Re: the mystery of bowing straight

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Posted by Steve Drake on May 10, 1999 at 14:05:09:

In Reply to: the mystery of bowing straight posted by Theo on May 08, 1999 at 22:54:12:

This is something I bug my students about (sorry to any that are seeing this). I thinks it's one of the keys to successfully getting a big sound out of a cello. The mirror technique can help, but it can also trick you. The ideal thing is that you can mindlessly do whole bows up and down, and have the bow stay in the same place on the string relative to the bridge. The only real way to learn this is practice - you just need to find the way your arm works with your cello, and discover where your weak points are. For instance, Theo, it sounds like you have long arms, and just need to pull in a bit at your elbow slightly. Try this exercise: put your bow on the G string at the frog, close your eyes, and play a long note, the whole length of the bow. At the end, open your eyes, and if the bow has creeped up towards the fingerboard, you need to pull in a little at your elbow, vice-a-versa if it went towards the bridge. Keep trying this until you can play a whole bow, up and down bow, with the bow staying in the same place on the string, with your eyes closed. This is one method towards learning this, but mostly, it just takes a lot of practice.

: I've always had trouble with bowing straight... on down bows the tip travels towars the fingerboard several inches, and on up bows, the opposite..(towards the bridge).

: How could I fix this habit? Is it just a matter of opening the elbow? Does bowing straight mean that one's completely relaxed?

: Thanks,
: Theo

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