They say the bow is 80-90% of your sound on violin-family instruments, that logic follows that it’s also going to be 80-90% of the work. If your bow hold is less than stellar, you will likely notice that making a sound that is not screechy, but warm and full, is difficult on a good day.
<< Be sure to read to the end…there’s a freebie in it for you! >>
A few things to look for:
The back of your hand turned slightly towards your violin –
Angling your in this way helps your fingers fall more naturally on the bow, allowing for a more relaxed hold.
Bent thumb and pinkie –
I felt these were the most difficult to achieve when I was learning, but if either finger is locked up it will cause all sorts of problems in your sound, and ability to control where the bow goes.
Index finger –
Let it curl around the stick, with little ones I tell them to “hug it” with their pointer finger.
Ring and middle fingers –
Don’t allow them to perch on the stick, make sure they fall lightly over the eye, that circle that’s on the frog of the bow.
Relaxed hand –
If your hand is tense, your bow will bounce, drift all over the place, and you will be frustrated.
Here is a screenshot of mine during a lesson. I have smallish hands, if yours are larger/longer be sure to take that into account.
Once you have a better bow hold, or at least are working towards it, it is time to talk about how to move your arm. Many people try to move from the shoulder, keeping their elbow locked at a 90-degree angle, or thereabouts. This is incorrect, you should always use your forearm, opening and closing your elbow joint, to move back and forth. If you’re moving correctly, your shoulder will move a little, but not very much.
Get ready for the FREE Fix Your Bow Hold webinar, where I show common bow-hold problems that I see as a teacher…and how to fix them. This webinar is ideal for students who have difficulty and at least 8 years old. Younger is fine (many of my students are under 8), but I strongly recommend sitting there with your child to help.
There are only 50 spots available in this webinar, so don’t delay.
I’ll be hosting one of these on Friday, December 14 at 12pm Central Standard Time. If you sign up for Friday’s webinar, you also get access to a replay of the event. That way, you can play and replay it to your heart’s content – even if you miss part of it.
The best part? In only 30 minutes you can be on your way to improving your sound.
I am giving away one free private lesson at the end of the webinar. The winner will receive one 30-minute lesson via zoom video conferencing. How do you enter? Join the webinar to find out!
Sign up for updates on the Fix Your Bow Hold webinar and future webinars – and I promise NOT to sell or otherwise share your email address with anyone, and I will only use it to send updates on webinars.
Be sure to add my email address: info @ gailsmusic4kids.com to your address book, so you don’t miss the email!