Practice makes Performance

Practice Makes Perfect. Right?

We wish. The amount that we practice is not the most important factor. It is how and what we practice that predicts our future performance.

How to Begin

We have the violin on our shoulder, hopefully it feels good today. We pick up the bow.
We are ready to play. But wait …

For a beautiful clear tone we need to move the bow so that it travels parallel to the bridge. However, when we start at the frog of the bow, unfortunately our arm will tend to naturally move in an arc towards the tip … not in a straight line.

What if we reverse directions and we practice starting at the other end of the bow? Will it be easier to move from tip to frog in a straighter line and then, perhaps return by the same path to the tip?

  • Try it, start at the tip – parallel to the bridge -play to the frog,watching closely that the hair of the bow maintains the same angle with the string throughout.
  • Then reverse the direction and travel back to the tip, again keeping close watch on the relation of the bow hair to the string. If you hear a nice sound, you know you are on the right track

The professional usually starts by tuning their violin quietly at the tip. That is how they can both hear themselves tune in a group and also update their ‘feel’ of their extended arm connecting to the violin at the point of the bow.

Be like the Pro. Begin by finding where the tip of your bow really is instead of just careening down the string from the frog to tip, not knowing where you will land and hoping for the best.

Practice tips from

Vivian Waters

Vivian Waters