Exercises to improve bow division: pulsing and travel bowing

Example 1: pulsing
Use this practice technique to improve:
– Bow planning.
– Maintaining friction through a legato bowstroke.
This is the opening of Kreutzer’s “Study No.5”.

Example 2: pulsing
This is a practice technique for passages that combine slurs with separate notes and therefore require thoughtful
bow division.
Pay special attention to the clarity of the 4th finger notes and the first note after the string cross.
The excerpt is the opening 4 bars from “Rigaudon” by Kreisler.

Example 3: travel bowing
The repertoire of J.S.Bach presents many bow division challenges. These are often resolved by using more bow on the up-bows to regain the ground we lose on the down-bow slurs (travel bowing).
Remember that our modern bow (the Tourte bow) is different to the bow that Bach would have used. The Tourte bow can project a stronger sound but is less agile when it comes to playing passages like these.
Practise your bow division at half tempo and use the mirror.

This is Bars 24 to 32 from the 1st movement of Bach’s Concerto in A Minor.

Example 3: wandering through the bow

‘Wandering through the bow’ is excellent practice for using all the different parts of the bow combined with unequal amounts of bow and bow speeds.
Aim to play with normal phrasing.

This is the opening of Kreutzer’s “Study No.5”.


From Violin Bow Technique – purchase online at Twofold Media

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