Improving bowing technique is crucial for any violinist, and it is especially the case for Singaporean violinists. This is because many Singaporeans learn the violin for the purpose of eventually acing the ABRSM violin exams. In casual violin playing, you may be able to get away with a slightly less than ideal bowing technique. However, if your goal is like most Singaporean violinists and you want to ace the ABRSM violin exams, then it is important to develop very good bowing techniques and be very technically sound. Here are some tips specifically tailored to Singaporean violinists on how to improve their bowing technique on the violin.
A correct bow hold forms the foundation of effective bowing technique. Ensure that your thumb and fingers are placed correctly on the bow, maintaining a relaxed and flexible grip.
Violin bowing involves a combination of arm and wrist movements. To improve your bowing technique, focus on developing flexibility in your arm and wrist. You should ideally also practise exercises that emphasize fluid bowing motions on the violin and utilize a variety of bowing techniques such as legato, staccato, spiccato, and détaché.
You can and should experiment with different bow speeds and pressures to achieve a variety of tonal colors and dynamics in your violin playing. Bow speed and pressure greatly influence the tone and dynamics produced by the violin. Practice playing long tones and gradually vary the speed and pressure to develop control and sensitivity.
You want to utilize the entire length of the bow, as this allows for more expressive playing and music. Be sure to perform exercises that involve bowing from frog to tip and vice versa. This will help you develop smooth bow changes, control over different bowing lengths, and fluid bow distribution.
You should look for and enroll for violin classes in Singapore. A skilled violin teacher can provide you with very valuable guidance in improving bowing technique. A skilled educator can help identify specific areas for improvement and provide personalized exercises and drills to strengthen bowing control, posture, and bowing arm movement.
Last but not least, you can improve your violin bowing techniques by recording yourself while practicing. These recorded videos with audio can be a very helpful tool for self-evaluation. Most beginner to intermediate violinists in Singapore do not actually do what they think they are doing on the violin. It can be very difficult to self-diagnose and correct mistakes. But with a recorded video of yourself playing, you can easily see how you actually play the violin versus how your instructor has advised you to.