Dounis and Bowing Technique

April 29, 2011 at 04:20 AM ·

Does anyone know if any of the 11 books of Dounis contain bowing technique?

Replies (8)

April 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM ·

Most of them do. He wrote more than 11 books, even if the "Collection" book only has 11 books. His op 12 (the first book in that collection) has 13 pages for the right arm, and so on...

April 29, 2011 at 11:25 PM ·

 The Dounis exercise books, whether for the left or the right hand, are useless, and possibly harmful, without  someone who has studied with him to show you how to use the exercises. I have studied with four Dounis products: Broadhus Earle, Marvin Morgenstern, Lotte Bamberger, and David Nadien. Not a single one of them used or recommended his exercises (or any others, for that matter). The Dounis approach to the bow cannot be learned from exercises or verbal descriptions. You have to be shown. There are some things that may be helpful. The first principle is to lead with the bow, instead of the left hand. Marvin went so far as to say, "The left hand doesn't exist." David didn't go that far, but he certainly had the same basic attitude. In fact, he gave me exactly the same "crawling up and down the bow" workout that Marvin had given me at my first lesson with him. The purpose of crawling up and down the bow, along with things like playing while holding the bow at the tip instead of the frog, are designed to make the student much more aware of the feeling of the bow when one plays. Thus armed with increased awareness of the bow hand, you can start to show the feeling of pulling the bow in both directions. There is no pushing. The up-bow is active; the down-bow is passive. The base knuckles are always released- never rigid. The sense of bow control resides primarily in the fingertips (where the fingers touch the bow). There are two primary bow strokes from which the others derive: the brush stroke and the eraser stroke.    There is a great deal more to say, but it's hard to see how it could be helpful without a demonstration. Actually, I'm not at all sure that what I've already said will be helpful.

April 30, 2011 at 02:34 AM ·

 In addition, think of each bow stroke as the lower arc of a circle.

May 1, 2011 at 03:00 PM ·

do you know book about tehnique?

May 1, 2011 at 03:33 PM ·

Well, wouldn't the book "Artist Technique" be okay alone? A lot of violinists on this website talk about it.

May 1, 2011 at 08:20 PM ·


Thanks for your post, it's very interesting to have a point of view of someone who as a direct connection with Dounis himself. I'm wondering if you could post a short video on youtube demonstrating those bow strokes. I think that many people here would be very interested. 

May 4, 2011 at 11:21 PM ·

try getting this book, The Dounis Priciples of Violin playing by Valborg Leland 

May 5, 2011 at 02:21 AM ·

 Hi- There will be a Skype interview with me at Red Desert Violin as soon as the editing is finished. In the interview, I describe some of the basic Dounis principles, as well as the basics of the violin pain problem.  Larry Johnston

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