Balancing Games 2: Bowing

A wide view

Look into the room as you work, to keep your head up and your neck free.

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Look into the room as you work, to keep your head up and your neck free.

 

 

 

 

Heads up

Remember where you head is as you play.

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Remember where you head is as you play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violin cradle

Cradle the violin in your hands freely like you did with the broomstick before you threw it in the air.

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Cradle the violin in your hands freely like you did with the broomstick before you threw it in the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Violin toss

Into playing position

With your right hand toss the body of the instrument up onto your left shoulder. You will now find that your left hand has come into playing position.

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With your right hand toss the body of the instrument up onto your left shoulder. You will now find that your left hand has come into playing position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaw centering

Centre the jaw in the chin rest

Check that the jaw is centred in the chin rest cup by positioning the instrument with the right hand. You can rotate the instrument or slide it with strings parallel to achieve this. You can then attach the elastics.

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Check that the jaw is centred in the chin rest cup by positioning the instrument with the right hand. You can rotate the instrument or slide it with strings parallel to achieve this. You can then attach the elastics.

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusting shoulder rest

If your shoulder rest has shifted out of place, you can give it a tick back into place with your right hand.

 

Squaring off

Once you have freed our arm with Tick tock or pillow fencing, you can draw a down bow until your elbow is at a right angle. Check here if the string lines up with the bow also at a right angle. If not, adjust the violin position with your right hand, bow and check again. It is important that you do not wrestle it into place with your left hand.

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Once you have freed our arm with Tick tock or pillow fencing, you can draw a down bow until your elbow is at a right angle. Check here if the string lines up with the bow also at a right angle. If not, adjust the violin position with your right hand, bow and check again. It is important that you do not wrestle it into place with your left hand.

 

 

 

 

“Tick tock”

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Find balance point: Hold the bow in vertical position (tip above frog) so that it balances by itself with little effort. Cushion is set up so that bow tip hits it with elbow slightly bent. Allow the tip of the bow to drop outwards and land on the cushion and then to come back over the balance point to land on the string. Go on with this tick (out to cushion), and tock (back to string). Thus the bow “tick-tocks” around the vertical bow balance point, with cushion and string as end points. (You can also practice this first with a broomstick for the violin, and a dowel for the bow.)

 

 

 

 

“Pillow fencing”

Start playing a long tone, or a piece, and in the middle of a phrase or bow, suddenly hit the cushion with the back of your bow. Let it make a nice solid sound as it hits and let the bow come back to play on the rebound of the hit. If it needs to bounce on the string, let it!  Set the cushion on a high table or other surface to the right of you (just above waist level), so that bow tip hits it when arm is extended, but not overstretched. It works best when someone hold the cushion for you.

pillow fencing.png

Start playing a long tone, or a piece, and in the middle of a phrase or bow, suddenly hit the cushion with the back of your bow. Let it make a nice solid sound as it hits and let the bow come back to play on the rebound of the hit. If it needs to bounce on the string, let it!  Set the cushion on a high table or other surface to the right of you (just above waist level), so that bow tip hits it when arm is extended, but not overstretched. It works best when someone hold the cushion for you.