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Re: bow arm tension!!!!!

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Posted by benjamin Tomkins on September 07, 2001 at 11:48:19:

In Reply to: Re: bow arm tension!!!!! posted by surreal on April 21, 2001 at 12:09:33:

I am a violinist at Western Illinois University. I have been struggling with bowarm tension for a long time. I have noticed a few things about tension that might help you with your problem.

What first prompted me to check your site was the fact that you have problems mostly in slower passages. My tension is mostly apparent and often uncontrollable for me when I am practicing Galamian scales and Flesch technical excercises. I have been playing all of these for at least seven years, and the main deal for them with the right arm is that the bow is moving at two beats per bow at 52=quarter note. It is extremely difficult for me to tune and develop speed and fluidity and concentrate on bow arm tension at the same time. I also practice at 40 a lot, and that does basically the same thing. No matter how much time I spend with right hand excercises, the left hand stuff always kills the work.

One suggestion I have had is, just think about only the bicep moving the arm up at the elbow, and just the tricep moving it down. I tend to have a slightly clinching bicep when I go down, and it comes from a bad turnaround at the frog in the shoulder and elbow. Of course, going slow only compounds the problem because I lose the fluidity of technique.

Basically, my frustration comes from watching other people "get it" and not being able to do it myself. I have to hear about it in every lesson, and we go over the same crap that I already have heard a million times before. It is frustrating. I have been struggling with this issue for the last 5 years, pretty much non-stop, and I still haven't figured it out yet. I guess this is as much a vent for me as anything. At any rate, I think that it might help some if you experiment with working your tricep and not your bicep for the down bow it will at least give your elbow joint a bit of a break to rest on one side. Gravity can help the bow arm a lot too. Anyway, I hope this helps some, and that this is somewhat relevant to your problem:)

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