Bow technique live webcam lessons. Feasible or a waste?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by TheSuzie, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Don't know if this is the right place to post this. Mods please move if need be.

    I don't want to get into a long story but my current health situation prevents me from attending lessons in person. I have nothing at all against teachers except for a few I have encountered who were not competent.

    I want to begin practicing bow technique, most likely with the German bow this time. Eventually I would like to some handle on the rudiments with both bows before deciding where to focus the most effort. Truthfully I am starting from ground zero in all areas, a long story but the essence is that the universe pressed the reset button on my life and I am starting most things from the beginning again.

    I will be using an EUB, I had to let go of my DBs a few years back. The main question is if lessons using webcams would work. Assume that I will get a decent enough camera that the teacher can see me and that hopefilly I can see the teacher.

    I know it is not the same as in person, not the same as having a teacher be able to grab my hand and position it or take my bass and give me an instant demonstration of a technique. Still, I have to believe this would be better than no teacher at all.

    Please let me know your thoughts about this.

  2. Probably better than nothing. The main issue I can think of, besides the ones you stated, is that the sound quality would be pretty bad. Unless you had a set up with some really good streaming mic feeds, I don't see how either one of you would be able to accurately hear the details needed to study the sounds produced by the double bass.

    Have you thought about hiring a teacher who makes house calls? I'm not sure if that is out of the question or not, but you wouldn't have to leave the house, and lots of teachers work this way.

    Best of luck.
  3. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ive been heavily studying Rabbaths DVD and the biggest problem I find is the 2 dimensional nature of video.

    Although you may have several angles of video to look at, you are still forced to pick out body markers on each video angle and try to piece together a correct 3 dimensional interpretation of what youre doing.

    By the complex geometric nature of bowing its a long process to build up the optimal motion this way.

    On the other hand the intense self reflection and scrutiny has lead me to begin building up an effective technique for my own body. So I dont think the concept is bad as long as you are perceptive about your movements.

    It reminds me of the Alexander method in that regard. Paying close attention to every movement does pay off.

    And hey, in the end if your playing sounds good, it sounds good.
  4. I had a teacher who did that a few years ago, right before my health totally crashed. Don't think that is an option any time soon.

    Both of you above mention some drawbacks I will have to consider. Seems i don't have any really good options.

  5. Menacewarf


    Mar 9, 2007
    The main thing I think the OP should know is this. I understand your situation makes a real teacher difficult. Here is what you will miss.

    IMO The actual value in studying with a teacher is that of the comraditary, the bonding, and shared joy. The bridging of time from your teacher's learning to yours. It can be a relationship and emotion you get no place else. I'm not saying you can't devlop this via webcam. I just think it sounds tough.
  6. Sigh. Yes, I have had relationships with teachers in my life both in music and in other areas.

    My situation is is not easy. Sadly, I am not able to be around most people in any casual manner. It requires preparation and I must wear a mask that offers inadequate protection for many situations. Frequently I become quite ill despite the mask. It is also terribly hot and uncomfortable, especially in Arizona in the summer.

    There are many other difficulties. I live in a fairly remote area and have severe problems with fatigue so traveling is difficult.. Especially to have anything left for a lesson after traveling. Frankly, my options stink even though my health is better than it was a few years ago..

    TTTT I wonder if I will even be able to find a rosin or rosin substitute that I will be able to tolerate. I'm just trying to find some way to do one or two things that I want so I don't go crazy out here. Not ready to give up yet either. I may get better, worse or stay the same but I have to work with the way things are for me today.

    Probably too much info but as you can see there are reasons I am inquiring about this approach.

  7. I have wanted to get this together from a teaching standpoint for when I tour. I have not done it yet, but I did do some video lessons with my digital camera for someone before.
    I think it could work just fine, not just for Suzie's unfortunate situation but as a fallback before a student cancels a lesson, or either student or teacher is on the road or even moves.
    It may not be ideal but I think it is a viable option I would love to explore more. As far as sound, you could upload some mp3s somewhere, getting things to look right, espcially early on, goes a long way toward making things sound right.
  8. Menacewarf


    Mar 9, 2007
    I'm sorry your in a rough spot Suzie. Way to be determined in making this happen.

    To try and give things a positive: Who here hasn't had a fantasy about being stranded somewhere remote with only our instrument and our own devices?! For whatever reason It seems a really natural thought for anyone and look, your there!

    I bet some folks on here might have ideas on non hypo-alegenic rosin alternatives too. Good luck and good health to you! :)
  9. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003

    I study at a university, and my teacher, who is relocating, is planning on doing some of her lessons via webcam. although we will be meeting in person at least once a month in LA area. PM me if you are interested in possibly studying with her, will give you some contact info.
  10. tonequixote


    Feb 6, 2004
    Todd Coolman has web based instruction offered. It might be worth contacting him and discussing your needs. Hope this helps.