How to Bow Straight on the Violin | Violin Lounge TV #489

by | Aug 24, 2022 | Bowing Technique | 6 comments

Bow straight exercises for the violin

Learn the bow arm mechanics and finger action for straight bowing without looking

Bowing straight is NOT just a matter of checking yourself in the mirror and endlessly correcting yourself

If you don’t have the bow arm mechanics and the bow hand finger action right, you will not bow straight.

If you don’t bow straight, you don’t have control over the point of contact of the bow hair on the string and you might get some very weird squeaky sounds. Learn all about contact points in this violin lesson.

Learn to bow straight and make a beautiful sound.

Video content

00:42 Bow arm mechanics
00:55 Disclaimer about bowing straight (or should you really?)
01:21 Upper half mechanics
02:19 Lower half mechanics
03:07 Finger action in the bow hand
04:36 Finger exercises with a pencil
05:20 Finger exercises with the bow
06:25 Toilet roll exercise
07:25 Moving to the violin
08:59 Should you really bow straight?

Read my article about bowing straight right here!

Hi! I'm Zlata

Classical violinist helping you overcome technical struggles and play with feeling by improving your bow technique.

Bow straight violin exercises and tips

Bow arm mechanics

In the upper half of the bow you mainly bow with your lower arm, wrist and fingers. In the lower half of your bow you also engage your upper arm. Practice these two different movements separately before making whole bow strokes (see video for tips and demonstration).

Finger action of the bow hand

Without a relaxed wrist and fluently moving fingers, it’s almost impossible to bow straight. Practice these movements with a pencil, on the balance point of the bow and later holding the bow the normal way at the frog.

Toilet roll exercise

This works wonders for straight bowing and is great to put together the things you learned in the exercises above. Hold a toilet roll where the point of contact between the bow and the string usually is and practice whole bow strokes through the toilet roll.

Which tip or exercise was most helpful for you?

Share it in the comments.


  1. Lynn

    Great ideas!

    Thank you!

    • Zlata

      Happy practicing!

  2. Molly Troxell

    Luv this on straight bowing-Great ! For late learners

    • Zlata

      Glad it’s helpful!

  3. Jim Williams

    Thank you so much for Bowing Tips.
    I started violin late in life and really never had bowing explain to me
    I did all the practice infront of mirror too.
    I just started these exercises to day with paper roll, what a different 5 mins made.

    Best Regards
    Jim Williams

    • Zlata

      Happy practicing!


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