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2. Bow Hold

Pat Legg’s Teaching suggestions

Holding the bow

Put yourself in their shoes.

What does it feel like when holding the bow for the first time? Does the pupil understand how the bow works? (Horse hair pernambuco wood, Screw, frog)

AIM? To hold the bow in such a way as to get a good quality sound. The bow hold to be flexible enough to do a variety of bowing techniques.

HOW? There are many ways of teaching a pupil to hold the bow. Here are a few I use for the early stages.

Monkey on a stick 

Baroque hold at point of balance 

Under bridge 


WHAT is the intension? To get 

Good string contact through speed of bow. 

Good string contact of bow on string by weight. 

Good string contact by balance.

Possible problems. Size of hand, Length of fingers, Doubled – jointed fingers

Clutching the bow. WHY does it happen? The pupil is afraid that the bow will fall off the string. Due to gravity the hold feels insecure. A possible remedy is to tilt the bow stick slightly towards the body.

If the angle of bow between bridge and fingerboard is not straight, WHAT does this do to the sound? It stops the string from vibrating properly and so leads to a poor sound. Possible remedy. Place the bow under the bridge on the belly so that the stick leans against the bridge. Close eyes and feel the direction of the bow.