“Irish” bow hold
I was (quite badly and drunkenly) playing a few tunes the other day, and one of my friends who is learning the fiddle asked me why do I hold the bow with my fingers up so high on it, with my pinky raised? I honestly had no idea what to tell her - I just do. When I first started two years ago I took some lessons from a French violinist who taught me the "standard" or classical way, with all fingers pinky included resting on the frog. However I stopped taking lessons and learned through books and watching/listening, and I have often seen and do see fiddlers who hold the bow about a third of the way up from the frog, and in some extreme cases half the way up! Raised pinky seems to be 50/50. One of the best fiddlers I know plays at my local and she always holds the bow about halfway up.
Honestly at first I just liked the way it looked so I started doing it, but now it just feels so much more normal and natural, lighter almost. When I try to play the standard way I can manage fine, but it just feels clumsier. Perhaps that’s just because I’m so used to the other way.
I’m sure other fiddlers here have noticed. Are there any tangible benefits to playing with your bow held like this? I have ever only seen Irish fiddlers do this.