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Your Violin Bow Hand Episode 1

We take a careful approach to setting up your right hand and all its fingers to ensure that you get the best sound possible from your violin ( fiddle ).

The violin bow hand needs to stay relaxed. The right hand needs to stay relaxed. That is very important in producing a beautiful sound or tone from your violin ( fiddle ). At every step of setting up your right hand, be sure to keep your mussels relaxed. Remember that the bow is not heavy so only use just enough effort to hold it and no more.

To start making a good violin bow hand we first make ‘bunny ears’ with our right hand. This is a good way to visualize the role and posture of each finger. Make two bunny teeth with your middle and ring fingers and place your thumb behind the first knuckle of the two fingers. Be sure to keep the thumb bent. Your index and pinky fingers will be the bunny ears. Cute!

Get a pencil. We will use a pencil instead of a bow for now as the pencil is much lighter than your violin bow. When you are ready, place the pencil inside the bunny’s mouth as we do in the video. Make sure that the thumb contacts the pencil on the thumb’s tip as it is in the video. If you are at school or work and want to practice your violin bow hold, take out a pencil and hold it as if you were holding a violin bow. The longer your fingers are in the proper violin bow hold posture the more natural it will feel. These exercises are habit-forming. If we can develop a habit of holding the violin bow properly then your will do it whenever you play the violin ( fiddle ).

When you are ready, replace the pencil with your violin bow. The thumb should contact the bow just in front of the ‘frog.’ Your thumb will be half on the leather lapping and half on the wood of the bow. Keep the thumb bent and relaxed. Wrap the bunny teeth or ‘huggers’ about the stick so that the thumb’s tip is very close to the first knuckle of the hugger fingers. Keep everything loose, curved and relaxed.

Next place the pinky finger on the stick. The pinky’s tip should contact the violin bow and the pinky needs to stay curved and relaxed.

Lastly place the index finger on the stick. The index should contact the bow at around the second knuckle. It may move a little above and below the knuckle as you move your violin bow up and down, but it should stay relatively close to that knuckle. Keep your index finger curved and relaxed over the violin bow. Be sure not to hook the index finger around the violin bow. It should just drape over the violin bow lightly.

Nothing can replace lessons with a qualified violin teacher. If anything in these videos contradict what you have been told by your teacher, please follow your teacher’s advice.

Whether you have a teacher or not these video tutorials can help you refine your violin playing. Each video is intended to examine a specific aspect of violin ( fiddle ) playing and explore how you can improve.

You need to practice as often as you can. Consistent, careful practice is the only way to improve on any musical instrument. Try and find a time in your schedule that works for you and stick to it each day. You may prefer practicing your music early or perhaps in the evening. Make a schedule and stick to it. For some people a good idea is to break up the violin practice into two or three segments throughout the day. You may practice scales in the morning, tone production during lunch and songs in the evening. Whatever works for you! Nothing can replace practice time.

Thank you,
Andrew Mercer