Are you struggling with your violin bow hold? While it’s one of the most important aspects of your technique, it can be a challenge for new violin players. Here, violin teacher Naomi Cherie S. reviews Bow Hold Buddies, a product designed to improve your violin bow hold..
If you’re a beginner or you’re having trouble with your violin bow hold, I recommend checking out a product I recently heard about called Bow Hold Buddies.
A proper violin bow hold is essential to your foundation as a budding player. Holding the bow in a very specific, time-tested way will impact the quality of the tone you produce.
The proper violin bow hold can also be one of the hardest feats for a beginner to accomplish, as it requires a very specific set of muscles and hand positioning.
With practice and exercise, students can usually pick it up within a few months, but some students, especially young children, have a harder time than others.
Bow Hold Buddies
Enter Bow Hold Buddies, a unique device that fits on your bow and guides your hand into place for the perfect violin bow hold. Ruth Brons created Bow Hold Buddies to help her beginner violin students.
“My beginners love getting off to a quick start and I value optimizing lesson time,” Brons says. “Because I do not have to correct the bow hold multiple times in each lesson, which is both time consuming and frustrating, students are able to move through and master those first couple of method books so much more quickly and easily.”
I got the chance to test the Bow Hold Buddies product myself, and I even tried it out with some of my students. Read on to see the results!
The Bow Hold Buddies device is fairly easy to install and use.
I was a little unsure at first when reading the pictogram on the instructions, so I definitely recommend watching the short video where the creator explains exactly how to use the product.
Bow Hold Buddies are lightweight, smart, and cute. They come in animal shapes including a frog, a fish, and an elephant, which makes them perfect for kids and adults, and the adjustable design can adapt to any hand size.
How it Works
While there are several exercises you can do to improve your violin bow hold, this device eliminates confusion and shows you exactly where to place your fingers.
Since it covers most of the areas where your fingers shouldn’t be, your fingers will easily to slip into place in the right spots!
As one of my adult students said, “Now I can see everything I was doing wrong before. It’s almost as if you can’t put your fingers in the wrong spots.”
All in all, I’d recommend this product to anyone who’s just starting out, but like any DIY or commercial violin training device, only as a temporary tool.
Bow Hold Buddies are kind of like training wheels on a bike: they will help you get started, but you shouldn’t use them forever.
Having even the slightest bit of extra weight on the bow can reduce your control and overall tone quality. Therefore, while I highly recommend this product, I suggest you use it until your hand adjusts and you can keep your violin bow hold in place without struggling.
I’d also suggest alternating between playing with the device and playing without it. For instance, try practicing with the Bow Hold Buddies for 20 minutes, then take them off and see how you do.
When you practice on your own, watch closely, and take note of how your muscle memory is working and improving a little bit each time you practice.
For even more ways to improve your violin bow hold, try these exercises!
Props to Things4Strings for their creativity and ingenuity on this product! I definitely haven’t seen anything else like it. Make sure to check out the other useful tools for cello and violin at Things4Strings.
If you’re struggling with your violin bow hold, make sure to ask your violin teacher for help!
Image courtesy joeannenah