High Bow Grip

Edited: December 27, 2017, 2:25 PM · I think that my bow grip is higher on the stick than most violinist's. Are there any technical disadavantages to this? Can it just be because my hands are small?

Replies (8)

December 27, 2017, 2:26 PM · Depends how high up you go. Players with a Russian grip tend to "choke up" a little on the bow, but if your index finger is extending beyond the bow-wrap, your hand is placed too high.
December 27, 2017, 2:28 PM · This is a question for your teacher, who would be able to tell if it's affecting your playing.
December 27, 2017, 3:39 PM · I think Baroque specialists using Baroque bows hold the bow away from the frog. The bow can bounce easier if you hold it away from the frog.
December 27, 2017, 7:29 PM · I play with my thumb on the thumb pad and my fingers moved up accordingly.

It doesn't seem to cause me any problems and any feedback regarding it from my teacher has been about the hold (keep your thumb at least behind the middle finger!) and less so about where I choose to place it.

I think it's one of those problems that is part technique, part anatomy, and part comfort.

You could always share a photo and people can give a more detailed comment, assuming you are without teacher and can't simply as them for feedback.

December 27, 2017, 9:50 PM · Moving up the bow an inch or so, with the index finger at the top of the winding in my case, makes the bow feel lighter. It does rob you of some bow length, which can be limiting. If you move too far up it starts to feel weird for me because the distance between the hair and the wood of the bow under your hand is a lot less, plus the frog acts as a powerful counter weight. I will move my bowhold up and down the bow by up to an inch depending on what I am playing and what style I am playing - good to have options!
December 28, 2017, 12:39 AM · Re Ella's comment that "Baroque specialists using Baroque bows hold the bow away from the frog"  — that's not always true!

If you glance through the Corette and L. Mozart's treatises, they show bow holds at the frog. And if you use the super short bows, you don't have much to begin with and would probably want to hold it at the frog since you don't have much to length to begin with.

Just want to clear this common misconceptions that "baroque bow hold" = choking up.

December 29, 2017, 12:25 PM · I do this when I am tired and clumsy.
December 31, 2017, 6:39 AM · Do whatever is comfortable if it does not affect your playing.


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