Improve your Violin Bow Control | Violin Lounge TV #305

by | Apr 24, 2019 | Bowing Technique | 11 comments

The Thibaud exercise helps you improve the fluency and control in your bowing

By training the movement in your wrist and fingers you get a better sound

Sometimes your bow just doesn’t seem to do what you want it to do

Maybe you get a bad sound, a crooked bow or bow shakes while playing. You might have a rigid bow hold and the more you try to control the bow, the more it goes out of control.

The solution is to train the strength and flexibility of your bow hand

It seems contradictive that you need control and relaxation at the same time. This is the most difficult thing of bowing on the violin.

The Thibaud exercise helps you to get control over your bowing technique

Make a short up bow at the extreme frog and a short down bow at the extreme tip. Important is that you bow straight and make fluent movements with your arm, wrist and fingers. In the video above I demonstrate this.

Make sure that the bow stroke has a healthy sound without scratches or bounces. You want to strive for a popping sound.

Perform this exercise five to nine times on each string.

Now pick up your violin, do this exercise and let me know your experiences in the comments below!


  1. Bonnie Short

    Thanks Vlata! All your tips and exercises have been very useful and helpful in improving the beautiful sounds I can play on my violin!

  2. Janna

    Hi Zlata,
    I had a go at the exercise and my bow arm got tired very quickly. I suppose that if I do this a little before each practice, I will get stronger! Many thanks for this exercise and for doing what you do, with such an enthusiastic and positive manner. You always cheer me up!

  3. Leah

    great little exercise with excellent results!! Thank you Blata.

  4. Amanda Mylcraine

    It’s so hard to do it at the tip!!! I’m going to need a lot of practice! 🙂

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Just start doing it slowly and controlled, Amanda, you’ll get there! What piece are you working on?

  5. Denise

    Going to add this to the practice routine immediately!

  6. Thisbe

    What I like so much is that your video’s are backing the lessons I follow every week. This Thibaud is a simple exercise but after some minutes you already feel the result. If you than continue to play a piece you realise your bowing is smoother than before. Amazing!


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