There are a variety of bow techniques for the violin and fiddle, including a low bow to create a sweet, smooth sound, the ponticello used as a rhythmic device, and an assortment of percussive chopping techniques. Find out how to create an array of sound qualities on the violin with advice from an accomplished violinist in this free video on string instruments.
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This is Fred Carpenter today talking to you from the violin shop in Nashville, Tennessee and we are going to talk about violin bow techniques or specifically today the fiddle bow technique. O'kay today to learn violin bow technique you just need a violin and a bow. Of course there is a lot of literature available out there if you are interested in violin bow technique. O'kay so the first thing in bow technique I'd like to talk about is the grip. A lot of different variations there. There is actually thumb under in some worlds, the thumb underneath the stick and the frog's mouth they say sometimes. The pinkie is on the stick, the first finger can give you bite, articulation and the middle of the hand or the middle fingers is how you bring the weight down through your arm into the bow so they all have different purposes, they all work together. So one technique I use a lot on slow stuff and waltzes and just slow fiddle material is just a low bow, pulled warm and sweet legato and just try to keep parallel with the bride and pull a warm tone. That can be done louder or softer but basically it is just a long even bow stroke. So a third technique in fiddle bowing that I like to use a lot and let me remind you there are thousands of bow techniques. I'm just going to touch on a few here and this is just one I like to get a little wispy tone with, Ponticello I think they call it in classical form. It's over the top of the string. It's more of a wispy sound and not down into the meat of the string and you can play with it, come out of it and get harmonics and apply it where it works well, come in and out of it. Just a fun little sound we use and the other thing a lot of fiddle players and a lot of players are doing now in different styles of music with this instrument is percussive stuff, chopping, rhythmic stuff. It's done by the frog, it's that kind of a thing. It's a rhythmic thing, so. It's a rhythmic thing and you can really add some little bow bounces in there with it. It's even a quick little as simple as that, up and down. O'kay this is Fred Carpenter from the Violin Shop in Nashville. That's some fiddle bow technique or violin bow technique.