Nathan's safety move for bow shakes

June 25, 2015, 9:52 PM · There's a problem that strikes fear into the heart of every violinist, no matter how accomplished, and that's "the shakes", or bow tremors. They happen when we're nervous; caffeinated; playing an unfamiliar bow; playing a soft note; or just any time they feel like showing up! And the unfortunate thing is that once they start, they tend to hang around. They eat away at confidence, which makes them more likely to show up the next time... it's one of those cycles we try to avoid.

So take heart! I have a "safety move" that stops the shakes in their tracks. And I've just posted a video that shows you exactly how to do it. Once you have this move "in your back pocket", as I like to say, the shakes won't bother you as much because you'll know how to get rid of them. And once you're not concerned with the shakes, they tend not to show up as often. Now that's a cycle I like to perpetuate!

If you've watched my video on soft starts and smooth bow changes at the frog, you'll know that tension, or muscle contraction, isn't always a bad thing where smoothness is concerned! Don't believe me? Put your index finger up to your screen, and see if it shakes even a little bit. Now brace it against your other hand; really push against the hand. Now see how it's rock-steady? That's what you're after here. Only my safety move for bow shakes uses rotational force rather than linear. Just watch the video, and you'll see exactly what I mean!

This entry originally appeared at

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June 29, 2015 at 04:27 AM · Thanks Nathan, you're awesome!

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