beginner learning wrist flow
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Tagged: #bowing #wristaction #goodsound
- This topic has 9 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 2 months ago by Jim Guinn.
December 15, 2019 at 10:45 am #38921BlucyModerator
Does anyone use any good exercises for training more fluid motion of the wrist? My upper arm is finally quieting down into playing with less motion but I find my wrist is overly stiff at times. I can really hear it when I am relaxed and it flows and sounds nice, versus a kind of tension in the music/not in a good way when it is too stiff. I’ve seen pencil exercises for the fingers of the bow hand. Was thinking something like that… One person told me “use more bow” Maybe that gives the wrist time to move. Any other ideas?
December 16, 2019 at 11:21 pm #38932
This is from a blog post I wrote back in July….
I found some good advice in an old, archived post in Fiddle Hangout from 2008.
How NOT to have a loose wrist: Hang your arm down by your side, then, by bending your elbow, hold your open flat right hand out in front of you, palm facing the floor and fingers outstretched. Now, moving the hand only from the wrist, wave your hand horizontally left and right, back and forth. Keep your arm still. See what that feels like and see how the motion is not relaxed and smooth.
How to have a loose wrist: Hold your flat hand out exactly as explained above, palm facing the floor. NOW, twist your hand counterclockwise so that your palm faces an imaginary wall to your right. The thumb will be closest to the ground and the pinkie will be closest to the sky. Your elbow will naturally move out some to the right. Now, moving only from the wrist, wave your hand left and right, back and forth. The movement will be much more relaxed and the movement much more free.
The wrist should always pull and never push the bow. The wrist leads the hand going up as well as down. With the palm facing the right wall, this move your wrist from the elbow to the left with the hand dragging behind it…wrist first and hand follows. Then change direction so the wrist moves to the right and the hand lags behind as if reluctant to move. Practice left and right…back and forth. The wrist and arm are briefly moving in opposite directions.
Read these last three paragraphs through again and again, because this is not so easy to do until you understand and practice it over and over.
December 17, 2019 at 9:12 am #38935ArtParticipant
The lights came on for me reading MoonShadow’s post. Sometimes the words used to describe an action mean different things to people. I watched a video where the instructor said use only your wrist and then proceeded to waive his lower arm about. I came to understand that what the man meant was to (in my parlance) lead with the wrist. ‘The wrist leads the hand going up as well as down.’ Was exactly what I needed to hear. I have seen this with riding instructors and also with instruction in arrow head making as well as violin. Sometimes the instructor is doing something other than what they say they are doing and then the student can’t replicate it. I think this happens more with folks who are self taught because they might not know just how they are getting something. Kudos to Jason: he knows what he is doing and describes it so well that the slowest person in the class (ME) gets it. It also seems to me that when you lead with the wrist, the arm is shorter on the upstroke and longer on the down making that circle or figure eight that I see described in lessons on better tone. If I am full of beans, let me know as my concepts change so rapidly when I am trying to learn things that sometimes I am in the ditch and don’t know it. My two cents.
December 18, 2019 at 7:04 pm #39006BlucyModerator
Thank you, I’ve always learned better from do’s than don’ts and really like the bit about pulling wrist first. That helps a lot
December 22, 2019 at 8:26 pm #39029GinnyParticipant
I also found this to be helpful. Thanks MoonShadows!
January 19, 2020 at 11:30 am #39636
Great Art, Blucy and Ginny! I wrote another post on January 6th about developing a loose wrist called Wax On,Wax Off. I have been working on the “paint brush” method, and I am making progress.
Here’s a little treat I just found yesterday. Look at the flexibility in this kid’s wrist! His name is Ridge Roberts. He can really move! I would give my right arm to have this kind of movement. Oh no, then I would be able to bow at all! 😮
February 24, 2020 at 7:53 pm #40335GinnyParticipant
Isn’t that something? And his feet just want to dance too. I wonder how old he was when he started playing. Thanks for sharing.
March 5, 2020 at 2:27 pm #40505KathleenParticipant
I looked for a link to see the young fiddler Ridge Roberts, but couldn’t see anything. Link taken down?
March 7, 2020 at 9:58 am #40547SteveAParticipant
I think that kid’s wrist flexibility is great, but combining it with control is not as easy as he makes it look; he’s probably been playing the fiddle since he was knee-high to a grasshopper.
If I tried to play like that, my bow would wind up on the other side of the room!
March 8, 2020 at 4:32 am #40553
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