How to Stop Your Bow from Jumping

by | Jan 30, 2014 | Bowing Technique, Play Comfortably, Start to Play | 4 comments

What to do if your bow jumps or shakes when you don’t want it to?

What to do if your bow jumps or shakes when you don’t want it to?

Having trouble to create a steady sound when bowing on the violin? You’re not alone. In this video we show you how to stop your bow from jumping.

Our viewer Michael writes: “I’m a beginner student and I’m having problems bowing.The bow is jumping just a little and the sound is vibrating. I’ve tried different bows, but this doesn’t work. I’m practicing refining my movement. I’ve looked at bow hold, wrist position, elbow position and the whole body position and I’ve watched the weight X pressure video, but nothing worked. Do you have any other tips?”

Do you recognize this issue? Read below to learn how to get control over your bow and get rid of that ‘adult beginner tremble’!

Changing the materials

A lot of beginner players have the problem that the bow is jumping. There are several things in the materials that you can try to change:

  1. Try a different bow. If this doesn’t work, you can try the following:
  2. Tighten the bow a little bit less. When the bow is tightened too much, it becomes too jumpy.

Changing your movements

There’s a big chance the jumpiness is caused by a shake in your arm. Most of the time, shakes are caused by tension. In this case, you should try to look where the tension is. Take a look at this checklist if to find out where it is:

  • Relax your shoulder. Even if your shoulder is a millimeter lower, it can make a huge difference.
  • Make sure that you’re not tensing your bicep.
  • Your elbow should rather be low then high.
  • Loosen the fingers
  • Try to make the movement very smooth
  • Lean in your bow. You should be able to hang on the bow when you put your bow on the string. You can use this weight to steadily play your violin.

Other exercises

If following the checklist still doesn’t give you results, you can also try to do these exercises.

  • Ask someone to hold your elbow so you can really hang without lifting the bow or tensing up.
  • Place your bow in the same place on all strings while playing. When you go over the strings towards your playing hand, the sound becomes unsteady.
  • Try bowing exercises without the bow. With a stick for example. To make it extremely relaxed.


PS: Do you want to see YOUR question answered in a Violin Lounge TV episode? Post a comment below!

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  1. abbas akbary

    Dear Zlata
    Thanks for your useful guides , I have problem with jumping bow when I put the bow on strings . specialy after spicato to portato , I can not control bow from jump .

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Hi Abbas, of course you can use the search bar for more free videos. If you’re serious in learning to control the bow, learn all bowing techniques and how to switch between them and apply them to pieces, join my online program Bow like a Pro:

  2. Vanessa Gapas

    I’m playing the piano in our church. Then, there is a kid who started to take self-study in playing the violin after his violin teacher left to other place. I don’t know how the violin works but I know that there something wrong in the sound. Can I teach that kid by just listening how should be the sound look like and by searching in the internet?

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Of course a child will benefit more from offline 1 on 1 lessons with a qualified teacher, but make sure to browse my website and show him all the videos you might think are useful to him.



  1. How to Make Your Bow Jump on Purpose (Spiccato) | Violin Lounge - […] Click here to watch my video ‘How to stop your bow from jumping’ if your bow jumps by accident…

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