I am trying out different bowing exercises for violin and I am realising as I go for the down bow, I'm not able to keep my arm straight. I meant just from my wrist action, my arm straightens out with still some top portion of bow remaining. And in order to complete the whole bow, I have to slant my bow. I know something is wrong but I don't know what. This specially happens for G and D open strings. Please help
In general you can move your violin in 3 ways which can change how easy or difficult it is to play. With one end anchored on your shoulder you can:
- Raise and lower the scroll. This can make changing left hand position (moving from 1st position to 3rd or higher and back down again) easier.
- Twist the neck of the violin so that the violin is flatter or the side points more towards the floor.
- Move your left arm sideways so that either the violin points much more to the side or much more to the front.
If you have generally short arms and struggle to use a full bow on all strings then 3 will help you. Move your left arm sideways to the right so that the violin points more towards the center and less to the left and you will be able to use more of the full bow before your arm straightens and you can't bow any further.
If you are OK on the A and E strings but have problems on the G and D strings then 2 will help you. Twist the neck slightly so that the edge of the violin points more towards the floor than horizontal and the angle for the G string in particular will become easier. You may then need to twist in the other direction to play on the E string. Making these kind of adjustments while you are playing is much easier if you play without a shoulder rest but I have seen a short-armed violinist (Red Desert Violin on YouTube) do this with a shoulder rest.