Bowing: Right Hand Exercises.

Edited: October 9, 2017, 9:13 PM · anyone have any exercises for bowing? something to ease tension in my right hand and arm.
thank you!

Replies (13)

October 8, 2017, 4:57 PM · I think your bow arm and hand are likely to be very tense. Please relax. Also, your bow arm may be excessively high.
October 8, 2017, 5:04 PM · If you're just starting, try using just the middle third of the bow for now. You can mark that zone with colored tape on the stick of your bow. Eventually you'll use the whole thing but lots of beginners do this because it's much different to control the bow at the frog, middle, and tip and this just removes one variable.
Edited: October 8, 2017, 9:16 PM · Try picking up your bow, using your opposite (left) hand. Hold the bow as lightly as possible. Think about that sensation and then transfer the bow to your right hand while keeping the hold as light as possible. You may want to work with a teacher on the bow hold itself. But it's helpful to have light hold from the beginning.
October 9, 2017, 9:14 PM · Paul Deck, no, i am not a beginner, i have started studying my first major violin concerto (Mendelssohn Violin concerto -all movements). i was just looking for some helpful exercises. thank you though
October 9, 2017, 9:19 PM · I imagine at that level that the best source is your teacher, though if you describe the problem with greater specificity (or post a video), other people might have some suggestions as well.
Edited: October 10, 2017, 10:01 AM · I'm sure there are exercises out there, but it's going to be more relevant HOW you are practicing them than what you are practicing. If you are lifting your right shoulder, or if you have overspread fingers, or if you are lifting your elbow instead of allowing your elbow to be heavy. You might consider getting yourself on video or watching yourself in the mirror, but I'm surprised that your teacher isn't addressing this if you are at the Mendelssohn level. If your teacher has mentioned it, then it's as simple as following your teacher's instructions (which us students don't always do ;)

Do you KNOW where your bowing is coming from in all parts of the bow - What is and isn't active? You might try doing some minute-long bows, during which you shouldn't expect a great sound, but this can really let you focus on the relaxation of your arm. Of course, this can probably be done improperly too.

What etudes are you doing, and what does your scale/arpeggio practice look like?

October 10, 2017, 2:09 PM · Camilla, there are a ton of exercises for the right hand/arm that you may find helpful in Simon Fischer's "Basics"


October 10, 2017, 3:08 PM · Camilla sorry for assuming you were a beginner. Your profile on this site says absolutely nothing, and your question was not the sort of thing one typically hears from people working on high-octane romantic-period concertos.

Whenever I want to work on tone generation or right-hand position or tension in my bowing arm, I pick an old study like easier Mazas or Kreutzer where I already have it quite well in my left hand.

October 10, 2017, 4:18 PM · here is an artical from strings magazine:

How To Overcome Bow Hand and Bow Arm Tension

Edited: October 10, 2017, 6:23 PM · For me recently,... and still is Sevcik Op.2, #7 exercise with bow pattern 43-55 at tempo. You can't do this at tempo if you are not using a relaxed wrist.
October 10, 2017, 8:54 PM · thanks for the tips!
October 12, 2017, 2:24 AM · I would also recommend 'Basics' by Simon Fischer. Also Sefcic 40 Variations are very good.
October 12, 2017, 4:24 PM · jo edun: done :)

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