Category: Violin Video Tutorials by Mimi Zweig
Vol. 1A, No. 4B: THE BOW (bow hold)
Parts of the Bow:
Frog, middle, tip, upper half, lower half, bow hair, button, and screw.
Care of the Bow:
• Loosen and tighten the bow with a student to show the proper tension.
• Always loosen the hair before putting the bow away.
• Rosin the bow before the first practice of the day.
When introducing the bow to the student for the first time, the teacher strives to have the student experience the feeling that the right arm is relaxed, can feel its own weight, yet it is supported. The student's right elbow should feel loose and heavy in the teacher's hand. With the teacher's help, the student learns to find the ideal balance.
Start the child out with the beginner bow hold--thumb on the underside of the frog. This is the best way to create a proper, relaxed, right hand position with the young violin student. (The student changes to the normal bow position at "O Come Little Children".)
A review of the basic instructions:
• Make a circle with the middle finger and the thumb, and then slide the thumb to the first joint of the middle finger. This becomes the basic shape of the bow hold.
• Let the student's hand hang at the side of the body. The teacher then scoops the hand up with the fingers of the hand resting on a pencil. Shape the fingers keeping a circle between the thumb and middle finger.
• Tap the first finger, the two middle fingers and the pinky. The bow hold must stay loose and flexible at all times.
• Now take the bow and place the fingers on the bow. The pinky will rest over the button in its house. The thumb will be under the frog opposite the middle finger.
• Place the bow on the left shoulder and tap the fingers
The video and the text were provided by courtesy of Mimi Zweig, Professor of Music (Violin, Viola); Director, Pre-College Strings Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, USA Further information can be found at: