The Secret to Silent Bow Changes on the Violin | Violin Lounge TV #312
Improve your sound quality and violin bow technique with the two short and simple exercises for smooth bow changes in this video:
Do you have difficulty making silent bow changes? I’ll unveil the secret in this video!
When you’re bowing your string moves in a V shaped motion. We call it a Helmholtz motion. Watch the video to see a close up of what this motion looks like.
This V shape is different in down bow and up bow. So at the bow change when you go from down bow to up bow or the other way around, you need to stop one movement and start a different movement. That’s why silent bow changes in the absolute sense are technically not possible.
So why does your teacher tell you all the time to make silent bow changes? Why do all violin players strive for silent bow changes?
Well we can create the illusion of silent bow changes and sometimes it can even seem that we really have silent bow changes. So you want bow smoothly and fluidly maintaining the resonance in your violin and your bow.
Here are some tricks:
Don’t just move your arm while bowing, but mainly move your wrist and fingers. Your fingers are the ignition point of the movement. Your body just moves along.
Prepare the up bow while doing the down bow. In the down bow, first move your elbow downwards and during the bow stroke move it upwards to prepare the coming up bow. You make eights with your elbow like I demonstrate in the video.
This way you have the feeling that you’re making round movements, like stirring in a big pan of soup. The typical beginner sound is caused by vertical motions that don’t follow each other fluently.
Smoothen the bow changes with your wrist and fingers. Practice this with a pencil like I demonstrate in the video.