This is a public version of the members-only Violin with Nathan Cole, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Violin with Nathan Cole.
Join Now

Beginner Violin
 ≡ 
Intermediate Violin
 ≡ 
Advanced Violin
 ≡ 
Orchestral Excerpts
 ≡ 
Concertmaster Solos
 ≡ 
30 Day Challenge
 ≡ 
+Music
 ≡ 
Video Exchange Archive
 ≡ 
«Prev of Next»

Violin Lessons: Bow Changes

Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Resources () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Music Theory
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Close
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   
Violin

This video lesson is available only to members of
Violin with Nathan Cole.

Join Now

information below Close
Information
 ≡ 
Course Description
 ≡ 

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Violin with Nathan Cole. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Violin Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
X
Log In
X
[MUSIC]
To the question of bow changes,
I'm often asked what happens, during a bow
change,
what should happen in the, the fingers, in
the hand, in the arm,
I can only remember attending a master
class one time,
of the great violinist Joseph Silverstein,
and
someone asked him that and he said
nothing, nothing happens.
And I think, I finally understand what he
means.
Basically a bow change is nothing more
than a change in direction of the bow.
And if you would like not to hear the bow
change, which is an essential skill for
violin playing, then you need to have the
same sound
at the end of one note as at the beginning
of the next note.
That's the most important thing to
remember about a bow change.
You wanna match the sounds.
[MUSIC]
There's not a lot of trickery that has
to happen if you're blending the sounds
together.
That's a little easier at the tip than it
is at the frog, but the same,
the same, criteria apply.
You want the same sound at the end of the
bow as at the beginning.
[MUSIC]
Where we get into trouble is where
we let the sound die at the end of one
bow especially closer to the tip.
[MUSIC]
When you're listening for
it it seems obvious.
Now why, why, why would I let the sound
die?
But it happens all the time in expressive
playing where because, you
don't keep focus in the string using the
thumb to, to push up against the leather,
because you don't keep that focus, the
sound does diminish a little bit and
then the new bow has more of a normal
pressure and speed.
So you want to compensate by pushing up
maintaining equal pressure
throughout the bow and then keeping that
same pressure and speed as you change.
[MUSIC]
I sometimes like to think that the change
doesn't happen really in a straight line,
down up, but rather over a curve.
So that as I change to the up bow, the bow
is making a little bit of a circle or
an arc like this, because as you know, the
string has different parts to it.
There's not just one level to the A
string.
[MUSIC]
So, when you match the sound,
it doesn't always have to be
a normal sound like that it
could be flautando,
[MUSIC]
as long as they match, the change
is going to sound mostly invisible.
Now your arm can help with this by
matching the level
of the hand very closely, so on the E
string arm
level matches the hand level, A string, D,
and
G, through all four levels, this moves as
a unit.
That gives the hand the feeling that it's
kind of floating, or
the bow feels like it's floating.
It also helps to pick the bow up into the
hand, rather than letting it droop.
The scariest situation for
a bow change at the frog is if you have a
drooping hand, a drooping arm.
[MUSIC]
You have no control.
There's, there's no flexibility there and
the bow is just kind of dead in the water.
Instead to feel the bow well in hand with
nice equal fi, finger and thumb pressure.
To have an arm level that matches the hand
level, you can simply make the change.
[MUSIC]
And that's true no matter how loudly or
how quietly you play.
Difficult when it's quiet.
[MUSIC]
But again,
I'm not trying to change anything about
the hand, the arm,
the bow, anything at the moment of the
change of direction.
It's simply going one way, then it goes
the other.
So when you send me a video about bow
changes, I'd like to see
a couple of whole bows so that I can see
your changes at the tip and the frog.
Then I'd like to see you use half the bow.
[MUSIC]
I'd also like
you to show me some
different dynamics.
Start out with the louder dynamics and
then show me quiet bow changes as well
because those are a little bit trickier.
And then show it to me with vibrato,
because vibrato,
if you keep it continuous through the
change, also helps hide the change,
and it just makes the sound richer and
more expressive.
[MUSIC]