It’s easier to bow on the D and A strings for most beginners. Why are the G and E strings harder?
The E is challenging because it’s temperamental. It tends to sound screechy. It requires a lighter touch. Also, if you’re sitting down, it can be awkward. The right arm might be hitting the right leg.
G string is challenging because it’s further away. The G string is thicker and so it requires more energy from both the left-hand (pressing) and the right arm (bow pressure).
Three ways to improve the sound on G and E strings
Rotate the fiddle
You can make life easier on these outlier strings by bringing the fiddle closer. Rotate in (to the right) to bring the G string closer. Rotate out (to the left) to bring the E string closer. Practice this motion without playing.
Fiddle with the amount of bow pressure
In general, use less force on the E string, more on G string.
Practice: Soft, medium and loud. Play super-quiet eighth notes with a tiny amount of bow. Gradually increase the bow stroke length and pressure until you reach a thundering peak. Then slowly let it get quiet again. You can do this practice with short scale and phrase loops.
helps you find the right amount of pressure
Practice: Throw-away bow. This helps you find correct pressure.
bigger throw-away bow on G, little throw-away bow on E
Practice: Play it casual. Especially on E string. Play with less bows for a softer, lighter sound. Intermediate level tip: tilt the bow hair toward you for a softer sound on E string
Leverage your strength
Practice bowing something on strings where you sound better (D or A strings). Then practice it on strings where you sound worse.
Alternate between doing the same thing on two strings. For example A1-3 <> E1-3
In this way, you leverage your strength (playing on the A string) to improve your weakness (playing on the E string). In general, see if you can play the same thing on all four strings.
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