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How I solved my bouncing bow problem (I think)
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May 20, 2012 - 5:32 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
Forum Posts: 1722
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Playing with my eyes closed. That's how I think that I've more or less solved my bouncing bow problem. I was getting so frustrated that my bow kept bouncing, especially on certain notes, and the problem seemed to be getting worse.

I tried everything, based on things that I've read and helpful advice from folks here. I tried loosening my bow hair, tightening it, using more rosing, using less rosin, trying to relax my hand, adjusting the position of the violin. Nothing seemed to work. Ugh!


So, yesterday, in desperation, I decided to try closing my eyes and playing a few tunes that I've memorized. I played them slowly and tried to focus on what bowing felt like when the sound was good and what it felt like when the sound was bad.

And eventually, I was able to stabilize my bow and get a nice smooth sound. It also seemed like I wasn't accidentally hitting adjacent strings as much.

To me, when the sound is smooth, the bowing feels like a rocking motion. So, my theory is that before I wasn't flexing my wrist enough, which made the bow fight with the strings, which caused binding and, thus, bouncing.

That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.wink

I've had a few more practice sessions today, and the eyes closed thing still seems to work. Of course, I open them to play songs that I don't know by heart so that I can read the music. But this technique seems to be a good warm up and good to go back to if things start to fall apart mid-practice.

I'd be interested to hear if this works for anyone else. Even if you haven't memorized many songs, try it, even if it's only on scales or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Hopefully, it will work for you, too!


When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

Coleshill, Warwickshire

May 20, 2012 - 6:20 pm
Member Since: December 15, 2011
Forum Posts: 1726
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Thanks for the info. I will definitely try this and give you some feedback. I keep clipping adjacent strings so I will see if it helps

I am amazed at how old people of my age are.....

Honorary tenured advisor

May 20, 2012 - 7:48 pm
Member Since: March 28, 2012
Forum Posts: 822
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I clip adjacent strings also from time to time but I know it's because my bow to a wee bit too much angled, muscle memory is not totally there yet. I found out that looking at the contact point of the bow on the strings helps me not clip on other strings and also bow straighter.

KS, I'm happy your trick works for you! Bouncing bow is so annoying! Just relaxing usually works for me along with bow tension.

"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


May 20, 2012 - 10:41 pm
Member Since: February 24, 2012
Forum Posts: 727
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Diane - I tried the exact same thing a few months ago and it did stop the bouncing, but then I felt disoriented to what string I was on.  I then started to dig into the strings just a bit more (that along with not too tight a bow) and not only did I avoid bouncing, but I just got a better sound out of the strings.


May 20, 2012 - 11:58 pm
Member Since: January 25, 2012
Forum Posts: 666
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Fred, that is the "play it like you mean it" or "play it like you stole it" advice bandied about the threads. 

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