To accomplish the full spectrum of dynamics while keeping a beautiful tone, it’s essential to take into consideration all 4 of the determinants that affect volume. Because these facets are interdependent, masterful interpretation relies on the efficient interplay of all four. Here’s just how to mix and also enhance your means to even more expressive playing.

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The Problem

Your tone suffers as soon as you increase bow press to gain even more sound from the string.

The Solution

To attain the full spectrum of dynamics while keeping a beautiful tone, it’s essential to think about all four of the determinants that influence volume. Due to the fact that these facets are interdependent, masterful interpretation depends on the efficient interplay of all 4. Here’s exactly how to mix and match your means to more expressive playing:

1. Pressure

More press through the bow creates more volume. Less pressure with the bow creates much less volume. Unfortunately, included push have the right to easily cause unintended sounds. To stop this, recognize the distinction in between pressure produced by gripping and pushing versus that developed by ssuggest resting into the string with a “heavy” appropriate arm. To additionally prevent the crunchy sounds that are often the bane of start students, bear in mind that push and also the following factor—bow speed—are closely linked. When using more push with the bow, boost your bow speed—use even more bow. To keep a regular, though softer, sound with much less push, decrease your bow speed—use much less bow.


2. Bow Speed

Because it’s tough to measure the actual rate the bow is traveling across a string, the most basic means to think of bow rate is in regards to length. Using even more bow for a expression transmits even more energy into the string and also therefore, assuming your pressure stays constant, creates a louder dynamic. The reverse is also true: using less bow vibrates the string less intensely and will certainly create a softer dynamic. Since the act of using even more press through the bow regularly leads to stress in the bow hand also, making use of bow rate to create contrasting dynamics is frequently a far better choice. For crescendos, usage slowly more bow via a passage. For diminuendos, usage progressively less bow.

3. Sounding Point

Your sounding point is the location at which you attract the bow throughout the string to produce sound. Depending on your tonal objectives, the position you are playing in, the thickness of your strings, and also the dynamics you wish to develop, you could should be closer to the bridge, closer to the fingerboard, or right dvery own the middle. Ideally your sounding allude will readjust only as soon as you decide to readjust it. As for dynamics, initially alert that the string yields more the farther you move ameans from the bridge. When playing over the fingerboard just a portion of the energy you apply through the bow will transmit back as sound. When rate and press remajor constant, playing closer to the fingerboard (Fig. 1) creates a softer dynamic while playing closer to the bridge (Fig. 2) creates a louder dynamic.

When trying out with sounding points, above all, usage your ear to guide you to the ideal place for high quality tone and dynamic variety.

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4. Bow Hair Usage

Using full bow hair will add to a fuller sound while making use of partial hair will certainly produce a softer, more airy sound. For full bow hair, tilt the bow stick away from you, simply slightly (Fig. 3) so that the bow doesn’t slip on the strings. For partial hair, continue tilting the stick farther amethod (Fig. 4).


This article is excerpted from the Strings Guide: Improve Your Bowing Technique, a series of instructional message and video lessons