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Lesson 8: Learning to BOW on OPEN Strings

Back to: Lesson 7

or on to: Lesson 9

This lesson gets you started on bowing. It doesn't have any pieces associated with it. For the time being just practise bowing on OPEN strings only. Start to practise open string bowing for a few minutes each day.


Make sure you are placing the bow about an inch away from the bridge. As you draw the bow UP and DOWN try to keep the bow on the string at all times. Avoid lifting it off the strings so that the sound is continuous and smooth.


Key Points:

  • Learn the hold & the bow position on the instrument.

  • Have you rosined your bow sufficiently - it will not produce a good tone otherwise.

  • It's not a hold or a grip - remember the 'egg' metaphor

  • You are balancing the bow on the tip of your BENT thumb

  • The other fingers 'fold over' the top of the bow

  • Your BENT thumb might touch the hair - that's OK

  • Your index folds over the join between the black section and the silvery section and the stick appears between the 1st knuckle and the 2nd.

  • Watch the bit about the rotation of the wrist so that you can get the tip of the little finger sitting on to the bow.

  • Your instrument must be level to start.

  • The bow is best placed an inch from the bridge.

  • The bow movement stays parallel to the bridge.

  • Keep your bow hold 'light' and 'loose'.

  • Gravity is sufficient to play the instrument.

  • String change? - Raise or drop the ELBOW.

  • Keep your violin LEVEL.

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