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Bow pressure and tone

Great article. I am interested in the tone made by folk fiddlers, some of whom go for a different tone from that used by classical violinists. As a (struggling) fiddler it seems to me that Scottish fiddlers use a classical approach to tone. Long strokes, medium pressure. Irish fiddlers, and to some extent oldtime and bluegrass fiddlers seem to skate over the strings more. Less pressure and very short use of the bow. However, I have recently seen one or two English fiddlers using short bow and more pressure, so the tone is different again. What singers sometimes refer to as a 'closed onset'. The other thing that seems to make a difference is the pressure of the left hand fingers. Assuming you get perfect synchronisation between the bow and the fingers there is still a matter of taste and technique in how hard the string is pressed against the fingerboard. Keep up the good work.


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