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Bowing direction [Jan. 26th, 2013|11:42 am]


My song for the week is Lightly Row from my Suzuki book. My teacher and I spent most of the lesson working on intonation and bowing, mainly seesaws on the open strings, and showing me where I should be bowing up and down in correlation to written music, and talking about prepared fingers and so on.

The way my teacher explained it was this: bow quarter notes on the middle half of my bow, which has stickers as a visual guide. For bowing half notes, use middle half of my bow, going to the upper half of it. In the song, the first line ends on a half note. The second line also ends on a half note. So when I play the first half note, I go past the orange sticker on my bow, play the quarter notes with that top half, then go back down on the second half note and end up in the middle of my bow, correct?

On the plus side, my teacher says that she already can tell I've made good progress after two weeks, and says I have very, very good intonation and sight-reading skills.

[User Picture]From: jamijo
2013-01-28 10:41 am (UTC)
That is a very basic idea of how the bowing should work, yes!

With an unlimited bow length of equal weight and balance, all notes of the same dynamic level and style would be proportionate to each other - quarters half as long as halves and twice as long as eighths -when it comes to how much bow to use. Since our bows aren't unlimited, and since the balance and weight distribution change as they move, notes can't always be that perfect. The ultimate goal is to keep consistent sound through the phrase and ideally through the note by adjusting bow speed and where in the bow you play. Since our bows aren't limitless, sometimes we have to adjust where we are in the bow by cheating - using more or less bow to end up in a specific area of the bow.

An easy experiment is to draw a whole bow without changing bow weight/pressure, sipped, our contact point in the string. It should start much clearer and louder at the frog and gradually fuzz out as you approach the tip. As you learn better bow control, you will learn how to manipulate bow speed and weight and contact point to maintain consistent sounds throughout.
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[User Picture]From: starrynight
2013-01-28 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. I really enjoy playing the violin and I have so much to learn, so sometimes I get a little overwhelmed/flustered during a lesson. I was really confused about bow direction at first but with some practice, it's become a bit easier.
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