Basic Bow Stroke Technique - Cello
The basic bow stroke for cello involves the following motions:
1) The shoulder joint is flexible like a hinge and permits a slight swinging motion in the arm. The elbow will open as the bow moves from frog to tip. There will also be some motion in the upper arm as it moves with the elbow. When the bow is at approximately the middle, the elbow will be at a 45 degree angle.
2) The wrist will flex and pronate slightly as the bow moves from frog to tip, and supinate as the bow moves from tip to frog.
3) The fingers remain flexible and curved as the bow moves from frog to tip.
Notice the flexibility of the wrist and fingers. If viewed frame by frame, the leading motion of the elbow can be observed, followed by the wrist, and then the fingers. When the bow changes direction, the elbow changes first, followed by the wrist and fingers.
Note also the speed of the bow and the amount of bow used change as the cellist moves from the low C string to the high A string. The lowest string is considerably thicker than the highest string. The student should move the bow slower and add weight to make the C string resonante.As the student moves to higher strings (G-D-A) he should gradually move the bow faster and add less weight to get a good sound.