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    • #17190
      mack
      Participant

      I was born visually impaired,I can see colour and light and here in Scotland, there are about a million shades of green in the trees and the skies are amazingly textured from the atmospheric “just before rain” the sky darkens and with the light just peering in so it’s silvery in places and I see the million shades of green,from the deepest ,starkly beautiful against the silver, to the lightest yellow green leaves ,and the skies go from the greenish-blue to deepest red,as this is Scotland this sun sets about four,we all live in the dark even if we CAN see?, and because I so love the quality of that light,I have tried to find that in music,and for me nothing, no other instrument comes close to the fiddle and I want to play that kind of quality, of tone and texture, despite the challenges I will get there, the main thing for me is not seeing the arm as it bows so when trying to get a long bow my arm always fells likes it’s out in front like I could reach for something,is this correct,I imagine the bow going across tbe body on a down bow,not not out but the wrist movement Jason talks about, if I’ve understood him,makes the arm go that way, as I was having difficulty determining if the bow WAS straight ,Jason told me about the bow guide and tbat seems to be the same motion but I can’t really be the judge,could one of you bestest folk in fiddlehead land lend me a wee hand, I would be moistest grateful,SO THANKFUL FOR FIDDLEHEAD???

    • #17648
      smiley
      Participant

      Hello,

      I am totally blind and learning to fiddle. What helped me is that I started off playing in the orchestra in 5th grade. I had a lot of bad habits one of them was the direction of the bow you talk about here. I used to play with my bow going to the right and wonder why I couldn’t get a pretty sound. I played that way all the way through my years in school with not a single correction.

      When I went to college I used a bit of that funding to find me a private violin teacher. It was not easy because no one wanted to take on the challenge of teaching a blind person. I finally found one that was willing to work with me. She helped me to break a lot of the habits I had. One of them was bow direction. I still have a long way to go in my training, but I am hoping with a lot of practice I can enjoy the instrument I dearly loved as a child. As a non-music reader, I love how Jason takes each tune a part step by step. I was about to put the violin down forever since classical music was to difficult for me to play without being able to read music. With no funding for training now, and no private violin teacher I figured I could maybe find some tunes I can possibly try to play and that is when I found Fiddlehead. Now most of my issue with learning to fiddle is relaxed bow hand and relax violin hold. I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to accomplish that one.

      It’s difficult to describe without having someone to show you. Maybe Jason can describe this better than I can. If you start from the bottom of the bow pull it away from you as if you are pulling it in a downward direction. Your arm must drop down as well. Act like you are pulling something away from you. Maybe if you make a video of your bow use and send it to Jason or another student on the site they might be able to give you some suggestions. That is a thought that might work.

    • #17654
      smiley
      Participant

      Let me see if I could try to explain this better. I apologize for that. The way I use my bow I think of it as almost pulling the bow from the forhead to the toe, but at an angle. You might want to practice this motion in the air before attempting it on the violin. If you find yourself pulling the bow from your right side to the left like I use to do. This is incorrect. Your arms and elbow come out in front at an angle. Make sure the elbow isn’t all the way up in the air. If the elbow is facing the ceiling this is incorrect. I keep pulling the bow in little increments until the elbow is sort of under the violin. If your elbow goes all the way under the violin and facing the floor this is also incorrect. You shouldn’t have to move your arm and elbow too much. It moves very little when you switch strings. At first it is a bit difficult, but once you get use to it, it becomes second nature without thinking about it. I hope that helps.

    • #18784
      mack
      Participant

      thanks very much smiley, I’ve been on holiday and just read your message, I found a teacher who has experience teaching the visually impaired and he has given me th crescent bow or banana bow if you like,it is brill.really simple, you get all the correct arm positions without even trying, just make an exaggerated crescent shape with the bow,starting at the frog,the bow is pointing to the top right corner, make a crescent, as you do so, the wrist, elbow, forearm go where they’re supposed to, I have been doing this for a week now and I don’t need to make the movement so big now, and I sound a million times better, the full bow is used all the time in Scottish fiddling I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to have this at last
      I hope you are getting there too, your message gave me such a lift, thank you, keep on fiddlin’

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