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Violin Bow Hold

A series of images to help beginner violin students learn how to hold the violin bow with the correct technique. Designed to help younger children when first starting lessons.

 

Violin bow hold.

Hold the middle of the bow with your left hand in a position similar to how you would use the bow when playing. Try not to touch the horse hair.

Make a fist with your other hand. Be sure your thumb is bent across and over the top of your fingers.


Violin bow hold.

Turn your hand above the bow and place it as shown. Keep your thumb bent and your hand relaxed with your left hand providing support at the middle of the bow.

While holding the bow in this position you cannot easily see how your hand, fingers and thumb are placed. Position the bow vertically ready for the next part where you will be able to see better and make corrections to your bow hold.

 

Violin bow hold.Violin bow hold.

 


Hold the bow up higher so you can get a better look, but keep it straight up and down.

The little finger should be hooked and sit on top of the bow above the end of the frog. See how far the other fingers come around the frog and how they are spaced along the bow.

The thumb sits on the other side of the stick from the fingers. Keep it bent and contacting its half of the underside of the stick only, that is, the fingers on one side and the thumb on the other.
Hold the bow up, move it to your side and turn it so you can see how your hand, fingers and thumb contact the bow and how they are shaped.

Keep your arm, hand, fingers and thumb relaxed. Keep the bow vertical to avoid tension or support it with your other hand, as support is provided from the strings when playing.

 




The Rest Position

It is important to know what to do with the bow when not playing or when in rest position. Place the frog in between your thumb and first two or three fingers with the underside of the frog facing your hand.


Rest to Playing Position

Equally important is moving from rest position to a bow hold playing position. It is better if this can be done with only one hand so the violin does not have to be put down all the time when adjusting the bow hold.

Keeping the bow pointing down move your hand over the top of the bow and to the front. Hold the bow firmly with your thumb straight on the stick and the metal screw anchored in your hand above your little finger as shown.

 

Use this hold to move the bow so it points upwards and only then shuffle your hand, thumb and fingers into position. Check you are holding the bow correctly.

As you watch your hand move the bow remember that the other end of the bow still exists and try not to poke your teacher in the eye with it, or anyone else for that matter.
 


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