If you’re busy or pre-occupied with fingerings and shifts in the left hand, it’s possible that insufficient messages are making their way to the bow arm on the right. However, there are ways you can make the left hand work to help the right. If you know what the fingers and notes are trying to communicate, the bow will respond in kind. When this energy happens in tandem, not forced but naturally, it can work as smoothly as the coordination in a pianist’s two hands.
Here are some examples of how the left hand can inspire and compel the right hand to play more effectively:
How does this transfer to the bow arm? The requirements of the left hand can cause the bow strokes to become rushed and the length narrowed. Take a moment to remind the bow to allow a tiny bit of extra length to account for each bow change. Knowing how easy it is to short-change a bow length, you’ll be happy to notice that making the bow strokes longer will actually be easier.
Focusing Attention on the Bow Arm
When your mind seems to be solely concentrating on the left hand's challenges, ask three questions to focus your attention on the bow arm as well:
Asking these questions unlocks the bow from playing in a static fashion, and spontaneously transfers the mind from the left hand to the right.
Ideally, the moment you start moving the left hand, the bow arm should step up to the plate and play with strength. However, it can take a little more prompting to make the bow live up to its potential. What makes the bow arm wake up and bring life to the music? There are ways to remind the right hand to be an equal partner to the left. This transfer of concentration is one of the most important skills that we can achieve through practice and attention to where we are placing focus.
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