Bow grip question
OK, enough of all this silly season frivolishness, back to business 8>) A question/request for comment on bow grips
OK, enough of all this silly season frivolishness, back to business 8>) A question/request for comment on bow grips
Most fiddlers (though not by any means all of them) can’t seem to relax enough while maintaining a truly classical grip. And it seems to be harder for most to get that truly Irish flow using a classical grip. It can be done, I’ve seen and heard it, but easier with a more relaxed grip.
I personally fell into the category of "not really able to play relaxed enough" while maintaining the grip I learned as a kid. As soon as I slopped the grip a bit I was much more flowy and Irish.
Who we really need a comment from here is BigDave, but he may be a bit busy with Nutcrackers at the moment…
I personnally am being told by teacher to use a classical grip until I can play with that comfortably, and then I can use a somewhat more sloppy grip. When I play trad, however I just tend to slip into a sloppier grip. I like playing trad with a more comfortable grip, I find the classical grip a little awkward. It does however give you a good grip in case you ever need to retake your bow or something, but that doesn’t really happen much in ITM.
Now, what you both mean by more relaxed grip is still holding the bow down by the frog but not being too uptight about it, as opposed to moving further up the stick? Yes? No? It’s really the "pukka violin grip" versus "grip inches up the stick" thing that I’m getting at.
I move my grip around quite a bit, sometimes the pinky or even ring finger aren’t on the stick at all, but it’s still possible for me to get back to the full grip if I want to.
I should add that part of the grip reconstruction that I underwent incorporated getting the fingers and thumb totally loose and flexible, helping to "push" and "pull" the bow up and down, so it still seems to be a quite relaxed grip. On a good day 8>)
One test I was shown for checkling how relaxed but secure this grip is (or isn’t) is to have someone try to pull the tip of your bow round while you hold it - they should be able to manipulate it in any direction but not pull it out of your hand.
Wellllll…. here’s the thing. Among classical players, there’s a huge body of different bowing grip technique. Among players of this stuff, there’s also a huge body of different bowing grip technique, it’s just different.
James Kelly, for instance, prefers a great deal of control over the bow (which matches perfectly with his very controlled style of playing) — he asks his students to hold the bow with the thumb around the outside rather than with the thumb between hair and stick. He feels that you get more control and a better attack that way.
This is very different from a lot of other teachers/fiddlers.
I’ve been asked to hold the bow with my fingers all grouped loosely together, I’ve been taught to use a relaxed classical grip but with the pinky not resting on the bow at all, with the bow turned more toward me or less toward me, blah blah blah.
What I’ve taken away from it all is that you use what works for you, regardless of what works for anyone else.
I *will* say, though, that I suspect that if you’re actually getting more attack or more balance or some such by gripping further up the bow, you are probably using a badly balanced or weighted (for you) bow.
Though, really, even that’s a matter of opinion. Beebs, isn’t it Mirella Murray who uses a fiddle that’s so horrible that no one else can stand to play it? Or am I thinking of another Mirella, or possibly just another M name? Anyway, whoever it is can get the most divine tone out of it, and a friend of mine once told of her trying to loan it to a visiting fiddler who put it up to his chin, tried to play a tune, and finally handed it back, completely unable to get a thing out of it. 🙂
I started out playing classical music, during which time I upheld a beautiful standard classical bow grip. Then I started playing trad and got sloppy…I changed the bow grip to make playing bowed triplets easier. Since getting back into playing lots of different styles of music, I’ve been working on moving my bow grip back to a kind of modified classical hold. Having that little bit of extra room on the bow really does make a difference, and being able to play chops and chords right at the frog makes my backing rhythms crisp and clean. Sometimes I sneak back to my old bow grip but for the most part I’m able to switch back and forth pretty easily. ALthough I would mention that the classical grip makes you control your playing a bit more, which I would say is the best thing for beginning players.
I love these sorts of threads. 🙂
On Zina’s last point (which I think pertains to bows as well as fiddles, and any other instrument as well), I like what Martin Hayes said when asked if he didn’t prefer an Amati violin he played at the Library of Congress better than his old hand-me-down fiddle. He said every fiddle is different, and some just take more time to figure out how to get out of them the sound that you’re looking for.
That’s probably also true of how you hold the bow. From all the crazy ways people hold their bows, I’d say you can probably make just about anything work for you.
That said, why make it any harder than it has to be?
I’ve experimented with my hand up the stick a ways for weeks on end, and it works fine for a short-bow style. Sometimes I move up the stick for a set of Donegal tunes. But most of the time I stay down around the frog with a more classical hold. Except I don’t pay any attention to whether my pinky is on the stick or not. I know that it comes off a lot, along with the ring finger, in fact sometimes I’m holding the bow with only the index and thumb. But other times all the fingers are lined up just like the photos in Suzuki Book 1. Seems that there are times when planting the pinky provides the control you need for certain passages, and times when a looser feel does the trick.
Several other players I know have experimented with holding the bow farther up the stick, and they all eventaully came back to the frog. But all of them started with classical training, so that’s a more familiar hold.
Bottom line for me: a relaxed classical hold won’t get in the way of anything you want to do on fiddle, and it allows you to cross over to classical without any retraining. I like having the whole length of the hair available, and I like the leverage you can get (applied sparingly) with the thumb between the pad and the frog.
I also agree with all the fiddlers I’ve heard talk about how lightly they hold the bow—Kevin Burke says "grip" is exactly the wrong word for it. He likens it to holding a small bird that you don’t want to ruffle a feather on. And he pointed out that if the stick leaves a dent in the skin of your index finger, then you’re pressing too hard.
Yay!!!! for Will, knew you’d be one of the first ten replies :-p
No zina, Mirella is a piano box player🙂 Ive no idea who you are talking about with the awful fiddle…..(me maybe?)
I hold the bow a bit away from the frog maybe 7-10cm or something - I hold with the fingers down (except the middle one for some reason) but it was pointed out to me recently that when I do triplets all the fingers except my first finger and thumb come off the bow - strange - looks pretty strange too I’m told. Ive been up down and all around - holding it that little bit up really does give me stronger more crunchy, quick and balanced triplets - just my opinion tho.
To second Will’s last remark, here’s a quote by Jim McKillop:"The bow is suspended, not grabbed: the hand should be a suspension system. Find the balance point of the bow and let it make the soud. Unlock the thumb’.
And to echo Will’s point about holding the bow like a bird, Mike Pritchard, a great teacher from Penzance that I had a lesson with, told me to hold the bow like I was holding a butterfly. I am still wrestling with that one. I’m sure I would have crushed many beautiful butterflies by now.
I held my bow a few inches from the frog for years, and then I decided to learn how to do it properly. It took a while of not being able to play but it was well worth it in the end. There is nothing I could do before that I can’t do now so I reckon, if you currently hold the bow with the frog, there is no point changing.
I came into fiddle playing just under 3 years ago after a lifetime of classical cello playing. Since my foray into fiddle playing I’ve noticed with my orchestral cello playing that if I’m playing Mozart, Haydn, Vivaldi (or anything else before Beethoven) my hold naturally tends to creep a little way up the stick to just beyond the metal wire winding above the frog, and my little finger (pinky) never touches the bow. Back to playing Beethoven or anything later and I’ll just as naturally revert to the frog hold.
Back to the fiddle and ITM, I started off with the classical frog hold but gradually there was a tendency to hold the bow higher up the stick, at just beyond the metal winding. Somehow, it just seemed more natural for ITM. What I’d like to try is a baroque bow - I saw a fiddle player using one a few weeks ago at a session. She had only recently acquired it and couldn’t stop talking about it.
I have a second cello bow made of carbon fibre that I carry around with my cello as a spare. It’s a little lighter than my pernambuco cello bow and I take it to sessions occasionally and use it as a fiddle bow. It’s significantly heavier than any fiddle bow but a lot stiffer. The trick, I soon discovered, is to hold it quite a way up the stick (but short of the point of balance, obviously) and then it feels very light and responsive, very similar in fact to my best fiddle bow. The only thing is, if I were to use this cf cello bow as a fiddle bow on a regular basis I think I would have to have it rehaired with violin bow hair - cello bow hair can be a little too coarse for the fiddle on occasion.
All this leads me to believe that about the only rule for holding the bow that can be applied to everybody is what has been said before - hold the bow as lightly as you can. And play parallel to the bridge.
It just goes to show how different people are with bows. I have a pretty good viola bow, better than my fiddle bow, but it just doesn’t work on the fiddle, way too cumbersome. Trevor and I have discussed this before and I can’t for the life of me work out how he can get a cello bow to work on a fiddle
Good thread idea!!!!
I hold my bow in what was called a "modified classical" grip further up in the thread, that was an evolution from a strict classical grip. I found I was clenching the bow too hard with the strict classical bow grip, I made myself relax the bow hand and my bowing control improved greatly. Around these parts, some strong Irish players hold the stick up past the winding, leading to some beginners trying this hold. Unfortunately, their control is not the same and their tone gets wispier and wispier as they play. I agree it is personal preference, when I took a workshop with Liz Carroll, she emphasized how the bow felt on the strings and adjust your grip to get the best balance for you..
Michael, I think part of the way I can use a cello bow on the fiddle is to let the weight of the bow do the work, and to use very little pressure from the right hand; the other thing is, as I have mentioned, finding just the right part of the stick to hold, and then it really does feel light and responsive (including doing bowed triples).
The only thing is, if you’re going to be serious about it, is to have the cello bow rehaired with violin bow hair. I know that one or two fiddle players who have tried it very briefly (which I think is a significant point) think it’s far too heavy, but then they’ve never played the cello.
At the other extreme I met a very good fiddle player some months ago who had his bow rehaired with double-bass bow hair, "to get a more gritty tone", he said.
Being classically trained I dropped the position I was used to as soon as I started ITM in favour of a grip higher up the stick. That was intended to match the different style of music but didn’t get me anywhere. Now I’m almost back to the classical position exept that I’m looser whith my little finger.
I tend to hold the bow not quite as low as the classical position demands, but somewhat higher. I like having my thumb still on the rubber or plastic end of the metal winding; I think it helps me hold on to the bow - I hate it when in the middle of a tune I get hit on the head by my bow! But I usually hold it with only three fingers, sometimes adding the ring finger for support, but usually my hand is more in a perpendicular that a parallel position to the bow, particularly for tunes with lots of bowed triplets. I started out with the classical position, supporting it with the pinky, and gradually changed the grip over time without even paying any attention to it, maybe because my hand position can be more flexible this way.
I just experimented a bit with different positions and tried to play holding the bow a little bit higher up. I get a very differnt sound quality this way, much "drier" and not as full than otherwise. I can’t say that I like it very much. Also, differences in dynamics seem to be flatter and I feel like I don’t have as much bow control (although that might be a question of getting used to it). I assume that due to the shortened bow and shifted center of gravity, the bow itself lies heavier on the strings and bow and strings cannot vibrate as freely.
I can imagine that also the individual player’s physical attributes such as arm length and how he/she holds the fiddle, the angle of the fiddle etc. all contribute to which grip on the bow works for a specific person.
I’d just like to add : everyone to their own grip, whatever sounds best for them….here’s a thought ….pick up your mouse off the desk… how do you do it? Thumb, 2nd finger, 3rd finger….same idea with the bow…T+2+3 to support it, first finger for pressure on and off the string, 4th finger to lift the bow off quickly (instead of using the whole wrist). I personally don’t like a hold further up the stick… it shortens the effective playing length, pressure control is reduced, and it dirties the hair. In my opinion, a good relaxed ‘classical’ style hold works well for everything - I see no advantage whatsoever by using any different hold.
I know that some players have developed the ‘quarter way up the stick’ hold simply to counteract ricochet because they had a poor hold in the first place.
Trevor - good advice about keeping parallel to the bridge, except maybe the odd time during a slow air when a slow diagonal stroke can shape the tone to good effect.
I’ve played years with the grip at the balance point - - way choked up on the bow. Then years with the thumb on the base of the frog.
Now I’m playing classical grip. It all sounds the same to me. Well maybe a little easier on waltzes.
when i picked up my mouse, i automatically used thumb, 3rd and 4th fingers…
I borrowed a fiddle a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been taking my first tentative steps towards learning to play it. At this stage, I should probably be sticking to one method, until I can get a good, reliable tone. But I’m far too impatient for that, so I’ve been experimenting with different bow holds, and ways of holding the fiddle, with and without chin rest and shoulder rest, under the chin, on the shoulder, against the chest, in the crook of the arm, like a mandolin, like a cello….
Anyway, this thread has been enlightening.
enlightening…in a confusing sorta way. 🙂
All this carefully thought-out and honed advice, and the guy holds his fiddle like a cello … 🙂
Oh god, are we supposed to be carefully thinking out our advice?
Yep. Don’t you ? 🙂
Do we need an "I take it all back" button next to the "post" button?
Lord help us all, almost never. 🙂
I agree with what Will said awhile back about holding the bow ‘like you’re holding a bird’. When I was eight and starting to learn classical violin my teacher had me actually hold a small raw egg in my bow hand while I was holding the bow and playing. Her point was to make sure that my hand was open and not squeezing the bow.
A few years ago I was studying with a fantastic classical violin teacher who had me do Galamian type exercises with my bow hand. These were meant to develop the circular motions within all of the joints, and eventually lead to a more relaxed and flexible bow hand, wrist, and arm motion. It is possible to play ITM with a classical bow hold, but I think flexibility is key.
I’d rather play a fiddle like a cello than a cello like a fiddle…
Ok, the reason why we "classical" players (and in truth i’m entirely a fiddler but i do that other stuff too) hold our bows at the end and not a couple of inches up is because (when done properly) it gives the player waaaaayyyyy more control than holding it up the bow (although i teach both but the "fiddle" one is generally for baroque music). If fiddlers were to hold their bows the way "classical" players do, they would find a 100% improvement in the control part of things. That’s not me being snobbish, it’s just the truth. Now my bowhold is not perfect, but I’m working on it and not because i want to play classical better (although i do). It’s because that bowhold is so effective for any style that it’ll allow me to play whatever i want, trad or otherwise! I totally understand why some fiddlers use the "other" hold though, especially if they’re self-taught because the classical one is hard to learn perfectly without proper instruction. My feeling is, learn both then decide. It can’t hurt.
I’ll be sure to mention to (insert amazing traditional fiddler of your choice) the correct way to hold the bow!
Seriously hold which ever way suits you as a fiddler. Can I just mention one thing - (her we go on the classical rant) You can tell almost immediately if a person has come from classical to trad -its almost impossible to make the transition from classical to trad well, and seriously - Ive seen it done twice in my life - where a fiddle player was sooooo good you’d swear they’d been playing trad since they were born but in fact took it up after classical. That is twice - yes count twice. Otherwise I can spot it a mile away - even if its very slight and it usually has something to do with the way they bow (including how they hold it) and the strict way the fiddle is held and the lack of lilt. Not trying to slag off the classical genre at all - but seriously - I would *never* tell a classical musician how I think they should be holding the bow, bowing a different way etc etc. We are all here because we love trad music - I cant stress enough that the best thing you can do is get a trad teacher and if that means moving to ireland for a year then so be it. Otherwise listen to all the great fiddle players you can, and if you can see them in concert then do.
it also helps to lose the term ‘grip’.
as well as your mind sometimes.
It does - doesnt it!!??
Can’t beleive I’m doing this. Must be the champagne and the carols by candlelight I’ve just come home from. But bb is just so right. Yehudi Menuin (? spelling) admitted it. He could play other traditional musics, but not Irish. And the thing was that he could hear the difference but was unable to capture the Irish lilt himself. Some people think they are playing Irish, but they aren’t really. No matter how many tunes they rattle off they haven’t got the essence (of the bowing). So sorry Sahar, but it does hurt! If you are using a stiff arm, movement from the elbow, the result is not Irish. It’s something else.
Sorry, Yehudi Menhuin, I believe. Sarah.
Jan, interesting point about Yehudi Menuhin (yet another orthographic variant!). I suspect it wasn’t so much his physical bowing technique and control, and musicianship, which were second to none, but the way his mind was "wired-up" to absorbing and understanding the lilt. With his hyper-classical background from his earliest and most formative years it isn’t surprising that there should be a problem here for him. I have little doubt that had he had the time to apply himself to Irish trad and immerse himself in it he would have been successful, but with his extremely busy international schedule at all levels up to the political I suppose that was out of the question, and perhaps he realised it. We’ll never know for sure, of course.
I came into Irish fiddle playing after a lifetime of classical cello (which is still ongoing in a parallel universe) but my first connection with the fiddle up close (as opposed to seeing them in orchestras) was with the local Irish trad fiddle players (hello Gavin, Jill, Gill, Jenny, et al!), and I had never played the violin/fiddle before, so in that respect I haven’t had anything to unlearn. So perhaps the lilt is starting to sink in. I hope so, anyway, but time will tell.
I have to disagree with Bridie on this. I know lots of fiddlers who started off on classical, through high school or college, and who made the switch to Irish trad completely. And there are any number of excellent Irish fiddlers (including Oisin Mac Diarmada and Matt Cranitch) who have also seriously studied classical violin. Lots of other "big name" Irish fiddlers have taken lessons from classical-oriented teachers to improve their bow control and other technique. I did the same thing. After 12 years of playing trad, I took lessons from a classical violinist in a university. I had to audition, just like all the classical music majors, and one of the reasons he accepted me was that my bow hold was "textbook" and needed no "correcting." For that, I credit my good trad teachers (including Kevin Burke) early on. No one would mistake me for a classically trained player because I never spent any time playing that music. But the experience did help me improve my tone and intonation.
Granted, I run into lots of classically trained violinists who struggle to get the lift, but that’s because they’ve spent years playing a different music off the page instead of using their ears, and they haven’t immersed themselves in the aural, danceable tradition of the tunes yet. The ones who do immerse themselves and learn to play by ear do fine with it.
I think it’s silly to quote Yehudi or any other virtuouso in any other genre as saying it can’t be done—who among them has spent a year or two immersed in this music? No, it won’t likely happen in a week or two, but lift can be learned.
Let’s face it—this isn’t rocket science. Lilt or lift or pulse is a matter of accenting certain beats (depending on which meter you’re in), in part by giving them a slightly swung timing. You can do this with or without a "classical" bow hold. But it does take immersion in the music. Either way, you need to listen to (and preferably play along with) a good trad fiddler.
Brides, have you lost your grip? *grin* I’d disagree with you there, too, not the least because of players like Kevin Burke who started out with classical. (Although I once was treated/forced to listen to a long diatribe by an Irish player who shall remain un-named about how it was obvious that Burke was one of them "fecking London players".)
Now, I’d agree about someone who is one of the greats in the classical world trying to switch over without abandoning the classical stuff completely, or any other genre for that matter. I mean, I can tell Mark O’Connor is not an Irish player even when he’s playing Irish tunes.
But, largely, someone who was a truly expert classically trained musician who has completely abandoned classical for fiddling of any sort tends to have the training to be able to abandon the style completely in favor of their new one. I’d agree though that you can *generally* tell those who are still playing classical, though — they tend to sound more like Scottish-style players playing Irish. (No offence to our Scottish members who play Irish, especially those who only play Irish.)
And I hear bigDave is pretty damned good… *grin* Nutcracker’ed out yet, Classical Boy?
Will, you’re sort-of rephrasing something I was once told which is one of the reasons I started this discussion to find out what you good folks all think. (I have my own ideas on this but I’m always interested in what others think.) I was advised that if you don’t want to sound like a classical player then don’t spend lots of time playing that repertoire *but* have a good look at classical technique and take whatever’s useful to you from that particular toolbox. Which then leads to the question, which has already come and and been kicked around above, is it classical technique that makes you sound classical or is it immersion in that repertoire that makes you sound classical. Which is of interest to me - I want to play trad as well as I can; I’m already involved in other kinds of music and if I can get some secondary benefit elsewhere from the investment in a violin, bewdy, but not if it’s going to get in the way of playing fiddle.
Bigdave, what changes when you go from pit to pub?
Knew it would evoke a response (well two, thanks Trevor and Will). Wish I could take that champagne Dutch courage back. But seeing I can’t. I think Will you have misunderstood my "silly" quote. It was not "silly", but rather I definitely meant it as a compliment to the music. So maybe I’ll try and restate it. Yehudi Menuhin (sorry, Trevor) felt he could not do Irish traditional music justice the way he played and he recognised that he would have to play differently to do so.
I didn’t mean to imply that it couldn’t be done, patently it can and is done, only that it would, as Will says, require immersion and playing from the sounds of the music not the notes (that a violinist of Yehudi Menuhin’s calibre and status would not have had time for, granted Trevor, and anyway, why should he? He played the music he loved to play at a standard out of this world).
The two genres can be and are complimentary, hey, Trevor. However, rattling off dots of basically simple little written tunes with a stiff arm is not playing ITM (although some players do not recognise that).
There is a roundness or flow that can’t be obtained by a stiff arm approach no matter how fast and furious. Haven’t you ALL been talking about the need to relax and "get sloppy" with the bow (although I dispute the ‘sloppy’ tag as implying something lesser, when it isn’t, it’s just a different bow approach).
You guys, of course recognise it and know whether what you play sounds trad or like something else. ITM should also be played with great tone and intonation, it isn’t the perogative of classical. And Please don’t read my little tuppence worth as anti-classical. It is not, but I also agree with Bridie that those who start ITM before adopting that approach sound just as, if not more so, authentic in the tradition.
To imply ITM as lesser than classical, is my beef, it isn’t, its just different. I think I’ll take some hair of the dog. Come on guys, this it isn’t serious. Its just music, and we all love it.
Whoops. Zina and Tish got in under.
Er…a good classical bow grip isn’t stiff at all. A well-trained classical player maintains the grip with every bit as much relaxation as the best Irish trad player…
Agreed, Zina, otherwise we’d never hear most of the classical repertoire played as intended.
Btw, I’ve been told, and I rather believe it from my own observations, that classical pros play their stuff at least 10% faster than the vast majority of classical non-pros (that’s a deliberate choice of word!), because that’s usually the composer’s intention and because they can. And why can they? because, as Zina points out, they’re well-trained and relaxed. It takes only 10-15 years to reach that standard 🙂
I just hink that for every mediocre classically trained player who thinks s/he can play Irish from the dots, there is at least one Irish trad player who thinks s/he has a monopoly on lift/lilt that no "violinist" can crack. They’re both misleading themselves.
"The Wheels of the World", Side 1, Track 6 - James Swift.
Got in under again. With that I do agree Will.
But, then again, whose music is it anyway? Don’t traditional Irish players who have lived and grown up in the tradition have the right to voice how they think their own traditional music should be played?
?? I didn’t think anyone was saying that they couldn’t, Jan, I just thought the issue was whether or not an aspect of technique prevented you in absolute terms from giving the music the sound it should have, and whether proponents of that technique who don’t make the grade are actually being held back by something else altogether and not the technique itself.
And anyway, Joe Quinn owns the music. Zina said so.
Yes, and we all know that what I say goes, right? *snort*
Hey - didnt mean you all to get so het up. Will - sorry but you are lucky then because (maybe its just an aussie thing) I have met ever so many more classical players thinking they can play trad and telling trad musicians what they are doing wrong, than trad players who assume they have lilt when they dont. In fact, if you heard some of my friends -who are incredible, gorgeous players talk you’d thing they were rubbish, they honestly just dont think they are up there. When they really are!
We are all different, that is all I meant. The other thing I meant is that I’m just sick of hearing classical players go on and on about how they are right and we as trad players are wrong, and we can improve if we did this or that. I get enough of it from my aunt. Its boring.
Ive met people who have abandoned classical entirely and immersed themselves in trad and even went and lived in ireland and took lessons from the best and 8 years later they Still sound classical, no lilt. Not saying that is what happens with everyone obviously - but am saying there is always a risk.
Dont you just love it how we all have different views and we are not all clones!? I do - thats what makes this site special. My 2cents….
Just for completeness
"Betterer"? *snort* Well, beebs, I still think that’s more their ear than their training, or maybe I mean that they’re not trained enough! ;)
*sigh* It’s snowing. Damn. I guess the roads are pretty bad, and I was planning on going out tonight to our local to give them some stuff they need for the benefit check — can’t decide whether to go or not, but for sure I think I’ll go upstairs now and play through a few tunes…
I personally think the lilt is in your heart, not your head.
Ummm…well, that kind of reminds me of the Irish woman who took a few stepdancing classes with us…she informed the teacher of the class that she didn’t need to know *how* to dance, it was in her *soul*…
Like the dance, the lilt doesn’t do you much good in your heart, frankly, if you can’t get it out the instrument. ;)
Yup - have to agree with Zina on that one🙂
Conversely, of course, it doesn’t matter how much technique you are fed if your heart is not in it. ie you’ve really got to want to capture the lilt, or you won’t. Simple.
In response to all those who feel that the hold of a bow makes the music…. I can’t believe that! All I was saying is that a classical grip generally tends to give more bow control, regardless of style. And I also don’t understand those people who say that classical bow holds are "strict" or "tight". Uh, in case no-one’s realized, those amazing classical players wouldn’t be able to play any of what they play without being lose. Try playing the Tchaikovsky with a tight arm or bowhold. I dare you. Ask Natalie MacMaster why she went back to take some classical lessons. Or, ask David Greenberg or Mark O’Connor how they hold their bows. I personally have no problem with people holding their bows "non-classical" but I was merely stating that that type of bowhold is a more control-friendly style. And if you can’t use a classical hold without being "tight" then you aren’t doing it right or there’s something wrong with the rest of your posture. A classical hold does NOT equal a non-trad player or a lack of style/talent.
Sarah - I am talking Irish Trad - last time I check Natalie McMaster is not an Irish Trad player. And secondly why would I want to play Tchaikovsky - I play Irish music.
Ah, surely you’ve played a tune or two penned by Paddy O’Te
Sarah, I hold my bow in a modified classical and yes, I was being tight because I was tensing up that hand, the rest of my own posture was fine. I can understand what you are saying however Sarah, it is not just the hold of the bow that makes the music, it is the person holding the bow 🙂
bb: you have a point, we can’t mix up everyone that has picked up a fiddle and point to how they hold the bow as the "right" way, regardless of type of music they play.. good one! 🙂
HOLD…not grip, be light and flexible whether you play ITM or classical then there’s the possibility of more nuance in playing.