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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jess A Help learning fiddle (56* d) RE: Help learning fiddle 29 Nov 04

at one point when I was learning (what am I saying? I'm still learning!! but, you know what I mean, at an earlier stage...) I was told that the best thing to get a relaxed bow hold was to support the weight of the bow with your left hand, place your right thumb on the bow (slight bend to the thumb is helpful, resting slightly underneath the stick) and let the fingers flop over the top of the stick in a completely relaxed fashion, so that the wood runs beneath your second knuckles (almost - on my hand it ends up slightly further towards my finger tips than that, but only a bit.Guess it depends on the shape of your hand). That is about the right position - then you grip just tight enough to not drop the bow when you let go with your left hand - you may need to adjust your grip a bit for it to feel comfortable. The idea is that there should be no tension across the back of your hand or in your wrist. The bow should be sitting oin the end of your thumb and held there by the weight of your relaxed & floppy fingers, rather than gripped there by a pincer action between thumb and fingers. As for the position of the rest of your arm - I do have a slightly arched wrist when I play. As much of the motion when bowing comes from your upper arm as from your elbow. In fact all three joints (shoulder, elbow and wrist) move when you've got a good bowing action. My guess from your description of the problems you're having may be that your trying to do most of the movement from your elbow, and that your wrist, shoulder and/or arm in general may be too tense.

I'd definitely go along with the advice other people have given re: the long slow bow exercise and re: getting either 'teach yourself' style videos or even just videos of people playing the kind of style you want to aim at. Plus grabbing every opportunity you can get to play with other fiddlers.


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