Practice Finger Bowing to Bow Smoothly | Violin Lounge TV #241

by | Jul 15, 2016 | Bowing Technique | 12 comments

This episode is about the exercise ‘finger bowing’. It will help you bow more smoothly en make a beautiful sound on the violin!

Beginners tend to bow mainly with their lower arm without much movement in their wrist and fingers creating the typical beginner sound. Your body will always do what’s easiest based on movements you are familiar with. However, these movements from daily life aren’t always the best for creating a beautiful tone on the violin.

Moving your wrist and fingers fluently along the movement of the bow, makes your bowing very smooth and this will create a better tone on the violin. In the video I demonstrate the difference. The violin keeps resonating and you don’t mute the violin at every bow change.

Finger bowing is an exercise that teaches you to make these very specific movements with your wrist and fingers and how to make them fluent. What you need to do is to maintain the bow hold and the contact points of your finger tips on the bow. You use your fingers as a spring system. The movement doesn’t have to be large. It depends on the individual. Now you put your bow on the string just above the middle of the bow. Start bowing without moving your arm and just moving your wrist and fingers. The exercise is not about sounding good, but about practicing the right movement. Eventually you combine these movements in your wrist and fingers with the larger movements with your arm.

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Is this video helpful to you? Please let me know in the comments below! If you like it, share it with your friends!



PS: Do you have questions or struggles on violin or viola playing? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!


  1. Ann Cantrell

    Thank you Zlata! This is a wonderful tip! It is definitely something I need to make use of in my practicing.


  2. Sue

    Ive been taking violin for 6 years and no one has ever told me this before. I am trying to improve the sound without much luck…hopefully this will help. Thank you!

  3. Ray Noble

    Very helpful. Thank you Zlata

    • Violinist Zlata

      Happy to help and thanks for your comment, Ray!

  4. Elijah

    Good job!

    But my wrist is locked and somehow I find it hard to move the wrist flexibly. It creates a lot of tension if I try to force it. How do I overcome this? Please reply.

    • Violinist Zlata

      If your wrist can’t move properly, please consult a doctor.

  5. Carl

    Thank you for this great tip. I intend to integrate it into my practice. It is overlooked that many times the smallest technique tip can make the largest improvements.

  6. Thisbe

    Bowing without moving my arm, just moving the wrist and fingers. I did not know about this exercise before but it is fun and let me feel already that I can control the bow with very small movements. This is a spectacular insight I want to adapt this in my playing!



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