#14780 Reply

Dianne Adkins

Hello again! Sorry for the delay in my return! I wanted to give a little more advice about your playing in general. Especially for this piece, I think you could use less bow. It seems that you are striving to use the whole bow for each bow stroke. As a result, the bow arm straightens out, and then hyper extends just a little sometimes. To prevent this, I would suggest re-working the bowing to fit the style and repeated rhythm of the piece. I think you can do it!

So where you have a quarter note on the DOWN bow, followed by an eight note on the UP bow (which is often in this piece), connect the two note with a bow that goes DOWN bow on both notes, but keep a separated sound by stopping slightly between the notes. The next pair of notes will be the same, a quarter note and an eight note on the UP bow. This will allow you to be gentle with the eighth notes musically, instead of increasing bow speed to get back to the lower half of the bow. Because the eighth notes always fall on the UP bow rushing back to the frog, they are louder than they need to be. But if you tie the eighth note to its quarter note partner, you have a nice way of playing the eighth notes delicately. And it also looks nicer.

I call this bowing the hook stroke, where you play a long note, and ‘hook’ a short note on the end of it, on both DOWN bow and UP bow. If you are familiar with Happy Farmer at the end of Suzuki Book I, you can see how the bowing style looks in the sheet music.

You can maintain the hooked stroke even when the measure contains three notes, the first two notes are already slurred together. So just add the eighth note that follows the slurred pair to bow stroke (hooked and separated, or all three notes slurred legato). Then be sure to follow with a hook stroke to even out the bow planning.

This picture shows dotted quarter notes, but for your piece, the quarter notes would not have dots because you’re in 6/8 time.
hooked bowing

Let me know if you need more explanation!