We're going to familiarise ourselves with creating smooth down bow strokes by playing some circles.

Firstly, bring the right arm up in a big circle above your head, and then bring it down again releasing the bow onto the string with as much attention as possible towards the little finger counter pressure. This will allow a smooth landing to take place. Make sure that you land the bow as smoothly as possible when you are making the landing.

Repeat the motion several times, observing how you can use the little finger as a counterweight, which helps to provide a smooth landing.

When I use the bow, sometimes it bounces. Is that because of my bowhold?.

It's a really, really good question. It's one that comes up a lot. Why when you play the bow, sometimes bounces like that. So, the vast majority of the time, this is going to be down to tension somewhere where it's not meant to be. So why don't we all take our violin and our bow let's just stick with the D string for this.

Let's just circle around, and land on the D string, and if you do feel any bounce at all then instinctively, I want you to think back through your checklist, first of all, you want to check your posture, your body posture is right. So everything is really centred and balanced. You're absolutely making sure that you're not twisting or turning in a direction that you don't need to be.

And then particularly with the right side of the body, bring your mental focus to each joint one by one, because often what we'll do is we'll think, OK ... is it ... Is there any ... am I ... blah blah blah. You need crystal clear mental focus on which joint is doing what.

Let's do a big circle once again, and as you're coming into land, it's like, this movement here, imagine an aeroplane coming into land. Wherever those checks are before it touches the runway. Your checks are: is that free. Is that free? Is that free? Is this free here - the base joint of the thumb? And then you're just feeling that suspension system, sink in to the string.


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