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Hi Beth. I'm really enjoying the site remake. It's great! I have a question and then a quick comment about the site. I'm a 41 and have been working with my excellent teacher Lana a couple of times a week for about 1.5 years. We're making great progress but I have one key item that continues to prove troublesome that I feel really holds me back. I consistently am not getting enough wrist flexibility / envolvement in my bowing arm. As a result I can still have a pretty significant arc motion sometimes. It of course is worse when the left hand is busy & taking my focus away from the bow and also when reading as opposed to playing from memory. Lana has given me some suggestions which I do use (mirror, exercise with memorized pieces, etc). I absolutely 'get it' in concept with regards to the required wrist motion but I'm seriously having problems executing & certainly comitting it to muscle memory. I was wondering if you have any tips or specific exercises to help. I feel like we're on the verge of making another breakthrough if I could just get this under control. Now my comment about the site. Looks fantastic & lots of great content. We REALLY need a 'search' feature. I wanted to search for wrist in the community section & didn't see a way to do it. Surely it's a feature available on the platform that your site's hosted on?? Thanks again! -Bill
2 Responses
Posted: February 14, 2011
Last Comment: February 15, 2011

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 15, 2011
This discussion includes members-only video content

HI Bill and welcome! I'm glad to hear you are paying attention to that region of the bow, near the frog where the wrist has to adjust in order to keep the bow straight. Eileen gave a great tip, in that sometimes it's too difficult to monitor and "see" what your right arm is doing, but if you focus your gaze and attention to where the hair is traversing the strings, then your arm might respond accordingly.

Have you seen the series on "Maintaining a Straight Bow"? It may be hard to find. Just search the tag words "bowing straight".

I also found this video in the archives. It was a video response to a member's question about improving flexibility in the wrist. It's not in the library, so I'll post it again here. These are a few exercises you can do just to start loosening your wrist and increasing flexibility and movement. Meanwhile, I'll continue to think about this issue. It's a common problem and I would love to find more to say about it. Even some of my private students who have been playing years experience the same thing you are. And definitely, when they are more engaged in reading the music, the wrist becomes stiff, and the bow becomes arched

Yes, a global search would be nice. I will check into it, maybe a search for the community page.

Posted: February 15, 2011
Hi Coop, Welcome to V-lab ! I'm no expert but one thing I "think" might have helped me a lot in that area of wrist flexibility in the bow arm was.....when I first started out and was working on bowing.....I didn't focus so much on what my arm was doing, but rather my focus was on the point where the hairs of the bow hit the strings. I don't know how it worked but I "thought" more about getting a good sound at that point rather than thinking about what my arm was doing to get it. Somehow without much formal training I managed to develop good wrist flexibility and control with the fingers by "not" really thinking about the mechanics of how I was doing it.

I know Beth will have much better advice for you in that but thought I would just toss that out there as something to think about and maybe try.