[Video] How to: Portato Bowing | Violin Lounge TV #247

by | Aug 17, 2016 | Bowing Technique | 4 comments

In this video you will learn how to play portato.

Portato is the bowing technique you apply when you see slurred notes with a line below or above them.

The trick is to not do too much.

Just stop the bow for a split second, like it would look like if you press a pause button in a movie and press play right after that.

Nothing changes, no accent, no funny things with your bow, nothing special, don’t give the bow a push with your index finger to create the stop… just stop the movement shortly and continue bowing in the same direction.

The stop should be hearable, so it doesn’t sound like slurred notes, but there shouldn’t be a rest.

First practice to play portato with two notes on one bow stroke and build it up from there.

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 info@violinlounge.com and I might dedicate a Violin Lounge TV episode to answering your question!


  1. Carolyn Keeler

    I want to sign up for the lessons for the viola. I want to be able to play Christmas songs for Christmas. I can read the treble clef but not super good on the alto I know it is on fifth up B is C on alto clef. Can you give me names of sheet music sites to try? Sheet music.com is the best I have found otherwise runs up a bill really fast 1,3,5 dollars a piece of music.

    • Violinist Zlata

      Hi Carolyn,

      Here are some Christmas song tutorials I have made: https://violinlounge.com/?s=christmas Perhaps for the viola there isn’t so much sheet music, but you could play violin sheet music and play it all a fifth lower.

      All the best,

  2. Jennifer

    Hello Zlata
    Do you have lesson for playing violin with ipad or iphone as a company, I see lots buskers play violin with ipad or iphone on street. Do you have lesson to teach me how the violin and iphone (or ipad) work together
    Many thanks

    • Violinist Zlata

      Sorry, I have no experience playing with an iPad. Do you mean as accompaniment?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *