How to Improve Bow Holding?

Music Moment Episode 1 

Welcome to the very first episode of Music Moment, a brand new web series and YouTube show by Music Mood in collaboration with Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. These series aims to help music lovers and students to enhance their playing skills. In this very first episode, Dior is going to share some useful guidelines which might come in handy for you to improve your bow holding. Furthermore, Dior explains some of the crucial mistakes which students make and some exercises that is useful to improve the technique.

Before we begin, a lot of students, especially beginners, dive into playing pieces they love immediately without firm fundamentals in holding the bow.

Not having a good bow hold will slow down your learning progress.

Firstly, everybody’s hand sizes and structures are different, therefore, there is no one universal way of holding the bow. There are a few popular bow holds such as:

 a. German 

b. English 

 c. Russian 

               d. Franco-Belgian 

However, a relaxed bow hold should ultimately be the most important. Remember, there are no strict rules on holding the bow, but there are some useful guidelines that will facilitate your playing.

1. Relax your right hand with a straight wrist.

2. Bend the thumb and the fingers to form a nice round hand.

3. The tip of the thumb is placed in the gap between the grip and the frog.

4. Make sure the pinky finger is resting at the bow curved and the second finger and the thumb are facing each other.

5. Turn your hand to 45 degrees.

6. Index finger should be the one adding power and dynamics to the overall playing.

Crucial mistakes made by students which will lead to much tension in the right hand:

1. Index finger should not reach up too far, as this would make you play uncomfortably.

2. Sweaty palms is a common challenge students face and the bad news is, there is no proven methods that will cure this permanently. However, some useful tips that can help sweaty palms students are through washing your hands thoroughly. If it is a really serious problem, you should visit a doctor. 

Exercises that would strengthen your fingers and bow holding

Firstly, place the thumb underneath the frog rather than resting on the frog, this will help you open out the hand and gives you more flexibility. A common fault is to move the violin to the left when approaching the heel of the bow. Instead, always try to move the bow and the violin should be still.

This next exercise will give you more flexibility and builds the strength of your pinky finger. Take your bow vertically and basically, you are going to go up and down with the bow where your thumb is the fulcrum. Your arm should remain still, the motion is from the fingers.  

Follow the above guidelines, avoid the common mistakes and remember to do some exercise that is taught before playing the Violin and it would greatly enhance your basic skills. 

If you want to know more about kids violin lesson, feel free to contact us.

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