William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

Moving your Index Finger on the Bow

Improve your bow control with these important tips

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick gives you some helpful tips to improve control of your bow.

Released on December 2, 2020

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

So, I've been talking a lot about this recently, and I thought maybe it might be a good idea to share that discussion with you. What's it about? Well, it's about bow grip. You see, I've been trying to explain that when we're at the frog, the index touches the silver in a different place than when we're at the tip. So why don't we get a little deeper into that? You see, in order to keep the bow parallel, we really need for the index finger to move. It's either that, or the wrist. I prefer to talk about the index finger.

So, because of that, when I'm at the frog, the index finger touches the silver here. When I'm in the middle of a bow, it touches it here, and when I'm at the tip, it touches it here. This way at the frog, this way in the middle, this way at the tip. Doing this keeps the bow parallel to the bridge.

I mean, the sound that we would get if the bow were this way... Here, let me show you. This way or this way isn't the greatest sound. This is one of the reasons we say always keep the bow parallel to the bridge. This angle produces a clear, clear sound.

So with that, you see, the bow is always moving on the index, or the index is always moving on the bow. Personally, I prefer bows that have the silver mounting rather than the others because it's smoother. It glides. It makes it easier to move the index.

Oh, yes. That's another reason we want to be careful that the index does not go on the leather. It doesn't move as well when it's on the leather. It moves much, much better when it's on the silver.

I hope that this brings a little better understanding about where we put our fingers, particular our index, on the bow. Have a great day.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Shirley Gibson * VSM MEMBER * on December 2, 2020 @10:19 pm PST
Thank you, Prof. Fitzpatrick! I wonder, as does questioner Meg Puckett, about your preference for a straighter wrist. When I was first taught (viola) it was to use a straighter wrist and I played this way through high school. Returning to the viola as an old person, I found that the bent wrist more in use and I assumed that I had remembered incorrectly.
William - host, on December 6, 2020 @12:06 am PST
Glad the video was helpful!
Artur on December 2, 2020 @12:30 pm PST
Bowing & Index finger - thank you so much for this basic skillness. In my old days I try to learn violine with little success but much empathie. Please continue to give such tips for music (violine) lovers
William - host, on December 6, 2020 @12:03 am PST
Meg Puckett on December 2, 2020 @7:10 am PST
can you also show what it looks like with an up bow. don't you still bend your wrist going up too?
William - host, on December 6, 2020 @12:02 am PST
Hi! Will do so in a future video!
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