difference in RH position upbow vs downbow?
Sorry for the beginner question once again. I've spent far too long trying to find something online and hoping you can help.
Can anyone point me to an image (or even better, practice exercises) which will help me to understand the difference in how the RH should be for upbow (wrist up? fingers curved?) vs downbow (wrist lower? fingers straighter?) This is something I'm struggling to understand and can't even find a YouTube video about it?!
You might be over thinking it.
As long as you don't get too caught up in the idea, you could think of your hand on the bow being as if slightly turning a doorknob. Coming towards the frog, you slightly turn the hand clockwise, so that a little more weight and balance comes to the pinky side. Coming towards the tip, you go the opposite way, with weight coming off the pinky and coming into the index finger more.
My prof, Tim Ying, said to me in a lesson that you should just barely feel the skin of your fingers shift upon the bone when you change direction. If your fingers are sliding along the stick, there's too much motion.
Anita you hold the bow lighty, so, when you play a downbow, you pull the bow, and when you play an upbow, you push the bow. If you would grip the bow very tight, that would not have an effect, but since you hold the bow lightly, it can move a bit between your fingers, so it will be positioned slightly different when pulling than when pushing. So put otherwise, it is not your hand that you should expressly position differently or change every time you change between upbow and downbow and upbow again. That would be unworkable. It is rather the bow itself that slightly (just slightly of course) drags behind. A good exercise is to hold the bow as you would play before you, without violin. With your left hand, grab somewhere the left end, and gently pull and push, and feel how that pulls and pushes with your right hand fingers.
I highly recommend YouTube videos by Julia Bushkova and Todd Ehle.
I would not call violin bowing a natural motion. If it were,then a lot less of us would have problems with it. Whether you use Russian or F.-B. hold, or something in between, I would not try to change it while playing. Later on there are more advanced topics like using the fingers as shock absorbers at the change, figure-8 bowing, or letting the bow float inside the hand.
I found this book by Harold Berkl
Thank you very much, it's very intricate and not without controversy, it seems.
Thank you Buri, I do think you are absolutely right and I was thinking the same thing. When I learned piano as a teenager the internet didn't exist. I just did what my teacher(s) instructed. Information overload really can be paralysing.