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Ray
Breakthrough! For me this is huge. It is with bow hold. Previously I had tried to balance the bow on the middle finger and had failed. I knew in theory that the bow pivots on the middle finger and the role of the index finger was for maintaining an even bow pressure (at the tip). Some how I was refusing to let go of my death grip. And then I when I was watching and studying Beth's index finger in the Expressive Phrasing videos. I listened and watched how the index finger is used and then just now in the middle of practice, without realizing it, the death grip was gone. I was able to lift the index finger and apply at will. THANK YOU BETH!
Ray
8 Responses
Posted: May 30, 2011
Last Comment: June 1, 2011
Replies

Ray
Posted: June 1, 2011
Heh, cool idea Vicky, Thanks! Yet another tool in our collective tool box.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: June 1, 2011
Thanks Vicky for sharing the "rag doll" shoulders idea. I'm putting that in my bag of tricks now.

Vicky
Posted: June 1, 2011
Relaxing any part of my body seems counter intuitive when I am playing violin....I'm just naturally an anxious person with performance anxiety, lol; I just couldn't get away from my left hand death grip. What I thought of as relaxed was not even close to the muscle behavior I needed to progress. Occasional, I do get the chance to take a lesson with a helpful teacher, a big breakthrough occurred when we came up with "rag doll shoulders" exercises. I can now say I am an honest-to-goodness member of the Rad Doll Club.....and relaxed shoulders have lead to all kind of discoveries in my arms and hands necessary to progress in my left and right arm / hand technique. Rag doll shoulders occur when (***put down your bow and violin****) you bend over at the hips/waist, and just let your arms hang (don't do this so long you get light headed!). That's not an action that's called for very often in my adult life, it's easy to forget doing that as a kid. Just let your arms hang as limp as possible. Focusing on that deep down feeling of being relaxed / limp really helps me identify and monitor areas of my body that are tensing up. And, Ray, with your post I realize I need to pay more attention to mind ful relaxation of my bow hand. Thanks!

Ray
Posted: June 1, 2011
I really do mean somewhere down the road. I'm sure you have a lot on your plate and being a newbie I have more enthusiasm for new techniques then sense which needs to be tempered with patience and applied to delibrate practice. There are more than enough videos for me to focus on for years. Cheers, Ray

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 31, 2011
OK. Great suggestion. I'll add it to the heap. Thanks ; )

Ray
Posted: May 31, 2011
Thanks Allan and Eileen for your comments. Another whole world has just opened up for me which I knew was there but could not find the key. I was getting fair intonation but the volume was what I would call healthy. I kept listening to others on this site and on youtube vary their volume and I seemed to be stuck on maximum. Beth, I know that you are very busy, and yes you know what is coming next. Somewhere down the road could you make a video on how Forte would sound like or a Fortissimo, Fortississimo, Mezzo piano, well you get the idea. Cheers.

Eileen
Posted: May 31, 2011
I have the opposite problem at times....I'm so loose with the bow that I've actually dropped it a couple of times during practice. Thank the Good Lord it's never happened when I was up in front of the congregation playing !!! <:-o

Allan
Posted: May 30, 2011
It's surprising the difference a good bow hold makes. I have the same tendency to a death grip. Loosening and re positioning my grip helps my tone. The trouble is when concentrating on a hundred other things the death grip creeps back...!

My left hand is even worse...!