How to Make Your Bow Jump on Purpose (Spiccato)

by | Apr 16, 2014 | Bowing Technique | 2 comments

Valyncia asks:

I am learning how to play Irish jigs and there is a funny thing that is done with the bow: it sounds like a skip (I don’t know the tech name for it… sorry). I can do it on accident, but not on purpose…

Question: How do I do it on purpose?

Making your bow jump on purpose is called ‘spiccato’.

Click here to watch my video ‘How to stop your bow from jumping’ if your bow jumps by accident and you don’t want it to.

This is important when learning spiccato and I will explain how to do it in the below video:

  • Bow hold (normal or different from normal?)
  • Relaxed, balanced and flexible bow hand fingers
  • Basic bowing technique: motion in your bow hold while bowing (spring system!)
  • Find the right place on YOUR bow (just a bit above the balance point)
  • Pivot the bow a bit
  • Find the natural jump of the bow, don’t work too much
  • Don’t practice too slow
  • Don’t jump too high, stay close to the string
  • Skipping, no chopping
  • Leave the string or not?

Did you enjoy this video? Please let me know in the comments!




  1. Serena Erb

    hello! I know this video was posted a few years ago, but I have just discovered your site and wow, what a gold mine! I am an intermediate player and an experienced teacher of beginner kids. Some of my students are now needing to learn bow techniques that I know how to do, but I am unsure how to teach. These videos are very helpful in breaking down the bowing techniques. So thank you for posting.

    Plus I enjoy your accent – my Oma and Opa immigrated to Canada in 1948 and so the their accent was the same as yours. Lots of warm memories.

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Welcome, Serena, and I’m happy to read that my videos are helpful for your teaching :).


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