How to Hold Violin Bow Video Tutorial

  • By: Alex Scott
  • Date: Wednesday, 9 September 2020
  • Time to read: 2 min.

How to Hold Violin Bow

Today’s video is about how to begin to learn to hold a violin bow. While there is a correct way of holding the bow to your instrument, there will be natural variability in people’s desired grip due to their differing hand size and shape, from the beginner to the advanced professional.

The most important first-step in learning to use your bow is being comfortable with your grip on the stick. The violin bow is a tool, similar to a paint brush, that we have to be able to control!

The place in which we hold the violin bow consists of 2 different parts of the bow: the stick and the frog. Fundamentally, the grip of our hand is centered around the stick of the bow, and not the square frog (although we also use the frog in our grip!)

For absolute beginners, it is a good first-step to place the thumb underneath the frog, eventually to be transferred to the stick of the bow, with the middle two fingers (middle finger and ring finger) wrapped around the front of the frog’s eye as a support to the holding of the stick.

The most important thing to practice in holding the stick, is that you MUST all of the fingers round and relaxed, similar to the way you would grasp a soft ball. This is most difficult with the thumb. Practice first with a ball, and then with a pen or pencil as shown in this video.

Make sure that as you practice holding your bow, your middle thumb joint is not flexed toward your hand, but bend in a “grip” position. This is to be sure we are not clamping the bow and creating tension and pain for our hand, but rather holding it with a rounded, strong and versatile grip.

Just the right amount of strength, but not to much tension in the hand and arm is necessary for learning this technique of holding the fiddle bow. Step by step, you will learn to hold your instrument comfortably.

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