Pinky slipping on bow

August 15, 2019, 7:47 AM · My skin is quite dry and my pinky slips on the bow. The contact is in the frog area so an elastic band is not an option.
How do you cope?

Replies (11)

August 15, 2019, 8:50 AM · If your pinky is slipping on the bow it must be exerting a force along the bow.
This raises questions as to how much force, how it is positioned on the bow (top, side, etc.?), how distant it is from the other fingers on the bow -- and wrt these questions, why?
August 15, 2019, 9:23 AM · My pinky touches the facet of the octagon between the top and side with about a 5 mm space to the ring finger.
August 15, 2019, 9:26 AM · Try placing your pinky on the corner of the top and player side diagonal facets.
August 15, 2019, 9:41 AM · David, not contradicting the advice you got from Andrew and Lorenzo, but, like everything on the violin, it is also a matter of practice. Just make it a habit to check on that right pinky and more generally on a flexible right hand. It will improve with practice. I had the same problem but it is better now.
August 15, 2019, 9:52 AM · Thanks folks. Aside from random slips, it's mainly during the finger movement of the up bow colle.
August 15, 2019, 11:39 AM · My 2 centimes d'Euro..

My bow is "held up" by a curled thumb, and balanced and "steered" by the ring finger on the far-side facet, and the pinky on the near-side facet.

My (very short) pinky is always curved, less when playing at the tip than at the heel.
I might call it the "Franco-Russian Cat's Paw" bow-hold...

August 15, 2019, 12:57 PM · The pinky in the Franco Belgian hold supports the bow at the frog pretty much alone resting in the thumb of course. Therefore a very strong pinkie is Neccisary which can be built with practice.
August 15, 2019, 1:39 PM · Here is an extremely simple solution that has worked very well for me for many years: ROSIN! Simply rub your pinky tip on the underside of the bow hair. It will do no harm to the functionality of the bow hair. But if you use a rosin that attaches to a cloth and enough rosin comes off onto the cloth you can rub your finger tip onto the cloth. Slipping is by no means necessarily a result of too much or too little force but of the relationship of the skin to the wood. When my skin is dry or too perspiring I need to do this. Inbetween I am fine. I also do this with my thumb tip. It works like a charm!
August 15, 2019, 3:47 PM · Have a luthier cover the bow in that area in leather. It will provide a good hold and protect from wear.
August 15, 2019, 4:19 PM · Thanks everyone. The rosin trick has worked well in the past. Must try it on the thumb.
August 15, 2019, 8:25 PM · Leather will indeed protect from wear. But unless it has a lot of texture it may not give enough slip resistance. That’s why even with normal thumb leather I find a bit of rosin on my thumb tip helps a lot. Of course everyone is different and you have to experiment.

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