4 Things Violinists Need to Remember
The violin is a complicated instrument. Violinists have to remember to do a lot of things before, during and after playing – whether it’s practicing at home or performing for an audience. So for all our students and readers, we’ve put together this list of four things violinists need to remember.
Hold Your Bow Properly:
If you want a rich, fluid sound when playing, you need to hold your bow properly. Let your arm relax, from your shoulder, to your elbow, to your wrist and each of your fingers. If your hand is properly relaxed, your hands will naturally be in a loose fist shape. A tense arm is no good for playing the violin, so work on keeping your arm relaxed at all times.
It can be good to warm up with some practice bowing before you start playing. Practice long up and down strokes the full length of the bow. Make sure you’re holding the bow hair flat against the string and at a consistent distance from the bridge. This is where having a relaxed arm is important; your wrist and arm will allow you to adjust how much weight you’re applying on the string.
There’s Things Violinists Need to Remember When They’re Done Playing!
When you finish practicing, don’t just put your violin and string in their cases and call it a day! There’s a few things you have to do to take care of your instrument.
Tightening and Loosening You Bow:
It’s important to tighten your bow before you play, and just as important to loosen it when you’re done. Forgetting to loosen it after practicing can warp the wood of the bow and cause irreparable damage! All you have to do is turn the screw at the end of the bow clockwise to tighten it, and counterclockwise to loosen it.
Cleaning Your Violin When You’re Done:
You might notice that as you play, rosin from your bow can build up on the strings and the body of the violin. Rosin dust will adhere to your violin and dull the varnish, and the longer it’s there, the harder it is to remove. So clean it off whenever you’re done playing! You can use any cotton rag or washcloth to do this. (This is a long video, but if you skip through it you can see the amount of work that has to be done to repair a violin that hasn’t been cleaned enough!)
Of course these aren’t the only four things violinists need to remember, but they’re four things that often get overlooked. It can help to write yourself or your child a checklist of things to remember, and keep it in your home’s practice space for reference. With time, practice, and of course a great teacher (like the teachers at Myriad!) all the little details you need to remember as a violinist will become second nature.