Yesterday we started looking at some tips from Hilary Hahn, and we talked about the left hand.  Today, let's look at the right hand.  On her web site Hilary writes, "concentrate on bow distribution (the proportionate length of each bow stroke to the ones surrounding it, depending on rhythm, absolute length, loudness, and intensity of tone), contact point (your bow-hairs' placement between the bridge and the finger board), the straightness of your bowstroke, the flexibility of your fingers in bowchanges at the frog, and the position of your hand when you're playing at the tip."

That's a lot to take in for one day, so let's concentrate today on the bowstroke.  The stroke should be at a right angle to the strings.  That means that the angle should start and remain square to the strings throughout the stroke.  We don't want the bow to scrub up or down the string.  Bad technique means bad sound. 

One thing that I like to do is bow at a target.  If you practice with someone else there, this is easy.  Have them hold their hand where the bow should move, then play the piece.  Your hand should repeatedly tap the target hand that your practice partner is holding out.  Miss the target a lot?  Go back to the practice technique that you hear a lot at this site:
L-O-N-G   S-L-O-W   B-O-W-S.  It really is amazing how much progress you can make doing this.  Your tone improves.  Your right hand technique improves.  Even your left hand improves because you take the time to place things exactly right before the bow changes direction.

Another way to analyze your bowstroke is to videotape yourself playing.  Set the camera so that it looks directly up the path that the bow should take, then play.  If your stroke is like mine, you'll be amazed how much the bow travels up and down the string. 

If you get a chance to visit Hilary Hahn's web site, it really is fascinating.    Take a look.  The URL is:
Violinist Hilary Hahn and Baltimore Symphony at Amazon
Violinist Hilary Hahn and Baltimore Symphony at Amazon

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Violin Tip of the Day - February 14
* Violin Tips for Practice and Rehearsals.

* Violin Technique and Exercises.

* How to Care for Your Violin.

* Inspiration and Motivation for Violinists, Fiddlers, or
   Anyone Interested in Stringed Instruments.
Violin Tip of the Day -- Violin Student Central -- February 1
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Today's Tip in a Nutshell:
     Sometimes Playing Slowly and Analyzing
     Everything is the ONLY Way to Get It Right.
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