Three Eights of Smooth Bowing and a Beautiful Violin Sound – Join my experiment! | Violin Lounge TV #389

by | Nov 4, 2020 | Beautiful Tone, Bowing Technique | 10 comments

To create the best sound from the violin we make fluent movements in the elbow, wrist and fingers. Here’s what works and doesn’t for me:

Have you ever heard about the three eight movements in bowing?

(yup, this is me nerding out on bow technique again)

Being aware and in control over these three type of movements can greatly improve your fluency in bowing and tone on the violin.

However, they don’t work all three for everybody. That’s why I’m doing a little experiment. Watch my video above to learn all about it!

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Hi! I'm Zlata

Classical violinist helping you overcome technical struggles and play with feeling by improving your bow technique.

Learn more:

Watch my video on seamless bow changes, in which I cover the finger action that I quickly mention in the lesson above.

You don’t have to bow straight, says Itzhak Perlman… what??? I researched this topic and you can find everything in my article right here.

Let me know in the comments below which of the eights work for you and what their effect is!

I’d love to read it!


  1. Mathilde

    Hi Zlata, this is interesting and I will try them. But before I do that, please clarify something. In the third type of eight, you explain that the down-bow is more directed towards the higher string (I mean higher-pitched), and the up-bow is more directed towards the lower string. But when doing it on the G-string, you do it the other way around. Is both possible?

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      From a physics standpoint the angle shouldn’t matter, so it must have something to do with the weight in the arm and that could certainly be opposite for the G string. Good point!

  2. Darlene Meade

    Straight is better,thanks.

  3. Kenneth Palmer

    When you were bowing as itzak perlman suggested you did not get your demo quite right. You said he said to push the frog out on the downbow and pull the frog in on the upbow. When you demonstrated this you simply bowed in a banana arc. I believe the bow should go straight, just not perpendicular to the string. It is also necessary to push the bow towards the neck to counteract the tendency of the bow to run up the string towards the bridge. This pushing is just enough to make the bow maintain the same contact point, and causes the bow to sort of dig in to the string

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Well, the banana consists of two things, at the frog the digging into the string as you describe and at the tip the rounding of the bow stroke. I go a bit deeper into that in this article if you’re interested.

  4. John

    Hi Zlata, thanks for the video. I just tried angling my bow (frog out on the down, in on the up). This really works on my violin / bow. I get a cleaner sound that is also brighter, and if I want to play loud also louder. But it still works when playing softly to give a brighter sound. I’m so pleased to have this tool in my box – no I just need to practice until it’s easy!

  5. Michele

    Yes, This video has help me. I can see my bow performance with the eight bow playing the E, A strings.

    Thank You

    • Zlata




  1. Different CONTACT POINTS on the Violin | Bow Technique | Violin Lounge TV #424 - Violin Lounge - […] Want to learn more violin bow technique hacks? Watch this video about the three eights. […]

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