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Top 3 RIGHT HAND Mistakes (and how to fix them)

Now that we've talked about common left hand mistakes, you may be wondering if there's anything you're doing with your right hand that could be improved upon. Today, I am sharing three of the most common bow hand mistakes I see among new violin students, and how you can avoid them to improve your playing!

Mistake No. 1: The "Banana Thumb"

The banana thumb occurs when players stiffen their thumb, and thus create a banana shape when making contact with the frog. This limits the mobility of the right hand, and can also cause unnecessary tension.

What to do instead:

Simply bend your thumb instead of bowing it out in the opposite direction. This will give you much more flexibility with your fingers, and allow for smoother bow changes and better bow control overall.

Mistake No. 2: The Bow Hold Creep

This phenomenon is when the right fingers begin to creep to the top of the bow, usually while playing, and usually after positioning the fingers in a lower, more stable position. This causes the bow hold to lose stability, and possibly even teeter back and forth since there is so little connection of fingers to bow.

What to do instead:

Once making a correct bow hold, try to focus on keeping the middle and ring fingers in contact with the frog. Feeling for this contact every once in awhile when you are playing will allow you to check in with your bow hold, and make sure all of the fingers are staying in place.

Mistake No. 3: The Gooseneck Wrist

This occurs when the right wrist juts upward - far above the fingers and elbow - resembling a goose's neck. This also limits the mobility of the bow hand, causes tension, and makes string crossings much more difficult.

What to do instead:

Try to keep the wrist level with the arm when first placing the bow on the string. If you notice the wrist is much higher than the right fingers and elbow, gently lower the wrist while keeping the elbow slightly lifted. This will give you a more neutral starting point, and you will be able to navigate the strings with ease.

And there you have it! Are you guilty of making any of these three common mistakes? If so, I hope you will reevaluate your right hand technique, and work toward breaking these habits for a much better, easier time playing the violin. For more on this topic and a visual demonstration of each of these mistakes, watch the video below!

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