So I'd like to start a discussion about learning French grip. I've been doing a lot of reading on French grip for the past couple months and I see a continual problem being raised. Beginners express that they find themselves sore or in pain after only playing a very short while. The standard response time and time again is that the player is probably gripping the bow too hard. Most people say that after a short while they "learn to relax and hold the bow right" and the pain goes away. I don't want to be an iconoclast here, but I'm beginning to think that there is something wrong with this established wisdom. While I do think that it might be true in some cases, I think there is more to the story. I've pulled up pretty much every photo, tutorial, video, etc. that I can find regarding french grip and have gone to great lengths to get all the details right, but I still find that I have this pain no matter what. I then experimented with changing how firmly I gripped the bow. I purposely gripped so hard that my hands were going pale and numb, when I did this I experienced a very different pain than when I just tried to play regular. Next I tried to grip the bow stupidly light, so light that I could hardly pull a long note without dropping the bow. Even while barely able to keep control of the bow, I still felt the pain/soreness that I had been previously experiencing. I decided to ditch the bow completely and do a different experiment. I got together a bunch of slim cylindrical objects, straws, pencils, drum sticks, etc. I sat around while watching tv holding each of these items like I would a bow, and found that the pain I have still comes even in these situation. Even when holding the straw, with almost negligible weight, I feel a tightness begin to set in to the same area. To me personally it seems like there is an entry cost to playing French, there is a period of physical adaptation that has to occur before one can comfortably play with French. Let it be known that I'm not trying to make an argument for German being better than French or anything like that. I actually think that there are a lot of advantages to playing French. That being said though, I do think there are some biomechanical hurdles that do have to be overcome, and I don't think it is merely learning not to grip too strong. Given how many times I have seen people say something like "It went away after a few weeks" suggests to me that there is something to this period of physical adaptation that goes beyond adjusting proper grip strength. So anyways, I'm interested in what anyone might have to say on the matter.