3 Quick Exercises To Improve Your Violin Sound

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Classical Violin By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Violin » Classical Violin
Last updated: 11/05/2018
Tags: beginners violin, sound production, viola practice, violin practice, warm-ups

Each of these short exercises will help to free up your sound and improve bow control. They are great warm-ups to use at the start of a practice session.

1. Slow Bows 
Put a metronome on 60 beats per minute. Choose a string and play one down bow and one up bow using your entire bow (make sure you start right at the heel). The down bow and the up bow should last four beats each. Repeat the exercise increasing the number of beats for each down bow and up bow. 4 beats, 8 beats, 12 beats, 16 beats, 20 beats. As you increase the number of beats per bow try to keep a consistent sound with no cracking and keeping bow changes as smooth as possible. This is a great one to practise in front of the mirror as you can then easily check that your bow is parallel to the bridge. The up bows will feel tricky especially as you get back towards the heel.

2. Pulling and pushing the string with the bow (no sound)
Although this sounds strange this is one of the best ways make a big sound with out pressing. Pick a string and place the bow on the string by the heel. The challenge is to move the string sideways with the grip of the bow without making a sound. Once you can move the string, try to play a down bow from where you are - the sound should be clear and resonate. Try this first at the heel, the the middle of the bow and at the tip. You will find the amount of weight you need in the bow increases as you go from the heel to the tip. You can also apply these exercises to scales or even passages in pieces.

3. Keeping the same sound throughout the bow 
Start at the heel and play fortissimo using a small amount of bow. Try working your way slowly to the tip of the keeping the same level of sound. To achieve this you will need to slowly increase the weight in the bow as you move to the tip. Now try the same exercise in pianissimo. Unlike the previous time, you'll find it easier at the tip and harder at the heel.

Matt Johnstone Classical Violin Teacher (South West London)

About The Author

Hi! I am a experienced Violin, Viola and Piano teacher available to teach all ages and abilities. I am currently a Violist in Southbank Sinfonia

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