Hey Michael! Thanks for the tip. Quick question: the two dynamics you played in the video sounded like they were somewhere around a forte and maybe a mezzo piano. Are there any specific tips for creating the more extreme dynamics, like fortissimo or piano/pianissimo, without messing with the bow hold? For louder dynamics, my instinct is to use the larger muscle masses in my upper arm and shoulder to add more weight to the bow, and for softer dynamics I tilt my bow so less of the bow hair is making contact with the strings. Given my history with less-than-stellar bow holds, I’m disinclined to believe that my instincts are correct…. Also, for the softer notes, you used a shorter bow stroke. What should I do for long, sustained, quiet notes? Thanks again for the lesson!
Hey Nikki, thanks for your question! You are correct that the way you are current applying “extreme dynamics” is incorrect. The way you are using the arm to play louder and tilt the bow more to play softer means you aren’t relying on the index as much as you should to guide the bow. Extreme dynamics can be applied solely by what the index finger is doing, with no need to tense/flex other muscles. This could be a short-term solution, but once you start applying difficult techniques along with dynamics you will have a hard time. You want the arm to be as relaxed as possible as you are playing soft or loud, and the only different is the amount of bow you are using and how much you are pressing down with the index.