A student recently asked me this question: “How can I ever play my piece up to speed when it takes so long for my bow to settle down after a bow circle? It takes too long to set it, but if I rush, the bow bounces like crazy on the down bow.”

My answer was short and simple (something that does not happen very often), so I thought I would share the simple solutions with my readers.

You hit the nail on the head! You need time to allow the bow to settle before attempting to pull a down bow, otherwise it will bounce all over.

As you get better and better, you will need less and less time to set the bow before playing–but if you never learn to take the time to set the bow and TRULY let it settle, then the problem will never go away.

Trust me…give yourself all the time you need to let it settle perfectly, and you will gradually get faster and faster, until it is basically instantaneous, the way you see professionals setting and playing in split seconds.

The techniques to figure out that will help with this are:

  • How to do smaller bow circles
  • How to set the bow down so that it settles immediately
  • Where to place the bow for the least bounce and best stability
  • How to have a soft, relaxed bow hand
  • How to tilt the bow ever so slightly
  • The right elbow height (it can’t be too low nor too high)

Be patient. If you practice doing it right, it will come!