BOWING ON THE SHOULDER
A. MAKING SQUARES WITH THE BOW ON THE SHOULDER VS PARALLELOGRAMS
.....1. Where the square is formed (depending on arm length vs bow size, etc.) is the middle of the bow for each particular player.
.....2. Using the idea of the "square" is an important concept because it keeps the violin bow from traveling into the fingerboard area (which is one of the major causes of scratchy, ugly sounds on a violin).
B. BOW LEVELS
..... 1. Bow and arm stay together and move as a unit together in order to assure that the the bow will sound the string that is intended and not hit another one by accident
..... 2. There are 4 basic arm/bow levels; one for each string("G," "D," "A," "E") and there are 3 more added levels used when performing double-stops (more than one note played at a time on 2 neighboring strings). Those levels find the bow placed on two strings at the same time: G+D, D+A, A+E
..... 3. At the "G" string bow level the bow and arm (forming the square) are both parallel to the floor (sort-of like a table top upon which can sit a glass of water) and at the "E" string bow level, the elbow of the bow playing arm is towards the floor.
C. MAKING TRAPEZOIDS WITH THE BOW ON THE SHOULDER
..... 1. The tip of the bow (the amount of bow that can comfortably be used; not the actual tip) is where the bow forms a trapezoid in proportion to the arm's length with the bow on the shoulder.
..... 2. Since everyone's arm length (and its proportion to the bow size) is different, the tip of the bow is not always in the same place.
..... 3. If in order to reach the actual tip of the bow the player must extend the right arm completely straight, then the amount of bow used must be lessened a bit. The idea is that the right arm must never be extented completely straight; there must always be a slight bend in the right elbow when at the tip of the bow. .
.... 4. Practice bow arm levels at the tip and compare with the bow arm levels at the square; bow arm levels are different when playing at different parts of the bow.
D. MAKING TRIANGLES WITH THE BOW ON THE SHOULDER
..... 1. The lowest part of the bow is called the "frog." When placing the bow on the shoulder at the frog a triangle is formed.
..... 2. Compare all three bow levels: bow at the frog, bow in the middle, bow at the tip; movements of the arm are greater when the bow is placed at its tip and very minimal when the bow is placed at the frog.