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The Importance of a Good bowing Technique

The importance of good bowing technique

Good violin or viola bowing technique is the artist’s paintbrush; it’s what drives the sound. A good bow technique can even do a lot to make up for a poor instrument.

Skilful use of the bow allows you to produce exquisite tones and a variety of dynamics, tonal colours, and special effects. And developing the perfect bow arm is a lifelong mission.

There are two ways of looking at the challenges of developing a good bowing technique. You can view all the complex variables of weight changes, bow angles, wrist/elbow/finger flexions etc. as a marvellous exercise in complex engineering or you can feel a heart and soul connection with pure sound. In fact, you need some understanding of both aspects if you want to develop a well-rounded bowing technique.

Some fundamentals of good bow technique include:

  • Being able to bow in a straight line
  • Controlling the lean of the stick through the bow stroke
  • Feeling confident in every part of the bow from tip to frog
  • Managing the weight applied to the strings
  • Sensitivity to tone quality

One of the single most effective techniques for developing good bow control and tone production is the son filé. Son filé—playing very long sustained notes—allows for in-depth observation, analysis, and refinement of every single aspect of your bow arm technique.

Are you ready to take a bow?

Pro-Am strings offers you this free online class designed to help beginner and intermediate violin and viola students master their bowing technique.

Join Henriette de Vrijer, your online violin/viola teacher and experience the joy of liberating your bow technique with the support of the friendly online violin/viola community.

Register today for this wonderful opportunity and sign up for a consultation lesson as well.

This post was written by Stylus writer, a former professional violinist/ violist who has taken his gift for phrasing and tone into the world of words. You can learn more about his work at http://styluswriter.com/

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