How to Relax Your Right Hand
Hi I’m Vi Wickam and this is another myTalentForge Quick Tip of the Week!
Now, this week, we’re talking about our bow hand.
Forget about our violin!
If you don’t play with a bow, this lesson doesn’t apply to you.
This Quick Tip is for us bow string players- violinists, violists, cellists, and those of you that play bass with the bow.
What we’re talking about is how to relax our right hand.
Now, tension in our right hand is the bane of our existence.
If you want to have beautiful tone, you can’t have tension in your right hand. If you want to be able to play fast, you can’t have tension in your right hand and right arm.
So what you do with your right hand transfers all the way up your shoulder, all the way up your arm into your shoulder and neck.
So we don’t want that. The big thing I see students do over, and over, and over again is straighten their pinky and push against the bow with their pinky because they’re really trying to grip the bow- we don’t want to grip the bow, we want the bow to sit in our hand…relax.
The way I do this, is I have these fingers draping across the bow, I have my thumb relaxed and bent, I have my pinky relaxed and bent. They don’t have to be really bent- it doesn’t have to be really curled up here.
It should just be relaxed.
If our thumb is straight and bent- causes a big knot here in our hand. Tension all the way up the inside… if the front pinky straight and intense, that causes tension all the way up the outside of the arm.
If we keep them nice and relaxed and supple- then we’re a lot more flexible with our grip as we go through the whole bow stroke.
Dr. David Wallace of Berklee has a great series called Comfort With Your Bow on myTalentForge that works a lot of the common elements of how to play with a great relaxed bow arm. You might want to check that out if you’re interested into delving deeper into this topic.
But for now, don’t be tense in your pinky, don’t be tense in your thumb.
Lighten up man, keep it cool, have fun, and enjoy your week of practicing relaxing your right hand!
See you next time!