I have a question about playing the violin softly. I have a nice violin that sounds great but it sound very loud to me while I am playing. The tone just seems to "explode" out of it, which in a way is I guess a good thing :) In trying to play softly, at different parts of a song, I am having trouble getting the volume to drop. My goal is to be able to delicately start passages that then build into a crescendo, and otherwise try to sculpt the phrases, as I hear good players do.
I've tried playing with as light as bow pressure as I can, while keeping good tone, but it still sounds pretty loud. I've also tried bowing with less hair by rotating towards the fingerboard, but I just don't hear much difference when I do that. It still sounds as loud as when I'm using the all the hair.
Now, I can make the violin sound even louder by more pressure with a faster bow, but I just feel like I should be able to produce a softer, more delicate sound to further develop what I can do with expression (not much yet) while playing. To me, it sounds like I'm playing songs at a constant volume, and I don't like that.
There is one thing I do that gives some success at that is drastically reducing the bow speed, but I'm not sure if that is the correct way to do it. Also, moving the bow nearer the fingerboard does help too.
Is the previous paragraph the right way to accomplish a softer sound or am I missing some basic technique?
Thanks & Happy New Year!
Posted: January 2, 2012