We string players are hardworking types.
We tend to try very hard at everything. How about making life a little easier?
A relaxed arm will produce a fuller, more beautiful tone. Rather than pressing down or gripping with the bow hand and fingers, if we trust that the weight of our arm will produce sound, we can let gravity do the work for us!
Imagine an anchor
Imagine an anchor tied around your elbow, and every time you make a downbow motion, the elbow sinks down with the weight. The elbow therefore leads the downbow motion.
Let the feeling of weight pass through your shoulder, your elbow, and your fingers to the bow.
Feel the bow sink into the strings.
When you have this sinking motion with the bow, your tone will deepen and broaden. And you won't have to work so hard to press and push for sound.
Things to be aware of
- This process is about allowing, rather than trying. Do you know the difference? You want to allow your bow to make a sound, rather than trying hard to force a sound.
- Gravity can only work when the violin is held up high and parallel to the floor.
- This practice tip works well with Practice Tip #7 - Violin Floats Up. Just because your bow is sinking down, doesn't mean your violin gets to sink down.
Remember, BOW SINKS DOWN! Stop working so hard, and trust gravity and your bow to give you the sound you are looking for.
P.S. This part of the bow motion is covered in more detail in our free e-book Learning Violin: The First Four Steps, currently available as a free download.