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Hooked bowing in 6/8- St. Paul's Suite

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Hemispheres85, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. Hemispheres85


    Jun 15, 2006
    Hi everyone, I'm playing Holst's St. Paul's suite at school and I'm having trouble trouble with the hooked D minor passage coming from the 2/4 section, if anyone is familiar with the piece.

    It seems like my arm tenses up immensely no matter what speed I play it at. I suppose it doesn't help that the bass I'm using has a bit too much tension running through it and the G is a pizzicato string, but it's a school instrument and I haven't one of my own.

    If anyone has any advice on dealing with the shifting and bowing in this piece specifically and quarter- eight 6/8 hooked bowing in general I'd love some advice- I'm finding myself very frustrated after an hour with a metronome.
  2. The trick with hooking is not to try to stop your arm dead in the middle… only the bow, and do that with your fingers. If you track your elbow, it should look almost exactly the same as if the stop wasn't there, but there should be lots going on in your hand.
  3. sweet51


    Nov 27, 2006
    you should try moving the bow with just your fingers and not moving your arm at all. i think it would really help.
    if your bass has an adjustable bridge, you should try to lower that and i might remove a bit of the tension.
    also try putting a little more rosin on your bow. it might help to grip the string a little better.

    i totally agree with andrew.
  4. Eric Hworth

    Eric Hworth

    Mar 19, 2008
    Roanoke, VA
    I agree with both Andrew and Sweet51 - IMHO, in quick bowing passages live in the wrist and fingers more so than the elbow and shoulder. Take a look at a good cellist's wrist and fingers. Not that you can use a "pure cellists" bow style, but you can pick and use what works for you in situations. This is assuming that you are using a French bow. More of a break in the wrist, couple with a loose and flexable grip with the fingers should make a difference.

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