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Peg Height for French/German Bowing

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Steve Freides, Jan 17, 2016.


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  1. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I learned to bow German but have been working on French for the last couple of years. I have a student who bows German so I practice that during his lessons when I'm playing, otherwise I practice and play French now.

    I notice that, when I bow German, I feel like I need the instrument lower - my arm feels too close to straight at the elbow when I try to keep the bow in the same place as I keep it French.

    The geometry of what I'm experiencing makes sense to me but I thought I'd ask here for other opinions and observations.

    Thanks in advance.

    -S-
     
  2. Hey,

    I tend to keep my bass higher or at least bow (bend from my waist) deeper with German bow. When I use French bow I don't have to reach from the side.
     
  3. Total opposite here.

    I have back problems to I don't like bending down because it becomes uncomfortable in seconds. For the last year or so I've been playing sitting down. The sound hits your ear differently, but in terms of comfort it's the better choice for me.

    Haven't bowed French in years, but from what I remember that grip buys you three or four inches in terms of being able to set the endpin height lower.

    The rule of thumb I learned for playing standing up is setting the pin so the nut is at eyebrow height.
     
  4. Steve Boisen

    Steve Boisen Your first second choiceâ„¢ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    That's been my experience too. I started on French bow and switched to German.

    - Steve
     
  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    @KUNGfuSHERIFF, PM me if you want to talk back problems.

    Steve Freides - StrongFirst

    The picture is me after picking up 165 kg (364 lbs.) in the 148 lb. weight class, 8 years after not being able to walk.

    Re nut height, yes, I've heard eyebrows or forehead, but now I fine tune by seeing where the bow want to hit the strings. It really just dawned on me that I lowered my peg height around the time I started bowing French - duh. Strong back and weak mind, I guess. :)

    -S-
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  6. Linkie no worky but I'm very impressed nonetheless!
     
    Steve Freides likes this.
  7. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Edited and fixed the link - don't know why it got messed up. And thank you! And the offer stands.

    -S-
     
  8. In the interim, I cut down and brought in a 60-foot aspen to burn for heat. Can I hang? ;)
     
  9. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Your back can't be all that bad.

    -S-
     
  10. Scoliosis and many old injuries beg to differ. If I wasn't this bullheaded I'd get nothing done.
     
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    There are worse combinations than strong and bullheaded. (I can't think of one right now, but I'm sure it exists.)

    :) :)

    -S-
     

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