To achieve the full spectrum the dynamics while keeping a beautiful tone, it’s necessary to take into consideration all 4 of the determinants that impact volume. Since these aspects are interdependent, masterful interpretation counts on the effective interplay of every four. Here’s how to mix and also match your way to more expressive playing.

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The Problem

Your ton suffers as soon as you boost bow pressure to get more sound indigenous the string.

The Solution

To achieve the complete spectrum that dynamics while maintaining a beautiful tone, it’s important to consider all four of the determinants that influence volume. Since these facets are interdependent, masterful interpretation depends on the reliable interplay of all four. Here’s exactly how to mix and match your method to an ext expressive playing:

1. Pressure

More pressure through the bow creates an ext volume. Less pressure through the bow creates much less volume. Unfortunately, added pressure can quickly lead to unintended sounds. To avoid this, recognize the difference in between pressure developed by gripping and pressing versus that created by simply resting into the string through a “heavy” right arm. To more prevent the crunchy sounds that are often the bane of beginning students, bear in mind that pressure and the next factor—bow speed—are closely linked. When applying more pressure with the bow, rise your bow speed—use much more bow. To preserve a consistent, though softer, sound through much less pressure, decrease her bow speed—use much less bow.


2. Bow Speed

Since it’s hard to measure up the actual speed the bow is traveling throughout a string, the easiest method to think of bow rate is in terms of length. Using more bow because that a phrase transmits more energy into the string and also therefore, presume your pressure remains constant, create a enlarge dynamic. The reverse is also true: using much less bow vibrates the string much less intensely and will produce a softer dynamic. Due to the fact that the act of applying an ext pressure with the bow regularly leads to tension in the bow hand, utilizing bow rate to create contrasting dynamics is regularly a far better choice. Because that crescendos, use gradually an ext bow through a passage. Because that diminuendos, use progressively less bow.

3. Sound Point

Your sounding suggest is the location at i beg your pardon you attract the bow throughout the cable to create sound. Depending upon your tonal goals, the position you are playing in, the thickness of her strings, and the dynamics you wish to create, you could need to it is in closer to the bridge, closer to the fingerboard, or ideal down the middle. Ideally your sounding point will adjust only when you decision to readjust it. As for dynamics, first notice that the wire yields an ext the furthermore you relocate away native the bridge. Once playing over the fingerboard only a fraction of the power you apply through the bow will certainly transmit ago as sound. As soon as speed and pressure remain constant, play closer come the fingerboard (Fig. 1) create a softer dynamic while playing closer come the leg (Fig. 2) creates a larger dynamic.

When exploring with sounding points, above all, usage your ear to guide you to the ideal location for quality tone and dynamic variety.

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4. Bow Hair Usage

Using complete bow hair will contribute to a fuller sound while making use of partial hair will create a softer, much more airy sound. For complete bow hair, tilt the bow stick away from you, simply slightly (Fig. 3) so the the bow no slip ~ above the strings. Because that partial hair, continue tilting the stick farther away (Fig. 4).


This post is excerpted indigenous the Strings Guide: improve Your Bowing Technique, a series of instructional message and video lessons