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Bevin Mathew
This discussion includes members-only video content

Hi everyone!

I worked a bit on some of the feedback from my previous video.
  • Worked on my wrist while bowing as suggested by Beth
  • Loosened the bow a bit
  • Slightly modified my grip so that only the 3rd finger is on the frog
I followed Elke's advice and continued to play without finger tapes. It works most of the time - I think the rest will come with practice.

I just noticed that my sounding point has slipped closer to the fingerboard than it ideally should be. 

I'm having problems sometimes with the bow bouncing though. I've tried completely releasing any tension in the bow arm (based on Beth's video on BowBounce). But it still creeps in. I don't know if it's because I have a cheap 50$ violin or because there's something fundamentally wrong with my technique.

A portion of the inner edge of my left hand is always in contact with the neck. It's difficult for me to let that go and get the balance with the friction from the skin on my thumb - because I have a sweaty palm situation! I hope that won't ruin my dream to be a decent violinist one day.

Looking forward to everyone's comments / feedback. 

Thank You!

Bevin :)
Bevin Mathew
7 Responses
Posted: May 23, 2016
Last Comment: May 25, 2016

Bevin Mathew
Posted: May 25, 2016
Thank you Beth for the video response! I'm really grateful that you took the time out to make one for me. I will keep those points in mind and work on it for the next month. 

Also thank you Jaime, Dianne, Elke and Rustam. It's good to see that all of you have made almost the same diagnosis to my problem, so I can focus on that in the coming weeks. 

Thanks a lot everyone!

And Beth, people call me Mathew all the time. I'm very used to it by now :) 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 25, 2016
This discussion includes members-only video content

My apologies Bevin. I called you and typed Mathew for your first name!! I'll get it right next time.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: May 25, 2016
Good job, Mathew! I can see the improvement! I will give you some tips in a video response soon.

Jaime - Orlando , Fl
Posted: May 24, 2016
Very well done Bevin! As you are gaining more confidence, try to give it a little more bow each time! Love the intonation, GREAT timing... you are coming along excellent! :-)

Posted: May 24, 2016
Hello Bevin, It looks like you are so close to having the perfect bow hand. You have no tension in the right hand and many times on the down bow you draw your hand down perfectly (finger motion). I think if you just keep working on the up and down bows for that consistent up/down movement with finger flexion (sometimes on the up bow going toward the frog and then changing directions the hand remained stationary is all) you'll have it in no time. I think the advice you've been given by Rustam and Elke was saying this very same thing. You'll get a good sound if you can feel that bow as a part of your hand and arm, especially at the bow changes. This comes over time. As always, Beth's bow hand and bow arm videos are excellent for reviewing this. Very well played!

Elke Meier
Posted: May 24, 2016
In my case, I get a bouncy bow the moment a passage gets difficult and I am concentrating on the left hand. It has gotten to the point where the bouncy bow indicates often to me: this is a section where you have to practice the left hand some more.

In your case I am also wondering whether it isn't missing weight. Just observe your wrist. It is rather pronated. This is okay for the up-bow when you get toward the frog, but if you keep it in this position in the down bow you kind of lift the bow up away from the string instead of letting it sink into the string.

Rustam Gill
Posted: May 24, 2016
Hi Bevin,
I see huge improvement from your last video. Your bow arm looks much more fluid and you seem more at ease with the violin in general.

The bouncing bow can be caused by so many things. It goes away over time, though, as long as you keep focusing on making a good, consistent tone and minimizing tension in the bow arm. 
I'm sure many others will have more experienced input for you on this, but here are my thoughts based on my own experience with a bouncing bow:

-I think in your case it might be due to not having enough weight into the string as you are playing. You are more comfortable moving your bow arm but as bow speed improves you need to add some pressure or else the bow flies off the string. Think of relaxing your arm and letting it's natural weight make the bow "sink" into the string.

-Another possibility is that you may be exaggerating the finger and wrist motion of the bow hand. That was an issue for me when I started learning finger motion at the frog. I think you've got the basic motion down, so now maybe you can focus more on using this technique to get the sound you want. For me, it's mainly used to sustain a legato sound through a bow change.

Anyway, great playing!