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Topic 1b, How to hold the bow

There are different forms of bow. Many feature a bolt which can be used to tighten the hair. When you receive a bow for the first time, the horse hair is likely to be loose. Tighten this up steadily. The way to determine if it is tight enough is to bounce the bow (hair) gently on the back of your hand, it will bounce up. You should loosen the hair slightly when travelling long distance, or when you are aware you may not be playing the bow for a few days.

Once tightened, and once you know where the tail, shaft and grip are, run your index finger and second finger on your right hand across the shaft and push the area between thumb and index finger – known as the thenar webspace – into the grip. Now wrap your third and fourth finger into the grip so you are holding it firmly.

With the bow gripped in your had you now need to develop some dexterity. You will be using muscles that you’ve rarely used before and they will become familiar to holding and running the bow as time progresses. First, holding the bow horizontally, push the bow upwards and downwards using just your second and third finger.

Next, place the bow on the back of your left hand so the palm is facing downwards, and pull the bow using just your fingers and wrist. Ensure your elbow, arm and shoulder do not move. Now push the bow, again ensuring that only your bow holding fingers and wrist are in motion.

Petform these two exercises for five minutes in total everytime you practice for the first four weeks.

  1. Grip (frog) sits in thenar webspace
  2. No standard grip, but generally we align first two fingers across the shaft.
  3. 3rd and 4th fingers fall into the grip.
  4. You should be able to lift and drop bow with 1st and 2nd finger
  5. Rest bow on left hand, pull the bow and then out using fingers and wrist.

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