#8698 Reply

Dianne Adkins

Love this song! You played it really well. I especially love the little curl at the end of the phrase! So, for feedback, since I couldn’t see your hands, I would only say maybe you could get more tone, as the bow seems to be only skimming the surface of the string, rather than maintaining consistent depth of tone from beginning of the stroke to end of the stroke. One way to start thinking about improving this is thinking about the position of the elbow. Since the bow grip is often very hard to master, players often tend to ‘carry’ the bow with the arm positioned above the stick of the bow. Ideally, the bow arm is below the hand. This means you can use the weight of your arm in a relaxed position to provide depth of tone into the string. Try placing your bow on E. Then roll the placement of your fingers back so your elbow is hanging naturally next to your side. Then play on E without raising the elbow. Now play on A, but leave your arm and elbow down where it was for E. Just lift the hand up toward A, but leave elbow on E. Elbow should always be one string lower than the string you play on.

Another good exercise for strengthening the bow grip is to begin again on E, set a relaxed E string elbow. Then raise the bow above the string on which it sits 4 times, extending the arm above your head and then back on the string. Sort of like push ups! But you’re setting the bow grip while the bow is sitting on the string, relaxing the elbow, then raising the hand up with bow grip intact, as elbow follows going up and leads returning to the original on the string position. Do this on all strings, noting the elbow stays below the hand when reaching up and returning to the string.

Finally, elbow placement is most often trickiest during string crossing. So for clean string crossings, look in the music for the notes involving a string crossing. Then practice that without fingers, open strings only, making sure the elbow isn’t making unnecessary movements, or there isn’t some unnoticed bowing problem. Once you’re sure your bow is functioning properly, then add the fingering back and it should be clean and good tone.

Thanks for sharing your video!