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Alessandro Cardelli
This discussion includes members-only video content

Iíd like to ask you some feedback about finger motion in the bowing hand.

Following finger motion in the bowing hand video Iím trying to incorporate finger motion while bowing to achieve smooth bow changes at the frog.

Iíve done a little video here

As you can see Iím not getting a nice bow change at the frog...

Can it be that Iím adding some speed at the beginning of the down bow?
Is the finger motion to rapid instead?

Iím also struggling with bouncing of the bow when down bowing, and precisely at the middle of the bow.
Think about the force applied by the bow on the strings as a mix of vertical and horizontal forces, is it possible that bouncing is cause by to much vertical force relatively to horizontal force?
Or rephrasing, when getting bow bouncing on a particular sounding point can it be the I'm using to much pressure and not enough speed for that particular sounding point?
Alessandro Cardelli
6 Responses
Posted: January 14, 2017
Last Comment: January 15, 2017

Alessandro Cardelli
Posted: January 15, 2017
Thanks everyone for all the great help!

Beth, the video was great, thanks.

Posted: January 14, 2017
Hi Alessandro,

When I used a lot (too much) finger motion at the frog, I noticed that I was actually moving the bow too slowly to get all that finger motion in, and that caused the same distortion of sound you are hearing. With the finger motion as you were playing it, if you sped up the bow, it may have smoothed out the sound for you.

As Elke wrote, I too used no finger motion at all and got a really good sounding bow change. Then I worked just a little motion back in. I do notice some professionals using a mix of no motion at all on very delicate notes, and some finger motion (very indistinguishable) for the rest. There are some performers who use a lot, but I see that more rarely.

Really enjoyed the response video. Thanks, Beth!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 14, 2017
This discussion includes members-only video content

Posted: January 14, 2017

your hand looks supple and flexible to me you just need to add of power or energy on bow change---throwing darts technique.

Let's wait for Beth, my mind is occupied with ties and dotted note with obvious emphasis on it...

Cynthia Alpers
Posted: January 14, 2017
Hi...I'm not an expert either, but my guess is that you might want to put a little more fluidity in your hand movements to get a smoother sound. 

My 2 cents
~ C

Elke Meier
Posted: January 14, 2017
Hello Alessandro, nice to see you on the community page :) - welcome!

I am not an expert in smooth bow changes - not at all! Actually, it is something I worked on a long time just yesterday. But I'll give you some of my experience:
- bouncing bow normally has to do with tension. That can be tension from trying too hard to do finger motion, or (most of the time in my case) tension in the shoulder and not really letting the bow SINK into the string. I can't see the rest of you arm, so have no way to know what your situation is. It can be anything: shoulder level, elbow level - you name it.
- finger motion that gets too exaggerated often speeds up the bow just before the bow change and produces an even more pronounced bow change. Simon Fischer said in his "Tone Production" videos that the bow has to actually slow down just a wee bit before the bow change. He also said at some point about finger motion: "If you can't see it it is not enough. If you can see it it is too much." - I'll let you decide for yourself on which end of the spectrum your finger motion rather lies :).

I don't hear this very pronounced jerk in the bow changes in your playing, not at all. But when my bow changes get jerky in spite of good finger motion (or maybe: because of too much finger motion?) I normally stop and try to do the bow change without any finger motion, just by letting the wrist lead the bow. After I started to do that I noticed that my bow changes have become much smoother. In fact, unless I lock the wrist and the fingers the finger motion is still there because I have been practicing it long enough, but it is just a very slight movement that does the trick better than exaggeratedly ondulating fingers.