Home For Passionate Violin Learners of all Levels
Complete violin learning platform made easy through:
    - Step-by-step lesson modules
    - Instant access to all content
    - All music and resources provided. No need to buy books
    - Private feedback channel with Beth Blackerby

Why Choose Violin Lab
Become a Member
You must be a member to respond to discussions.
Discussion

Dick Stanley
Is there a general rule on how to bow a quarter note? One stroke or two? Half note? Whole note? Etc. 

I'm an old (literally) trumpet player and without a mouthpiece, well... I've searched here for a general rule and also on YouTube but so far have encountered only a lot of seeming contradiction. I can copy the videos on a particular chart, of course, but when I encounter something new that's not on the videos...
Dick Stanley
13 Responses
Posted: January 15, 2012
Last Comment: January 17, 2012
Replies

KarenJ
Posted: January 17, 2012

sorry, sometimes it's hard to know the real question without seeing it first.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 17, 2012
Yes, Dick, you are correct about the symbols.

KarenJ
Posted: January 17, 2012
or maybe it's just a spelling error!  :)


Posted: January 17, 2012
Hi :)
If it is a beginnerīs piece (like the ones in the Suzuki-books) there is just a hint how to start the piece, in your case a downbow. Then you go on just with up-down-up-down and so on... If there is a retake or if you should start with an upbow there would be a sign too. :)
Andreas

Dick Stanley
Posted: January 17, 2012
Thanks, Vicky. That explains it for me. Up, down, up, down, up.

Beth, it's just a beginner's practice bar. Nothing fancy. In 4/4 but with only one bowing symbol, the, uh, rooftop with two skinny legs at the beginning, which I gather means down bow. The V symbol for up bow is not there.

OTOH, does this mean I should use down bow only?

Thanks for the help,
Dick

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 16, 2012
To answer your original question. There is no rule. Every bowing depends on what is printed on the page, with the extra considerations of tempo and style. You can generally trust method books designed for violin training, and just stick to their printed bowings.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 16, 2012
Karen, I was so excited at the word distincation. I immediately started to log on to dictionary.com. It would have been perfect to describe exactly what you were describing! We could always coin it ourselves..


Dick, the general rule is:  If there is no slur mark (like in Karen's examples) then you use separate bow strokes for each note. 1-to-1. However, and this is a complex however, depending on the tempo and style of the piece, you can always add slurs yourself to "soften" and smooth the line of music. In your case, 5 open E's would in my opinion sound harsh and edgy especially if the tempo was slow, in which case, I would hook them(like in Karen's 2nd example), where I would play a few notes at a time in one bow, but releasing pressure and slowing bow speed to make distincations in the sound, and play the note on the A string with a different finger.  However, if the 5 E's are fast and in the context of other fast notes, I would play them with separate bows, and maybe play them open or else play the pitch in a different spot, like 4th finger on the A string.

If you can post the line of music you're talking about, I could advise further.

Hope that helps and not confuses!

Vicky
Posted: January 16, 2012
Hi Dick,

Think down bow and up bow

5 quarter notes =  down, up, down, up, down

all separate bows, no slurs, nothing fancy, try to use equal amounts of bow distance on each down and up  ( down distance = up distance)

Maybe watch videos 17-22?   Video 45 and 45A may be helpful, too.

Good luck!

Vicky

Dick Stanley
Posted: January 16, 2012
Karen, In your examples, the first one is clear. One stroke, multiple fingerings. The second example, the first two Cs on the G string get only one stroke? You just hold the stroke for two beats? Well, there's a slur in there, so I guess that explains it.

Try my example and tell me what to do: five open (i.e. unconnected, stand alone, no slur, no bridge) quarter notes. Do they each get a stroke?

KarenJ
Posted: January 16, 2012

ha! new word. "distincation".  lol should be "distinction" as in separation.

KarenJ
Posted: January 16, 2012

I'm going to take a stab at this. if your sheet looks like the second group, except has no lines under it, they are played with short separate bows.  the first group all four are played in one stroke. in the last group, the first two notes are one stroke and the 2nd and 3rd are a new stroke.  in the middle group there is a long slur line and then a short line under each individual note meaning use one single bow stroke, but create a slight distincation between the each eighth note.  almost like they are separate bows, but smooth and in the same bow direction.  How'd I do?  did i answer the right question?


Dick Stanley
Posted: January 16, 2012
Yes. I've seen players use only one or two strokes while fingering multiple notes. But when I encounter, say, five open E-string quarter notes in a row, how do I play them? Do I accent each one with a separate stroke?

KarenJ
Posted: January 16, 2012

are you asking how much of the bow you should use for each type of note?