William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

Look at What I Can Do with My Bow

Learn how to improve your bow grip on the violin

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick shows you an advanced way of improving your bow grip. A very interesting technique you won't want to miss!

Released on April 6, 2016

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

So, you see, I was at Juilliard about to give an orchestra concert in Avery Fisher Hall, and my stand partner, whose name I won't say, stood up to tune the orchestra, looked at me and said, "Can you do this?" When I turned to look, he was holding his bow without his thumb. Then he commenced to tune the orchestra, like this; see, no thumb. So, that definitely mystified me, so I immediately set out after the orchestra concert to figure out how in the world he did it. Well, I figured it out; he had been mystifying students with this - what you might call a trick, I don't know - for over 40 years.

So, with that, I would like to welcome you to VirtualSheetMusic.com to meet the expert. My name is William Fitzpatrick and I am the Henri Temianka Professor of Violin at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, which is located on the campus of Chapman University, and I'm as well Director of MusiShare and the MusiShare Young Artist Program.

So here, let's have a closer look at what I am doing. Well, for years I've shown this to students, but I've never said, never told them how it's done. A few have figured it out; maybe haven't figured it out. So, I am not going to tell you now how I do this, but do understand that it really isn't a trick. You see, my fingers are not holding onto the bow in anyway. So, with young students I show it to them this way. I show them the sound that I could make with an open string. Now, I am going to ask them, "Can I make that sound without my index? Can I make that sound without my index and my little finger? Can I make that sound without my index, my little finger and my third finger, all of them off?" Finally I say, "Can I make that sound without my thumb? See my thumb?" And I laugh, and I go, "Well, if I try, I can get a little ways, but I can't go very, very far." At this point, they look at me with very wide, open eyes and I just smile.

So, just how do I do this? Well, I won't give the secret away, but here is a hint. You see, it's all about balance. Another, shall we say, "trick" that I show the younger students is this one. I can make my bow bounce many times in one direction here. How about two? How about three? How about four? How about five? How about six? How about seven? How about eight? How about nine? So, what exactly am I doing? Well, I look at the spot that I want my bow bouncing, pick it up and I drop it, and I pick the bow up when the number of times that I've stated occurs. Yeah, I could even do this the other way; four, five, just drop the bow. Let the bow do it. That's all, that's all the secret is.

So, you see it's funny how much we try to manage, control, make things happen when all we have to do is just let them happen; so much easier. Well, I've made videos on up and down bow staccato so I don't think we need to speak to that again. I've also made videos on sautille and spiccato. Again, I don't think we need to talk about that. One of the things, though, I do need to say is we have to understand that these things require a change in your mindset. You see, we want so badly to achieve that sometimes we miss the point by over-achieving, over-reaching, trying to make things happen, thinking about it too much to make those things happen. What we really, really need to do is just change our mindset and allow those things to happen.

So, now I think you've got an idea of what I can do with my right hand, what you might be able to do with your right hand; that is, if you can figure it out. So, if you have a comment or a question to ask me, please feel free to post it below and as always, do take care and here is hoping that the information in this video will lead you to an even better performance level on the violin.
Automatic video-to-text transcription by DaDaScribe.com
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

kamikan on June 19, 2016 @4:47 pm PST
I'm enjoying your videos, here is my attempt to this with a left hand extra so i have an excuse to not be in tune hehe~https://youtu.be/nSMF_kmCK_Q
William - host, on July 14, 2016 @11:26 pm PST
Very very creative!!!
Richard on May 17, 2016 @6:08 pm PST
Wonderful lesson. Very much enjoyed your fun and interesting way of presenting the lessons and ideas. Thank you
William - host, on July 14, 2016 @11:24 pm PST
You are welcome!
Lorraine * VSM MEMBER * on April 13, 2016 @10:06 am PST
I heard that Fritz Kreisler used to show people that "trick."
William - host, on May 11, 2016 @6:25 pm PST
Hi! Never heard that but it doesn't surprise me!
thelindulafamily * VSM MEMBER * on April 11, 2016 @7:03 pm PST
Great Video. Thank you very much!
JULIEANN on April 10, 2016 @7:00 pm PST
William, can you tell me why my bow bounces, and I seem to not have control if it? Also what is the best bow hold for control.
William - host, on May 11, 2016 @6:27 pm PST
That's a difficult question to answer in a reply as there are so many possibilities... Can you tell me more?
Joan Dean * VSM MEMBER * on April 6, 2016 @5:28 am PST
How can I stop my bow juddering in the middle of the down bow?
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