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Ayoub
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This is one of my favorite violinists, i love his ability to play ever note with such amazing colors and expressions, i wish one day i can play like him.

i have a question on his bowing, he uses large motion from the arm and very little wrist movement and it looks very professional and elegant, i was wondering how to minimize using the wrist and still have smooth bow changes ?
Ayoub
9 Responses
Posted: July 15, 2017
Last Comment: July 16, 2017
Replies

Rustam Gill
Posted: July 16, 2017
@All: I agree that finger motion should be extremely subtle. What really helped me was, once I understood the basic movement, to focus more on the sound being created than the finger motion itself. I find when my focus is to make a smooth uninterrupted sound at the bow change, with practice my brain and hand "figure out" what to do. Maybe this is helpful.

Dianne
Posted: July 15, 2017
Hi Ayoub, Thanks for sharing that video. If he were to play it faster, I think he would need to use more wrist. I think it's a good detaché here. And it sounds great.

Alan Barnicoat
Posted: July 15, 2017
Yes, thank you Elke for finding this. Video #81 demonstrates Beth's beautiful finger motion at the frog at the very end of the video with all the other variations leading up to it. The precedingVideo #80 introduces the method for isolating the fingers while resting the arm on a ledge.

Elke Meier
Posted: July 15, 2017
Alan, you are probably referring to video #81 - the flexibility exercise. 

Alan Barnicoat
Posted: July 15, 2017
Finger motion
I am reminded of one of Beth's finger motion exercise videos in which she recommends resting the bow forearm on a flat surface with fingers hanging over the edge. The elbow and hand are clearly at the same level.. The fingers lift from the base knuckles but the knuckles themselves do not crush down. Take another look at her video, as I may not be describing it perfectly.  Also, keep in mind that the violinist in the video is wearing a black shirt with a rather long cuff covering his wrist which makes it difficult to see the wrist moving - however if you look closely for it, you will see some motion.

 

Ayoub
Posted: July 15, 2017
@Rustam
Thank you for the pointers, and hope to see you play it soon :)

Ayoub
Posted: July 15, 2017
@Elke

I remember that you told me about the finger motion and what Simon Fischer said before, and like you i did over exaggerate Beth's advice, but to be honest i never did find out how to decrease the finger motion at the frog and i always had problems with my elbow levels, but the video that Nick posted (which you suggested) really explained it very clearly and it shows how to fix this problem, really thank you for your help it's valuable to know this after struggling to find a clear answer.



Elke Meier
Posted: July 15, 2017
Interesting, Rustam, that was also the first thing that caught my eye :). I like his dynamic range, but I am not sure I would copy his bow use, Ayoub... He has to work his arm awfully hard for all the string changes since he plays on the tip most of the time. Middle of the bow would be much more efficient in terms of movement.  

As for less movement at the wrist, here is my "journey" with that so far: I have tried to emulate Beth's finger motion from very early on. But even though the mirror clearly showed that I used a lot of finger motion my bow changes still were not smooth (= non-audible). Then I listened to Simon Fischer in his DVD about Tone Production, and he said that "If you see the finger motion it is probably too much, if you don't see it it is probably not enough." Hmm, that was not encouraging considering what I saw in the mirror... He also mentioned that often, because of the excessive finger motion, we give the bow this little jerk before changing direction - making it even less smooth than it would have been without the jerk. The result is a tone quality that swells and falls with the bow movement. Then I watched Beth's playing more carefully and noticed that she used much less finger motion than what I did. I had completely over-exaggerated her advice. The next thing was seeing Sandra work with Nick to get a soft and flexible, yet non-active wrist (he posted the video again lately in Wayne Zanussi's post). I tried that and felt the difference! And then I realized that finger motion actually IS just that: FINGER motion, just this very subtle movement of the fingers, not of the whole hand. Ever since then my bow changes have become much better. Sure, there is still a little bit of wrist involved when I get to the frog, but it actually is just a little bit, not the "kiss your wrist" motion. Beth doesn't play with quite as flat a wrist as Sandra trained Nick to do. And I don't think my wrist is quite as consistently flat. But that is not the issue. It was following this exercise that helped me FEEL the difference. It was one of those "Oh, that is what they are talking about" moments :). And then it can eventually become adjusted to whatever fits your body and your playing. 

Rustam Gill
Posted: July 15, 2017
HinAyoub,
That was a wonderful rendition of the Kuchler 15. I am working on this piece myself and playing it at this tempo as cleanly and with as much nuance as this gentleman does is something I'm striving for.

 As for your question, one thing worth noticing is that he plays most of the piece (except the last few notes) in entirely in the upper half of the bow. I think this is s stylistic choice to simulate older Baroque-style bows. Playing at this part of the bow naturally requires less wrist involvement than, say, at the frog.