Beginner Violin Bow Strokes | Online Violin Lessons

Beginner Violin Bow Strokes | Online Violin Lessons



Violinists use a variety of bowing techniques to add style and interest to violin playing. Understanding these techniques can help you in your own playing and appreciate other violinists’ playing as well. Today, I’m sharing four beginner bow strokes and how to execute them.



You can think of détaché at the “default” bow stroke. To play détaché, simply use long, separate bows to play the notes. There are no special markings to notate détaché, so if you don’t see any other articulations in the music it is assumed that you should play it using détaché.



Legato means playing two or more notes in one bow stroke. Legato bows are indicated by a slur above the notes. Bow strokes should be played in a smooth and connected manner, meaning you do not stop the bow as you change bow direction.



Staccato is indicated by dots that appear above or below a notehead. Staccato bows should be played in a crisp style, meaning that you use fast bow strokes that are stopped suddenly to create a “bite” sound. There should be some silence between bow strokes.



Martelé bow strokes have a heavy, explosive sound at the beginning of each stroke. These notes are indicated by accents in the music. To play martelé, push your bow heavily into the string, then release as you perform the bow stroke, slowing the bow down near the end of the stroke. 



Mastering these bow strokes will provide a solid foundation for your violin technique and set you to advance to intermediate violin playing. Try mastering one stroke at a time, adding in new strokes as you feel ready. Learning the violin takes a lot of time and patience, so remember to give yourself some grace as you are learning new technique!


Looking for more ways to improve your violin technique? Read about tonalization here!




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