Bow direction: important or no?

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Tune-specific help and comments Bow direction: important or no?

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    Hi all,

    So, in classical training, bow direction is extremely important, so I’ve been led to believe. If one is playing in an orchestra, the presumably all bows have to be in the same direction.

    How true is this in fiddling?? Playing along with the Prairie Spring Waltz lesson, my bow was going in the opposite direction more often than not. Sounded good though, at least IMHO.

    When I visualize playing in a “jam” of bluegrass/old time circles, I’m hearing wonderful harmony and no two instruments going in the same direction. ‘

    Is there a “norm” of importance of bow direction for fiddling?



    i think that the bowing direction when learning fiddle is important as well but not for like aesthetics but for speed.. I think once you play for years and you can play faster comes natural but I asked my self this question as well before

    Ive been learning old joe Clark and I think learning bowing for that correctly helps your speed because of the slurs in it but also because John when he plays the tune he is super fast but I think that’s how it goes with a lot of bluegrass tunes.. I’m hoping that after years of playing direction of bow eventually comes natural..

    John (BGD)John (BGD)

    That’s a great answer, Mandy! An orchestra would sound bad and look worse if the bows went in random directions. When fiddling, however, direction is far less important. It mostly comes into play when performing rhythmic shuffles.


    Thanks, Mandy & John! Shuffles are what I’m working on now… extremely new territory to me. During my F2F violin lessons (Suzuki method), I have to play the section over and over again until my bowing is correct, as well as tonation and rhythm. When attempting to play along with John, I could–as long as I wasn’t watching (and just listening). But boy–try watching him? I was so focused on the bowing, the rhythm was nowhere near where it should be…😳 so it’s safe to let go of precise bowing direction until shuffles become natural…

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