Bow arm independence

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    • #5190
      rene devito

      First of all, thanks so much for the great lessons. There are some really nice tunes here that will have me busy for months!

      Are there any specific exercises/advice you could give to help gain fluency with bowing and accenting in either direction? Along with learning tunes, my long term goal is to be able to bow with any mixture of slurs and accents in either direction. Would you recommend a set number of patterns and phrases to start with? I’m familiar with the well known shuffles, but is there anything in particular that helped you in the past?

      Any advice would be great!

    • #5193
      Casey Willis

      Hi, Rene. Thanks for the comment! I really hope you are well-occupied as you work through some new tunes.

      As far as advice I could give you for bow exercises, that really is the life-long pursuit of a violinist/fiddler. One idea I would suggest is to pick a paticular slur pattern you’d like to master and start playing it over a scale…then modulate the scale up. Play the slur both down bow and up bow as you alternate notes up the scale. That’s one way to really dial something in. Another idea is to learn one of the advanced versions of a waltz on this site and play it the same way (including bowing) each time. This will allow you to key in on any rough spots and work them out. A good rule of thumb is that for every wrong or rough time you play a lick, go back and play it right 4 times. By keying in like this, you end up perfecting a difficult technique.

      Aside from those ideas, I would highly recommend working your way through all of the bow and right hand technique videos on this site. I cover a bunch of really good exercises which are fundamental in getting your playing to the next level. Keep us posted!!!

    • #5199
      Roland White

      Hi Rene, Thanks for the questions on bowing exercises. I think if you follow up on Casey’s suggestions you will see and feel a difference. The only thing I would add is to try to add the bowing skills at the beginning of your practice sessions. I use about 25% of my practice time to warm up with bow, scale and intonation exercises before I practice my tunes. This becomes an accumulative advancement of your important fiddle skills and over time will make a big difference in your playing. Try it out and let us know how it works and keep up the good work with your dedication to improving your fiddling.

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