When you balance weight, speed and contact point you can get the optimal sound from your violin
Tone production on the violin is not some kind of magic or talent: it’s playing with proportions
First make sure that you’re bowing straight consistently
By moving your wrist and fingers while instead of just your arm, you can bow with a straight bow on the same spot on the string between the bridge and the fingerboard. In this way you turn the round movement of your arm into the straight movement of your bow. Your wrist and fingers make a counter-movement. A relaxed bow hold is an absolute must to achieve the right movement.
You might think you know this already, but there are many people who play for years and are not bowing straight or bowing on the same contact point consistently. Before playing with proportions you need to get the basics right. Watch this video lesson about bowing and beautiful sound tips for beginner violinists to learn more.
Balance speed, weight and contact point… that’s it!
It gets difficult as the balance differs per string, note, position, vibrato, piece and meaning. Playing with proportions means constantly adjusting your bowing technique, so you can create the perfect tone in the perfect moment.
If your bowing speed is too high, you get a superficial sound. When your bowing speed is too low for the weight you are using, you can a choking or scratching sound. Using too much weight with too little speed also results in this choking sound. Using too little weight creates a tone without core. The closer you bow to the bridge, the louder the sound gets until it gets very bright and glassy. Bowing closer or above the fingerboard gets you a very soft and mellow sound.
Playing with these proportions get you the best tone with your violin, strings and bow.
Try some things out and see what the difference is, how your instrument responds and how you can use this for more expressive violin playing. If you want to learn more about balancing proportions, consider the DVD box ‘The Secrets of Tone Production’.
Are you interested in getting your bowing technique and tone production to the next level? Would you like to dive deeper into this topic of tone creation, but also learn ALL about the art of bowing? Join my online masterclass program Bow like a Pro!