Grip of death on the fiddle bow
I was watching Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill in concert last night (from the front row, so I had a good clear view), and was struck at how loosely Hayes holds the bow. Most of the time his middle and ring fingers were barely touching the stick, and when he got to playing something fast and wild he was only using the thumb and forefinger; the other three were sticking out. Kevin Burke holds the bow with all five digits, but seems to hold it with a very light grip.
These are the only two ITM fiddlers I’ve seen live from close enough to see their grip. (I was in the second row for KB.) I’ve been struggling to break the classical grip habits I learned as a kid, and have been able to successfully learn to hold the bow further up the stick —- but I still hold it fairly tightly and use the middle and ring fingers as well as the others to control the motion. I’m wondering now if this is part of why I’m not getting as good a control over the bow as I’d like.
So I have 2 questions —- 1, how common is a light grip among ITM fiddlers? 2, can anyone among you good folk offer me any hints?