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How to Hold the Bow for Violin Playing

Learn how to hold the bow from musician Julie Artzt Becker in this Howcast video.


Okay. So now, I'm going to teach you how to hold the bow properly. When you're teaching a beginner, you want to first hold the bow so that the hair is facing you, and the bow is vertical and the tip is facing the ceiling. So this is what it looks like. This way, you can really place the hand correctly, hair facing you.

You want to hold the bow, simply, sort of like you would take a cup. You would pick it up, not too tight, not too loose, because it would spill, but, you know, gently, but with a little bit of firmness.

Now, the thumb and the middle finger, I call him the tall man, because he's the tallest. They are the ones who are right opposite each other. You can make a circle with them. You can teach that and do a little tapping with a beginner violinist.

You take the thumb, and you put this thumb on the silver part of the frog, with a bump. You don't want it flat like this, very bad, with a nice bump.

Then, like I said, the tall man comes around, right across. They like to eat lunch together, I like to say to my little students. Then you take the ring finger, and you put him right next to the tall man.

Then your pinkie goes on the top. And usually, you'll put a little pad here, so that the child knows where the pinkie should be. And then the index finger falls right about there.

It's very important where your index finger falls. You don't want it to fall on the second knuckle crease, because then, you're going to have too much tightening. You want it to fall sort of in between the first and second knuckle for the right balance.

Your pinkie needs to be curly. You see how all the fingers are nice and curled. And this is the proper way to hold your bow.

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