Monday, July 02, 2007


Bow control

My bow has been catching on the adjacent strings - especially with the g-string (hitting on the c-string). This is worse when I'm playing in upper positions. The problem seems to come and go - some days it's not really much of a problem, but other days (like today), it seems I can't find the right planes no matter what I do. It does help to slow down - a lot - and watch the bow carefully. Since I usually play with my eyes closed, I have to remind myself to look at the bow. When playing the higher positions, I am so intent on intonation that I guess I am somehow losing a part of my bow awareness.

Still, yesterday, it was no problem at all...

I am continuing to appreciate the power and sound of my acoustic cello after that long break.

Finally, today, I just couldn't resist - I started bowing the Gavotte by Lully from Suzuki Book 3. I've been plucking it for almost two months, focusing on the rhythms and intonation. I bowed very slowly, continuing to concentrate on the rhythm and tempo. It came out pretty good! For all my impatience at this learning process, it is so worth the wait.

I've found that I've had the same problem with my bow catching on adjacent strings when I do not have the endpin adjusted to be long enough, or when the endpin is placed too far from me on the floor and makes the wrong angle. Perhaps that's what's happening with you? Or not. :-)

P.S. I enjoyed coming along on your road trip vicariously. Thanks for sharing, and welcome home.
I have been experimenting with a longer endpin, placing it further out on the floor - which has flattened the angle of my cello... I'll try some variations tomorrow.

Thanks for the tip.
I have that trouble in upper positions as well... my teacher told me to bow closer to the bridge, it helps.
I start doing that when I haven't been practicing regularly (like recently). For what it's worth I'll share my teacher's advice on this point-- she said don't worry about it, it comes with practice
Lots of good advice so far... Basically I'd say the higher you get (in positions) the closer to the bridge you should bow.
I have that problem as well. Besides practice, my instructor has suggested that it is okay to *slightly* rotate the cello while playing. I also think that I tend to play with a heavy bow hand which does not help matters for me.
I really gotta commend your spirit; heck, I can't even bring myself to pick up my violin again!
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