Right Hand Violin Technique

Violin Technique Videos-this page is under construction

Awareness of right hand violin technique shown below is crucial in becoming a good violinist.  As a Suzuki violin teacher, I emphasize technique in lessons but for visual and audio learners, my hope is that this page will result in a deeper understanding of violin technique.  As a result, this page will save the student and I time in the lessons.

Thank you.
Happy Practicing!

Below are some things to keep in mind and videos you may want to view when addressing certain technical issues playing the violin.


Playing With A Straight Bow

One of the most important aspects of tone production is playing with a straight bow.  A straight bow is defined as keeping the bow parallel to the bridge at all times.

When playing the violin with a straight bow, it can look crooked to the player thereby creating an optical illusion.  I recommend looking to the left into a mirror to check that you are bowing straight.

Some common issues when trying to play with a straight bow includes the following:

  • The violin does not cover the left shoulder when playing which results in a crooked bow.  More right arm adjustment to create a straight bow is necessary if the violin is not placed on the left shoulder and the violin is held in front.
  • The right elbow moves in front or back of our bodies which creates a crooked bow.
  • Our right wrist does not follow through when playing at the frog.  Bending our wrist as we bow towards the frog is a necessity for bowing straight.
  • On the down bow, some violinists do not extend the arm in a straight line, the elbow moves in back of our right side, thereby playing with a crooked bow.
  • It is important to note that when violinists have a straight bow and have not reached their full height, they may need to work on drawing a straight bow.  As their arm gets longer, they need to pull their arm back towards the side of their body to achieve a straight bow.

Some practice tips in developing a straight bow include: playing in front of the mirror and placing the violin bow on your strings as shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2ctrw0ItyE.  If you’re an adult student, make sure to stand in front of the mirror and place the bow parallel to the violin string.  You can then move your right hand up and down along the length of the bow while holding your violin with your chin.

Another strategy which has helped my students play with a straight bow involves holding the violin with the chin and looking into the mirror while playing.

Other videos which may be helpful in playing with a straight bow include:

In the following video at 1:40, Todd Ehle explains the various parts of the arm involved in keeping the bow straight when playing in different parts of the bow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVj5mlL1RSM