beginner bow hand with pointer finger gripping


Rebecca said: Dec 6, 2010
 Violin, Piano
6 posts

Hi everyone.

I have a student whose pointer finger is hooked too far around the bow (it’s hooked using the joint close to the hand. Any suggestions of tips to help her get rid of that habit? I have talked about ‘holding a bubble inside your hand’ (to remove the inside knuckle from any where near the bow) and have drawn on her hand many times to show where the pointer should be resting. She goes back to the bad habit while playing.

Any tips? Do I need to reteach bow hold?

Diane said: Dec 6, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
244 posts

This from a violin standpoint—(not sure what instrument you teach)

I would hold the bow over the students head, ask them to reach up and do their bow hold. It should be impossible to over reach that pointer now! Make a game out if it. Gradually bring the bow lower and maintain the position.

Good luck!

Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Ruth Brons said: Dec 7, 2010
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
West Orange, NJ
150 posts

The Bow Hold Buddies bow hold accessory was designed to correct/prevent this exact issue.
It places a small structure into the webbing of the first and second finger.

Teresa Hakel said: Dec 10, 2010
Teresa Hakel
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Houston, TX
9 posts

I’ve had success with this problem by drawing a smiley face on the fingerprint of the first finger. I tell the kids that the little girl/boy who lives in their fingers has a head (last segment of the finger), a belly (middle segment) and legs (the segment at the base of the finger.) The finger should be on its belly, not its legs, and you should not squish the face, because then the finger can’t breathe. As the student plays an easy review piece, I say “Oh no! Don’t squish me,” in a high pitched voice if the “face” touches the stick of the bow. Of course, the finger shouldn’t be straight, either. At some point I tell them that an advanced player does let the fingerprint touch sometimes, but is also capable of letting it not touch, depending on what they’re playing.

By the way, I also tell them that the first 3 fingers lay on their bellies when they play, but the 4th finger and thumb must do head stands. Be sure they don’t try to stand on their noses ;-) The thumb does a crooked headstand on the corner of his/her head.

A less cute way to approach this is to tell them that the pinkie should be more curved than the first finger.


Diane said: Dec 11, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
244 posts

I love it! Especially since nobody is allowed to stand on their own 2 feet!

From now on it’s heads and bellies!!!

I draw a face on the bow thumb. Have students lift up the middle finger to play peek a boo. If you can see the face it’s in the right place. If you can’t see the face……………..

Big smiles!

Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

Sue Hunt said: Dec 21, 2010
Sue HuntViola, Violin
403 posts

It might help to have regular sessions of “First Finger Flops” during the practice. Make a bow hold and either hold it vertically in front or let it rest on the bow spot or left shoulder. Soften the pinky and lift and drop it onto its place on the bow. My students all call this finger “Lazy Mr. One.” He just lies there not even trying to sit up. Hope that helps.

This topic is locked. No new comments can be posted.

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services