sorry to 'butt in' everyone....
I have been reading with GREAT interest everyone's post in this thread and I was so happy that the original posting of the article I had found had 'sparked' this great thread
I hope this thread will 'live' for a long time to come, you are all feeding into it such inspiring experiences/thoughts and opinions/information, thank you, I am learning a lot from it
I also have a BREAKTHROUGH to share with you all!
I have been 'struggling' for 2 and a half years now with trying to achieve a 'nice' and 'proper' STACCATO bowing with my violin bow
I would like one day to play this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mag2mc5Vva0...mp;feature=fvwp
my teacher 2 and a half years ago 'assigned' to me this etude: Kreutzer n4 (violinists will know it), I have been practicing it at first (in my first 18 months) quite religiously almost every day but with no real progress, not being able to achieve much at all
now I have been getting a little 'enough is enough' I really want to get this done! especially as I'd like to learn this piece (above link) and the main block would be the staccato of course!!!
I have been watching the above video LIKE AN EAGLE, I thought Master Heifetz MUST be able to teach me a few things right? even though he can't 'talk to me'
I noticed that he does something different with his DOWN staccato, when he does a down staccato his bow hold changes, he only holds his bow with his thumb and the index finger....mmmmhhhhh and the hand is open, the middle finger, ring finger and pinkie are straight and away from the stick....but seem very relaxed, the bow also....the wooden part is now tilted TOWARDS HIM (normally us violinists have this tilted slightly AWAY from us) AND finally he (on purpose) will draw the bow WONKY with the tip facing away from him and the frog end towards him...mmmmhhhh why does he do that? I thought to myself.....
(think think jojo.....)
then.....I read on the top of the page from Kreutzer 4...it says 'The staccato must be practiced very slowly to begin with, detaching all notes with a LOOSE wrist, so that the bow DOES NOT quit the string. This is a sure way to learn this style of bowing well'.
Then I went back to master Heifetz..... looked at him with an eagle eye again....you can't really see him moving his wrist or his hand when he does staccato, it's like he's drawing a straight bow
that's how relaxed his bowing arm/hand/wrist is!!!
So then I went to practice, I could not achieve any good results.....Kreutzer 4 was taking my concentration away too much from everything else!
SO I thought: I have to go RIGHT DOWN TO THE BASICS, take away this kreutzer 4 stuff now!
So I decided to do it on OPEN STRINGS! take away the left hand, this is A BOWING PROBLEM/TRAINING ISSUE RIGHT? it's my BOWING ARM/HAND/WRIST I have to train, NOT my left hand for now. I have to teach my right arm/hand/wrist which muscles to 'tweak' to get the staccato going, once I get that sussed out then I can think of doing kreutzer 4!!!
I went onto open strings and LO AND BEHOLD after 10 MINUTES MAGIC!!! for the first time in TWO AND A HALF YEARS I could do STACCATO A LA HEIFETZ! ok
not as good as Master Heifetz, I will never be anywhere near him, but I could do reasonably fast staccato with only the odd slip up on open strings.
AND by the way: I found out WHY Master Heifetz does what he does with his down-bow staccato, down bow staccato is a lot more 'tricky/difficult' than up-bow staccato (I remember my teacher telling me so and telling me how many violinists will try and 'avoid it'), well, doing it the way that Heifetz does it really really helps! having the bow with the wood part tilted towards you and drawing it 'wonky' so that the frog end comes towards your body, gripping the bow just with the thumb and index finger and keeping the rest of the fingers away from the stick and open and relaxed, helps the bow to have a certain 'grip' on the strings that you can't have in any other way, if you don't do this you have to put too much pressure on the bow and your staccato sounds too harsh/gritty or does not come out as 'even' or as effortlessly I have found out
It was very difficult on the G string and it didn't sound so nice there so that will need a lot more practice, but I FINALLY CRACKED IT!!
Now I want to do this on open strings daily for at least a couple of weeks before I attempt to use the left hand with it
thank you for all your posts and keep them coming