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2 Ways to Practice Bowing Techniques
- Scales are a great way to polish and perfect various bowing techniques. Using whatever scale is appropriate for your level (one-octave, two-octave, or three-octave), play your scale using one of the bowing techniques described above, for example: martelé or legato.
- Here is a fun trick to try with your violin to practice natural harmonics. Play a nice smooth, open G string. Now, continuing to bow very smoothly and slowly, run your finger up the G string, but barely touch the string. The result should be a series of harmonics that sound a little like arpeggios, but not quite. Stravinsky used this effect in the violins at the beginning of his 1910 ballet The Firebird. When natural harmonics appear in music, they look like a diamond-headed note placed right on the note where you’re supposed to lift your finger so it’s not pressing the fingerboard (rather, it’s barely touching the string).