How many notes per in/out of the bow?

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How many notes per in/out of the bow?

Postby dulcimer52 » Wed May 04, 2011 10:00 am

Before I go any further with Lucy Long:
I need some advice for the first couple measures.
(Do you refer to a bow stroke as "in, out" or "push, pull" ??
Would the first measure be:
In, out, in, out (one stroke per note??)
Or, In (2 notes) Out (2 notes).

Second measure: Would you do a set of 4 eighth notes per stroke?
Or would 4 eight notes be in,out, in, out ???

As you can tell, I've never played a bowed instrument, and just don't "have a clue!!"

(A friend of mine was once told, If you try to teach yourself to play an instrument, you have a fool for a teacher.) :(
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Re: How many notes per in/out of the bow?

Postby Ken Bloom » Thu May 05, 2011 7:47 am

First of all, it's called upbow and downbow. A downbow is from frog to tip, upbow the reverse. Taking more than one note in a single bow stroke is called slurring. You can always just single bow everything. Slurring some of the notes gives the music more rhythmic drive. In fiddle tunes a common device for a group of four eighth notes is slur two, bow two. When you are playing by yourself you are completely free to bow a tune in whatever way sounds good to you. When playing with others, matching your bowing makes things cleaner and more distinct.
For Lucy Long, I am not consistent with my bowing. I will often leave the notes the same but try different things with the bow to keep it interesting. I would say, learn it with single bowing first and then experiment by putting slurs in various places and see what sounds good to you. There are no hard fast rules hear. To quote a famous jazz figure, "If it sounds good, it is good!"

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.com
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Re: How many notes per in/out of the bow?

Postby Robin T » Sun May 08, 2011 10:33 pm

dulcimer52,
That thing your friend heard about teaching one's self to play an instrument is, in my humble opinion, just plain wrong. (If you want to be a classical player of an instrument, I reckon they're right, though. We're talking something else here, I think.)

There are lots of reasons one may take up an instrument and personal satisfaction is, for me, tops among them. That said, anyone who wants to gain skill on an instrument will, naturally, look to others from whom to learn; I seek to learn from friends (in person-- I go to the BD festival at Pilot Mountain) and from recordings.

Enjoy Lucy Long! It's a tune I'd like to learn. 8)

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Re: How many notes per in/out of the bow?

Postby dulcimer52 » Sun May 08, 2011 11:00 pm

Oh, I never took her comment too seriously. Otherwise I would never have learned to play my assorted collection of unusual and antique instruments. Nor, actually most of my instruments. I'm pretty much self-taught on most of the instruments I play. With the assistance of classes/workshops at festivals. Well, I did take hammered dulcimer lessons for several years. But if I limited my playing to only instruments for which I could find a teacher, I'd be seriously limiting my playing!! Thanks for your comment.
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