20 Tips to NOT Hit Other Strings and Sound Scratchy on the Violin | Violin Lounge TV #377
Extensive violin lesson filled with tips and exercises to get you a great sound and avoid hitting extra strings:
Nr 1 reason for hitting other strings on the violin is that you don’t know the right arm position per string throughout the whole bow stroke
I’ll give you 6 exercises to tackle that before we go into the other tips.
This is the basic way of doing string crossings
As you advance, you can fast string crossings with your wrist and fingers.
I show you all these exercises in the video above!
#1 Explore the arm position per string in the Galamian square
This will get you familiar with the correct right arm position for each individual string
#2 Explore arm position at the frog and tip
Another big problem is that you mostly wander to the wrong string within one bow stroke. With this exercise you’ll discover that the string crossing movement is much larger at the tip and much smaller at the frog.
#3 Solidify the arm position by getting to know each pair of strings
Play GGDD DDGG etc with crossings strings at the frog.
#4 String crossing at each bow change
Play GDGD, DGDG etc with string crossings at each bow change
#5 Practice all this with slurs
In the video above I show you how to start with string crossings within the bow stroke, at each bow change and how to create your own exercises and variations.
#6 Explore all strings
Play GDAE and back with stops, first one note one bow stroke, after that in one bow stroke.
For all these exercises it’s important to do them even, rhythmically and controlled
The results you can expect depend on the quality of your practice.
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#7 Violin posture and angle of the violin
Your violin hold and bow should work together. There is a right and wrong way to play expressively with freedom of movement and I show the difference in the video.
#8 Moving the violin
Maybe your posture is quite all right, but everything is wobbly and moving, causing you do loose balance.
#9 Wrist posture and freedom of movement in the bow arm
The position of your wrist and elbow are personal and can greatly influence your freedom of movement and sound. Discover what works best for you!
#10 Bow straight in front of the mirror
Yup, you know you have to bow straight and I know you know it… but still I see, even advanced, students run into problems because they’re not bowing straight. Check this on a regular basis.
#11 Not staying at the same contact point
Watch this video with my 3 exercises to automate smooth and straight bowing.
#12 Inconsistent bow speed
This is not something a lot of teachers talk about. An irregular bow speed causes scratches and general sloppiness in your sound and playing.
#13 Inconsistent weight in the bow
Adjust the weight you transfer from your arm through your index finger (pronation) into your violin to the place of the bow that touches the string. Avoid belly bowing: slowing down for each bow change causes un ugly sound and scratches.
These were the basics for accurate string crossings and a good sound, but the problem doesn’t have to be your playing. Here are some tips that relate to your violin and bow:
#14 Too much or cheap rosin
# 15 Dirty bow hair
#16 Too much rosin on the strings and your violin
Clean your violin strings at least daily with a dry clean soft cloth.
#17 Curve of the bridge… too flat?
The bridge of your violin should be curvy and fitted to the instrument by a good maker. A lot of cheap violins sold online don’t have a well fitting and playable bridge.
After some time one string could go a bit deeper into the bridge. You can temporarily solve it with a piece of cloth, but in the end you need to bring it to a maker for adjustment.
#18 Quality of your violin
Is it your violin? Sometimes it’s very tempting to think so. Just try out various instruments and see if your tone problems are suddenly solved.
#19 Quality of your bow
I often see that students have quite a decent violin, but their bow is so weak and wobbly that it’s impossible to create a good tone.
#20 PRACTICE and patience
I notice that a lot of students, mainly adult beginners, spend a lot of time researching and watching YouTube videos, hoping to find that one magical trick that will instantly solve their problems.
Violin playing takes a lot of time and practice… slow practice… and a lot of patience.
I recommend my private students to spend at least 15 minutes a day purely on bowing and sound practice, before they even dive into their scales, etudes and pieces.