Questions

June 28, 2019, 2:29 PM · 1. Does anyone use a full bow with a 3/4 violin?
2. Does anyone use a 3/4 bow with a 4/4 violin?
3. Do you have calluses on your string fingers? Should you?
4. Have you ever tried practising sitting on one of those inflatable exercise balls?

Thanks for reading, interested to hear your experiences :)

Replies (8)

June 28, 2019, 2:35 PM · No to questions 1, 2

3. I do not have callouses per say (at least not in the way that I normally think of callouses), but my fingertips are tougher on my left hand than my right. You cannot see that my fingertips are tougher.

4. No, but I do rotate between standing and sitting on a basic wooden chair with a thin cushion. I would not want to sit on a ball like that to practice, the body needs to be firmly grounded/rooted and in my (avocational, inexperienced) opinion, the ball would be a distraction.

June 28, 2019, 3:17 PM · No to (1) and (2), yes, I have calluses on my left hand fingers, and I usually practice standing up.
June 28, 2019, 5:35 PM · I do not have calluses on my left hand fingers from playing violin. I think it really depends. I think calluses are neither good or bad; some people develop them more easily because of skin properties, rigorous playing conditions, and other factors.
June 28, 2019, 10:23 PM · 1. Yes -- this happened with my older kid for a brief period as he was moving from 3/4 to full. If you can't play a full size violin due to your size, it is equally unlikely you will be able to get to the tip of a full size bow, though. However, sometimes it is useful to use the longer bow even if you can't reach the tip since there aren't very many great 3/4 bows out there.

2. No. Just use the full bow and don't go all the way to the tip.

3. Yes, all of us have slight ones.

4. Yes, and so has one of my kids. It was useful as a technique to specifically target the feeling of the core.

June 29, 2019, 12:06 AM · 1. Yes. Same reason as Susan's kid.
2. No. Ditto what Susan said.
3. Very slight. If you have big calluses you are pressing too hard. I had much more significant calluses when I was in my teens and I was pressing too hard.
4. I've tried it. It's an Alexander Technique trick for being balanced and centered. I use a Wenger musician's posture chair. I used to always stand to practice. I sit more often these days, just because it's more convenient to the table height of the table by my stand.
June 29, 2019, 12:27 PM · Three causes of calluses on the left finger tips. 1) Pressing too hard 2) Landing too hard; the fingers being raised too high between the notes. You can hear some players making popping sounds when their fingers land. 3) Not releasing the pressure when sliding or shifting. It also wears out the windings sooner. The violin has the lightest action of the string instruments; just try a bass someday. You only need to push the string down to the wood. Take it easy.
June 29, 2019, 12:32 PM · 1 + 2: never tried

3: Yes, but I play upright bass. I also practised left hand pizz a lot once upon a time and used the edge of my library card to harden my fingers.

4: Risky.
I always stand.

June 29, 2019, 3:35 PM · I will try and lighten up more on the strings. I like to hear that a full bow might be better. Thank you everyone :)

Here are my answers:
1. Yes but it's confusing as the 3/4 bow is low quality even to my eyes
2. Yes as above
3. Very much so, just as with guitar in earlier years but less on the 3/4 than I had with the 4/4 as the strings are a little lower, which I have been looking into for next time
4. Always now I have tried it. It helps me remember to use my whole body and not to lock into one position which ends up hurting. I don't think you can slouch on a ball.

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