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Bow Hold

For over two centuries, there has been much debate among string teachers as to the "correct" way to hold the bow. The truth is, there are many ways that the bow can be held and still produce an artistic result. If you closely studied the bow holds of ten of today's greatest performers, you would find that they all hold the bow slightly differently. In the past, violin pedagogy had different "schools" of bow holds based on geography: the German School, the Russian School, and the Franco-Belgian school. The difference between these "schools" had to do with finger placement, pronation of the hand and wrist, and several other factors that would result in a different quality of sound production. As people have become increasingly mobile, pedaogical styles have blended, and many teachers have taken the best features from the varied approaches and incorporated them into their own teaching. There seems to be widespread agreement on a few general conceptual ideas regarding the bow hold:

1) The hand needs to be balanced. The thumb should fall naturally into the center of the hand, contacting the stick across (opposed) from the middle fingers.

2) The hand should be comfortable, and free from tension, with all finger joints flexible and able to bend in the correct direction (no hyperextensions).

3) The ideal bow hold is one that permits the musician to execute all the on- and off-the-string bow strokes.

 

 

POSTURE INSTRUMENT SIZINGINSTRUMENT POSITION

BOW HOLDBOW STROKE INTERMEDIATE RIGHT HAND SKILLSADVANCED RIGHT HAND SKILLS

LEFT HAND POSITIONSHIFTINGVIBRATOADVANCED LEFT HAND SKILLS

 

 

 

 
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