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Quarantine Practice, Ep. 12 - Balancing the Bow vs. Holding the Bow


A go-to segment of a warm-up routine: picking an etude with consecutive semi-quavers and practicing at checkpoints of bow: frog, middle, and tip. I find this personally helpful to recalibrate my sense of balancing the bow (hence, bow “control”) no matter where I am. Using Kreutzer’s Etude no. 3 as a vessel.

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At the frog, I find that the third, pinky, and thumb are most important, as they counterbalance the natural heaviness of the lower part of the bow. For the most part, the bow’s natural weight does the job, and one learns to slightly suspend/lift the wrist such that the weight of the hand does not provide excessive force. The bow stick is quite rigid at the frog, and one’s focus is on what is occurring between the more flexible bow hair and the string. At the middle, there is a shift in responsibility to the second / third fingers and the thumb. Additionally, the bow stick starts getting more flexible/elastic, therefore one’s focus shifts to the contact between the fingers and the bow stick. Finally, at the tip, one relies on the leverage the first and second fingers provide and play into the bow stick - simply squishing the bow against the string ends up being less efficient and effective...!

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I find that these exercises, although simple, help one re-center and recalibrate the sense of balancing rather than holding the bow!

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And yep, got a haircut in a safe setting 😷😀

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#violin#violinist#kreutzer

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