behind" muscle). Try lifting your shoulder to your neck, then dropping it into complete relaxation. Do this often and at random stopping points in the music to increase your awareness of the muscles's tension. It must be checked frequently, and not just at the beginning and the end of an exercise/song.
Get a "Bow Guide" type device, attach it to your violin, and practice using it for at least two-weeks. In particular, practice end-to-end bowing.
When moving "naturally", the motions of the arm are arcs, from the shoulder, from the elbow. To get the bow to move in a straight line requires some rather complex compensating motions at the elbow and wrist, and, depending on the bow hold, possibly a pivoting inside the hand. I would not attempt to describe it in words. That's why we do private lessons.
I do appreciate all of the feedback and Joel, I agree that's why we do private lessons. I know my teacher will get me there, was just trying to think about this as I noodle away at it before my next lesson.
Catherine, I don't think there is a bad suggestion in any of the advice you've been given above.
Thanks Andrew, and all of the feedback here has been great. We don't need to worry about any changes affecting my vibrato as we've not gone there yet. I do have shorter arms along with my small hands, so the scroll is pointed more in front than to the side. Interesting thought of yours about my perhaps still falling back into positions from childhood...each of you have given me good food for thought.
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