When it comes to guiding the movement of the bow, it's not necessary to exaggerate the bending of the wrist to allow the bow to travel freely.
Teachers often advise violin students to turn the wrist out on the down-bow and in on the up-bow. That can be good advice, but it also can easily be overdone. I’ve noticed that students who concentrate on the stick instead of the hand will do a better job of keeping the bow straight. Advice such as the wrist turning in and out should be used only to modify the more natural approach.
So how can you learn to keep your mind on the bow, without looking at it?
First, begin by actually looking at it. Start with just a few inches of bow and a moderate tempo, and observe the movement of the stick. The arm, hand, wrist, and fingers are designed to follow the lead of the bow; the path will unfold as long as you don’t bog them down with exaggerated instructions. Looking at the bow’s movement focuses your mind away from thinking, "What am I supposed to do?"
Watching the bow move is the first step towards being able to "see" the bow in the mind’s eye. As you visualize and imagine the bow movement, remember what it felt like when you actually watched it move. Your arm will begin to remember how it corrected faulty movement with unconscious thinking. The detailed know-how of exact wrist placement will be replaced by the arm going for the ride. This is similar to reaching for something on a shelf -- the arm does exactly what it needs to do, no more or no less.
When you’re looking at the bow, rather than concentrating on the mechanics of your bodily motions, the arm and hand move instinctively, without specific instruction. The bow is now moving in a more organic manner, and this freedom allows the bow to move into new areas it has never experienced. For example, simply moving the bow from the G string to the E string will bring the elbow down. Going to the D string will raise the arm quite high, and the trip from the frog to the tip will alter the lower arm to keep up with the mild leverage that is taking place.
When the arm is respecting the bow’s leadership and following its tail wind, a lovely synergy is taking place. Any direction works because every possibility must always be available. The movement of the bow across four strings and along its up-bow and down-bow trajectories can inform a lot about bow technique, without having to over-analyze the movements.
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