Obtaining a good sound
I asked this the other day but I think my post was probably a bit too rambling so deleted it in order to re-ask the question.
I know there are many factors that go into getting a good sound - bow, bowing parallel to the bridge, right/left hand coordination, finger pressure, etc. I've read the previous posts on this topic, and it's interesting in that everyone has a different take on this in the past.
So I am curious - what is/was your main takeaways when focusing on getting that good sound?
I practice a lot, and focus on what my teacher suggests. I've just been focusing on this search for a consistent good sound more and more as other things that used to be difficult no longer are.
I agree with Xuanyuan. Planning your bow division thoughtfully is also an important element. A relaxed vibrato is sort of the final element once your right hand is tamed.
For me it was becoming thoroughly familiar with the holy trinity: bow speed, bow pressure, soundpoint. You become familiar by first learning the theory (which is quite simple, see Fischer Basics) and then experiment, experiment, experiment.
Thanks to all 3 of you, I appreciate the comments! Christian. I am most certainly at an earlier stage of my return to the violin adventure :)
May I add to all this good advice and suggest that repeating scales or passages with poor tone will only confirm the poor tone!
This sounds really simplistic, but listen to what you're doing and experiment. Be curious.
Rosin, of course, makes all the difference. Just try playing without any. The bow itself can make a surprising amount of difference, especially if we're including the range of bows included with violins in a kit, etc., which is not to say that an expensive bow is necessarily better than an cheap one - in fact, some of the better cheap bows can be better than
The three main factors, bow speed, force (weight), and point of contact were mentioned. The main reason to bow parallel to the bridge is to prevent the bow hair from wandering off of its optimum spot. The equipment of course makes a huge difference; violin, bow, strings, hair, rosin. Otherwise we would not spend mega-$$ on them. Then there is your overall attitude while playing. Avoid the temptation to play too loud when you see the marking ff. Strive for quality of tone before adding volume. A well-centered mf can project just as well as a forced, crushed ff. Develop a controlled bow-speed before adding force. To use a perhaps inappropriate analogy from physics; the energy pumped into the instrument is proportional to the mass X (velocity- squared).
My teacher told me the story of what his teacher once told him: the first year you’ll learn how to play the beginning of a note, next year the middle of a note, and the year after that the end of a note, and if you work hard, 4th year from now you may be able to play a note right!
And then the bits between notes. If you're attentive.
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