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Question about proper Bow technique
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April 25, 2012 - 1:09 am
Member Since: April 13, 2012
Forum Posts: 10
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Hey guys!


So I've been practicing for about a week now, and one main issue that I seem to be having is with my bow technique. I have focused a lot on holding the bow properly, and I think that I have finally gotten that part down. However, I find it very difficult to steadily draw the bow across the strings. I almost get a very slight but rapid bouncing that causes several reverberations of the same note. I have just sat there for quite some time going back and forth trying to eliminate it, but I'm not sure what to do.


Also, how close do players typically get to the frog on their bow while playing? I can't help but feel that if I get even within 6 inches or so of it, I start to get terrible screeching. Should I train myself to never go that close or is there a better technique for playing close to the frog? Is the bow too tight? Am I pushing too hard or not hard enough?


Many questions, I know, but I know that this technique is very important to master. Thanks for any help, guys.

Honorary tenured advisor

April 25, 2012 - 1:35 am
Member Since: April 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 595
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Well, Im new at this fiddling thing too....but as far as the bow bouncing and the vibrato that comes with it, Im trying to use it to my advantage. 

Im so far away from getting my fingers to do the vibrato thing that to experience the sound even by accident when playing long notes is a welcome.

In the mean time I am learning better to control the bow and make it do what I want rather than what IT wants...if you get my meaning.

Welcome and good luck. This is a good group of people.


Honorary tenured advisor

April 25, 2012 - 7:59 am
Member Since: March 28, 2012
Forum Posts: 822
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You can come to an inch from the frog if you want to, have to keep the same pressure though to keep the same sound. The bouncing effect, I had it also, same thing have to control your bow instead of letting it lie down on the strings. You control it with index and pinkie balancing it, putting correct weight etc. I usually don't bounce but from time to time it comes back lol. Keep a relax, flexible hold and it should work out fine!cheerleader

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

Honorary tenured advisor

April 25, 2012 - 8:21 am
Member Since: August 11, 2011
Forum Posts: 556
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Here's an old thread with some useful info about diagnosing bouncing bow problems.


Sorry, having trouble with the link and I've got to run. It was a question Naska posted back in October. The thread is called something like "Bouncing bow...can't stop it"

Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa

April 25, 2012 - 8:31 am
Member Since: September 10, 2011
Forum Posts: 1957
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I have a feeling that when you are bowing the bow does not stay perpendicular to the strings. When a person bows from the shoulder the problem is more pronounced at the frog and then again at the tip. Try not using your shoulder but instead use your elbow and flex you wrist and fingers.  The best way to ensure you are bowing straight is to play while watching yourself in a mirror or taking a video of yourself is even better.

Fort Lauderdale
April 25, 2012 - 10:39 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11604

Try practicing playing about a half inch off the string in the air from the frog to about the middle of the bow and then back to the frog over and over again. To do this you will need to curve your pinky and have it on top of the stick.

Also, try angling your bow inwards slightly to create a shock absorber effect with the hairs.

I may have answered this twice. smile

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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