Changing the Angle of the Bow Stroke
There are seven basic angles
that the bow will take, depending on which string(s) the bow is placed.
This movie shows the angles on a violin from the student's perspective,
and from the teacher's perspective. Note the position of the elbow
as the angle changes:
The Helicopter is a good game to play for fixing bow holds, learning the names of the different strings, and learning the seven basic bow angles. It also is a great way to assess whether your students know the names of the strings.
1) Students place bow on string (Ex. D string) without making any sound. Fix bow hold:
2) Now the fun part. Pretend the bow is a helicopter and it takes off into the air, and lands on another string (i.e. the A string). Ask the students to make helicopter sounds with their voices. When they land their bows, play a rhythmic pattern to them, they play back, etc. The objective is to play on the A string without bumping the adjacent strings with the bow.
3) Periodically check the bow holds during this game. Remember to also land the bow on two strings at a time and practice playing double stops (e.g., D string and A string together). Also try landing the bow at incorrect and correct sounding points on the string, for example, over the fingerboard, too close to the bridge, and then at the correct sounding point (as shown in the movie).